Apart from being a critical driver of economic growth, foreign direct investment (FDI) is a major source of non-debt financial resource for the economic development of India. Foreign companies invest in India to take advantage of relatively lower wages, special investment privileges such as tax exemptions, etc. For a country where foreign investments are being made, it also means achieving technical know-how and generating employment.
The Indian government’s favourable policy regime and robust business environment have ensured that foreign capital keeps flowing into the country. The government has taken many initiatives in recent years such as relaxing FDI norms across sectors such as defence, PSU oil refineries, telecom, power exchanges, and stock exchanges, among others.
According to Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the total FDI investments in India during April-December 2017 stood at US$ 35.94 billion, indicating that government’s effort to improve ease of doing business and relaxation in FDI norms is yielding results.
Data for April-December 2017 indicates that the telecommunications sector attracted the highest FDI equity inflow of US$ 6.14 billion, followed by computer software and hardware – US$ 5.16 billion and services – US$ 4.62 billion. Most recently, the total FDI equity inflows for the month of December 2017 touched US$ 4.82 billion.
India has retained its position as the third largest startup base in the world with over 4,750 technology startups, with about 1,400 new start-ups being founded in 2016, according to a report by NASSCOM.
India’s labour force is expected to touch 160-170 million by 2020, based on rate of population growth, increased labour force participation, and higher education enrolment, among other factors. India’s foreign exchange reserves were US$ 404.92 billion in the week up to December 22, 2017.
With the improvement in the economic scenario, there have been various investments in various sectors of the economy. The M&A activity in India increased 53.3 per cent to US$ 77.6 billion in 2017 while private equity (PE) deals reached US$ 24.4 billion. Some of the important recent developments in Indian economy are as follows.