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24 September 2014
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Emerging Giants poll for BBC World reveals the battle of today's rising economic nations


An international poll commissioned by BBC World and powered by global market intelligence solutions provider GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.) reveals the world expects China to be the top economic superpower by 2026. A quarter of respondents believe India will be the third-biggest economy, while the U.S. is expected to hold the second place*. More information is available at

The poll results, which support the Emerging Giants season of news reports and programmes on BBC World starting on 22nd May, also revealed that respondents agreed emerging economies such as India and China cannot take economic success for granted. They suggested the two countries must address serious impediments to growth, including population, political stability and lack of democracy.

In the biggest international poll ever for BBC World, close to 10,000 respondents in 10 countries around the world were asked what they thought about the rise of China and India, and who they believed would be the world's top economies in 2026. Throughout the season, the results of the poll will be discussed on the various programmes on the channel, and viewers are encouraged to put forward their opinions on the results at

The survey asked why ordinary people think China and India will become economic superpowers much earlier than forecast. The biggest asset for China was seen to be its huge population (88%), followed by its low labour costs (83%). These two assets were also perceived as important to India's growth. However, respondents ranked India's English-speaking population (83%) as its top asset for growth ahead of labour costs (77%) and population (66%).

However, the study also revealed that people perceive today's emerging economies as having some inherent problems. Different issues were identified in each of the countries' development. 70% of all respondents identified lack of democracy, population growth, bureaucracy and corruption as China's biggest impediments to growth. India was seen as having other concerns with more than 80% of respondents marking out lack of infrastructure, economic instability and scarcity of resources.

Although awareness of these economic factors is high, the survey also revealed a strong consensus that democracy has an influence on economic development. 87% of respondents thought this was China's biggest problem, while three quarters (77%) thought democracy was India's biggest asset.

Respondents were also asked whether they agreed with the statement “democracy is essential for economic growth” - three quarters did.

Those questioned were divided on whether these new economic giants would have positive or negative effects globally. Overall, respondents were more positive than negative about the emergence of China and India, and 52% of respondents agreed that Indian women had the most to gain from economic growth.

However, developed nations took a less positive view. The French, followed by the Italians and the British, were most concerned about how the emerging economies would affect them personally and their country. More than other nations, the Germans (53%) were most sensitive to these new giants ending domestic job security.


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Date : 22.05.2006
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