An occasional review of technology, markets, and ideas.

Bhagwati on Indian FDI

The total amount of FDI in India in 1991 was less than the budget of a major US university.

Bhagwati on Indian FDI
Bhagwati: When I started writing about the reforms in earnest again, in 1991, I looked at the amount of direct foreign investment we had, and it turned out it was in fact $100 million dollars. That was the equity investment inflow. You just have to take a look at a map of India and you say, how ludicrous it is. Even Stanford or Columbia Universities' budgets are bigger than that. I thought there must be a mistake; I must be missing a zero, or maybe two zeroes. But it wasn't; that was in fact what we'd brought it down to.

Russ: One hundred million.

Bhagwati: You can't believe it. In fact we were terribly inward looking. And we were autarkic. And we were also--senseless restrictions everywhere which would have made even Kafka blush.

Econtalk, 2013

Fact Check: True ✅

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Jamie Larson