Looking at the infrastructure industry, a main driver behind construction equipment, India is ranked 7th in terms of risk vs reward, says Benjamin Duyck, Market Intelligence Analyst, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). Excerpts from the interview...
How do you assess the ease of doing business in India?
According to AEM´s Project Database (provided by BMI), there are about $7.5trillion worth of projects underway across all emerging markets globally. Most projects are located in the emerging Asia Region (China and India). However, comparing the activity to the size of the economies paints a different picture as Asia falls behind the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
For India, BMI states that the risks and rewards are great. Looking at the infrastructure industry, a main driver behind construction equipment, India is ranked 7th in terms of risk vs reward. There is a high implied growth and a large industry value in the construction sector, though it falls short in terms of overall country rewards and scores poorly when we look at the overall risks. The strong expectation for growth is mainly driven by the government´s efforts to attract multi-billion dollar investments in transport, energy, utilities, and urban infrastructure.
Could you brief us on the specific indicators that you look for?
When we look at growth, we not only consider the growth in the construction industry, but also the size and growth of the economy and the industry. We evaluate the risk and rewards of doing business in the country and the industry. This means researching the political and economic stability in the short term and long term. Some of the specific indicators we look for is sectoral growth, capital investments, government spending, the labour markets, financial infrastructure, the project pipelines, transparency of the tendering process, the legal framework, corruption, etc. As was seen in the emerging market sessions on Chile, Brazil, South Africa, and India at CONEXPO-CONAGG 2014, we try to take a complete holistic approach. For us, the size of the market or purely its growth, while important, is not the determining factor.
What is the total equipment export into India from AEM companies?
The total export of construction equipment from the US to India in 2013 wasworth $171 million, a year-on-year decline of 46.7 per cent. Looking at the first half of 2014, India imported about $29.5 million, a year-on-year decline of about 75 per cent. While this represents a strong decline, the overall US construction equipment exports declined 17.3 per cent worldwide, with Africa being the only continent posting an increase.
What have been the sales trends of construction equipment in the global markets?
The projected growth for construction equipment market is expected to be promising with earthmoving sector continuing to make headway. Looking at the construction equipment industry, we have noticed that over the past decade, there has been an increase in global players moving into the developing economies. The demand for construction equipment is expected to continue to grow as a result of the strong project pipelines for infrastructure found in the private and public sectors.
Global markets continue to be volatile as some expected. While the US, including its rental remains a profitable market, there are other areas of growth across the world. Looking at the emerging regions, the MENA provides an interesting opportunity, not only because of their construction industry growth, but also because of the scale of the industry, their project pipeline and the relatively good risk vs rewards (excluding Iraq and Libya). Some of the other emerging markets have become less interesting as the investment risk in the developed world has once again been reduced. Looking at individual countries, there are opportunities abound in China, India, Indonesia, Colombia, Chile, etc. In the long term, the economic prognostication for these markets continues to be positive. Southeast Asia should also continue to be a good possibility in the future.
What is your take on bC India as a business platform for AEM?
The show offers a platform for our new members to learn not only the opportunities available for them within the country, but also how to navigate the market. For our members already established within the country, the show provides them with access to new customers as well as continued branding opportunities. Many AEM members are exhibiting in bC India, either directly or through a local dealer. Overall, the number is down a bit compared to previous years due to the slowdown in the Indian market. However, our members are optimistic on the future under the new government and with new trade agreements in both the US and Asia.