LONDON: An annual international survey has concluded for a fourth successive year that Indian firms are the world’s most optimistic when it comes to rating national economic prospects.
This year’s survey by international accounting organisation Grant Thornton International showed almost all Indian businesses surveyed expected a good 2007, with an optimism balance of +97.That put the subcontinental giant at the top of the league in the 32 country survey.
Economic growth, fuelled by progressive liberalisation of external trade and investment regulations is helping boost economic growth in India and produce a boom in foreign direct investment, the survey said.
“They (Indian businesses) retain the position held over the past three years as the most positive regarding their country’s economic prospects,” the International Business Report said.The survey, conducted by Experian Business Strategies and Harris Interactive, queried 7,200 private businesses in the 32 countries.
In a special report highlighting business conditions in the BRIC countries— Brazil, Russia, India and Mainland China — the survey showed private businesses in all four countries grew more upbeat in their 12-month economic outlook.At the same time the survey showed that businesses in three out of the four BRIC countries perceived finance as a major constraint on their ability to grow.
The survey said 40 % of Russian businesses cite the cost of finance, shortage of working capital and shortage of long-term finance as a major constraint on expansion.Similar conditions exist for businesses in Brazil and mainland China.
“But Indian businesses are less likely to cite financial constraints as barriers to growth of their business, and are indeed below the global average regarding shortage of working capital as a constraint,” the survey said.While constraints on finance ran high for Russian businesses, positive sentiment regarding the economic outlook rose to 57 % from 21 % in the previous survey.
For Brazil and India, the outlook for exports were more downbeat on an anticipated slowdown in U.S. economic activity in 2007.Views about globalisation differed among the four BRIC countries.The majority of Brazilian businesses see globalisation as an opportunity, but at least a quarter of them said it was a risk. A large majority of mainland Chinese businesses also see it as an opportunity, but 20 % see it as a threat.In Russia,19 % saw globalisation as a threat while 82% in India, more than in any other country, see it as an opportunity.