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The business high points of the year

December 26, 2006

India shines on the global map

The story began in the early 1990s when then prime minister P V Narasimha Rao along with his able finance minister Dr Manmohan Singh opened the Indian economy to globalisation and reforms.

The journey still continues.

The economy grew at a scorching 9.2 per cent in July-September 2006, compared with 8.4 per cent in the same period last year. The sectors that registered significant growth are manufacturing at 11.9 per cent, construction at 9.8 per cent, trade, hotels, transport and communication at 13.9 per cent, and financing, insurance, real estate and business services at 9.5 per cent. Agriculture grew by 1.7 per cent in the same period.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram is confident that 2006-07 would be one of the best years in terms of growth.

Globally too India made big strides, as multinational companies from retail giant Wal-Mart to IT major Microsoft lined up plans to invest billions in either setting up an India arm or enhancing their existing units.

India also reported the highest average salary increase in Asia -- again -- at 13.8 per cent in 2006, compared to 14.1 per cent last year, according to the 7th annual Asia-Pacific Salary Increase Survey conducted by Hewitt Associates.

And, from being the undisputed king of business process outsourcing India is set to become a leader in the global knowledge economy by 2010.

The story does not end here. The Western media, for many years, went ga-ga over the China story, featuring India for all the wrong reasons. But that has changed. From New York Times to Financial Times to top magazines like Time and Fortune, India's development stories now routinely make the headlines.

What were the big business events of 2006? Tell us!

Text: Nandita Mallik

Image: A shopping mall in Gurgaon, Haryana. Shopping malls are the new face of India
Photograph: Manpreet Romana/AFP/Getty Images
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