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India to emerge as top global exporter: Naina Lal Kidwai

In an interview to CNBC-TV18’s Sonia Shenoy and Senthil Chengalvarayan, Naina Lal Kidwai, Country Head and Sandeep Uppal, Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC India spoke about their outlook on Indian economy and the road ahead.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18’s Sonia Shenoy and Senthil Chengalvarayan, Naina Lal Kidwai, Country Head and Sandeep Uppal, Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC India spoke about their outlook on Indian economy and the road ahead.

Below is a verbatim transcript of the interview

Sonia: The biggest grouse of any FII investor who we speak to is that it is not easy to do business in India. However ever since the election results it has been more than 100-days now are you getting a sense from the people that you converse with that there has been a bit of an ease now to do business or are things still the same?

Kidwai: What we have here with us over 50 global investors they are here because they are interested in India and they are very keen to figure out whether this optimism is for real. There are doubts as to whether we are going to truly deliver this time. But the keenness and desire to actually see this process in India actually play out is clearly there.

They all see the opportunity and frankly the issue is never been India and the opportunity. It is about how easy we make it for that opportunity to be realised. They would all like to believe that this is the time—palpable excitement and interest—that interest remains.

We have to make sure that we can deliver on expectation and deliver very quickly.

Senthil: We are hearing at least in media murmurs of impatience at the lack of articulation at least of a reform agenda from this government. Investors we speak to are generally saying they are happy with what is happening on the ground but we did have the Financial Times article just a couple of days ago talking about some investors being just that tad impatient and disappointed. Is that something you are picking up?

Kidwai: No disappointment. These are by and large investors who are looking to invest in the country. It is really more about we are very interested. We might well look for joint venture partners. We want to make sure that we are part of the India growth story. We have no doubt that India is key and in fact if you look at the HSBC Research report on India, as an exporter going forward, clearly [India is] going to be one of the leading exporters from a global sense.

These are all companies that know they have to be here. The issue really is timing. Do they come in today; do they come in six months later? Some of them are going to wait and watch and see in terms of the deliverables happening. So, it is not disappointment yet, it is too early to say that but really they want to see the promise being fulfilled.

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