Indians are divided on whether their own country or neighbour China will take the pole position in the world economy over the next two decades, according to a survey released today.
The survey conducted jointly by leading market research organisation Ipsos MORI and the prestigious King's College of London found 42 per cent of Indians believe China would be the leading economic power, while 41 per cent said their own country will be in the driver's seat.
The survey, released at the launch of King's International Development Institute, also found that that despite an economic downturn and political troubles, America is still considered the main source of economic ideas.
It asked people of different ages and socio-economic backgrounds which countries have the right ideas about the economy and jobs, and which countries they think will be the leading global economic power over the next two decades.
Within the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), the public feel confident that their own countries will be among the leading economic powers in the coming decades, but aside from China, have little confidence in each other as global economic leaders.
However, Only 2 per cent of respondents in China, 2 per cent in Russia, and 6 per cent in Brazil named India as a potential leader over the next 20 years.
Twenty-nine per cent of people from emerging markets chose US as the best option for providing jobs for young people. This is almost twice as many as those who choose China (17 per cent) or the EU (18 per cent).
The United States and China are considered the top two for having right ideas about economy and employment opportunities currently (28 and 26 per cent respectively), the survey found.
The US is particularly popular for having the right ideas on economic growth and employment in India (43 percent), Mexico (41 per cent), South Africa (39 per cent) and Brazil (38 per cent).
However, over half (52 per cent) believes China will be the leading economic power in the next two decades, giving it a 22 point lead over the US, the survey said.
The EU trails behind at 12 per cent, only marginally ahead of Russia (11 per cent) and India (10 per cent).
"It is surprising to see that the US and China are now just a whisker apart" said Dr Andy Sumner, Co-Director of the King's International Development Institute.
"This survey is interesting in the sense that it s not of experts or economists, but of the public in these key developing economies, therefore delivers a general measure of mood, of who is seen to be on the up or heading down," said Bobby Duffy, Managing Director of Ipsos MORI's Social Institute.