Can India Overtake China in the Global Economy?  

04 June 2024

In April 2023, India surpassed China to become the world’s most populous nation. With its growing GDP, booming consumer market, and competitive workforce, India is on the rise. But can it overcome social, economic, and geopolitical challenges to outpace China and claim global economic leadership?

Since the 1991 economic reforms, India has transformed its foreign direct investment (FDI) landscape significantly. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, the BJP has adopted a proactive approach, welcoming global investors with initiatives like the “red carpet” policy.

Despite easing regulations, India maintains controlled routes for strategic sectors, balancing openness with protectionism. The opening of sectors like space exploration to 100% FDI signals promising opportunities in cutting-edge technology sectors.

India’s economic growth highlights significant disparities in infrastructure development across regions. Key transport networks like railways and highways are heavily concentrated in the north and along the western coast, areas also attracting major foreign and domestic investments.

In contrast, the northeast and central-eastern regions lag behind with less developed infrastructure and lower economic output. Efforts to bridge these gaps include initiatives such as the Gati Shakti and NIIF, aiming to improve connectivity and attract foreign investment, but challenges remain in achieving balanced regional development and addressing economic inequalities.

India’s strategic focus on semiconductor and technology manufacturing is driven by initiatives like the India Semiconductor Mission (ISM) and the National Electronics Policy. Recent developments include plans for new chip-making facilities and partnerships with global leaders such as Tesla. Despite challenges like brain drain and geopolitical complexities, the country’s large domestic market and competitive labor costs position it as a key player in global high-tech manufacturing.

  • Foreign investment in India: Increasing openness with some contradictions
  • Varied development speeds: Addressing infrastructure inequalities
  • Innovation in focus: Semiconductors and technology manufacturing
  • Alignment dilemmas of an (almost) superpower
  • Sociocultural dynamics between modernity and segregation
india: emerging risks and opportunities report mock up

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