India emerges as 5th most attractive market for investments, says PwC survey; US remains at top spot

Davos: India has emerged as the fifth most attractive market for investments and the optimism over global economic growth is at a record level, a survey of CEOs by global consultancy PwC said on Monday.

The findings come on a day when the rich and powerful are meeting here for the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual summit starting.

"The US remains the top spot for global investment, while India moves into the top 5," PwC's 21st CEO Survey said, adding that there is surprising faith and optimism among chief executives in the economic and business environment worldwide, at least over the next 12 months.

Around 46 percent of global CEOs consider the US as one of the three most important countries for growth, followed by China (33 percent) and Germany (20 percent) at second and third places, respectively.  At the fourth spot is the UK (15 percent).

"India (9 percent) bumps Japan (8 percent) as the fifth most attractive market in 2018," it noted.

PwC India Chairman Shyamal Mukherjee said backed by definitive structural reforms, the India story has been looking better in the past one year.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

"Most of our clients are optimistic about their growth. The government has made efforts to address concerns around areas like infrastructure, manufacturing and skilling, although newer threats like cybersecurity and climate change are beginning to play on the minds of our clients," he noted.

As per the survey, 54 percent of the CEOs plan to increase their headcount this year while only 18 percent expect to reduce their staff.

The sectors having the highest demand for new recruits are health care (71 percent), technology (70 percent), business services (67 percent), communications (60 percent), hospitality and leisure (59 percent).

Notwithstanding the optimism in the global economy, 40 percent of CEOs are 'extremely concerned' about geopolitical uncertainty and cyber threats while 41 percent feel so about terrorism.

Other factors for concerns are availability of key skills (38 percent) and populism (35 percent).

"These threats outpace familiar concerns about business growth prospects such as exchange rate volatility (29 percent) and changing consumer behaviour (26 percent)," the survey said.

Further, terrorism is seen as among the top ten threats to growth whereas only 20 percent felt so in 2017.

"The threat of over-regulation remains the top concern for CEOs (42 percent extremely concerned), and over a third (36 percent) remain concerned about an increasing tax burden," it added.

PwC conducted 1,293 interviews with CEOs spread across 85 countries between August and November 2017. Besides, the sample is weighted by national GDP to ensure that CEOs' views are fairly represented across all major countries.

As many as 40 percent of the companies had revenues of at least $1 billion and 35 percent of firms' revenues ranged between $100 million and $1 billion. Around 20 percent of the companies had revenues of up to $100 million while 56 percent of the entities were privately owned.


Updated Date: Jan 23, 2018 09:24 AM

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