There are three international markets that should concern Canadian executives and policy makers most: the United States, China and India. The reasons the first two are on the list are obvious. And why put India ahead of Europe? It’s the one place on the planet that may replicate what Beijing did with its economy over the 1990s and 2000’s. That’s why India was the only other country besides China that was mentioned by name in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mandate letter to Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland.
India is a problematic choice as saviour. At its core, the country shares the same democratic values as countries such as Canada. That makes it familiar. But India is nearly impossible to govern. States are the size of medium-sized countries and they aren’t always keen to cooperate with the federal government. Voters are tribal, grouping themselves according to language, caste and religion, creating “vote banks” that a panoply of political entities are ever-ready to exploit. Little of substance happened in parliament last year because Prime Minister Narendra Modi lacks support in the upper house. The main opposition party refuses to work with him, for spurious reasons. Outsiders who talked about Modi as an Indian version of Margaret Thatcher or Ronald Reagan have learned that even an absolute majority in the lower house of parliament isn’t enough to bring about fundamental change in India. The place isn’t made for it.
Continue reading at Canadian Business ...