Economy and entrance requirements
India used to be a closed control-and-command economy until the early ’90s. Since then it has opened its economy, and allows foreign investments in most industries except a few strategic ones.
Over the last 25 years, the Indian economy has enjoyed an average annual GDP growth of around 6%, without any of the boom-and-bust cycles that are found in many other developing economies.
India’s main stock exchange, the Bombay Stock Exchange, has around 6,500 listed companies, which is second only to NYSE. A total number of 9,600 companies are listed across India’s 21 stock exchanges. It has the third largest investor base in the world.
The national currency is the Indian Rupee, and is denoted as ‘Rs.’ Prior to the 90s, the value of the Rupee was controlled through government intervention. Since the liberalization of the Indian economy in the 90s, the Rupee has become a floating currency.
Starting as one of the least-developed countries, India has emerged as a global player in many industries. Some examples:
It is the largest producer of tea in the world, accounting for more than 30% of global production;
India is the second-largest cement producing country in the world;
The Indian pharmaceutical industry ranks 4th in the world in terms of volume;
Aside from the USA and Japan, India is the only country to develop its own supercomputer;
India is among only six countries in the world to develop its own satellite-launch technology;
With more than 800 movies a year, India produces the largest number of movies in the world;
India is the world’s largest center for diamond cutting and polishing.
Since 2001-02, the Indian auto-component industry has grown very fast, and has emerged as the sourcing hub for almost all global automobile companies.
India is the world’s 2nd largest fruit and vegetable producer.
In recent years, India has also emerged as a global player in Information Technology, and ITES [IT Enabled Services]
India has no barriers to the entry of foreigners, and it is easy to get a visa to enter the country. However, due to historical enmity, entry from Pakistan is monitored, and can create hassles for a western traveler.
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