Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and the Rise of India: Will It Help the U.S. Counter China's Influence in Asia-Pacific?

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Virtual Discussion - Wilbur K. Woo Greater China Business Series

Wednesday, March 13, 2024
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. PDT

Thursday, March 14, 2024
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. China Standard Time

This event featured an engaging conversation with Professor Chris Tang, faculty director of UCLA Anderson’s Center for Global Management, Romain Wacziarg, professor of economics and Hans Hufschmid Chair in Management, who teaches the CGM’s business environment of India global immersion course, and William Yu, economist for the UCLA Anderson Forecast and author of the UCLA Anderson Forecast’s U.S.-China Economic reports. The speakers address the current state of these two powerhouse economies, draw comparisons between the two countries, identify their respective challenges and growth opportunities, and share their predictions on the longer-term prospects and impact on future strategic, trade and commercial relations with the United States.

Six decades ago, China and India had roughly the same per capita gross domestic product. Both countries had large populations but were predominantly rural and poor. Economic reforms in China, including becoming open to external trade and investment, allowed the country to advance and become the world’s second largest economy in 2010. Change in India was slower and less steady. Today, as foreign direct investment is shifting away from China and the economy has entered deflation territory, the world’s second largest economy is grappling with mounting challenges. Yet across the border, the economy in India could not be better. Over the last decade, the world’s most populous nation has experienced a growth journey to become a global economic powerhouse, with growth in its digital economy, diversification of its export basket and a move toward higher value–added products.

International firms are seeking to diversify their operations away from China, where they faced obstacles during the pandemic and are threatened by rising tension between Beijing and Washington. Meanwhile, India is aggressively trying to capitalize on this massive rethink underway among companies on supply chains. In 2022, the U.S. launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), prompting negotiations on trade, supply chains, clean energy, and infrastructure. Today, the Modi government is laying the groundwork to make it easier to do business and attract more companies to invest. Much like China did more than three decades ago, India is beginning a massive infrastructure transformation by spending billions on building roads, ports, airports, and railways. Could there be a reversal of fortunes?

About the Series

The Wilbur K. Woo Greater China Business Series engages leading executives, innovators, influencers, investors and academics in conversations around the major forces, trends and innovations in the region across society, enterprises and consumers. Through balanced discourse, the series serves as a neutral forum to exchange ideas and learnings, understand new norms and models, and provide forward-looking perspectives on advancements to better understand the trends, opportunities and challenges of doing business in and with the Greater China region.

This event is organized by the UCLA Center for Global Management and supported by the UCLA Greater China Business Association (GCBA), the UCLA Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), and the UCLA Asia Pacific Center.