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India to Surpass China

According to the International Monetary Fund, India's GDP will grow by 7.2% this year and in 2016 will rise by 7.5%. If the analysts are right, within 2020 the Indian economy will be larger than those of Germany and Japan taken together. In the meantime Argentina still dreaming the Malvinas (Leggilo in italiano)

India outruns China — India is expected to overtake China as the world’s fastest growing large economy within 2015.  According to the International Monetary Fund, it’s GDP will grow by 7.2% this year and in 2016 will rise by 7.5%. This spectacular economic expansion is due both to the country’s youthful population and to progress made in introducing a series of structural reforms which, to use the word employed by IMF President Christine Lagarde, ought to help India “fly” in the coming years.

If the analysts are right, within 2020 the Indian economy will be larger than those of Germany and Japan taken together. In the same period, Indian industrial production is expected to climb past the sum of that of the next three largest “emerging” economies: Russia, Brazil and Indonesia.

In part because it “can” and in part because it “must,” the country has embarked on a major military expansion, especially as regards its naval presence.  India’s present military stance, with a large but poverty stricken army on the one hand and a first-rate air force on the other, has long been calibrated to fight a land war—either against the Pakistanis in the west or, in the east, against Chinese soldiers flooding over the Himalayas.

The hypothetical maritime enemy is the PLAN, China’s “Peoples Liberation Army Navy,” which has started aggressively patrolling the Indian Ocean, whose waters—since around 2008—have begun practically boiling with ample numbers of Chinese surface warships and submarines.

India at present has more than 40 warships under construction, equal to about a quarter of the total size of its present fleet. In 2014 it became the first Asian power since the days of Imperial Japan to possess two aircraft carriers—and has a third underway in its shipyards.  China has just a single carrier, one that it still without aircraft…

 

Malvinas or Falklands, trouble either way — In a perfect demonstration that the past is never really over, Argentina and Great Britain have once again gone back to snarling at one another over the possession of the Malvinas (for the Argentines), or Falklands (for the Brits). 

In theory, the new argument concerning this frankly unimportant string of islands lost in the middle of the South Atlantic is about British oil exploration intended to see if there is perhaps enough petroleum under the seabed of the surrounding waters to be worth drilling for.

The simple fact is that the drilling program has been suspended because of the crash of world oil markets. Argentina though has a tendency to start getting excited about the Malvinas every time its Presidents begin to lose the favor of the electorate—and the popularity of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the current Head of State, is in free fall.

Throw in that Russia, busy stirring up trouble wherever it can do so cheaply, is understood to be negotiating a lease arrangement to supply the South American country with 12 long-range bombers—in the event that its (nearly nonexistent) air force feels the need to bombard some distant target. Las Malvinas in fact are situated roughly 900 miles from the Argentinian mainland.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense has announced that it will send new troops to the islands to reinforce the tiny garrison it left behind after winning the last war between the two distant enemies in the early 1980s.

 

Chickens to conquer the world — According to a recent OECD study, chicken is expected to become the world’s most widely consumed meat within the next five years. For the moment, pork still ranks number one, but the consumption of pig meat is falling even in those markets where it is most popular, like China, while chicken is booming everywhere—especially in countries where for religious reasons pork chops and ham are rarely on the menu: most particularly Malaysia, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

 

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