About India

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About India

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India, the world's fastest growing free-market democracy, presents lucrative opportunities for all types of businesses especially U.S. companies. In 2005, U.S. merchandise exports to India were almost $8 billion, doubled since 2002.

U.S. companies have the chance to make or increase sales in this booming market by joining the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration Business Development Mission to India. Under Secretary for International Trade Franklin L. Lavin will lead the Mission with coordination by the U.S. Commercial Service in the United States and India.

India, a triangular shaped country in southern Asia, buttressed by the long sweep of the Himalayas in the north and protruding into the Indian Ocean in the south. Located in the northern parts of India are mostly snow covered mountain ranges. While in the southern and eastern regions of the country it is mostly hilly and plains. The wildlife of India is almost as varied as the countryside itself. Some of the highlights of India's fauna are its lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, elephants and rhinoceros.

PEOPLE
Although India occupies only 2.4% of the world's land area, it supports over 15% of the world's population. Only China has a larger population. Almost 33% of Indians are younger than 15 years of age. About 70% of the people live in more than 550,000 villages, and the remainder in more than 200 towns and cities. Over thousands of years of its history, India has been invaded from the Iranian plateau, Central Asia, Arabia, Afghanistan, and the West; Indian people and culture have absorbed and changed these influences to produce a remarkable racial and cultural synthesis.
HISTORY
The people of India have had a continuous civilization since 2500 B.C., when the inhabitants of the Indus River valley developed an urban culture based on commerce and sustained by agricultural trade. This civilization declined around 1500 B.C., probably due to ecological changes.
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS
U.S. citizens require a passport and visa to enter and exit India for any purpose.
MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION
Adequate to excellent medical care is available in the major population centers, but is usually very limited or unavailable in rural areas. Visitors to India should pay special attention to safe food and water precautions, and steps the traveler can take to avoid contracting malaria. Visitors planning to hike in the mountainous areas of northern India should pay attention to the risk of altitude illness.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS:
While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning India is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Full country name:
Republic of India
Area:
3,287,590 sq km (1,229,737 sq mi)
Population:
1,129,866,154 (July 2007 est.)
Capital city:
New Delhi
Languages:
Hindi, English
Religion:
80% Hindu, 14% Muslim, 2.4% Christian, 2% Sikh, 0.7% Buddhist, 0.5% Jains, 0.4% other
Government:
Federal Republic
Prime Minister:
Narendra Modi
GDP:
US $4.156 trillion
GDP per head:
US $800
Annual growth:
9.4%
Exports (Apr 06 - Mar 07):
$126.33 billion
Imports (Apr 06 - Mar 07):
$190.56 billion
Major industries:
Textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry, fish
Major trading partners:
US, Hong Kong, UK, Japan, Germany, Belgium, Saudi Arabia