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. 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. 21 – The new issue of Asia Briefing Magazine, titled The 2014 Asia Tax Comparator, is out now and will be temporarily available as a complimentary PDF download on the Asia Briefing Bookstore throughout the months of November and December.
The opportunities to sell to the Asian consumer have never been more pronounced than they are today, and those opportunities will continue to expand and develop over the next three decades. Key to understanding and accessing this massive, dynamic new consumer market is the ability to understand the underlying tax treatments. To that end, we are pleased to present our third annual “Asia Tax Comparator” as Asia Briefing Magazine’s final issue of 2013. Continue reading
Nov. 14 – Indian Finance Minister Shri P. Chidambaram today announced the implementation of an IT-based Risk Management System (RMS) for exported customs goods. The RMS is designed to greatly speed up the clearance process for the export of goods and reduce the related transaction costs.
In explaining why the new RMS had to be implemented for the export process, Mr. Chidambaram stated that “the underlying principle is trade facilitation.” Continue reading
Nov. 13 – With PepsiCo announcing this week that it will invest US$5.5 billion dollars in India by 2020, PepsiCo CEO and Chairman Indra Nooyi remarked that India has fallen from a ‘must-invest’ to a ‘must-deal-with’ country.
Alongside these remarks, India’s Congress-led government lashed out at Goldman Sachs on Friday for what Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Industry, called the investment firm’s “eagerness to mess around with India’s domestic politics.”
Goldman Sachs recently upgraded its assessment of India’s economy on the expectation that opposition leader Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be victorious in the upcoming general election. After a decade in power, this is something India’s ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is very nervous about.
In light of these bold remarks by regional economic heavyweights, determining the UPA’s actual economic record remains tricky. Continue reading