India: India’s attempt to take over China’s place as a major exporter is facing challenges as it needs to be competitive in global supply networks.
Multinational companies looking for a “plus one” in their “China plus one” production strategy have turned to India, especially given the high-end Apple iPhone production expansion last year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the “Make in India” strategy in 2014, aiming to replicate the success of multiple East Asian countries creating globally competitive manufacturing and lifting millions out of poverty.
However, India’s trade and investment policy is regressing towards protectionism and import substitution.
India is more concerned about the competitive threat from China than it is enticed by the possibility of taking a bigger role in the Asian supply network.
India’s attempts to build competitive manufacturing have yet to inspire confidence, as its share of manufacturing in the economy has declined over the past decade.
India’s industrial policy is primarily aimed at sectors like mobiles and pharmaceuticals, which may have prestige value but are more capital-intensive and create fewer jobs.