Crash course: The ongoing election in India

About the political landscape

India is the most populous country in the world. Of 1.4 billion people, nearly half of the population is under 25 years old. India is a federal republic where states enjoy a high degree of autonomy. As an example, the state of Uttar Pradesh is the most populous, with an estimated 235 million inhabitants. If Uttar Pradesh were a country, it would be the fifth most populous nation in the world.

986 million people are eligible to vote, i.e., 150 million more than in the last Parliamentary election five years ago – and more people than in the US, EU and Russia combined. 15 million people are working with the process trying to get as many people to access the polling stations as possible. In 2019 the turnout was 66%.

It is India’s 17th election since the country gained independence from the colonial power of Great Britain in August 1947. India operates on a bicameral system with the Lok Sabha as the lower house and the Rajya Sabha as the upper house. The Parliament, Lok Sabha has 543 seats. During the period from 2019 to 2024, the Hindu nationalist party BJP held a majority on its own. There are almost 1,000 different parties, local, state and pan India some are divided into alliances, whereof the two most important are:

National Democratic Alliance led by the ruling Hindu nationalist party BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) with 73-year-old prime minister Narendra Modi.

Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) where the Congress party where 53-year-old Rahul Gandhi as the most recognised player.


The expected outcome

Modi is expected to be re-elected for a third term. From the interactions and opinions on the ground, this will mean stability and that Modi can continue towards his goal of India becoming a middle-income/developed country by 2047.

India’s economic growth enable opportunities

India is the fastest growing large economy in the world, mainly driven by domestic consumption and ongoing infrastructure spending. The GDP (gross domestic product) per capita is still low, approximately 2,500 USD, however, the middle class is growing and, considering spending power, they are larger than the population of the EU. This calls for a huge domestic consumption market, interesting even for international players. Growing at a speed of 6-7% yearly, it is expected to triple in the coming 25 years. However, the market is complex: on the one hand, the country is stepping up on the ease of doing business, on the other hand, it is falling on the press and democracy index. India is currently ranked as low as 161st place out of 180 countries in Reporter without borders (RSF) 2023 World press freedom index.


The number of Swedish companies in India has grown ...

Given that India today is a player in the global world, they play with their own rules. FDI (foreign direct investment) is nowadays allowed in most sectors, and this will trigger MNCs (multinational corporations) to bring sub-suppliers to India to an increasingly greater extent. Hopefully, the Free trade agreement with the EU can be finalised in the years to come, which will be beneficial for our Swedish companies.

Did you know

  • The interest from the Swedish side has never been bigger. The number of Swedish companies has grown from 100 in 2008 to nearly 300 by the end of 2024 – where approximately one Swedish company enters the market every month.
  • From the Business Climate Survey 2023, we could see that Swedish companies anticipate the business climate to be very good and India is one of the most attractive destinations for investments in the coming years.


... and India has identified Sweden as a country to count on

The interest is mutual: India has identified Sweden as one of the 12 preferred countries to intensify its relationship with, where Sweden is the only small economy and together with Germany the only one in the EU. Sweden will bring innovation and sustainability to India, but also knowledge in semiconductors, batteries, automotive and electronic sectors. Other areas for collaboration are life science, retail, space, and defence.


How can Business Sweden support

Are you curious to capture India's growing potential?

As the world's third largest economy in 2027, together with the country's ambitious green transition, enormous opportunities await Swedish SME companies to grow in India. Business Sweden exists as your springboard towards a new market. Read more about our services or contact us for support

Contact Cecilia Oskarsson, Trade & Invest Commissioner India
Trade & Invest Commissioner India Cecilia Oskarsson Phone +919810036120
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