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'Big events like Olympics key to attracting investment'

July 26, 2012 15:48 IST

OlympicsEmerging markets, including India view sporting events as the key to attracting investments, while developed markets see them as less important for the purpose, says a report.

The findings of the Grant Thornton International Business Report come ahead of the ceremony tomorrow of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The UK, however, showed far more bullishness than the G-7 counterparts, with 61 per cent saying that big sporting events are important for attracting investment, while it was just 36 per cent for the G7 countries.

The UK government anticipates that the London Olympics will bring 13 billion pound in economic benefits over the next four years -- 6 billion pound in the form of foreign direct investment, the report said.

India ranked fifth with over 63 per cent of those surveyed saying such events help pull in investments.

In Latin America, almost three quarters (74 per cent) of business leaders believe major sporting events are important in attracting investment to their economy, and 54 per cent of businesses in BRIC nations also subscribe to this view.

"Emerging economies use these mega events to allow a worldwide audience to 'window shop', before making their investment decisions," Grant Thornton India Partner & Practice Leader, Business Advisory Services Vinamra Shastri said.

"It is an opportunity to showcase their infrastructure, their masses of consumers, their organisational ability and their willingness to be a part of the global village," Shastri added.

In contrast, far fewer businesses in the EU (42 per cent) and North America (44 per cent) believe in the ability of big sporting events to attract investment, dropping to just over one in three (36 per cent) in the G-7, the report said.

"For more established economies, international sporting competitions are still a great opportunity, but appear to be just one element of a much bigger offensive to attract investment," Shastri said.

Grant Thornton said business leaders in those economies which have recently held, or are soon to hold, major sporting events are more bullish about the investment they bring.

Business leaders in Brazil -- which is gearing up to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games -- show the greatest faith in sport's ability to deliver investment as 83 per cent of businesses showing such optimism.

Poland which would host this year's European Championships -- came a close second with 82 per cent of businesses vesting their faith in sports ability to bring investments followed by South Africa (78 per cent) which is all set to host the FIFA World Cup 2010.

New Zealand, where 74 per cent of businesses are hopeful about the sports ability was ranked in the fourth position, followed by India which held the Commonwealth 2010 in the fifth with (63 per cent), Grant Thornton said.

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