U.S. and India Explore Ways to Boost Trade, Investment

U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman, and Minister for Commerce and Industry, India, Nirmala Sitharaman met in Delhi on October 20, for the tenth ministerial-level meeting of the India and United States Trade Policy Forum (TPF), to discuss ways to further improve trade and investments relations. TPF is the premier bilateral forum for discussion and resolution of trade and investment issues between the two countries.

Minister Sitharaman and Ambassador Froman discussed and exchanged views on a range of trade and investment issues, in particular, (i) Agriculture, (ii) Trade in Services and Trade in Goods, (iii) Promoting Investment in Manufacturing, and (iv) Intellectual Property.

US and India Flags

Some takeaways from the meeting:

Both countries agreed to continue working to facilitate bilateral trade in food and agricultural products and committed to holding technical dialogues on animal health, plant health, and food issues during 2017.

The importance of e-commerce, retail and direct selling in facilitating trade in goods was acknowledged by both sides. India noted that 100 percent foreign direct investment is now permitted in the marketplace model of e-commerce as well as in the distribution of food products produced in India, including through e-commerce.

Both countries emphasized that the timely resolution of disputes through a strong judicial system fosters an attractive investment climate and improves the ease of doing business.  The United States welcomed India’s establishment of commercial courts, streamlining of its arbitration procedures, and its ongoing efforts for timely resolution of commercial disputes.

Minister Sitharaman and Ambassador Froman welcomed the enhanced engagement on intellectual property rights under the High Level Working Group on Intellectual Property, and reaffirmed their commitment to use this dialogue to continue to make concrete progress on intellectual property rights issues.

The United States and India Joint Statement on the Trade Policy Forum can be found here.

November 4, 2016   No Comments

Twitter Lays Off Engineering Team in India

Twitter is closing down its engineering operations out of Bangalore, India, and is laying off some 20 engineers in the process, the company confirmed to TechCrunch.  The number is a very small percentage of its overall staff of 3,800 people internationally. The company will continue to operate three offices in the country, in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Twitter India

India is one of Twitter’s fastest growing markets worldwide.”Twitter remains committed to India as a strategic market for users, partners and advertisers, a company spokesperson said. “We continue to invest in key initiatives to further expand our audience, increase user engagement and drive revenue in this important market,” she added.

September 27, 2016   No Comments

Credit Suisse: Commodity-Intensive Growth Has Started in India

Swiss financial services company, Credit Suisse recently spent time in India to ascertain the status of mineral resources and commodities. “India looks to be firing at last,” was one of the headings in the bank’s report. The investigators had meetings with government agencies and companies in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, focusing on demand for bulk companies such as coal and iron ore,as also fertilizer and aluminum.

The bank remarked that the best opportunity for miners looking for market opportunities in India, was copper since India had limited supplies of the mineral. It  also warned against selling iron ore and coal to India since with problems of bulk commodity distribution being overcome, India was self sufficient in these minerals, reports Forbes.

Coal Excavators

“We came away convinced that India really is on the cusp of a major growth phase,” the bank said. “Companies pointed out the positives they see from government policies; an anti-corruption focus, a level playing field without favoritism, clear high level policies, and government ministries and State-owned companies driving to implement the policies, and overcoming many problems of the past.”

 

September 27, 2016   No Comments

Fair Wear Foundation Reports Improvements in India’s Apparel Industry

A report by multi stakeholder Fair Wear Foundation, a European initiative working to improve workplace conditions in the garment and textile industry, highlights positive factors in India’s garment industry.

Apparel Resources reports that Fair Wear Foundation India Country Study 2016 found no child labor in the garment industry of the country now as compared to the year 2000. Similarly there is no discrimination either on the basis of religion or caste, and women get ‘equal pay’ for ‘equal work’ just as men do.

Fair Wear Foundation

The audit was conducted in garment manufacturing hubs such as Delhi, and Noida in the north, and in Tirupur and in the state of Karnataka in the south, between 2013 and 2016. However, during the time of audit, it was found that 2-3 factories employed workers who were 15 to 18 years old.

 

September 19, 2016   No Comments

India, The New Innovation Destination of Choice

A report titled Digital Dynasties: The Rise of Innovation Empires Worldwide by Paris, France-based technology consulting and services firm Capgemini has listed Bangalore, India, as one of the top five most preferred locations for multinational companies that want to set up innovation centers and harness technology talent.

India, which did not figure in the top 10 list in July 2015, took Tokyo’s spot in February 2016 to stand at fifth place. Globally, 56 innovation centers opened in 20 countries over the past year, and 11 more plan to open soon. Capgemini analysts say that there has been a 29 percent rise in the number of innovation centers in Asia as compared to their previous research.

Capgemini Logo

Quoting from the report:

India has been rising in the ranks of favorite destinations to open innovation centers. Our previous research identified eight innovation centers in India in July 2015. India has since seen eight more innovation centers open their doors. Bangalore has been the most favored city with four new innovation centers. Bangalore is home to several billion-dollar Indian startups such as: Flipkart, InMobi and Mu Sigma, and attracts world-class technology talent and investments. Among the new innovation centers opened here are: Airbus’ BizLab, which intends to bring together startups and Airbus’ internal entrepreneurs; and Visa, whose new technology center in Bangalore will house 1000 developers accelerating development of next generation payment solutions. Global firms are showing interest in other Indian cities as well. For instance, TriMas Corporation – a diversified global manufacturer of engineered and applied products – opened an innovation center in Delhi to focus on driving innovation across its range of packaging solutions, while Puratos, a leading global food ingredient company, launched an innovation center in Mumbai.

 

July 14, 2016   No Comments