Big on trade, but little else

Big on trade, but little else

Does Mumbai have a fighting chance to emerge as a global financial hub? A lot of debate was generated a few weeks ago, after a committee headed by Percy Mistry laid out a road-map to this goal. The first Mastercard index on Worldwide Centres of Commerce brings a lot of bad news for the optimists. Mumbai is 45 in a list of 50 major financial centres. The city just above it in the list is Tel Aviv, a sobering fact when India’s financial centre dreams of competing with London and New York. And even this position is largely due to the fact that Mumbai is 10th in the list in terms of financial flows—a result of its huge equity and deriva-tives markets.

Mumbai comes out very poorly in terms of other parameters, such as the ease of doing business, legal and political framework and knowledge creation. There is a lesson here. The index shows that Mumbai has the market size. But its culture and institutions are mediocre.

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