Colorful spices powders and herbs in traditional street market in Delhi. India.

Photo by Shutterstock

South Asia

Since the 2000s, India has made remarkable progress in reducing absolute poverty. Between 2011 and 2015, more than 90 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed the course of poverty reduction, at least temporarily. The economic slowdown triggered by the outbreak is believed to have had a significant impact on poor and vulnerable households.

After March 25, 2020, when a national lockdown was implemented, economic activity slowed sharply. As a result, output fell by a whopping 25 percent (year on year) between April and June, the first quarter of the FY21 fiscal year. The informal sector, where the vast majority of India’s labor force is employed, has been particularly affected. As in most countries, the pandemic has exacerbated vulnerabilities for traditionally excluded groups, such as youth, women, and migrants. Real GDP is estimated to have contracted by 8.5 percent in FY21 overall, but it has become positive again in the second half of the year. As growth resumes, poverty reduction is expected to return to its pre-pandemic trajectory.

The response of the Government to the COVID-19 outbreak has been swift and comprehensive. A national lockdown to contain the health emergency was complemented by a comprehensive policy package to mitigate the impact on the poorest households (through various social protection measures) as well as on small and medium enterprises (through enhanced liquidity and financial support).

Source: World Bank, India Country Overview

Please find the India SDG Investor Map narrative report here.

Investment OpportunitiesDescribes the number of investment opportunities in the country.
Most Affected SDGsDescribes the three priority SDGs the investment opportunities address in the country.
Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8) Good health and well-being (SDG 3) Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7)
Priority Target SectorsDescribes the three priority sectors the investment opportunities address in the country, based on the SASB Sustainable Industry Classification System®️ (SICS®️) classification.
Health Care, Renewable Resources and Alternative Energy, Food and Beverage
Ease of Doing Business ScoreDeveloped by the World Bank, the Ease of Doing Business Score helps assess the absolute level of regulatory performance over time. An economy’s ease of doing business score is reflected on a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest and 100 represents the best performance.
See the World Bank Ease of Doing Business site for more information.
Human Development IndexDeveloped by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Human Development Index is a summary measure for assessing a country’s long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.
See the UNDP Human Development Index site for more information.


Opportunities 18 Investment Opportunity Areas