Global CEOs Find India Fifth Most Attractive Growth Destination: PwC Survey
A person carrying a briefcase crosses a street. (Photographer: Jessica Nolte/Bloomberg)

Global CEOs Find India Fifth Most Attractive Growth Destination: PwC Survey

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India has emerged as the fifth most attractive growth destination, slipping one position after being surpassed by the United Kingdom, according to a global survey of chief executive officers.

The United States is the number one market that CEOs are looking to in terms of growth over the next 12 months and China is at the second spot.

The findings are part of leading consultancy PwC's 24th Annual Global CEO Survey that covered 5,050 CEOs in 100 countries and territories, including India.

"At 17%, Germany holds on to its number three spot on the list of growth destinations, while the U.K., post-Brexit, moves up to number four (11%), surpassing India (8%). Japan also rises up the ranking to become the sixth most attractive growth destination, overtaking Australia which held that position last year," as per the survey.

The U.S. has extended its lead as the number one market that CEOs are looking to for growth over the next 12 months at 35%, seven percentage points ahead of China at 28%. In 2020, the U.S. was only one percentage point ahead of China, it added.

The survey found that 76% of CEOs worldwide expect the global economic recovery to improve in 2021, showing record levels of optimism about growth a year after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

As cross-border competition heats up global tax debates, CEOs foresee some cooling of global trade tensions. Both trade conflict and protectionism dropped on the CEO threat list, in relative and absolute terms, the survey released on Thursday said.

"But, there's considerable nuance behind that top-line story. Trade conflict still ranks as a top-ten threat in China and Germany, both of which depend on export-driven growth. In China, which has often found itself at the centre of debates, trade conflict is CEOs' second-highest source of worry.

"It's hard not to wonder whether fundamental tensions will reassert themselves as we move past the landmark moments, such as the resolution of the U.S. presidential election and of Brexit uncertainties, that immediately preceded our survey period," it noted.

Also read: Crisil Says Infrastructure, PLI Projects Will Drive India’s Growth Next Fiscal

Further, the survey said it was important to recognise that trade patterns and partnerships are in flux.

"For example, CEOs in the U.S. are reducing their emphasis on China as a growth driver, and increasing their focus on Canada and Mexico; compared to the findings in our last survey, U.S. CEOs' interest in the latter two countries rose by 78%," it said, adding that those trends are contributing to a broader shift of the U.S. extending its lead over China as global CEOs' most important growth destination.

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