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Looking at India for investments

In the last several years one has seen many Global Investment Summits in which the central government and the state governments compete for the top money

Audience at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit / Image-X/@VibrantGujarat

One way of measuring strength of governance is to see the investment flows or the extent to which outsiders look at the potential of a country. And for the most part investors are not going to be swayed at short term gimmicks or at some gullible projects that are sure to end up in the drain. 

Likewise, governments at the centre and the states know that an investor is not coming just to whistle in the dark. Foreign direct investment has a bearing on a country’s economic environment as much as a country’s strong economic potential is a green light for an investor. 

In the last several years one has seen many Global Investment Summits in which the central government and the state governments compete for the top money out there. And these meetings are not just attended by top captains of the industry but also political leaders legitimately pushing for their respective countries. 

The fashion in which federalism in India has developed over the years, there is a healthy competition between states, each mindful of the fact that best conditions mean good results. India has come a long way. Most are aware of the severe crisis the economy faced in 1991 which forced policy makers to open up to economic reforms. 

The alternative to remaining with closed doors and the keys thrown away was quite clear: a begging bowl before international financial institutions, who would have positively responded but with conditions that were simply unacceptable or undoable. Some may argue that the “opening up” of India came late, but the Narasimha Rao-Manmohan Singh duo delivered at the right time. 

There has been no looking back since 1991, only forward. Successive governments have not been interested in rolling back on the reforms but only in seeing what other sectors can be opened up to foreign direct investment. 

Cutting across political lines the decision has always been keeping the national interests of the country in a preeminent position, leaving no room for partisan instincts. And this should be the way forward. 

No state in India wants to be left behind as developmental imperatives are at the heart of every policy initiative. Irrespective of the dispensations at the center and states, the bottom lines are very clear. 

If India is able to post an impressive growth rate every year in spite of global challenges, that has to do with collective efforts, not by a country pulled in multiple different directions. And this is where future economic and developmental emphasis ought to be.

Foreign direct investment is on the upswing every year because  investors see the potential of India as a growing global player in every sphere. Much of the positive vibes has to do with political stability and a determination not to get sidetracked by extraneous issues that have nothing to do with the order of the day. 

Climbing up the hierarchy in the developed world requires not only patience but also the maturity of a very high order.

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