Indiana's place in a globalized economy

April 20, 2010
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Who would have thought just a few decades ago that developing countries would so get the hang of research and development that they’d rise to challenge the West?

But they are. Hugely. As is argued in a recent Economist piece, developing nations are hustling to outdo each other and Western economic powers and play greater roles on the global stage.

They aren’t just making things cheaper, like $3,000 cars and $30 cell phones. They’re building sophisticated companies and reinventing business models.

Big multinationals are fueling the surge as they hope to profit from booming populations. For instance, General Electric’s largest health care R&D location is now in Bangalore.

Maybe it’s no wonder Warren Buffett bought stock in CSX. It’s tough for foreign competitors to take on a domestic railroad.

It goes without saying that these trends affect Indiana. Yet, the state has lots of deep strengths. Hoosiers are good at making things, and the world will continue demanding products ranging from engines to artificial hips.

Indiana also is in the middle of the world’s largest economy. Things and people pass through here on their way elsewhere.

And Indiana has some of the best farmland in the world. That’s good for churning out food products—another promising export, one with potential for lots of value-added.

How would you rate Indiana’s prospects of thriving during an era of rising global competition?
 

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