Category — Politics

Consul General of Atlanta Says India is a Largely Untapped Market

Nagesh Singh, consul general for India in Atlanta, said that despite being the world’s fifth largest economy, India remains a largely untapped market which has plenty of opportunities for partnerships with domestic companies. He added that India hopes to increase bilateral trade with the United States from $120 billion to $500 billion in 2025.

Nagesh Singh, India's Consul General of Atlanta

Nagesh Singh, India’s Consul General of Atlanta

GSA Business Reports says that Singh outlined many areas of business opportunities in India:

  • Defense – India is the second-largest importer of arms with an annual expenditure of $15 billion in 2016.
  • Automotive – India is making strides to become the third-largest automotive market in the world by 2022. The country has a $300 billion market and produces only 20% of vehicles sold there.
  • Infrastructure – India plans to spend $1 trillion by 2030 to upgrade roads, bridges and utilities.
  • The country also represents a $600 billion retail market and a $120 billion aerospace market.

Singh noted that businesses in India plan to invest more in the United States. “India is becoming a very important part of providing direct investment to this country,” he said, adding that a recent survey of Indian businesses showed 90% of them want to invest more in the United States.

 

October 16, 2017   No Comments

Kenneth Juster Appointed U.S. Ambassador to India

Kenneth Juster‘s appointment as U.S. Ambassador to India, subject to Senate confirmation, has enthused the U.S.-India business community. Edward Monser, vice-president of the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum said, “We know him well. We trust him. Most importantly, he doesn’t wait for things to become a problem. He is proactive, he reaches out to both sides. He makes sure people understand and he communicates very well.”

Picture of Kenneth Juster

Juster is considered a longtime and well-experienced India hand, and has relevant private sector and government experience. He served as the Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs under Trump and as Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security under former President George W. Bush. He is expected to take up office towards the end of this month or in the beginning of November, reports India New England News.

Juster said, “We see a path there that could be shared and benefit India and benefit the U.S. I think that’s why our leaders get along so well because they can see it too. They can see the real opportunities. So, we want to stay focused on growing the trade between the two countries, growing the investments between the two countries and encouraging the investment both ways.” He also appreciated new Indian initiatives such as Digital India and Skill India.

October 15, 2017   No Comments

India Open to $300 Billion Oil & Gas Investments

India will offer global investors $300 billion worth of investment opportunities in the hydrocarbon sector over the next decade to keep pace with the country’s energy demand, India’s Minister for Oil Dharmendra Pradhan said.

Speaking in New Delhi at the India Energy Forum, organized by CERAWeek the Houston-based information and insights company IHS Markit, Pradhan said that India’s oil and gas output has been stagnant for years while its fuel demand has risen. Modi’s government is taking steps to unlock the country’s vast energy reserves and boost foreign investment in the sector; it has relaxed rules, including those on pricing and marketing, he added.

Natural Gas, Oil Rig

India, which imports over 80 percent of its oil needs, wants to reduce this figure by 10 percent by 2022, reports Live Mint. The country wants to attract foreign investors to $300 billion worth of energy projects that will include increasing the country’s refining capacity, oil and gas block exploration, and developing gas infrastructure, including the transport of liquefied natural gas and re-gasification.

October 15, 2017   No Comments

Corporate America Bets on India

John Chambers, executive chairman, Cisco, and chairman, U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum says, “While India has long been an important global market, never before has it attracted so much enthusiasm from the American business community.”

Chambers attributes India’s economic transformation, from “slow follower to fast innovator in a matter of several years,” in large part to Prime Minister Modi’s ambitious economic reforms, reports Business Today.

PM Modi and John Chambers

PM Modi and John Chambers

So what are these changes, that Chambers thinks can propel India to be “the second largest economy by 2050“?

In his words…

Rebooting India’s Economy

Demonetizing India’s monetary system is a critical step towards dismantling the cash-centric black market and getting more of the population on a formal, taxable economic grid. The banking system will improve as India heads towards a cashless society, which will ultimately increase credit access and financial inclusion beyond reducing the “black economy.” More importantly, it moves India’s economy into the 21st century.

Adopting the Goods and Services Tax

The Indian government formally adopted the Goods and Service Tax (GST) to streamline the country’s complicated system of local and national tax levies into one payment. Some economic experts project that the implementation of the GST will increase the Indian GDP by 1 to 2 percent.

Propelling India into the Digital Age

Launched in 2015, his [Modi’s] Digital India program has committed unprecedented investments to building the country’s digital infrastructure. Of all the changes ushered in by Modi, I believe this will play the greatest role in providing jobs to India’s rapidly growing workforce, which grows by over 1 million new people each month. And this will not only impact India-collaboration on the digital front, it has the potential to uplift bilateral trade to new heights.

The Prime Minister has the ability to create a vision, communicate it well while building hope for its future, and eventually execute that vision – once he determines something is good for India, he is truly fearless.

October 12, 2017   No Comments

Matthews Asia: India is a fertile environment for an investor

In an interview with Morningstar, Robert Horrocks, Chief Investment Officer of Matthews Asia, the largest dedicated Asia-only investment firm headquartered in Westborough, MA, discussed the investment climate in India with senior editor Emma Wall.

Key takeaways from the interview:

On whether India has lived up to the investment hype under Prime Minister Modi

Horrocks: India has done very well apart from the last year or 18 months or so. But yes, I think, a lot of this was focused on Modi. But you got to remember he is the head of a central part of the government and he has to contend with all the states and the local governments. And that often means things move a little more slowly than you’d like.

On whether there is greater link between politics and markets in emerging markets as opposed to developed markets where the two things can be less connected

Horrocks: The reason for the connection between politics and the economy and the markets in India in particular is they are where China was 20 years ago. They need to build up the infrastructure. These are the things that governments are supposedly doing very well. So, that’s the reason for the linkage.

On the factors that will predict India’s stock market will deliver

Horrocks: Modi has done some things very well indeed. He has put in place a demonetization which I think I would said this would have had a much more detrimental impact on the economy in the short term. He has done some changes to the legal infrastructure to make bankruptcy law a little bit more clear. But these are things that take time.

The other thing I would mention is the achievements of the central bank. India used to be a high inflation economy. It was spending more than it saved. And the actions of the central [bank] over the last five years have brought that core inflation rate right down to a level where India’s savings are now pretty much able to mobilize all the investment it needs in the economy. The inflation rate is very reasonable even for a developed nation. So, it’s not just Modi. India has done quite a few things right.

On the greatest opportunities for an Asian investor

Horrocks: You still have to focus on the management of the business, you still have to look at the businesses that allocate capital properly. One of the issues with India at the moment is the fact that capital is scarce relative to other countries in the region. So, companies have to retain that capital themselves. That means you are putting a greater degree of trust in the management that they are going to look after that for you. So, that’s really the key. But India is a market [where] there’s opportunities across kinds of sectors. So, it’s quite a fertile environment for an investor there.

I would say the one element of caution I would have about India at the moment is the valuations. It is one of the more expensive markets in the region. You are right that a lot of hope surrounds Modi and the government and that’s been priced in a little bit to the market. So, you just have to be cautious and just pick your spots carefully.

But I do think corporate profit growth is still going to be pretty decent over the next few years.

Return on Investment

October 10, 2017   No Comments