New reorganisations of strategic and economic power are occurring. The strategic predominance of the US is narrowing, particularly in Asia, and the unipolar world has been replaced by one that again features geostrategic competition. The rise of China to great power status has been one of the most consequential developments of the last 30 years, generating great prosperity yet also creating challenges.
The inexorable rise of India is a newer development. As the world’s fastest growing major economy, India is predicted to boast an economy equivalent in size to the US by 2030, and become the second largest economy in the world by 2050. It is with this recognition of India’s growing significance that a number of countries have extended the Asia-Pacific construct to the Indo-Pacific.
While India is increasingly cognisant of the need to enhance its trade and investment ties to cater for its vast product, materials and skills needs, Indian liberalisation will continue to occur in its own time and on its own terms. For every country in the Indo-Pacific, India’s burgeoning consumer market and labour force presents considerable economic opportunities, yet market risks remain.