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Abstract

This paper compares economic reforms in the two most populous economies of the world: China and India. While both China and India opted for a gradual approach to reforms, India had to begin with stabilization measures due to the fiscal and balance of payments crisis of 1991. Since Chinese reforms were initiated long before India's, the latter country could benefit by drawing relevant lessons from the former. Reforms are far from complete in either of the countries. In the case of China, further reforms need to concentrate on different issues such as social welfare, insurance, housing, state-owned enterprises, and the financial system. In India, continued reform actions are required in the areas of fiscal consolidation, openness of the economy, tax reforms, foreign investment policy, and the financial sector. In addition, reforms need to be initiated in areas such as exit policy, labor and land laws, decentralization of decision making power, and opening up of the insurance sector. The high growth experienced by the non-state sector in China could well be achieved by the private sector in India if it were to be extensively deregulated.

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