During a conference, Gautam Adani, Asia’s richest person and one of the continent’s most influential, predicted a dark future for China. In his speech, he said that “growing nationalism, supply chain risk mitigation and technological restrictions” could seriously affect connectivity with other economies, to the point of isolating the Asian giant.
In comments during a CEO symposium in Singapore organized by Forbes magazine, Adani drew a parallel between China today and Japan’s crisis during the 1990s. He highlighted their similarities regarding credit risk, the housing crisis, and “stagflation.”
He added that the Chinese communist regime was considered the “leading champion of globalization.” But instead, the failure of the Belt and Road initiative and its long-term economic policies leads it into isolation.
Who is Gautam Adani?
Adani heads India’s largest integrated infrastructure group. This month his wealth briefly surpassed that ofJeff Bezos. With an estimated net worth of $140 billion, Adani is among the top 3 richest men in the world.
The Adani Group, led by Gautam, encompasses infrastructure, commodities, power generation and transmission, and real estate. Among other things, the tycoon is the country’s largest airport operator and owns 74% of Mumbai International Airport, one of the busiest in Asia.
Unlike billionaires who concentrate their wealth on producing specific goods or services, Adani’s investments are the most varied. He covers mining, coal, cement, ports, airports, etc.
He also recently announced that he plans to become the world’s largest green energy producer. He said he would invest nearly $70 billion in renewable energy projects.
His business success has grown exponentially over the last two years, and so has his influence on politics and the economy.
Even in the West, he has already established himself as a figure of importance. Adani participated as a speaker at the 20th Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore on September 26-27, 2022.
At the conference, Adani gave a 30-minute speech in which he surprised with his criticism of the Chinese economy and even warned of its possible collapse.
Adani’s speech and outlook for China and India
During his speech, Adani spoke about the profound changes the world’s economy has been undergoing during the last 36 months.
He mentioned the geopolitical changes, the economic turbulences of the major powers, and the interventions of central banks to cool the economy in a complex context of global inflation. As expected, he also talked about the Chinese regime and its role in the complex global socio-economic reality.
China is becoming isolated due to its economic policies generating a deep crisis and to the authoritarianism of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its repressive measures against dissidents and spiritual and religious groups.
Another factor that, according to the Indian tycoon, is leading China to the abyss is the alleged failure of the Belt and Road initiative.
This project began with a promising globalist discourse to lead all participating countries to unprecedented economic development.
China would be the great engine of the system and grow simultaneously with the rest of the countries. However, China was not able to fulfill its promises.
With the Belt and Road argument, the Chinese regime subjugated impoverished countries with loans and promises of investment. Cheap labor, precariousness, and environmental deterioration is the economic model it tried to replicate in underdeveloped regions such as Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. In such areas, natural resources and strategic points for the regime’s military activity and commercial development are abundant.
The European countries that participated in the project also saw their interests affected by the Chinese regime’s outrage and have begun to limit their participation in various aspects.
Such is the case of Italy, which joined the project after a series of agreements signed in 2019, and since then, public opinion has not stopped criticizing it.
Giorgia Meloni, the newly elected Prime Minister of Italy, pointed out that her country should limit China’s economic expansion as much as possible. She said it was a “big mistake” to participate in the Belt and Road. She said that if she had to reaffirm the agreement, she would not do so.
The new international context is marked by China leaving its dominant economic position due to rejection by many Western countries. As a result, hundreds of large multinational firms left the country and reestablished themselves elsewhere. Many others are considering doing the same.
The new reality opens the game for the emergence and development of new powers. In this sense, Adani pointed out that India, his country of origin, can play more than a leading role in the world economy.
In the face of global turbulence, Adani suggested that opportunities for India have accelerated. “India is one of the few relatively bright spots from a political, geostrategic and market perspective,” he added.
He claimed that the country would become the world’s third-largest economy by 2030.
Domestic investments largely drove India’s growth over the past few decades. But foreign investments are growing exponentially, Adani said, and much of the funds leaving China will flow into India, further boosting its growth.