While Chinese people may have become less sure about their country’s future, the reverse is true about India, according to Christopher Wood of Jefferies.
The global head of equities at Jefferies wrote that, while the Western media may be critical in its coverage of PM Narendra Modi, “the reality is that there has been a massive surge in popular aspirations since Modi was first elected in 2014 and also a related massive increase in India’s self-confidence as a country”.
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Wood’s weekly’s newsletter from March 16, 2023, had noted that “the Chinese people post-pandemic no longer have an unbridled confidence in the future of their country”.
In his latest newsletter, he wrote that the reverse is true in India. He wrote, in the one dated May 25, 2024 and titled, “Modi and the champagne socialists” that “the reverse (of what is happening in China) now applies in India… which is no longer completely far-fetched, of India becoming the major beneficiary of production being moved out of China in the next ten years.”
“Certainly Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, who has as urgent a need to diversify out of China as anybody given the ongoing geopolitical tensions, went to great lengths to highlight India in his most recent quarterly earnings call on 4 May. He mentioned the country no less than 20 times, not only as regards to its importance as a growing consumer market for iPhones but also as a growing source of production... Meanwhile, Apple has just opened its first two retail stores in India in April, one in Mumbai and one in Delhi,” the newsletter stated.
It also noted that India’s increased confidence came from purchasing cheap Russian oil. “Despite initial pressures from Washington on Delhi, the Modi government has been consistent in its public stance that it will continue to act in its own national self-interest, which is to buy cheap Russia oil,” wrote Wood.
According to him, it could have been hard for Washington to push hard against this stand because of the market India provides. “This stance was helped by the understanding that as the next big domestic market for American companies, such as Apple, to target it makes no strategic sense for Washington to pick fights with both Beijing and Delhi,” he wrote.