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The economic ambitions and challenges that Narendra Modi faces if re-elected

The economic ambitions and challenges that Narendra Modi faces if re-elected

In India, 950 million citizens are awaiting the results of the ballot boxes, but markets and investors, who want stability and are looking for guarantees to stimulate massive economic growth in the country, are also waiting for the votes to be counted.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on track to win a historic third term, has promised to double exports this decade, making India’s economy the third largest in the world, behind only the United States and China.

Modi came to power in 2014 with a promise to crack down on corruption and use his labor advantage to transform the agrarian nation into a manufacturing and industrial powerhouse. Progress is undeniable. More than 500 million Indians opened bank accounts during his tenure. Access to water, electricity and technology has increased dramatically. His administration has pumped billions of dollars into the country’s infrastructure to attract investment, but difficult structural challenges remain.

High unemployment, persistent poverty and the feeling that only a small proportion of India’s 1.4 billion people have benefited from economic progress are crucial issues. Inequality and unemployment have skyrocketed, and large-scale subsidies and assistance programs have become a temporary solution.

More investments in health and education are required, even if the increase in the number of educated people does not lead to increased employment opportunities. The more educated a person is, the more likely they are to remain unemployed and unwilling to accept low-paid informal work. Employment growth has been stagnant at 2% for two decades, and if it does not reach 4% or 5%, it will be impossible to absorb the surplus labor. It’s a complex situation that, according to experts, no one really knows how to solve, but one that the next administration will have to address.

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The free trade agreement signed between Switzerland and India represents a milestone in economic relations between the two countries. The agreement is an “innovation platform for a more strategic relationship,” according to Ralf Hickner, Swiss Ambassador to India.