Davos 2023: In the past when countries were looking at alternatives as part of their China+1 strategy, countries like Vietnam and the Philippines scored over India in some sectors, but now India is positioned much better with states also competing for investments.
While speaking to Business Today at the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, Tata Steel MD & CEO T V Narendran highlighted the fact that this time India is showing a lot of potential with policies also looking quite favourable for investors.
“I think this time India has been positioned better. I think the policies are more favourable for investors. The Indian market is also showing a lot more potential and promise. So, I think now it seems to be that the stars are aligned in favour of India,” said Narendran.
“But having said that, I think while at the central level, we're doing a lot of work, finally investments happen in the states. So, a lot depends on how the states also deal with this opportunity. I'm happy to see a lot of states here trying to market themselves, but I think ultimately investors will look at the experience that they have before they come and put money on the ground,” he added.
The Tata Steel honcho believes that while new investors in the Indian market may struggle initially, they will get the momentum going once they attain scale.
“In steel, it's so much more difficult to find a greenfield plant, but once you've got the land and got started, it's much easier to expand. So, I think a lot of these manufacturing units will see that happen. The ecosystems are coming up now around it. So, I think the momentum is there,” he said.
Interestingly, while there have been a lot of discussions and even concerns raised around recession at the World Economic Forum, Narendran believes that while Europe is looking “fragile”, there are other economies or geographies that are doing quite well.
“I think the most fragile geography is Europe. Europe is struggling with war. Europe is struggling with high inflation. So, there is a struggle in Europe. I'm quite confident that the US as always will bounce back quite well. The surprise story has been Japan as Japan has been doing quite well and as China comes out of this. India is strong, the Middle East is strong, there are many parts of Africa which are doing well,” he said.
“The developed world is probably going to struggle a little bit, particularly Europe. But I think the emerging economies are showing a lot more promise and if China bounces back even a little bit I think that will have a huge impact,” he added.
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