Washington: In less than 40 years India will overtake the US as the world's second-largest trading nation, pushing today's superpower into third place and Europe in to the little leagues, according to a new report by Citigroup.

"According to our projections, world trade in goods and services will grow from $37 trillion in 2010 to $149 trillion in 2030 and $371 trillion in 2050," Citigroup's William Buiter and Ebrahim Rahbari wrote in a research note released on Thursday.

"But at least as interesting as the growth in world trade that we forecast are the changes in its composition that we expect over the course of the next four decades, with today's emerging markets set to gain much more prominence in world trade relative to advanced economies," they said.

China is expected by Citi to become the world's biggest trader by 2015 but it is India's rise that could come as a surprise to many, according to Citi's analysis.

"In terms of the largest countries by trade, we expect China to overtake the US to become the world's largest trader by 2015 and to remain in the top spot for the rest of our forecast horizon," the report said.

"India, which does not even feature in the top 10 of the world's largest traders in 2010, is expected to be the world's second-largest trader by 2050, with the US in third place," the report predicted.

(Agencies)