‘India a bright star in ‘sober’ global outlook’

Uday Kotak
Uday Kotak

DAVOS: As uncertainty grips the global economic outlook, ace banker Uday Kotak has said India has an opportunity to be a “bright star” in such a “sober” scenario and the medium term prospects for the country’s economy looks good as long as it can focus on right things.

Amid an intense debate on future of globalization here at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Kotak said India has been a big beneficiary of the globalization process, including by getting a USD 100 billion software services industry and huge portfolio flows to the tune of USD 300 billion and it should be a strong votary of open trade and defend open economies from its own point of view.

“I was attending a global institutional investors’ group meeting here and there was a view that India is certainly a potential bright star in a relatively more sober global outlook,” Kotak, Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank, told PTI in an interview on the sidelines of WEF meet.

Of course people are optimistic about Donald Trump turning around and making America great and that is going to be a magnet for capital to be moving back, he said. According to him, China is essentially going to work on the plank of stability and continuity all the way up to October 2017 when internal elections of the ruling party are held.

“India certainly has an opportunity to be the bright star in such scheme of things,” Kotak said.
“I am truly proud of the macroeconomic situation we are in – that is low current account, low inflation, fiscal deficit under control and the key thing for India is to see how to get the investments going again,” he added.

Further, Kotak said private investments have been a little shy and if the government can step up on the plate without necessarily bloating about the fiscal deficit, that would probably be a very good thing because we need investment back on track.

“I feel India is normalizing and the medium term outlook is good as long as we can hold ourselves together and focus on right things,” he noted.

Asked about the globalization debate here and India’s position on it, Kotak said, “I have been coming to Davos for 18 years and I can say India has been a big beneficiary in the whole globalization process”.

The entire software services industry and the IT industry have gained from globalization. Global capital flows for Indian capital markets have been good. India needs to keep in mind that we have benefitted from this global process, he said.

“A global process comes with being champions against protectionism and against currency manipulation etc. India for the last many years has ensured that it has not been protective, or excessively protective, about itself. We should actually be a strong votary of open trade and defend open economies from our point of view.

Just think about it that we did not have software services industry 18 years ago, which is today USD 100 billion. Look at the portfolio flows which are today USD 300 billion. Look at the FDI flows which are also huge,” Kotak said. -PTI