MUMBAI (TIP): At 23% in 2015, India had one of the lowest foreign debt-to-GDP ratios among 83 emerging market (EM) countries, although it had risen from 17% in 2005. Even among the Asian countries covered in an analysis by global ratings major Moody’s Investors Service, compared to an average debt-to-GDP ratio of 47%, India’s was less than half that number.

China’s external debt-to-GDP ratio is still the second-lowest globally at 13% of GDP in 2015. The lowest is Nigeria with 3.3%.

According to the report, India experienced the second largest increase in external debt between 2010 and 2015. “India had $474 billion in external debt as of 2015, representing 16% of the Asia-Pacific region’s total debt. India’s external debt has grown two to three times slower than China’s, at a five-year annual average rate of 8.4% and a 10-year annual average rate of 13.4%.

As a result, the external debt-to-GDP ratio in India has risen from 17% in 2005 to 23%in 2015, but is still one of the lowest globally,” it noted. The analysis also found that the BRIC nations block owns 37% of all emerging market external debt. In dollar terms, as of end-2015, China represented 17% of total emerging market external debt, Brazil 8%, Russia 6%, and India another 6%.

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