Even as the clamour from some sections of media and “eminent intellectuals” in India claims India is seeing “bure din” on various counts, International agencies are giving India the thumbs up in a variety of sectors. In the last month or so, a host of rankings have been released by various International bodies which rate countries on various aspects and parameters such as brand value, financial transparency and internet freedom. In almost all of such ratings, India has shown an improvement, in some, a big surge.
Top of the league for greenfield FDI
Modi’s aggressive foreign relations bid and marketing of Make In India seems to be have paid off, when one sees that India has topped the world rankings as far as FDI is concerned. Financial Times reported that India was set to pip both US and China this year, after being ranked 5th in the FDI rankings in 2014. India is well ahead of where it was last year, and has more than doubled its investment levels by June 2015. This, even when globally emerging markets like Brazil saw a sharp decrease in FDI.
Biggest Improvement among top 20 countries in the World’s most valued brands ratings
This week Economic Times reported that India has moved up one position to become the world’s seventh most valued ‘nation brand’, with an increase of 32 per cent in its brand value to $2.1 billion. What was remarkable was that India had surged 32%, which is the highest increase for any country in the top 20 spots. India is also the second most valued among emerging economies after China, followed by Brazil, Russia and South Africa.
Jump in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ratings
After seeing its rank slip from a high of 116 in 2007, to a low of 142 (134 as per revised methodology) in 2014, for the 1 year ended June 2015, India saw its rank improve to 130 in 2015. The jump in rankings can be considered as 12 if one strictly compares the ranks from year to year (which is also said by Onno Ruhl, Country Director, World Bank India) or 4, if factors the revised rankings for 2014. Either way, the rank has definitely improved and shows a change in trend of past many years.
Jump in Global Competitiveness ranking
India’s rank in the global competitiveness ranking has constantly fallen for last 4 years, and this year it showed a huge jump of 16 places. The rankings released by World Economic Forum showed India ranked 55 out of 140 countries. In its Global Competitiveness Report 2015-16, WEF said this dramatic reversal is largely attributable to the momentum initiated by the election of Narendra Modi, “whose pro-business, pro-growth, and anti-corruption stance has improved the business community’s sentiment toward the government”.
Continued improvement in Internet freedom rankings
According to the Freedom On the Net 2015 India improved on its rankings on Internet Freedom in 2015 registering a small increase of 2 points. This improvement, was seen when across the world censorship and surveillance of the Internet increased leading to decline in overall online freedom for the fifth year in a row. It is not a huge jump but certainly goes against the “popular” opinion
Improved position in Financial transparency.
According to the global financial secrecy index (FSI) report released by Tax Justice Network (TJN) India ranked 45 in the list of 92 countries in 2015 in comparison to 32 in 2013. A “fall” in rankings in such a methodology is good as a higher rank indicates lower financial transparency and higher secrecy.
Leads Consumer Confidence Index for 3 straight quarters of 2015
According to Nielsen, a global information and insights provider India continued to lead the global consumer confidence index in the third quarter of this year. Previously, India had topped these global rankings in the first as well as second quarter of the year. The index measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions.
As it turns out now, the much hyped “Moody’s report” which asked Modi to “Rein in BJP members or risk losing global credibility” was not a “report” per se but a commentary by an associate economist at Moody’s Analytics named Faraz Syed working out of Sydney. A blog in Huffington post says Moody’s Analytics is a subsidiary of Moody’s Corporation which is distinct from Moody’s Investors Service, the global rating agency. Further, the said “report”, “was not even visible on the main Moody’s Analytics web site. It was found on an auxiliary microsite called “Dismal Scientist” under the commentary section.” The main Moody’s site does incorporate the above commentary, but only partly and completely skips the political part.