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Worst is over for Indian cos doing biz in Europe: FICCI Survey

Despite the gloomy economic situation, particularly in southern Europe, Indian companies have overwhelmingly expressed optimism that the "Worst is over for them", a survey by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) said Sunday.

"For the first time in three years, Indian companies doing business in Europe have shed their pessimism and see a rebound in their business prospects in the region," FICCI said.

"There has been a marked rise in number of companies who have successfully been able to reduce their losses while doing business in the region," said the survey titled 'Is the Worst Phase over for Indian Companies Doing Business in Europe?'.

Indian companies in Europe are re-positioning their business activities in the economic crisis hit region, the survey said.

"The gradual turn-around has been achieved by Indian corporates by successfully re-positioning and re-aligning their operational capabilities in one of the most demanding and organised markets in the world," it said.

The survey said that although the current economic situation in Europe has provoked a number of procedural and regulatory obstacles for Indian companies, the region is still providing needed returns on the investments made.

The survey, of around 50 firms, said the continent's investment scenario has several positive elements.

"It's economic, trade and investment policies generally welcome foreign investment. Other attractions include well developed capital markets, political and social stability, established and transparent legal systems," it said.

"Half of the surveyed companies expected the current economic situation would improve in the coming 1-2 years time," it said adding that to keep their balance sheets stable, over 50 percent of the Indian companies surveyed have already begun to diversify their markets within Europe.

However, the difficulties in getting a business visa remained the most worrying issue for the survey respondents to effectively engage with European economies.

Over 20 percent respondents said that during the current economic turmoil the European Governments have made its processes more stringent in getting and renewing long-term visas, work permits and overall ease of doing business in the region.