Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Narendra Modi's Profitable Foreign Visits

From some angles you can look at Modi's foreign visits as attempting to meet the most important international leaders and establish a reputation with the global community. But his travels have also taken him to a number of countries with largest populations of Indians outside India, including the Nepal, the United States, Sri Lanka, Australia, France and even Fiji.

A lot of money

All of these count as among the top 20 countries with persons of Indian origin living outside India. But it's not just because Modi would like to endear himself to people of Indian origin, many of whom were huge proponents of his candidacy in the run up to last year's election, that he is visiting these countries. They also happen to send a lot of money back home. A lot.

  • A staggering $70 billion came to India in 2014, from remittances according to the World Bank, a figure that has stayed somewhat steady over the last few years.
  • And that's not all that the $70 billion figure is large than. It's also double the amount of Foreign Direct Investment India received in 2014.
  • According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, India saw $35 billion in FDI inflows last year, suggesting that, for all our talk of foreign investment, the importance of reaching out to Indians abroad who send money home is as important.
  • Break that down further into which countries are sending India that much money in remittances, and the choice of Modi's foreign trips become significant in more ways than one.

Narendra Modi vs Man Mohan Singh’s Foreign Visits

 Narendra Modi has been attacked for his foreign travels with opponents branding him as "absentee PM", but government sources insist that the criticism is misplaced, saying the PM was away for just a few days more than his predecessor Manmohan Singh in the inaugural year of UPA's second term and has brought in far greater "diplomatic dividends".

Sources emphasized that Modi took 57 days to cover 18 countries in his first year in office, whereas Manmohan Singh travelled to 14 countries over 42 days in the first year of UPA-II, that is after having already served a full five year-term.

They say that the travels of two PMs were significantly different in terms of visibility and impact, both at home and abroad. Unlike Singh's foreign trips which largely went unnoticed at home and in the countries he visited, Modi has made an impact wherever he has gone, they said.

The Financial Impact of PM Modi’s foreign visits
– PM Narendra Modi visited 26 countries from June 2014 to July 2015 with most of his visits having a major economic component
– India received $19.78 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) from 12 countries visited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in financial year 2014-15
– The total outflow and inflow of foreign investment in general for 2014-15 fiscal was $6.42 billion and $75.71 billion, respectively.
– FDI equity inflows increased from USD 24.3 billion in financial year 2013-14 to USD 30.9 billion in 2014-15, a growth of 27.3%
– Indians living abroad send home more money than other world citizens.  A staggering $70 billion came to India in 2014, from remittances according to the World Bank, a figure that has stayed somewhat steady over the last few years.  This figure is almost double the FDI numbers for India in 2014.

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