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New Delhi

Largest city

Administrative divisions
28 States

Indian rupee (INR)

3,287,263 km2

(2012) 1,210,193,422

Calling code

Official language
Hindi, English

Latest Business Opportunities

See more opportunities for India.

Ease of trading across borders

Importing a standard container of goods into India requires:



Driven by a growth rate of over 6% in the past two years and a 350 million strong middle-class with increasing purchasing power, India is reshaping the world’s economy. GDP in India crossed the trillion dollar mark in 2007 and is currently in 4th position after US, China and Japan. India is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India is in the economic “fast lane” alongside China.

Economic snapshot (% annual growth rate)

GDP 7.5 5.0 6.9
Export of goods and services 18.3 5.8 10.8
Import of goods and services 18.4 9.8 11.0
Inflation 8.9 9.3 5.3
Short-term interest rates (%) 9.8 8.9 8.0
Exchange rate (per £) 85.39 86.84 78.03
Population 1.3 1.3 1.2
Unit labour cost -0.8 -10.9 0.5
Source: Oxford Economics

Economic outlook

The economy slowed further at the start of 2013. The Government has taken steps towards improving the economic environment, with reforms to the retail, airline and financial sectors announced in September 2012. It also announced in April it will push for further reforms such as the easing or abolition of limits on foreign direct investment in various sectors. Growth is forecasted to pick up in the first half of 2013, as domestic and foreign headwinds ease, with GDP growth likely to average 5.2% this year before picking up to 7.2% in 2014

Trade outlook

As the Asian economy recovers faster than that of Europe and the US, and as more Asian economies develop into middle-income countries, intra-Asian trade will be a key driver of trade growth in India. China is forecast to increase in importance as an export market, with the rapidly emerging Vietnamese economy also climbing up its importance of trade partners. Europe, the Middle East and North Africa are currently the largest exporters to India with no change in the long term. One fifth of imports into India will originate from the Middle East and North Africa in 10 years time, with growth both supply-chain and commodity-driven.

SWOT analysis

Recent reforms in the banking and credit system
Agriculture produce boosting exports
Youth population – huge workforce
Emerging middle class
Government reforms
IT and real estate boom
Rising inflation

India's trade with the UK

Sector segmentation growth

Sectors to watch:
  •  Food
  • Utilities
  • Iron & steel 


  • Motor vehicles, motor vehicle bodies & parts
  • Man-made fibres

Fastest-growing exporters into India

1 Mexico
2 Vietnam
3 Egypt
4 Turkey
5 Brazil
6 Poland
7 China
8 Indonesia
9 Korea
10 Bangladesh

Total merchandise trade - Leading import partners

Total merchandise trade - leading import partners
Opportunities for UK businesses

The Indian infrastructure sector continues to offer great opportunity for UK businesses. The automobile industry in India is one of the fastest-growing worldwide with India predicted to be among the top five vehicle producers by 2014. The industry has witnessed an influx of global equipment manufacturers, who are setting up their manufacturing bases in the country. Sectors of opportunity for UK companies include: agribusiness, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and healthcare.

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