NEW DELHI: The chief executives of Indian companies are more optimistic than their counterparts elsewhere, with just 50% saying their firms will be negatively affected by the credit crisis, compared with a global average of 70%, says PricewaterhouseCoopers.

It has been argued that companies in India, along with corporations in China and South Korea, are likely to be the powerhouses of innovation in the global economy in next few years.

PWC's 12th Annual Global CEO Survey found that 70% of chief executives in India were confident about the outlook for their corporations over both the next 12 months and the next three years, figures falling to 21% and 34% respectively in global terms.

A total of 89% of Indian ceos said their organisations would make a return on the investments made in products or services in the next year, compared with 69% of respondents worldwide.

Some 60% of chief executives in India also said they would be able to expand their businesses by increasing penetration in existing markets, a figure that fell to 37% overall.

By contrast, just 15% of chief executives in North America and Western Europe were confident about their growth prospects over the next 12 months.

These figures rose to 21% in Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America, and to 31% across the Asia Pacific region as a whole.

PWC conducted interviews with 1,124 ceos in 50 countries during the last quarter of last year.

A separate survey of 237 chief executives in India conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India found that 84% of participants predict the country's economy will not fully recover until mid-2010.

However, 77% of respondents said the Indian business climate was likely to improve sooner than that in the US and Western Europe.

Data sourced from Times of India; additional content by WARC staff