Looking Eastward

ERIC BOUVET for TIME

MAGIC MOUNTAIN: Attendees at Davos debated whether China or India — or both — will soon rule the world

Aah, Davos. The Alps. The crunch of snow. the setting for Thomas Mann's gigantic novel The Magic Mountain and for the World Economic Forum's equally gigantic annual gathering of 2,000-plus business leaders, politicians, academics and other influential types. The hand wringing over the world's economic, social and political problems. The search for creative solutions. The schmoozing. The parties. And, this year, the waft of curry overpowering the heavy Schweizerdeutsch fare. India everywhere, said the signs, and it was.

The Finance Minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, and the Commerce and Industry Minister, Kamal Nath, turned up from Delhi,...

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