China and India in International Trade: from Laggards to Leaders?
China and India are demographic giants which have become big economic powers before getting rich. Their rise in international trade has created two symmetric shocks, on the supply of manufactured goods and the demand of primary goods, contributing to a reversal in world relative prices. They have kept traditional specialisation in textiles but have developed new outward-oriented sectors linked to new technology. Foreign firms, through offshoring and outsourcing, have played a critical part in turning China into a global export platform for electronic products, and India into a global centre for ICT services. Beyond the question of their technological catch-up, the challenge is now their quality upgrading, especially for China. In the two countries, there is a debate about the necessary changes to make long term growth sustainable. Their successful integration in world trade has not solved the problem of their overall oversupply of labour, but has accentuated the shortage of highly-skilled personnel.
China; India; foreign trade; technology; terms of trade; international trade
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