May 22 – The Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to the Prime Minister in India has recently released their annual Review of the Economy for 2012-13. The report highlights economic activity for the 2012-13 fiscal year and forecasts the economic outlook for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
The EAC’s conclusions suggest that while growth has been slow in India since 2011, there is great room for improvement in the coming years due to rising gross domestic product (GDP) estimates and strengthening consumer sentiment. Continue reading
May 20 – As the third most populous city in India, Bangalore faces many congestion problems. City officials have worked hard to rectify the situation, investing heavily in the city’s infrastructure, including road and public transportation projects, and the construction of a modern international airport.
Vast improvements to roadways have been achieved in the last few years, as the National Highways Development Project and Bangalore Development Authority have made significant headway on their ambitious projects.
The Hebbal flyover, a 6-lane, 6-loop highway, eases traffic to Bengaluru International Airport, and relieves congestion on the National Highway No. 7. Another road of note is the 62 kilometer outer ring road that connects all major roads and highways in and around Bangalore, and replaces the decade old ring road. Moving further from the core, the 65 kilometer peripheral ring road is under development and will link state and national highways as well as further reduce traffic congestion in the region. Continue reading
May 16 – You can easily observe India’s cultural diversity in Bangalore – the city is a melting pot of races and cultures. Located in the heart of southern India, Bangalore has a population of 8.4 million people, making it the third most populous city in India.
Bangalore is also known as the “Silicon Valley” of India thanks to the large number of software companies and the concentrated number of information technology (IT) professionals located within its territory. The state of Karnataka, of which Bangalore is the state capital, accounts for more than a third of India’s total software exports, most of which come from Bangalore-based firms. Bangalore’s booming high-tech sectors are supported by a well-educated and technically trained populace, particularly in the fields of engineering, management and various areas of science.
Bangalore, which ranked in the top 10 on India’s Liveability Index in 2012, is also called “The Garden City,” a moniker earned due to the large number of parks in the city, the city’s large horticulture industry and pleasant climate. Continue reading
May 10 – The new issue of Asia Briefing Magazine, titled An Introduction to Development Zones Across Asia, is out now and will be temporarily available as a complimentary PDF download on the Asia Briefing Bookstore throughout the months of May and June.
The use of development zones in their different guises has been an effective model essentially brought to prominence by China over the past 25 years to help both foreign investors and domestic companies meet in a relationship that provides tax advantages to both. Development zones typically permit the foreign investor to bring component parts into a country for assembly without having to pay import duties. Investors may then add in locally-sourced components, assemble the final product, and warehouse it all duty free before then having the option of exporting the finished product (collecting some VAT rebates on the locally sourced portion) or entering the domestic market with a product assembled at local labor costs. Continue reading
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh flanked by Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram during the ADB 46th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors at India Expo Centre and Mart, Greater Noida, Delhi
May 8 – During its Board of Governors meeting in Delhi last week, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced that it will provide a US$6 billion loan to India over the next three years. Furthermore, it will maintain its annual lending of US$10 billion over the next three years to its member states despite currently facing resource challenges and generating only low returns from its investments.
“Our idea is ADB will maintain its lending level to India, approximately $2 billion over next three years. We are now working on the country partnership strategy and we are planning to maintain the level of lending to India,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao during the concluding day of the 46th annual meeting.
The ADB extended a US$2.4 billion loan to India last year across numerous sectors of the national economy, including the transport, energy, commerce, industry, trade and finance sectors. India is currently the largest borrower from the Manila-based multilateral lender. Continue reading
Madame Nurupama Rao, Indian Ambassador to the United States
May. 3 – Nirupama Rao, the Indian Ambassador to the United States, has said that while cooperation on bilateral issues between India and the United States (U.S.) remains on track, aspects such as technology and energy have become a focal point of the ties between the two countries.
“Technology is very much a driver in this relationship, especially high technology. I’m talking of strategic trade, trade concerning such areas as civil aviation, biotechnology, space sciences, nanotechnology,” Madame Rao said. “And all this I would argue should, if I have a wish list for the future, become infused with much greater dynamism than they have been in past. So we have to focus our efforts and intensify the work we need to do in these areas.” Continue reading
May. 2 – The World Bank recently released the latest edition of its India Development Update, which states that the Indian economy is trending upwards and would likely grow by 6.1 percent in 2013 thanks to the country’s robust domestic demand, strong savings and good investment rates of return.
Martin Rama, the World Bank’s Chief Economist for South Asia, expressed hope.
“Despite the current downturn, long-term prospects remain bright for India. India possesses the fundamentals to grow at sustained high rates over the next several decades,” he said.
In recent months, India’s wholesale price index-based inflation and trade deficit have declined, with inflation falling below 6 percent. Inflation is expected to decline even further thanks to expectations regarding the rupee and a good monsoon season. India’s current account deficit, which reached a record high of 6.7 percent during the fourth quarter of 2012, is also expected to narrow. Continue reading
Apr. 9 – At an address during the Indian Institute of Management’s alumni event in Singapore over the weekend, Raghuram Rajan, the Chief Economic Adviser to the Indian Finance Ministry, said that India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates may reach 12 percent annually in the coming years.
Rajan noted that such growth should be achieved by creating an additional number of sustainable jobs rather than through giving handouts to the poor.
“If all goes well, India should recover from its growth slowdown and not necessarily limit itself to growth of 8 percent… India could grow at the Chinese rate of growth of 11-12 percent,” he said.
Furthermore, for the first time ever, India’s 2013 Economic Survey contained a chapter that focused on job creation, reflecting the need to create greater employment opportunities for India’s youth. India only created one million jobs between 2005-2010. Continue reading