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December 22, 2003


Rajesh Desai

Some thoughts on a remarkably incisive lecture.

The mystery of how Hong Kong survived post British colonialism has been rather satisfactorily explained. The big boys in mainland China have simply incentivised themselves adequately to profit from HK's free trade regime.

Govt built institutions (as opposed to social institutions) are essentially time based. Our bureaucracy based on supposed personal integrity, worked effectively only for a very short time after independance (remember, our 1st five year plan was successful). Equally, a Chinese type institution, based on personal or political enrichment may not survive forever. In fact according to some observers, it looks quite ready to implode in the not too distant future. So perhaps, long term comparisions may be made only with due caution.

Personally, I believe the race for superior economic status between India & China is still quite open. The best possible solution may well be economic cooperation. But there I think the good professor may be right. We in India may not be 'practical' enough for such experiments yet.

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