Avoiding foreign wars, expanding its tech sector, and building its manufacturing capabilities: India is poised for 2024 ascendency.

Photo by AMAL CR on Unsplash.

While the global economic landscape continually shifts, India may be on the cusp of a significant leap forward in its economic prowess in 2024.

As the world’s largest democracy, India has been strategically positioning itself in recent years, steering clear of foreign entanglements, bolstering its manufacturing capabilities, and carving out a significant space in the tech industry.

This amalgamation of factors suggests that 2024 could herald India’s ascendency in the global economic arena.

India’s Geostrategic Positioning

One of the key factors propelling India’s economic trajectory is its conscious choice to avoid getting embroiled in foreign conflicts. Unlike some of its counterparts, India has largely steered clear of direct involvement in international conflicts, maintaining stability and focusing on internal development.

What’s behind India’s strategic neutrality on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Teresa Mettela for ABC News on March 29, 2023. “The country’s ambivalence reflects shifting interests, experts say.”

“The world’s second-largest country and sixth-largest economy will continue to maintain ties to both Russia and the West with a posture of ‘strategic ambivalence,’ experts say, resisting a U.S. push to directly oppose Moscow while calling for ‘peace’ and cooperation on what ‘common ground’ there is,” wrote Mettela.

“India’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been distinctive among the major democracies and among U.S. strategic partners,” observed Ashley J. Tellis for the Carnegie Endowment for Peace on April 25, 2022. “Despite its discomfort with Moscow’s war, New Delhi has adopted a studied public neutrality toward Russia. It has abstained from successive votes in the UN Security CouncilGeneral Assembly, and Human Rights Council that condemned Russian aggression in Ukraine and thus far has refused to openly call out Russia as the instigator of the crisis.”

Though Western media outlets have fumed — “A year into the Ukraine war, the world’s biggest democracy still won’t condemn Russia,” complained Lauren Frayer for NPR on February 20, 2023 — India’s leadership has staunchly refused to budge on the subject of alienating an important regional and global trading partner like Russia.

This strategic restraint has allowed India to channel its resources and attention towards fostering economic growth rather than engaging in costly conflicts that could hamper its progress.

Manufacturing Expansion

India’s manufacturing sector has been evolving remarkably, setting the stage for substantial growth.

Initiatives like “Make in India” have encouraged both domestic and foreign investments in manufacturing, aiming to transform India into a global manufacturing hub. The country’s favorable demographics, with a large, young workforce, have contributed to its attractiveness as a manufacturing destination.

How India Is Emerging As A Production Hub For Global Exports,” Karan Kashyap explained for Forbes on December 21, 2023. “India is quickly emerging as a future export manufacturing powerhouse, according to Boston Consulting Group, due to the nation’s competitive cost structures, deep pools of labor, and growing scale and capabilities across diverse industries.”

“The Federation of Indian Export Organizations has projected that that nation’s exports are likely to rise to $900 billion in 2023–24 from $770 billion the previous year on rising demand from companies around the world,” added Kashyap.

Tech Footprint Expansion

India’s strides in the tech industry have been nothing short of legendary over the past decades.

The country has emerged as a global tech powerhouse, boasting a burgeoning startup ecosystem and a skilled workforce. Cities like Bengaluru, often referred to as India’s Silicon Valley, have become epicenters for innovation and technological advancements. India’s tech prowess is not limited to domestic growth; its IT firms are renowned globally, offering services to companies worldwide, further solidifying its position in the global tech landscape.

How India is using digital technology to project power,” observed the Economist. “Narendra Modi sees his country’s digital public infrastructure as an Indian Belt and Road Initiative.”

“In a little over a decade India has built a collection of public-facing digital platforms that have transformed its citizens’ lives,” wrote the Economist. “Once known as the ‘India Stack’, they have been rebranded ‘digital public infrastructure’ (dpi) as the number and ambition of the platforms have grown. It is this dpi that India hopes to export — and in the process build its economy and influence. Think of it as India’s low-cost, software-based version of China’s infrastructure-led Belt and Road Initiative.”

The convergence of these factors sets the stage for a potential economic breakout for India in 2024. The country’s commitment to stability, coupled with its efforts to bolster manufacturing and technology sectors, positions India favorably to seize opportunities in a rapidly evolving global economy. Moreover, as the world seeks alternative manufacturing bases and tech partners, India’s conducive environment for investment and innovation stands out, creating an opportune moment for the country to shine.

India’s impending economic ascendency in 2024 hinges on its ability to capitalize on these foundational elements. With its burgeoning manufacturing sector, tech prowess, and strategic positioning, the stage seems set for India to emerge as a formidable economic force on the global stage. As the world watches, 2024 could mark a definitive moment in India’s economic journey, signaling its arrival as a powerhouse in the global economy.

(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)