EU - India: Just the Facts

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We all know that India has acquired a first category status in the last decades and today the country is among the world top-ranking business destinations. The reforms started as of 1991 have boomed the currency reserves, public debt has been shrinking and the yearly GNP growth rate is growing significantly despite the global economic slowdown.

Nonetheless, the business potential still clashes with these persisting gaps: cultural differences, absence of a regulatory framework, social inequalities and obsolete infrastructures often discouraging even the most open-minded investor.

Business support organisations offer important guidance services, serving as trait-d’union and facilitators between the EU business community and India.

The philosophy that stands behind such services must clearly and constantly be updated. Macro-economic indicators, sectorial studies, market studies and financial analyses constitute the backbone of the amount of information needed to get to know the Indian market. But, it is getting more and more evident that technical preparation must be complemented with the intangible features of the human and social environment. And, it is equally clear that networking is one of the best ways to approach a country like India.

The results of the survey presented in this paper are addressed to a diversified range of stakeholders, namely (i) decision makers who have the power to promote reforms for a more business friendly environment; (ii) Business Support Organizations whose mission is to provide assistance to businesses that want to expand their activities in India; (iii) enterprises which can draw some useful practical advice from the cases highlighted. The survey provides a mix of qualitative and quantitative data followed by inspiring case-histories reported by businesses that have approached the Indian market. It does not matter whether the reported stories are good or bad experiences. What we want is to listen to the direct voice of those that are dealing with such a huge country.

The results are reflected in a series of final recommendations that can be of use for those who believe in the possibility of further creating business relationships between the EU and India, and firmly believe that a better world order will stem from a more stable global economic context.

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