Modi Travels Abroad Twice as Much as Singh — But to What End?

While Modi visited 49 countries in his first three years as PM, Manmohan Singh had visited only 27. 

2 min read
Hindi Female

In light of Narendra Modi’s ongoing visit to UK, Sweden and Germany, one can say that the Indian Prime Minister is running on an extremely packed itinerary.

Modi has often been called a globetrotter and with good reason. Since 2014, when he first assumed the role of Prime Minister of India, till 2017, Modi has reportedly visited 49 different countries, according to data culled from the Ministry of External Affairs.

While Modi certainly has several more overseas trips lined up this year itself, the year-long schedule is still not officially known, hence the data mentions only the first three years of his term.


This time-slot is also extremely important, because it allows for a direct comparison with Modi’s predecessor, Dr Manmohan Singh, who visited 27 countries in the first three-years of his first term, 2004-2007, according to the MEA reports.

While Modi visited 49 countries in his first three years as PM, Manmohan Singh had visited only 27. 
These numbers indicate that Narendra Modi has visited almost double the number of countries than Manmohan Singh, taking into account the first three-years of their respective terms.

According to the reports, even as Singh visited 36 countries during his second term as PM, the number is still less than that of Narendra Modi’s trips just in three years.

A report by The Hindu, however, shows that Singh visited one more country than Modi during the first year of his second term. While Singh visited 14, Modi visited 13.


Have Modi’s Foreign Trips Helped India?

Speaking to Quartz, Rajiv Kumar, an economist and author of Modi and his Challenges, said that the outcome of Modi’s foreign visits has not always complied with his goal behind going there. However, he said that they were important because of their direct impact on the country’s economy.

Where I think Prime Minister Modi has made a very big difference is that he has linked foreign policy directly to India’s economic interests.
Rajiv Kumar told Quartz

The report mentions that from the time Modi addressed the Indian diaspora at New York’s Madison Square Garden in September 2014, he’s been building on a mostly successful India-Us relationship, which had been promoted by Singh before him as well.


Modi has been building a strong front for India in Asia. The Quartz report mentions that in a short span of time since, Modi travelled to Australia, China, Japan, Laos, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Fiji.

With the Middle East on his radar, Modi made trips to Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar in hopes of securing foreign investments and even signed off on a $500 million Chabahar port deal in Iran.

The report mentions that Modi’s trips overseas seemed to have definitely helped the Indian economy to a large extent, considering that in the 2017 financial year, FDI into India had reached a $62 billion, despite a global FDI inflows slowdown.

(With inputs from The Hindu and Quartz)

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Topics:  Narendra Modi   Japan   Qatar 

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