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

Mattis Describes India as a Force for Stability

Defense Secretary James Mattis, who met India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval during his visit to India end September said, “They [India] are a force for stability in South Asia. They’re a force for stability in the Indo-Pacific region. They’re a nation coming into their own, economically, as a great nation, as they have steady growth rates going on right now.”

The Union Minister for Defence, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman and the US Secretary of Defence, Mr. James Mattis issuing a Press Statement during media interaction, in New Delhi on September 26, 2017.

 Nirmala Sitharaman and James Mattis

He noted that India and the U.S. now have a strategic convergence of two natural partners as the two largest democracies in the world. “There’s an opportunity here that we have not experienced in decades to tie us together in terms of broadened level of cooperation and a natural alignment with each other’s interests,” he said.

 

“There are a number of things in motion right now, and decisions will be coming very soon,” Mattis told members of House Armed Services during a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan, reports NDTV.

October 11, 2017   No Comments

Chinese Group Expects India to Overtake China in Innovation by 2025

According to China’s Science Technology Exchange Center, India’s innovation growth rate will rise significantly over the next 15 years, and come close to surpassing China. “It is predicted that the innovation competitiveness of India will see a significant rise with its growth rate probably surpassing China between 2025-2030,” the independent Chinese research body wrote in its BRICS Innovation Competitiveness Report 2017.

CNBC India reports: India has been taking notable steps forward in innovation, supported in part by Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s reform agenda. Government initiatives such as Digital India, which expands the country’s online infrastructure, and Startup India, which promotes financial backing for entrepreneurs, have been unveiled to boost the country’s innovation and technology sectors. Meanwhile, the country’s growing information technology and scientific expertise have also helped turn it into an increasingly dominant outsourcing hub.

Innovation Poster

The International Monetary Fund recently forecast India’s GDP to grow 7.2 percent in 2017 versus China’s 6.5 percent. This new study highlights the growth that can be expected in intellectual advances, such as science and technology, which are often perceived as indicators of future growth.

September 15, 2017   No Comments

Nirmala Sitharaman Is India’s First Woman Full-Time Defense Minister

On September 3, Nirmala Sitharaman, who served as Minister for Commerce and Industry, was chosen for the biggest promotion in Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s cabinet reshuffle on the weekend, and was given independent charge of the Defense Ministry. Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was the first woman to hold this portfolio, though as an additional charge.

Minister for Defense, Nirmala Sitharaman, after taking charge in New Delhi on September 07, 2017

Minister for Defense, Nirmala Sitharaman, after taking charge in New Delhi on September 07, 2017

“It will be a priority for me to ensure the smooth and speedy implementation of defense deals and projects,” Sitharaman told reporters, adding that her other priority was armed forces families and their welfare.

Sitharaman’s team consists of Dr. Subhash Ramrao Bhamre, Minister of State for Defense, Dr. Sanjay Kumar Pandey, personal secretary,  and Sanjay Mitra defense secretary among many others.

Sitharaman now joins the five-member Cabinet Committee on Security which includes Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Bhaskar Kanungo, deputy director, Strategic Trade at industry body FICCI, expects Sitharaman’s appointment to give foreign defense equipment manufacturers “new assurance and confidence, leading to much-needed time-bound reforms that are essential for bringing FDI in defense and aerospace.” He added, “Her vision on ‘Make in India’ will help to bridge the gap between foreign original equipment manufacturers and the Indian defense and aerospace industry,” reports Bloomberg.

The biggest challenge for the new minister will be to take decisions that will pave the way for the private sector to access India’s defense industry along with the preferred state-owned undertakings.

Twitterati welcomed the NDA government’s move to appoint Sitharaman as the defense minister.

— GhoseSpot (@SandipGhose) September 3, 2017

September 9, 2017   No Comments

India, U.S. Shift Bilateral Ties to a Higher Strategic Plane

The existing India-U.S. Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, once described by the U.S. State Department as the “signature mechanism for advancing the United States’ and India’s shared priorities,” will be replaced by a dialogue in which the foreign and defense ministers will participate. The new dialogue format will involve the Indian foreign minister and the U.S. secretary of state as well as the Indian defense minister and the U.S. defense secretary.

The new ‘two plus two’ ministerial dialogue was announced in a White House readout of a telephone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the eve of India completing 70 years as an independent country on August 15.

Flags of US and India

Former Indian ambassador to the U.S. Lalit Mansingh said, “It [the new format] helps us because our strategic and defense interests reinforce each other. So a combined dialogue would be useful for India.” “Balancing commercial and strategic issues could be difficult now,” Mansingh added.

Live Mint reports that the two countries will have a separate dialogue on commercial issues, which will not include the foreign ministers.

 

August 18, 2017   No Comments