India will outpace China in growth, despite demonetisation: Singapore academic

Indian economy will grow faster than China despite the temporary slowdown created by demonetisation, an Indian—origin academic and former Singaporean diplomat said at a conference of leading world universities here today.

“Even if the demonetisation created a slowdown, it is not going to change the long-term momentum of where India is going with its economic growth,” said Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.

‘Will be good in the long-term’

Concluding a three-day conference attended by educators from leading universities from across the world that make up the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, Mr. Mahbubani said demonetisation was good for Indian economy in the long-term.

“I think demonetisation is a good thing for a lot of [black] money has come back into the economy. That, I think, is good for the economy,” he said.

‘RBI will need to borrow less’

The Reserve Bank of India will need to borrow less after the cash returns to banks following demonetisation, he has said.

“India will grow faster than China even after this [demonetisation] slowdown. There is a lot of momentum in the Indian economy,” said Mahbubani.

The conference also discussed changing global trends.

“We are moving from a unipolar world to a multi-polar world which is good for small states because they will have more options,” he said.

‘Opportunities for Singapore’

“The fact that we are moving towards multi-polar world will create new opportunities for Singapore. We can have good relations with China, the United States, India and Europe,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the conference.

Panellists at the conference addressed geopolitical tensions wrought by the rise of the Islamic State, cyberattacks and North Korea missile launches as well as mounting economic challenges such as the fate of global markets in the wake of Brexit and expectations for the continued development of free trade.

‘Less domination by U.S.’

“The world has changed and has become multi-polar, less dominated by the U.S., to a point where reaching decisions at the global level is increasingly complex and difficult to achieve,” said Merit E. Janow, Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs at THE Columbia University.

“It becomes more challenging given that a number of countries around the world and specifically in the Asia-Pacific region are seeking greater influence within international bodies, such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organisation, United Nations and G20,” said Mr. Janow.

‘Emerging economies must be heard’

“These countries, particularly in Asia, are taking steps to create their own regional institutions because they feel they are unable to have the degree of voice and influence in the established bodies that they perceive is appropriate. International organisations and bodies need to adjust to this new reality and ensure that important developing nations have a greater voice,” he added.

The conference heard that China, Japan and India formed three of the four leading global economies, along with the U.S. as the fourth.

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