The world`s largest democracy has a new leader and his name is Narendra Modi. India`s opposition leader Narendra Modi is on course to become prime minister in India, as his party heads for a majority in the national elections.
India is a country in South Asia and is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people. It shares land borders with Pakistan to the west, China, Nepal and Bhutan to the north-east, and Burma and Bangladesh to the east.
The Indian economy is the world`s tenth-largest by nominal GDP and third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastes-growing major economies; it is considered a newly industrialised country.
India continue to face the challenges of poverty, corruption, malnutrition, inadequate public healthcare and terrorism. It has the third-largest standing army in the world and ranks eight in military expenditure among nations.
Jawaharlal Nehru became India`s first prime minister in 1947. Mahatma Gandhi led the independence movement. Economic liberalisation, which was begun in the 1990`s has created a large urban middle class, which transformed India into one of the world`s fastet-growing economies.
This is the longest election in the country`s history. The Indian general election of 2014 was held to constitute the 16th Lok Sabha in nine phases, from 7 April to 12 May 2014. The electoral population in 2014 election was 814,5 million and this is the largest election in the world ever.
Parties were expected to spend US$5 billion in the election, and this is three times the amount spent in the previous election in 2009, and is the world`s second highest after the US$7 billion spent on the 2012 presidental election.
Modi fought an impressive campaign, focused mostly on the right issues. He successfully cast the election as a referendum on who could better deliver jobs, government services and economic growth: himself or Rahul Gandhi, the ruling Congress party`s heir apparent.
Modi is not the first candidate to cruise to victory on hope and hype. He will probably not be the first to see disappointment set in fast. Investors expecting miracles are in for a letdown, because India`s political system is bound to intervene.
Modi should move to phase out petroleum subsidies. He should give states and local governments much greater flexibility in regulating labor markets, land and sales. Economic competition among the states should be more in focus because this is the best way to push the national economy forward.
I personally see India as an attractive investment destination, and this country has overtaken China as an investment opportunity. Great Indian sectors are automotive, technology and consumer products. India is playing a big role in the gold market.
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