Monday, 25 January 2010

India - economic optimism for 2010

After returning from India last week, one of the main differences in the conversations going on between business here in the UK and in India is the way growth is discussed. In the UK the talk is of recovery, in India the talk is all about how much the economy will grow this year. Discussion in India is optimistic, rather than the UKs current trend of Pessimism. The Federal Government of India is Predicting a return to growth of around 7% this year. The Chairman of ICICI bank is even more optimistic predicting India’s growth rate to be at 10% by 2011.

Much of this optimism comes from the changes we see in India, firstly the county never entered recession as the West did, there was only a slight drop in Growth. Secondly, the improvements to the country’s infrastructure are dramatic; the road network for example is almost unrecognisable from only 15 years ago. Entrepreneurs across the county are all looking for new opportunities, both national and international and the demand for luxury consumer goods in India is increasing year on year.

Ironically there is talk of Bonuses in the Indian Media, but it’s not focused on Bankers, rather IT companies. The rate of Growth in the IT sector has been much higher than expected over the last year, Tata Consultancy for example plan a 150% bonus pay out for 2010.

They are not the only company in the sector revealing higher than expected profits, nor is the IT Sector alone in displaying stronger than predicted results, the economic prospects for the coming year in India look great.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Commonwealth Games and Business

Later this year Delhi will host the 19th Commonwealth Games, as with all large expensive international events it is the long term effects and impact that there success is now measured on. Business Involvement at the Games will be essential to ensuring the Games have a lasting impact on the City, and was one of the most important reasons for the city agreeing to host. As we saw recently in Trinidad and Tobago at CHOGM the private sector presence can contribute the most to the host country, the new partnerships and relationships that started there ensure that the organising country’s investment pays off over the coming years.

Sporting Events are no different - the world cup in south Africa, for example, is expected to pump around R21.3-billion into South Africa's economy and create an estimated 159 000 new jobs. CBC will be working with CII to ensure that the Private Sector from across the Commonwealth is represented at the Games and that the Business dimension of the games is Strong.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

What will 2010 bring?

Contrary to all expectations at the beginning of the year 2009 ended with a majority of the developing nations in surprisingly strong economic positions. Most of the largest developing nation stock markets have recouped all the losses made in 2008, and countries such as China and India have avoided recession all together, only experiencing reduced growth. 2010 will have a much greater emphasis on the G20 and the BRICs countries than we have ever seen.

Recovery in the developed nations will now depend much more on how the consumer acts in India, China and other emerging markets. Demand for imports of high value manufactured goods from the BRIC countries can help drive forward recovery in western countries. There is evidence that Germany, France and Spain are enhancing manufacturing capacity to match the increasing demand from India and other countries, I hope the UK will follow suit.

Energy is going to be an important sector in 2010 as we move more towards clean technologies it will create new manufacturing opportunities in both the developing and developed world. Infrastructure represents a similar opportunity, the high demand in India and Africa will create opportunities for specialised companies in the western world. Africa will be the focus of a push for increased global agricultural production.

As Developing countries return to stronger growth they will help push the whole of the global economy out of recession. Consequently, how the developing world manages its economies will have a much greater impact on the western countries than ever before.

2009 was not the end of globalisation as some predicted, rather, we have seen just how linked the world economies have become. Globalisation will now be driven more by the BRIC countries, the G20 and the developing world than before, so it is in all our best interests to see the Developing world do better.

In this light I hope that 2010 will see a successful conclusion to the Doha Round of trade talks, this will depend much on the level of emphasis the developed countries put on it. In 2010 I think the major difference will be in the respective importance of the G20 and G8. The G20 will come to the fore on most Global Issues. There has been a reversal that will be all the more obvious in 2010, for the last 2 decades the consumer in the West has been buying from the manufacturer in the East, now it is the Consumers in Asian Countries that will drive forward the next stage of globalisation.