By Bruce Stokes, Director of Economic Attitudes, Pew Research Center
Special to Business Standard
Indian trade and foreign investment policy has long been stuck in neutral thanks to uncertainty at home over the political implications of opening up the Indian economy to further global competition, international disagreement over India’s food security programme and the lack of ambition in both Washington and New Delhi over where to take U.S.-India trade relations.
It is little wonder then, that Indian international trade, measured on a per capita basis, is just over a quarter of that in China or Brazil, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
That logjam might now be breaking up. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has liberalised some foreign investment restrictions as part of its Make In India campaign to transform India into a global manufacturing hub. The Obama administration has agreed that the Indian food security programme will not be challenged through a WTO dispute settlement while a permanent solution regarding this issue is hammered out.