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Monday, January 08, 2007

Greetings from India - Saludos desde la India

If you are wondering why I have not written any columns or blog items recently, it's not because I'm taking an open-ended vacation. It's because I am traveling in India, doing interviews for a series of columns and blog entries that will start next week.

The columns will try to answer some fascinating questions: Is India poised to become the next emerging world superpower, like China? Will it follow China's steps and play an increasingly important role in Latin America? Should Latin America follow China's model of exporting manufactured goods, or India's model of exporting services?

I arrived here last Thursday, and have so far interviewed India's Minister of Planning Montek Singh Ahlwalia, Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Subal, the deputy minister of foreign affairs in charge of Latin America, and half a dozen of pro and anti-free market academics. Tomorrow, I'll go to the university, and on Thursday I'm off to Bangalore. Stay tuned!

-- Andres Oppenheimer


Anonymous Anna C said...

I am a mexican professional that moved last year to USA to work for a University. I was in India last August and I believe that what you are doing now is so important and relevant. Most people in Latin America might not recognize or aren't even aware of the potential that India has. I am looking forward to read more about your research there. I will be praying for you, I know how different India is from what we are used to.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Luck Andres!!! We are expecting to read your articles.

By the way, can you ask ministers How India manages its energy and communications and How is the role of the state in these fields.


Ruben P.
Rosario - Argentina

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Andres R said...

Excellent news, sounds like a great follow-up to _Cuentos Chinos_. Hopefully an alternative to China is realized - I just don't think they can be trusted.



4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saludos para ti, Andres! La India a pesar de sus desigualdades es un país cada vez mas pujante en su desarrollo tecnológico. Acaban de enviar al espacio un nuevo satélite hecho por científicos argentinos, lo que es un orgullo para mi país (a esos mismos científicos, Domingo Cavallo -ministro de economía de Menem y causante del descalabro económico- los mandó a "lavar los platos" hace 10 años).

Nelson Rodriguez de Argentina

3:01 AM  
Blogger Global Opinions said...

That is an excellent idea. I am a grad student in the US focusing on International Economics and Latin American studies, and although at my program (Johns Hopkins SAIS) we put a large emphasis on China's role in Latin America, I really think India could be a better model.

India is has a highly regulated economy, which is gradually opening up, similar to Latin America, although India seems to be having greater success in making the necessary structural reforms. As well, with the exception of a few countries, wage levels are too high in Latin America to be competitive with China in manufacturing (or even more low cost places like Vietnam), but some countries are positioned well for offering services.

I am very much looking forward to your new series of columns, great idea again!

Washington, DC

10:40 AM  
Blogger leftside said...

Fidel is a hero in India - even by many on the right. India's "market reforms" (like those in Latin America)have a very mixed success rate, depending on how you judge them (as even your own paper reported).

Despite India's booming economy, the development is tremendously uneven - the northeast and south have gained little, hence the insurgencies. 40% earn less than dollar a day, 33% can't read, 20% are without water...

I know most foreigners fly in and out of a country's hub and make judgements based on that. But we can't judge an economy by the number of Marriott hotels and McDonalds. Even the "sucess stories" in Bangalore have many dark sides (watch the documentary "Office Tigers" on Sundance.

Where reforms in India and other countries have been successful is when they are selective, well thought out and mitigated, and part of a national development plan (like China, Vietnam and even Chile). Blind privitizations like we saw in the 80s and 90s often resulted in huge price increases, reduced service, job cuts, profits taken out of the country and a monopoly remaining at the end of the day.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The thing I respect about the Mahatma Gandhi Indian people is that they have done it themselves. They themselves are going to create their own successful country. It's all about hard work.
Mahatma Gandhi Indians don't go around the world sneaking into rich countries and smuggling out tens of billions of dollars. And forcing the Hindi language on the societies they force themselves into.
The legacy of theft is so pervasive in certain regions of the world that it will take centuries to breed it out.
I am an engineering grad, and I will never forget the Chinese and Indian students working well part midnight in the computer labs to get their work done.

11:59 AM  
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