By Edward Barbour-Lacey
Dec. 11 – India’s governing Congress party has suffered heavy losses in three state elections and has narrowly lost in a fourth. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was the clear winner across all the elections; however, the newly formed anti-corruption group Aam Aadmi (Ordinary People) Party (AAP) also saw large gains.
The elections held in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh were clearly won by the BJP. In Delhi, the capital of India, the Congress Party suffered a massive defeat. After 15 years in power it appears that voters desperately wanted a change. The BJP won 31 of the 70 seats, the AAP won 28, and the Congress Party was reduced to holding only 8 seats. Continue reading
Dec. 11 – During a visit to India this week by business community leaders from Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries, India indicated it was actively seeking LAC investment in its manufacturing, infrastructure, and agricultural processing sectors.
Led by Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas Espinel, the 250 member business delegation will attend a number of events and meetings hosted by the Indian Government and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi and Mumbai.
It is reported that projects worth over US$35 billion were offered to business leaders during the CII-hosted opening event yesterday. Continue reading
Dec. 6 – Prime Minister Manmohan Singh highlighted the telecom industry’s potential for continued growth this week during a speech at India Telecom 2013, a trade show and conference sponsored by the Department of Telecom and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry.
During his speech, PM Singh praised the benefits of India’s growing telecom capabilities and looked forward to continued progress, saying “the expansion of telecom connectivity in our urban areas and later, in our rural areas, has improved our people’s lives in a major way. However, a large part of the vast transformative potential of telecommunications still remains untapped.” Continue reading
Dec. 4 – Volvo announced plans this month to launch its Eicher Pro Series trucks in India with its joint venture partner, Indian automaker Eicher Motors. Volvo points to the country’s enormous growth potential as the driving force for its expansion plans.
Production of the Pro Series will start this February in newly upgraded Indian manufacturing facilities. Over the past years, Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehichles (VECV) have invested over Rs 1,800 crore (US$288.3 million) into expanding and modernizing production facilities in India, including a first-class engine factory, new assembly lines, a cab factory and cab painting workshop.
Recently, the auto industry has suffered slow growth due to a weak rupee, leading to decreased domestic demand and increased costs for imported parts. Despite this, VECV remains confident in future industry growth. Set to become the world’s third largest automotive market by 2016, India will surpass Japan, Germany and Brazil. Continue reading
Dec. 3 – After Ernst & Young ranked India as the most attractive investment destination in the world last week, strong quarterly growth figures indicate India’s economy is on track to expand by at least 5 percent in 2014.
In a press conference yesterday, Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram pointed to India’s decreasing account deficit, rupee stabilization, and rising exports as signs Asia’s third-largest economy is on the recovery path. Continue reading
Dec. 2 – In a positive sign for doing business in India, a new anti-corruption bill is currently awaiting approval by the Indian parliament. The Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organizations Bill (Bill) seeks to amend the loopholes that existed within the original Prevention of Corruption Act (Act) that was passed in 1988.
The Bill was originally introduced to the Lok Sabha in 2011 and was then referred to a parliamentary standing committee. It has only now reemerged for approval by the Indian parliament.
The new Bill will also finally bring India into accordance with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), which was ratified by the country on May 9, 2011. Continue reading
Nov. 28 – International investors will now be able to buy offshore rupee-denominated bonds thanks to a program sponsored by the World Bank aimed at strengthening India’s financial markets and attracting greater overseas investment.
The program, run by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), will offer a series of rupee-linked bonds, worth a total of US$1 billion, to international investors. The first issue, valued at US$160 million, was released this month to overwhelming demand, according to a press release circulated by the IFC last week.
As a member of the Word Bank, the IFC is tasked with developing innovative strategies designed to boost economic opportunity around the world. The current bond program, with this goal in mind, was designed to “strengthen India’s capital markets and attract greater foreign investment in a time of renewed economic uncertainty across the world,” according to the release. Continue reading
Nov. 25 – After significant changes in FDI policy earlier this year, India was ranked by Ernst & Young as the most attractive investment destination in the world – surpassing both China and the United States.
Ernst & Young (EY), a leading global consulting firm, based the ranking upon a survey of 1600 senior executives from large companies across more than 70 countries.
Part of EY’s Capital Confidence Barometer report, the ranking aims to gauge corporate confidence in economic outlook and understand boardroom priorities by country. Continue reading