India is a shining star amid global economic uncertainty: Christian Sewing, CEO, Deutsche Bank

India will be the ‘shining star’ of the global economy that faces a decade of volatility amid war, inflation and supply chain disruptions, although New Delhi could make implementation of projects easier to attract more overseas investments, Christian Sewing, CEO, Deutsche Bank, told ET.

Large pockets of the tightly knit global economy will likely have to go through a round of pain as central banks drain liquidity and raise interest rates to fight inflation because not doing so could damage economies beyond repair, he said.

“I’ve seen India developing over time – a development this country can be proud of,” Sewing said in an exclusive interaction. “A lot of other countries, in particular from Europe, are looking at India and seeing a real opportunity. There’s always room for further improvement. But if I look around the world, India is a shining star. We want to invest and grow here. It’s a vibrant market.”

Sewing joins top global financial chief executives, such as Jane Fraser of Citigroup and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan, in appreciating India’s ability to reap the benefits of a shift in globalisation patterns where multinational companies are diversifying supply chains away from China amid rising geopolitical risks.

Although the country’s population, market and infrastructure remain major draw cards, many believe that India has a long journey ahead before it becomes as attractive as its northern neighbour in drawing global manufacturing companies.

Inflation remains the biggest risk, the Deutsche Bank CEO said, adding that central banks have to tackle it on priority even if that means compromising growth prospects for a few quarters or years.

“We need to go through a period of pain, but the quicker we fight inflation, the earlier we will come out of the recession,” said Sewing. “Otherwise, you will get a wage-price spiral, which takes two or three years to overcome and that gets dangerous.”

While the financial markets may be roiled due to a spike in yields and speculation about the viability of institutions, Germany’s biggest lender remains surefooted and robust following years of clean-up after the Global Financial Crisis.

“We are doing very well. In the first half of 2022, we achieved our highest profit since 2011,” said Sewing. “What are the strengths of Deutsche Bank? A clean balance sheet, cost discipline and focus on the business side to compete where we are good at. The pride to work for Deutsche Bank is back. We are in a business where the only assets you have are your clients and your people.”

Source: Economic Times

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