India and China are the world's fastest growing economies. The multinationals of the developing world are challenging the dominance of Western firms.
China's oil companies and mining firms are spreading throughout the developing world, while India's hi-tech firms are more than a match for many in the developed world. The world's tallest buildings, largest airports, fastest trains, and biggest dams are now all to be found in the developing world.
Despite the rapid growth of the emerging economies, however, all reasonable projections point to a continued gap for decades to come between the West and the rest. China and India may soon become the world’s largest economies, but it is not certain they will ever be the richest. Does this matter?
'Good enough' technology such as Tata's Nano, only a tenth the price of a Mercedes Smart Car, may allow people to enjoy some of the benefits of development without having to catch up in dollar terms. Similarly, the rapid adoption of mobile telephony seems to have bypassed the need for landlines.
But without roads, an electricity grid and the provision of water and sewage systems to the majority of the population, how developed can a country really become?
Can the emerging economies jump a stage in development to become fully modern, or is their growth limited to dynamic pockets that lack the economic might to transform whole countries?
Dr. Xiaolan Fu
Dr Xiaolan Fu is Director of Sanjaya Lall Programme for Technology and Management for Development and Fellow of Green-Templeton College, Oxford University. She is also project co-leader of several EPSRC and ESRC funded projects and a Senior Research Associate at the Judge Business School of the University of Cambridge.
Dr Fu is the author of Exports, Foreign Direct Investment and Economic Development in China and serves on the Editorial Board of Oxford Development Studies and the International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development. Her papers appear widely major international journals. She received the European Commission Gate2Growth Academic Network 2005 European Best Paper Award, and has conducted consultancy research for ILO, UNCTAD, UNIDO, UKTI and the Chinese government.
Dr Fu serves on the Advisory Expert Group for the OECD Global Investment Forum and the Board of Directors of the Chinese Economic Association (UK/Europe).
Patrick Hayes is the promotions manager for the Battle of Ideas and head of research and development for TSL Education, publishers of Times Educational Supplement and the Times Higher Education Supplement.
Formerly a writer and researcher for the Times Educational Supplement (TES), Hayes has written a chapter on 'What's Motivating Students?' in the newly published A Lecturer's Guide to Further Education: Inside the 'Cinderella Sector' (OUP). Hayes occasionally writes articles for spiked and reviews for Culture Wars.
Sundeep Kumar is the Director, Corporate Affairs & Communications at SABMiller, India. SABMiller is one of the world's largest brewers and is listed on the FTSE 100. Kumar has extensive experience in the field of communication and general management, which spans 24 years.
Kumar joined Godfrey Phillips in August 2003 as Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs. Kumar was also on the Board of the Tobacco Institute of India.
Prior to joining Godfrey Phillips, Kumar was a Director with Enterprise Nexus Communications, one of India's most respected advertising agencies. He has won several International awards such as India's first Cannes Silver Lion, The Advertising & Marketing Effectiveness (AME) Silver Award at the New York Festival and recognized by the International Advertising Association for his professional contribution in the field of advertising, marketing and marketing communications.
Apart from being a frequent guest lecturer at premier institutions such as XLRI, IAS Academy, Bombay Ad Club and MICA, Sundeep has also been designing, teaching and conducting a full semester course at NIFT on Fashion Advertising & Promotion since 1995.
His articles have also featured in renowned professional journals such as Business Today, Business Standard Strategist, Advertising Works and A&M.
A consistent rank holder, Kumar has a Bachelors degree in Economics from Delhi University and went on to do an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
Phil Mullan is an economist and business adviser. Author of The Imaginary Time Bomb: Why an Ageing Population is not a Social Problem, he researches, writes and lectures on economic, demographic and business issues.
Formerly chief executive of the internet services company Cybercafe Ltd, which opened the world's first internet cafe, Cyberia, he currently works with a range of businesses. This includes a non-executive directorship with Easynet Group PLC, one of Europe's leading business broadband networking companies.
Adrian Wood was educated at Cambridge and Harvard Universities. From 1969 to 1977, he taught at Cambridge, where he was a Fellow of King's College and a lecturer in the Faculty of Economics.
From 1977 to 1985, he was a senior economist at the World Bank in Washington DC, working on China, Turkey and the 1980 World Development Report. From 1985 to 2000, he was a Professorial Fellow of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. From 2000 to 2005, he was Chief Economist of the UK's Department for International Development.
He is now Professor of International Development at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on the interactions between the global economy and national human resources.