The research, compiled by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India (Assocham), set out to identify the mood among businesses that have either already established a presence in India or are seriously considering entering the market.
“Over 71% of senior level functionaries in these firms said that India tops the chart among the emerging countries as an investment destination,” the study reported.
“As many as 53% said that India could even overtake China as an investment destination in terms of growth potential.” China is slowing while India will catch up fast, it noted.
A further 89% of respondents said India’s new leadership is behind the changing perception of global investors.
“There was across-the-board consensus about the prime minister being a very good communicator who is able to establish contact with the global community with as much ease as he is able to do at home,” it said.
Equally important was their observation about the credibility of his promises. “Over 73% of the 161 respondents spread across the US, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Middle East said Mr Modi will be able to deliver on his promises on ease of doing business, improving basic infrastructure and on de-bottlenecking policy issues.”
His attention to small details and capacity to take decisions quickly was something which stood out in the survey. “There was a lot of appreciation in the US about they way Mr Modi ironed out [India’s] differences over the WTO agreement on trade facilitation and food security.”
Modi’s intense engagement with the non-resident Indian communities in the US and Australia has resulted in Indian expats becoming the brand ambassadors of the country’s revival path, Assocham said.
Approval from the east
Japanese business leaders, meanwhile, singled out Modi’s approach to infrastructure projects, including the modernisation of the railways. His move to bring Suresh Prabhu, who has an reputation for getting things done, into the railway ministry, gained wide approval particularly in Japan, Singapore and Australia.
Assocham said that Australian companies were keen to build on the prime minister’s flagship programmes of smart cities, cleaning the Ganges and improving urban infrastructure.
“The message that went out across different countries was that the new government in New Delhi wants to engage widely with the world, spreading the message of India story.
“The results will be there in a much more visible form over the next few months. However, the results in the financial markets are already visible in terms of the Sensex touching new highs on the back of foreign inflows. While the dollar is shooting up against major international currencies like the yen, the Indian rupee remains stable.”