Improve the investment climate

New Delhi: Jan 12; The year 2015 has ended on a lacklustre note. The growth rate projected by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is 3.1 per cent, with advanced economies growing at around 2 per cent and developing economies at 4 per cent. These are not inspiring numbers. The World Bank estimates are even lower. However, there have thankfully not been any economic explosions.

Even Europe stumbled through despite the problem of Greece rearing its head from time to time. The oil-exporting countries suffered most with a sharp decline in oil prices. This group included not only countries in West Asia but also Russia and Venezuela.

However, what is more surprising is that even countries which had gained as a consequence of a fall in crude oil prices have not really shown faster growth. Among the developing economies, the major concerns are centred at China. With trade surpluses falling, China has to turn to its domestic demand to spur the economy. There have also been concerns about its financial system.

Among the countries coming under the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) bloc, only India has shown a good performance. However, the Indian story needs more elaboration. Before dealing with India, let us see what the picture looks like globally for 2016.

The IMF had projected the global growth rate for 2016 to be 3.6 per cent, with advanced economies growing at 2.2 per cent and developing economies growing at 4.5 per cent. At this point, it is not clear whether these projections will hold. A recently released World Bank report shows lower numbers for both 2015 and 2016. However, the direction of change is similar.

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