Report: Modi Three Years On
Narendra Modi led the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power during the May 2014 elections, promising radical changes. The party’s electoral manifesto outlined numerous problems that threatened Indian society, while promising to protect social values and enact “urgent changes” in the economy, agriculture, energy, education, and governance. Observers from around the world hailed the BJP’s victory as a success, and believed that a pro-business government assuring fundamental changes would tap into India’s unfulfilled economic potential.
Since the Modi administration entered office, the Indian economy has largely maintained its upward trajectory. Despite recently being eclipsed by China as the world’s fastest growing economy, for the past three years India maintained gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates around seven percent, until sinking to 5.7 percent in April-June 2017. The World Bank projected growth will reach 7.5 percent by 2019.
In May 2017, India’s foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows reached $60.1 billion for 2016-2017, continuing to make India more attractive to investors. Since 2014, India has opened 25 domestic sectors to FDI, including pharmaceuticals, railways, and renewable energy. Such rapid improvements were made possible by the Make in India campaign, which the Modi government unveiled in September 2014 to increase domestic capabilities and enhance Indian self-sufficiency.
In addition to emphasizing economic advancements, the Indian government focused on deepening ties with other states. This policy has achieved great success, with Prime Minister Modi taking almost 70 official state visits to other countries since entering office in 2014. Key among these included four stops in the United States, three stops apiece in France, Germany, and Russia, a trip to Iran, and the first official state visit to Israel by a sitting Indian prime minister. Additionally, India has hosted heads of state from countries like Australia, Bangladesh, Turkey, and even Palestine. This signifies a replacement of India’s historic foreign policy of international ambivalence with a strategy that emphasizes increased trade and closer ties with nations from all around the world.