India’s burgeoning economy attained another major milestone on Wednesday, as the South Asian nation surpassed both China and the U.S. to become the top global destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in greenfield projects.
Data compiled by fDi Markets, a service of the Financial Times newspaper, showed that India attracted $3 billion more than China and $4 billion more than the U.S. for greenfield projects (projects that involve overseas firms building new production facilities in a country as opposed to buying or renting existing facilities) during the first half of 2015.
The total greenfield FDI India garnered by the end of June this year was $30 billion, according to the FT data, more than double the $12 billion it attracted during the same period in 2014 and catapulting the South Asian nation to the top spot from its fifth rank — behind China, the U.S., the U.K. and Mexico — last year.
The ranking continues India’s economic resurgence under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which came to power in 2014 — a year that the country saw a 47% increase in FDI projects — and 2015 looks on course to be even better.
Modi, for his part, has aggressively courted foreign governments and multinational corporations alike, and recently returned from a trip to the U.S. where he met a laundry list of top American corporate heads — including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Tesla Motors and SpaceX head Elon Musk, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella and Google’s incoming CEO Sundar Pichai (both Nadella and Pichai are Indian) — to push his growth initiatives like “Digital India” and “Make in India.”
Whether the Indian government can sustain the global optimism that has allowed it to avoid the downward market trend most other countries are experiencing, remains to be seen; Modi is still battling at home to pass key reforms to cut business red tape.