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About India  


Land Area
3.29 million square kilometers

New Delhi

Democratic, Parliamentary

Political System
India is a republic with a federal structure, comprising 28 States and 7Union Territories. The 1950 Constitution provides for a parliamentary system of Government with a bicameral parliament and three branches: the executive, legislative and judiciary

Judicial System
Well developed independent judiciary comprising the Supreme Court which is the apex judicial authority, High Courts in every state and lower courts at the town levels

1.05 billion (2003)

Average annual exponential population growth rate

Population Density
324 persons/square km (2001)

Life Expectancy
61.1 years-persons(1993-97)

Literacy Rate
75.85% for male, 54.16% for female, 65.38% persons(2001)

Languages Spoken
India is a multilingual society with 14 principal languages. Hindi is the language of a large percentage of people (38 percent) while English is the preferred business language

Major Religion
Majority are Hindus, though a significant number are Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists etc

International Airports
New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram

Major Ports of Entry
Kolkata (Haldia), Chennai, Kandla, Kochi, Mormugao, Mumbai, New Mangalore, Paradip, Jawaharlal Nehru, Ennore, Tuticorin and Vizag

Mainly tropical with temperatures ranging from 10°– 40°C in most parts of the country

Time Zone
GMT + 5 ½ hours

Currency Unit
Indian Rupee


Principal Exports
Traditional exports include cotton yarn and textiles, ready-made garments, leather goods, gems and jewellery and agricultural and processed food products. However, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, engineering goods, automotive components, transport equipment, computer software, electronic goods and manufactured metals constitute the rapidly growing export segments

Principal Markets for exports
United States, Canada, UK, Germany, Japan, Russia, Belgium, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malasia and Sri Lanka.

Principal imports

Capital goods, crude oil, lubricats and other petroleum products, precious and semi-precious stones, chemicals, edible oils and fertilizers.

*Foreign Exchange Reserves
US$279,708 Million

Outstanding External Debt
$230.85 bn

Trade Deficit
$86.6 billion

*Debt Service Ratio

*Interest Rates

Competitive Advantages

India is the 7th largest and 2nd most populous country in the world. It is also the 4th largest and second fastest growing economy in the world. A series of ambitious economic reforms aimed at deregulating the economy and stimulating foreign investment has moved India firmly into the front runners of the rapidly growing Asia Pacific Region and unleashed the latent strength of a complex and rapidly changing nation. Today India is one of the most exciting emerging markets in the world.

Skilled managerial and technical manpower that matchs the best available in the world and a middle class whose size exceeds the population of the USA or the European Union, provide India with a distinct cutting edge in global competition. India's time tested institutions offer foreign investors a transparent environment that guarantees the security of their long term investments.

These include a free and vibrant press, a well established judiciary, a sophisticated legal and accounting system and a user friendly intellectual infrastructure. India's dynamic and highly competitive private sector has long been the backbone of its economic activity and offers considerable scope for foreign direct investment, joint ventures and collaborations.

Till 1991 the Indian economy, designed largely on a socialistic pattern, was characterized by a highly regulated business environment, a pervasive license system and high tariff barriers. Sweeping reforms since introduced by successive governments have radically changed the course of the economy. Today the Indian economy is far more simple, liberal, transparent and geared towards promoting private investments, both domestic and foreign.

External trade has been liberalized, tariffs steadily lowered and import controls progressively reduced. Tax rates, both corporate and personal, have been rationalized and are at present amongst the lowest in the world. There exists today, a strong political consensus on the current economic policies, not only at the central level but amongst all states, that ensures the continuation and progressive strengthening of investor friendly policies.

Key competitive advantages at a glance:

4th largest economy in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) [with a GDP of US$ 2.23 trillion PPP] Large, diversified and well distributed manufacturing capability and infrastructure Abundant availability of untapped natural resources, rich mineral base of agricultural self-sufficiency.

Large pool of skilled manpower and Professional management including engineers, lawyers, managerial personnel, accountants etc, with English as the preferred language for business Developing as one of the largest cost-competitive technical workforce nations Promising future in the burgeoning information technology and Biotechnology industries Legal protection for Intellectual Property Rights Vibrant capital market with 23 stock exchanges and over 9,000 listed companies R&D, infrastructure and technical and marketing services are well developed Rich mineral base and an abundance of other natural resources and agricultural self-sufficiency Conducive foreign investment policies that provide freedom of entry, access, investment, location, choice of technology import and export Free repatriation of profits and capital investment is permitted Wide commercial banking network of over 66, 239 branches (June 2002), supported by a number of national and state level financial institutions Well-balanced package of fiscal incentives Stable democratic governance through 55 years of Independence Large market of a middle class of 300- 350 million people with increasing purchasing power as reflected by a sustaned in sales of consumer durable in recent years. Access to regional international markets through membership of regional co-operation frameworks such as SAARC, Indian Ocean Rim countries (IOC-ARC) and dialogue partnerships with EU and ASEAN.

India also have Memorandum of Understanding/ co- operation partnerships with most African and Latin American regional groupings. Current account convertibility, capital account convertibility for foreign investors and progressive implementation for Indian residence.

Indian tourists allowed to carry up to US $ 10,000 for general purpose and US $25, 000 for education, health care and family support overseas. Established, independent judiciary with a hierarchy of courts and the existence of several arbitration mechanisms outside the courts. Special investments and tax incentives given for exports and certain sectors such as power, electronic, telecom, software, oil and gas and research and development activities.

Import regime in conformity with WTO commitments- removal of remaining quantitative restrictions on imports of goods into India barring certain items on grounds of national security, defence and health Establishment of special economic zones (SEZs) which provide virtual off-shore operation facilities and advantages of a free trade area.

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