• Setbacks to the Indian SEZs need to be reversed for them to work.

    India Can Not Afford to Drop the SEZ Ball

    India’s Special Economic Zones (SEZ) policy, announced in April 2000, has been the single most important initiative ever taken by the Indian government to promote private investment in industrial activity.

    It is not the first time that India has tried to develop its SEZs. The first wave of export zones started in 1965 and ended in 2000 with little success. The prospects are better this time. The current policy targets private investment in SEZ development and offers several lucrative incentives and features that were not available in previous initiatives.

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  • Effective coastal economic zones could help India boost exports.

    India Works to Reverse Negative Export Growth Trend

    India’s 2015–2020 foreign trade policy aims to increase merchandise exports from US$450 billion in 2013–14 to US$750 billion by 2020. This will be difficult to achieve. More than a year of negative exports growth has raised concerns about India’s ability to boost exports and to achieve and sustain its current 8 percent growth rate.

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  • India's forecast growth is greater than China's, but may be unreachable.

    India is off to a Slow Start, Undercutting Growth Projections

    Unlike other emerging economies, strong investor sentiment and the meltdown in crude oil prices bolstered India’s growth in the last financial year. Though the projected growth rate for 2016 shows a slight decline of 0.1 percent, the World Bank predicts that India will grow by a robust 7.8 percent this year and by 7.9 percent in the next two years. This means India is shaping up to outpace China in the next three years.

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  • Modinomics are supposed to be in high gear.

    Is India Really 'Open for Business'?

    Since becoming India’s prime minister in May 2014, Narendra Modi has sought to make the country ‘open for business’. But while there is hope that his pro-business policies — often dubbed ‘Modinomics’ — will improve economic growth, aspects of India’s foreign trade policy seem at odds with the country’s aspiration for deeper engagement with the world economy.

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  • This year will be crucial for India's democracy.

    India: The Year of Living Democratically

    Last year was a high voltage year for Indian politics. Debates and deliberations across political and non-political arenas focused on the values and institutions forming the bedrock of Indian democracy. Questions of tolerance, secularity, the right to free speech and the protection of minorities’ interests became subjects for reflection in an increasingly urban India.

    Meanwhile, government bans on Maggi products, beef, NGOs and pornography-provoked reactions from Bollywood celebrities as well as British and American media outlets.

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  • Modest results for India's Modi underwhelmed the populace.

    India's Modi May Have to Lower the Bar

    In his first calendar year as Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi focused on economics. Through high profile trips abroad and ambitious proposals at home, Modi maintained an air of energy and initiative, but the results were modest. Meantime, domestic politics became more polarised, contributing to two high profile election defeats for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in state elections.

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  • India's Modi has challenges ahead, but is optimistic about his country's future.

    Despite Slowing Growth, India's Modi is Optimistic

    On the back of expanding global trade and buoyant exports, the Indian economy managed to grow at more than 9 percent annually between 2005–6 and 2007–8. However, following the global financial crisis, and subsequent sluggish world output and trade trends, economic growth in India has been lacklustre and remains well below potential.

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  • Indian state Bihar sends a message to Modi's ruling party.

    India's BJP not Feeling the Love in Bihar Election

    As the Hindi saying goes:  If you live in the water, do not make an enemy of the crocodile.

    The ruling party in India, the BJP, was defeated in the Bihar state assembly elections.  The party came out with 59 seats out of 243, down 35 seats from the previous elections and considerably worse than expected.  Many were looking at the Bihar elections as a referendum of sorts on Modi’s first 17 months in power. 

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  • India's domestic discussion focus is being on the outside of the TPP looking in.

    India Facing Trade and Investment Diversion

    The conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in early October 2015 has marked another substantive milestone in the global trade order. Rising doubts over domestic ratification aside, the world is keeping a wary eye open as it tries to grasp how the TPP will affect other ongoing free trade agreements (FTAs) and multilateral trade talks.

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  • India's economic cost of TPP exclusion can only be estimated.

    India is on the Outside of the TPP Looking In

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreed to on 5 October 2015 covers almost a third of world trade and 40 percent of global GDP. By not being part of the TPP, India risks losing out. According to a Center on Global Trade and Investment study, India’s nominal GDP is likely to trim by more than 1 percent because of trade and investment diversion caused by the TPP. The ensuing negative effects on India’s economy by way of revenue and job losses will be large.

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