In 2019, India’s economy will have officially grown larger than that of the United Kingdom, India’s former colonial master. From the Wall Street Journal’s “Real Time Economics” letter:
Given the IMF’s growth projections, India’s gross domestic product, in U.S. dollars at market exchange rates, will likely remain fifth largest for at least five years. The economy is the central issue in the election now under way in India. Regardless of who wins, India seems destined to rival China in global economic influence thanks to its growth and population (soon to surpass China’s).
Even without Britain, the European Union still is about 12% bigger than China. Assuming Brexit, China is on course to surpass the EU in 2022, but if the IMF is too optimistic on China and pessimistic on the EU, it could take China longer, especially if Turkey or someone else joins the EU or Britain stays. China won’t surpass the U.S. in the IMF’s five-year forecast window.
India’s economic transformation was not a historical inevitability. It was the result of choices—choices that were not always popular at the time. A little freedom, given a little time, does amazing things.