New Delhi: India is likely to surpass the UK to become the world’s fifth largest economy next year on growing consumption and strong economic activity, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday. He also exuded confidence that India would be among the top three global economies in the next 10-20 years. “This year, in terms of size, we have overtaken France. Next year we are likely to overtake Britain. Therefore, we will be the fifth largest (economy)," he said, while inaugurating the office building of the Competition Commission India (CCI).

India’s gross domestic product (GDP) was valued at $2.597 trillion at the end of 2017, overtaking France’s economy ($2.582 trillion). However, in terms of per capita GDP, India still lags France, which is nearly 20 times bigger in comparison. This is because of the huge size of India’s population, which is estimated at around 134 crore, against 6.7 crore of France. The UK economy was valued at $2.94 trillion at the end of 2017. India recorded a growth of 6.7% in 2017-18, expected to accelerate to 7.4% in the current fiscal, on the back of pick-up in industrial activity and good monsoon.

Jaitley said the country has the potential to overtake large economies that are growing at a much lower rate than India. “We grow at 7-8% on an average. So for us to overtake are unquestionably going to be as the world projections are among the big three in size (by 2030-40)."

Growth would be driven by expansion in economic activities, he said, adding, “over the next 10-20 years we still have lot of avenues for pushing our growth. For instance, growth is more in the north, the south and western parts of the country... Eastern side has still to grow faster. That’s an area we will see growth."