Saturday, May 27, 2017

India-Japan Should Compete With OBOR

OBOR is an ambitious infrastructure initiative. But it makes tremendous sense for India and Japan to compete with it. Numerous small countries across Asia and Africa would benefit.

India is a political rival to China and Japan is an economic rival. Both are giant democracies that counter the police state suggestions of China.

Physical infrastructure can not be the only thing. India can offer a more holistic model of development.

The synergy will benefit India much as Japan is in a position to make massive investments in India.

The India Japan partnership could thrive without American or European participation. It is big enough on its own.

Monday, May 22, 2017

One Belt One Road: China's Marshall Plan For Asia And Africa?

China's much touted One Belt One Road initiative is easily Xi Jinping's favorite project. It is being projected as a revival of the ancient Silk Route. It also has echoes of the American Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe from scratch after the utter devastation of World War II. It is ambitious. It is fundamental. It is well intentioned. It is a giant billboard that announces, China Is Back.

It can not be all loans to poor countries. There will have to be generous grants. The loans will have to be at near zero rates with the option to forgive in a decade or two or three. Handled well the infrastructure projects will pay for themselves, both for China as well the recipient countries. China will gain much from increased trade, just like a revived Europe bought much from America.

India should participate, although it should maintain an active voice. Many small countries will benefit if India talks along the way.