Asia St: India’s Historic Technology Hub Opportunity

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India’s Historic Technology Hub Opportunity

April 4, 2021

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a technology summit (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons).

BGA senior advisor Alex Capri published a recent report exploring India’s opportunity to position itself as a 21st century technology hub. The report was released on March 31 by the Hinrich Foundation, an organization that seeks to advance sustainable global trade.

Context

The report outlines India’s “historic opportunity” to transform itself into one of the world’s most important technology hubs. In the report, Capri, who has over three decades of experience in areas including value chains, trade, geopolitics and technology and is the author of a forthcoming book Techno-Nationalism: How it’s Shaping Trade, Geopolitics and Society, argues that this opportunity emerges from a combination of both geopolitical and internal dynamics, including the U.S.-China technology cold war and promising government policies in areas such as foreign direct investment, infrastructure and technology clusters.

Significance

India’s economy has averaged 6.6 percent over the last decade and its population of some 1.3 billion “will fuel strong market demand for digital services and online services” in the coming years. This has been reinforced by some of the reforms undertaken by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in spite of the underlying challenges.

Implications 

As Capri points out, this has implications for companies as India has significant advantages amid these domestic and international developments that could draw in more global value chains. This includes its role as a security partner for Washington and its allies and its alignment on technology related values as a democracy.

As important as these advantages are, India will find it difficult to succeed unless it overcomes its main systemic challenges that have hampered earlier efforts to grow the manufacturing sector. “It is too early…to proclaim India’s policies or initiatives a success,” Capri writes in the paper. “New Delhi’s goal of transforming India into one of the world’s top technology manufacturing hubs, therefor, will constitute a work-in-progress for years to come.”

You can read Capri’s full report here. As developments continue to play out in the secure supply chain space and related areas such as value chains, trade, geopolitics, technology and the digital economy, Capri will continue to weigh in on developments as they relate to our clients.