China Will Overtake US as Word's Biggest Economy by 2016: OECD

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By Prasanth Aby Thomas | November 9, 2012 10:35 PM EST

A man walks past a logo of the CPC in Beijing. (Reuters)

Emerging economies will have a stronger share in global output in the next half century, causing a dramatic shift in the balance of economic power, says the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The OECD, in its report Looking to 2060: Long-term growth prospects for the world, notes that China is expected to become the world's largest economy by 2016 while India could also go past the US in the long term.

The two countries combined will soon pass the collective economy of G7 countries.

Meanwhile, ageing heavyweights such as Japan and the eurozone countries will slowly lose their position on the global economic development scene shifts to nations with younger population such as Brazil and Indonesia.

"The economic crisis we have been living with for the past five years will eventually be overcome, but the world our children and grandchildren inherit may be starkly different from ours," said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

"As the largest and fastest-growing emerging countries fully assume a more prominent place in the global economy, we will face new challenges to ensure a prosperous and sustainable world for all. Education and productivity will be the main drivers of future growth, and should be policy priorities worldwide."

The report, which uses a new method for forecasting growth over the next 50 years, says that the world economy will expand 3 percent annually. Emerging economies will expand faster than the developed nations, although with stark differences.  

The shift of economic power balance will boost standards of living and per capita income in the poorest countries by 2060, the report says, adding that the increase could be seven-fold in China and India. The gains will close the gap in living standards between emerging and advanced economies.

Disparities in growth in these countries are expected to persist. China will see more than a seven-fold rise in per capita income in the next half century, but its standard of living will only be 60 percent of the developed countries. Similarly, India's per capita income will only reach about 25 percent of the advance economies even though it will see growth similar to China.

However, Gurría said: "None of these forecasts are set in stone." 

"We know that bold structural reforms can boost long-term growth and living standards in advanced and emerging-market economies alike."

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