China slowing, India will drive global growth: former Singapore PM

India growth forecast

India is a beacon of hope (amid the global slowdown) and has the potential to drive the world economy for the next 10 years, Singapore’s former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said.  “India is a hope for us. India is at a stage China was 10 years ago to amend slack in the economy,” he said at the Future of Asia Conference organised by Nikkei in Tokyo on May 29.

India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is on a six-day tour to Tokyo to attract investments, attended the conference. 

Speaking about the slowdown in China, Mr Tohk felt that India should take advantage as China slows.  “One should pass the message to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi (that) India is growing… now and it is engine of the world for the next 10 years as China is slowing,” he said. “(The world) not just depends on China for pushing growth, India can be a very big partner,” he added.

In April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had  cut its 2016 global growth forecast for the fourth time in the past year to 3.2 per cent. The report cited China’s slowdown,  low oil prices and weaknesses in advanced economies. The global forecast was down from 3.4 per cent projected in January.

India, on the other hand, retained its 7.5 per cent GDP expansion forecast for 2016 and 2017. This was an  increase from 7.3 per cent in 2015.  “With the revival of sentiment and pick-up in industrial activity, a recovery of private investment is expected to further strengthen growth,” the IMF had said.

“In India, growth is projected to notch up to 7.5 per cent in 2016-17, as forecast in October. Growth will continue to be driven by private consumption, which has benefited from lower energy prices and higher real incomes, ” the report added.