Cameron hoping to forge new special relationship with visit to India

The Prime Minister is flying out to Delhi this week – and he means business.

When David Cameron stands on the grounds of India’s best-known IT company this week and makes his pitch for building a “new special relationship” between Britain and India, he will no doubt have in mind the thoughts of a previous visitor to the Infosys campus.

It was after visiting the Bangalore headquarters of the IT pioneer that the Pulitzer-winning author, Thomas Friedman, came up with both the idea and the title of his book, The World is Flat. The idea contained within his treatise on the globalised economy was that in the interconnected business world of the 21st century, all players were equal. India, in particular, had lots to offer.

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India signs free trade pact with ASEAN

Ending months of uncertainty, India and the 10-nation Association of South East Asian Nations today signed a crucial trade pact that will break duty barriers in the 1.7 billion consumer market in the region.

The pact on trade in goods under the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) was signed by Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and ASEAN Economic Ministers after more than six years of intense negotiations.

The first phase of implementation is supposed to be over by January 1, 2010.

The pact, on which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has formed a GoM to allay domestic concerns, will eliminate duties on 4,000 items by 2016, covering 80 per cent of India’s imports from the South-east Asian nations.

However, as many as 489 items have been kept out of the pact, keeping in view the concerns of vulnerable domestic industries and agricultural producers. The main areas of differences revolved around sensitive agricultural products, mainly in the plantation sector.

The agreement is “well balanced” and is in harmony with the India’s Look East Policy, Sharma said.

Bilateral trade between ASEAN and India was of about $40 billion in 2007-08.

Industry body FICCI, which has accompanied Sharma, leading a business delegation, said that the agreement would provide access to the large ASEAN market to India.

“It will give Indian business access to the large ASEAN market; Indian industry does not have many concerns (and) sensitivities on agri products have been taken care of,” FICCI business delegation leader O P Lohia, present at the signing ceremony, said.

India’s exports to ASEAN were about $17 billion in 2007-08 and imports $23 billion.

Source: Business Standard  13/08/2009


Indian, Brazilian industries target $10 billion trade by 2010

MUMBAI: The Indian and Brazilian industries on Wednesday said that trade between the two nations may reach $10 billion by  2010.

“The bilateral trade between the two countries has grown from a mere USD 500 million in 2000 to USD 3.12 billion in 2007 and is targeted to reach USD 10 billion by 2010,” CII International Trade Panel Chairperson Harshbeena Zaveri said.

A delegation of Brazilian industrialists and officials of the CII today discussed steps to consolidate the existing trade between the countries besides exploring new business opportunities.

Indian companies are increasingly setting up operations in Latin America in sectors like IT, steel, chemicals, autos and pharmaceuticals, Zaveri said.

“In fact, with the western markets slowing, the time is ripe for Indian and Latin American companies to set up their engagements with each other,” she said.

India’s major exports to Brazil include mineral fuel, chemicals, iron and steel while the imports include cereals and rubber.

Source : Economic Times 21/05/09


Ireland to enhance bilateral trade with India

Kolkata: Ireland is betting on increased interest of Irish companies in India to grow bilateral trade. The euro 500-million trade between the two nations is expected to surge by 25% in 2009 as against the 13% growth it recorded in 2008.

Irish companies are keen to invest in sectors like cement, publishing, medical technology and IT, said Ireland’s ambassador in India Kenneth Thompson.

“The pace at which Irish companies are showing interest in India, we anticipate a 25% jump in bilateral trade. In fact, the number of business partnerships between Irish and Indian companies is also expected to surge in a big way,” Mr Thompson said. He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a meet organised by Bharat Chamber of Commerce here on Friday.

India’s exports to Ireland account for nearly 63% of the bilateral trade driven by products like yarn, garment and drugs. On the other hand, India imports telecom, sound equipment, automatic data processing machines and other manufactured products from Ireland.

Ireland has recently set up an investment office in Mumbai to attract Indian companies. “We are primarily looking at frontline Indian companies in sectors like pharma and IT. We are already one of the world’s largest software exporters led by Microsoft and encouraging generic drug makers to reduce our public healthcare cost,” said Mr Thompson.

The European nation is also keen to invest in West Bengal. “Since Irish companies are mainly present in Bangalore, they have little idea about investment opportunities in West Bengal. But, we are now exploring opportunities in areas like food processing, education, dairy and aviation in the state,” Mr Thompson said.

Mr Thompson said Indian people account for the largest immigrant group in Ireland outside the Europe. “Apart from 20 Indian professors in Trinity College Dublin, there are several Indian doctors, nurses and IT professionals in Ireland,” he said.

Source : The Economic Times  18/05/09





India-Russia trade to touch $10 bn by 2010: officials

Bilateral trade between India and Russia is expected to increase from $7 billion in 2008 to $10 billion by the end of next year and will grow further when the comprehensive trade pact is signed, according to officials.

“Judging the way trade has grown in the last 3-4 years, it ($10 billion target) will be certainly achieved by 2010,” Trade Commissioner of the Russian Federation to India E A Korshunov told reporters at a CII function today.

Both the countries will be able to enhance bilateral trade to USD 10 billion despite delay in signing the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

The agreement, which will facilitate free trade in goods and services between the two countries, would be signed after Russia’s membership in the World Trade Organisation is approved by the multilateral organistion, Commerce Ministry Joint Secretary Neeraj Kumar Gupta said.

“The issue is on the table. The moment they access the WTO, we can start our negotiations on the CECA,” Gupta added.

On trade between the two countries, Korshunov said it has increased by 30 per cent in the first quarter of 2009 (calendar year) despite global economic downturn.

Source: Business Standard 28/04/09


Australia for expanding ties with India

Besides mining, agriculture, education and services, which were some of the core areas of bilateral trade and investment between India and Australia at present, Australia was keen to focus on other potential areas of business like food and beverages business, automotive sector, aerospace industry etc, informed Micheal Carter, Counsellor Commercial, Australian Trade Commission.

“India happens to be the fourth largest export destination for Australia, it is a very important strategic partner for trade, but the current export import activity between the two countries is largely confined to mining and mining resources, education, services, agriculture, and more of a resource-based relationship which can be widened. There is a lot of scope for business and possible collaboration in the areas of food and beverages particularly wine, travel and tourism,” he said.

Australia’s exports to India was worth around 12 billion Australian dollars last fiscal.

There is a need to widen the export-import portfolio through sectors like aerospace, travel and tourism, wine and beverages industry. A lot of Australian wine exporters were particularly robust about investing in India as it was seen as the next growth market, Carter pointed out.

Of the total domestic wine market in India, which is around 1.5 million cases per annum, almost 1,60,000 cases are imported, of which Australian imported wine enjoys roughly 25 per cent. “This share is growing and we are in talks with several state governments in the northern part of the country, particularly Haryana, Punjab, and other states for setting up some production facilities in collabration with domestic players into food processing and agri-business,” he added.

Source: Business Standard 09/04/09