When Tim Cook arrived in India earlier this month to open Apple’s first physical store in the country, he was welcomed like a hero.
The CEO was greeted with cheers and applause, presented with a vintage Macintosh and held court with the country’s officials, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Cook’s visit, the latest by a top global executive, exemplifies the rising tide of interest that corporations and governments are showing in doing business with India. Just days after his landmark trip, Pret A Manger, a trendy British sandwich chain, set up its first outlet in the commercial capital of Mumbai, as it bet on the country’s growing middle class.
India will surpass China to become the world’s most populous nation this weekend, according to calculations from the United Nations, in a milestone that will only cement its growing image as darling of the global economy.
Its new status has cast attention on whether its economy will harness that demographic strength to displace China in other ways.
The case for investing in India — a nation of 1.4 billion — is clear, and only bolstered by recent geopolitical shifts. As Western leaders look to boost economic cooperation with countries that share similar values, India, the world’s largest democracy, stands to gain.
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