The Business Environment of India: A New Mandate for Reform
When India regained its independence in 1947, the country's political, social, and economic fate was in its own hands for the first time in almost 90 years. The country embarked on a journey to establish a democracy and representative government, define a plan for economic development, and build a society within which its large, diverse, and fragmented population could prosper. More than five decades later, however, opinions differed as to whether or not India had realized the greater triumphs and achievements which Nehru anticipated. With 17% of the world's population, India generated only 2% of global GDP. Per capita income was less than $3,000 per year, with 25% of the country's one billion people living below the poverty line. India needed to sustain double-digit annual GDP growth, but realized only 6.9% growth for fiscal 2004/2005. Yet, the country had become the world's 12th largest economy (and the 3rd largest in Asia behind Japan and China). India had made significant progress toward establishing a competitive position in the global economy. Its services sector had demonstrated the country's capacity to be a pioneer. Would India capitalize on this success by addressing obstacles to growth?