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China or India
"(As Ashutosh Sheshabalaya's Rising Elephant) explains, both India and China are impacting on the world like America itself did at the turn of the 19th century, but the key lies in the difference between the two Asian giants. This is not just about technology (lots of comparative data on IT, biotech, space programs, nuclear technology etc.). It is also about society, culture and more."
Rob Hawkins, London, on Amazon.com.
China's purchase of IBM's PC division grabbed headlines in Europe and the US. Meanwhile, a much more profound, if smaller, sequence, of overseas Indian acquisitions in areas ranging from automotive to chemicals and pharmaceuticals, seems to have passed beneath the radar screen.
Are these the foundations for an eventual Big Wave ? Who is adding up the numbers? Or does this echo Lakshmi Mittal, whose acquisitions in the Caribbean, the ex-USSR and elsewhere went unnoticed, that is, until Arcelor?
These questions become especially important, given the increase in India's economic growth rate to near-Chinese levels, but with little dependency on either foreign direct investment (FDI) or foreign trade.
With FDI in India barely a tenth of China's, and over half Chinese exports originating from foreign invested factories, is this one explanation for the emergence of Indian multinational companies on the home turf of the West?
In addition, does India have an advantage over China in its soft infrastructure , for example, its democracy, the maturity of its political and market institutions, its more world class and globally connected managers? Or Bollywood?
How do the Indian and Chinese militaries match up? Even if war seems out of fashion (for now), what about competition for influence (e.g in southeast Asia)? And here, what does China's lack of an aircraft carrier imply against India - which will soon be fielding three?
Meanwhile, as the US shifts its own non-proliferation goalposts and upgrades its military ties to India to new heights, where does Europe fit? Is there an India or China choice, now or in the future?
Confusing the picture is a seeming 'entente cordiale' between India and China to focus on complementing market segments, while cooperating in areas such as oil and gas, which pit both of them fundamentally against the West. Is this for real?
These are some of the issues addressed by IndiaAdvisory.

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