A framed collection of former cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma’s mission badges sit on a table in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Davos 2019: How The World Is Viewing India At This Point Of Time 

The 2019 edition of the World Economic Forum in Davos was held in the shadow of economic slowdown worries, trade wars and escalating political battles in many parts of the world. How does India fare amid this uncertainty? BloombergQuint spoke to some of the best-known economists and investors to find out.

Here’s what they said...

Gita Gopinath

The first female chief economist of the International Monetary Fund flagged India’s “high” fiscal deficit as a risk that needs to be addressed.

In case of India, what we flag is the fact that the overall consolidated fiscal deficit remains high and it has been the case for the last five years. We certainly need to fix that.
Gita Gopinath, Chief Economist, IMF

The goods and services tax revenues haven’t come in at the rate as was expected and that would be an area for continued improvement, Gopinath said.

Nariman Behravesh

IHS Markit Ltd.’s Chief Economist said that he remains “cautiously optimistic” about India due to concerns over the pace of reforms.

“Anxiety about the pressure issues on the central bank remains,” said Behravesh.

Simon Smiles

The chief investment officer (ultra high net worth individuals) at UBS Group AG said Indian assets are not as attractive to global investors as they were five years ago.

Focus has gone to China and the U.S. each with a lot of government support and attraction rather than continuing to hope that there’s a material and accelerated change in India.
Simon Smiles, UBS Group

John Studzinski

The managing director and vice-chairman at Pimco said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is much more measured in his diplomacy compared to the growing numbers of “aggressive” and “authoritarian” global leaders. Studzinski however added that there are “constant discussions in the international investment community about Hindu nationalism".

India’s a great pluralistic society, respecting multiple languages and multiple faiths. So I think people find it a bit puzzling as it’s something that they have never confronted before in India. And they are going to watch it carefully during the whole period of elections. 
John Studzinski, MD, Pimco

Bob Moritz

The global chairman of PwC said steps taken by the Narendra Modi government had unleashed a lot of optimism about the "underlying megatrends" in India.

What Prime Minister Modi has done in terms of infrastructure and healthcare, and how to use automation and technology is important. He has done that in the banking system to provide quicker access of capital.  
Bob Moritz,Global Chairman, PwC

Adam Tooze

The author and professor of history at Columbia University, said that India has to manage competing realities of "extraordinary economic dynamism" and "back-to-basics issues" like education and employment. He added that India should not allow conservative cultural politics to hamper free speech or a "nationalist re-reading of India’s enormously complex cultural history".

“The extraordinarily brilliance of Indian mathematicians and scientists should not be woven in a ludicrous way in nationalistic exceptionalism. It is beneath India’s dignity.”