Indian Investment Climate: Steady Improvements

Being am NRI (non-resident Indian) and being surrounded by NRIs, it is sometimes difficult to escape the cynical opinion that India is a lousy place to do business.  For many NRIs such an opinion is anchored in the memory of the India they left years ago.

Things change.  And despite the fits and starts and sometimes seemingly slow pace of economic reform, the Indian investment climate is improving month by month and reveals a steady and incremental trend.  These improvements run the gamut from lifting FDI restrictions to institutional change.  Witness the following recent headlines (hat tip to India-briefing.com):

  • Rules on FDI in Retail Changed (Improved)
  • India to Revise Law on Global Audit Firm Accountability
  • India to Amend Contract Labour Act
  • India Raises Cap for Foreign Institutional Investors
  • Online SEZ (Special Economic Zone) Applications to Begin in October
  • India Approves Rs. 9.3 billion E-Courts Project
  • New Simplified Labour Law Cleared
  • India Approves 11 Special Economic Zones
  • New Incentives Available for Outsourcing Companies in Rural Areas
  • Authorities to Revise Export Procedures
  • New Tax Code Proposes Investment Linked Incentives
  • India Considers Easing Approval for FDI-Funded Investments

Now, we could make a list just as long that enumerates the negatives or issues that remain in stasis in urgent need of attention, but investment allocation shouldn’t be driven by a search for the perfect; it is driven by relative comparisons.  And on a relative basis, India today ranks at or near the top for investment attractiveness.

I thought that was important to point out in the wake of the CWG hullaballoo ….my call for letting cooler heads prevail in the face of sometimes overwrought judgement consigning the entire India Story to a collective chimera.
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