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INDIA
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In India, the population keeps rising (with more than 1.3 billion people), while poverty continues to fall. Thanks to a steadily growing economy and its democratic institutions, between 2006 and 2016, India cut its poverty rate in half. The UN estimates that 271 million Indians were lifted out of poverty as a result. By 2027, India will overtake China as the world's "most populous country." By 2030, 80% of Indian households will be "middle class" (up from 50% in 2019), and drive 75% of all national spending. This means that Indians are becoming the most influential bloc of consumers on the planet—making India a prime destination for exports and expansions. Due to the decline of China's comparative advantages (which has been compounded by its trade war with the US and its controversial response to COVID-19), India has emerged as the leading manufacturing alternative to China. In fact, a plurality (11%) of the foreign firms that are considering shifting their production out of China list India as their top relocation choice. When it comes to business process outsourcing, India is already the "undisputed industry leader," outpacing China and every other country by a long shot. In spite of its own struggles to contain COVID-19, tensions with its neighbors, and its polarized politics, India remains a reliable and lucrative investment destination—and perhaps the most important one of this new decade.