There was a twist to last year’s story with India being caught unawares by a more lethal variant of the virus, in a devastating second wave of the pandemic this year. The government’s global outreach, when it offered medical aid to a number of nations, during the first wave of the pandemic, paid off and countries came together in support of the Modi administration.
Two mammoth strategic partnerships signed by the Indian authorities, with the European Union and the United Kingdom, bear testimony to the fact that India’s allure has not diminished and even though it is fighting the virus with all the power at its disposal it has still got one eye focused on the economy. Negotiations between Australia, Japan and the US, alongside the parameters of the Quad, New Delhi’s outreach towards south Asian countries and its Neighbourhood First policy has made it evident that India would crop up as the logical choice in the world of supply chains and as an attractive investment destination to China.
Many have wondered what makes India stand up as a global supply chain leader, the answer perhaps lies in the sheer scale of its untapped potential despite the mega deals that are coursing in. The Harvard Business Review observed that in 2019, the United States imported $452 billion of goods from China. Only five low-cost countries have GDPs larger than that: India, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, and Thailand. India is the biggest economy among these candidates and has the largest untapped potential for filling part of the supply chain vacuum that is created by the exodus from China.