American Tourists Lead in India e-Visa Usage

According to data released by the Tourism Ministry of India, travelers  from the U.S.A. availed India’s Visa-on-Arrival facility the most. India’s electronic travel authorization is currently available for 44 countries, and  March statistics showed that 33 percent of all tourists were from the U.S., followed by 14 percent from Germany, 13 percent from the Russian Federation, while tourists from Australia and the Republic of Korea were 8 percent and 6 percent respectively. India has coined the term e-Visa for this process. Note: The India Expert recommends that business travelers from the United Stated do not enter India on a tourist visa. Business visas are not currently offered under this electronic plan yet.

March recorded a total of 730,000 foreign tourists, an increase of 5.3 percent from the same period last year, and the foreign exchange earnings from tourism showed a rise of 2.9 per cent, reports Economic Times.

May 6, 2015   No Comments

India Continues to Leads Weapons Imports

The volume of international transfers of major weapons in 2010–14 was 16 per cent higher than in 2005–2009 according to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The five biggest exporters in 2010–14 were the United States, Russia, China, Germany and France, and the five biggest importers were India, Saudi Arabia, China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Pakistan.  India accounted for 15% of all arms imports and its main suppliers include Israel, Russia, the United Kingdom and increasingly the United States.

Arms Imports by Country

Between 2005–2009 and 2010–14 imports increased by 140 per cent. In 2010–14 India’s imports were three times larger than those of either of its regional rivals China and Pakistan. This contrasts with 2005–2009 when India’s imports were 23 per cent below China’s and just over double those of Pakistan. India has so
far failed to produce competitive indigenous-designed weapons and remains dependent on imports.

March 16, 2015   No Comments

Steel Scrap is a Major American Export to India

Steel scrap is a vital raw material for the production of new steel and cast-iron products, and is a hundred percent recyclable. Since domestically generated steel scrap falls short of requirements by the casting and steel making industries, India imports this resource.

In 2013-2014 India imported five million tons of steel scrap, making it the world’s third largest importer of the metal, after Turkey and South Korea. While there is no official data on the amount of steel scrap being produced within the country, rough estimates put the figure at around ten million tons a year.

Steel is the most recycled material in the world with scrap accounting for 40 percent of the global steel production, reports The Hindu BusinessLine. The re-melting of scrap requires much less energy than the production of iron and steel products from iron ore.

The U.S. steel industry has been recycling steel scrap for more than 150 years, and the steel making and foundry industries are highly dependent upon the ready availability of scrap from manufacturing operations, and from the recovery of products that are no longer used or needed. The country also exports scrap iron mainly to Turkey, Taiwan, the Republic of Korea, and China, and will likely continue exporting valuable ferrous scrap for at least another decade.

December 31, 2014   No Comments

India, U.S. Break WTO Gridlock

The United States has agreed to support India’s stand to extend its food subsidy program (the world’s largest)  until a permanent solution is reached. In July, India blocked part of the World Trade Organization deal because it was unclear if its program could continue beyond a 2017 deadline, and this in turn, had stalled the implementation of a landmark Trade Facilitation Agreement  spelled out at the WTO’s ministerial conference in Bali last December.

“India and the U.S. have successfully resolved their differences relating to the issue of public stock holding for food security purposes in the WTO in a manner that addresses our concerns,” Indian Trade Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters in New Delhi. “This will end the impasse at the WTO and also open the way for implementation of the trade facilitation agreement,” she said.

The trade body estimates that the agreement would stimulate the world economy by $1 trillion. The India-U.S. agreement will reduce the cost of trade by about 10 percent for developed countries and 14 percent for developing countries, according to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. The Bali agreement would shield India’s stockpiles for food security from a legal challenge even if the program distorts trade and exceeds India’s agreed subsidy limits, according to the WTO. India last year allocated $20 billion for its public food distribution system to help more than two-thirds of its 1.2 billion people who eat less than the minimum target set by the government. The Trade Facilitation Agreement contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. It further contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area.




November 19, 2014   No Comments

Gov. Hayley’s India Trip to Attract Jobs to U.S.A.

The newly re-elected Republican governor of South Carolina, Ms. Nikki Hayley arrives in India on November 13 on a 10-day mission involving the state’s commerce and tourism agencies. Gov. Hayley will be traveling to the Indian cities of Amritsar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Mumbai, and New Delhi hoping to persuade companies to bring jobs to S. Carolina.

Haley is also slated to attend 40 of the delegation’s 90 scheduled meetings and events. The delegation’s 18 members, which also include representatives of businesses interested in exporting to India, are splitting their time between seven cities in six states. “It’s a brutal schedule, but we’ll work hard and hopefully have something to show for it when we get back,” she said. India, an emerging market with more than 1.2 billion people, ranks 16th in capital investment in South Carolina. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, South Carolina ranks 14th nationally in total exports to India, at $352 million last year, up from $110 million in 2005.

Ms. Nimrata (Nikki) Randhawa Haley, who is the first Indian American woman to become governor of a American state has mostly downplayed her gender and Indian-American heritage publicly.  She  was born to Sikh parents but converted to Christianity and is married to Michael since 1996.

November 11, 2014   No Comments