Nov. 19 – India is considering importing rice from Thailand and Vietnam to supplement the low kharif crop despite currently having surplus grains.
This will be the first time in two decades that India will need to import rice to meet its own needs. The kharif rice crop is forecast to be low this year by as much as 18 percent or 69.45 million tons because of the poor monsoon.
“We have started the rice season, which began in October, with surplus stocks. Even for wheat, the government has surplus stocks. Since there is a projection that there would be some shortfall in the kharif crop, to make it up we may have to make some imports, but exactly what quantum and at what point of time we will decide later,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee was quoted by The Times of India as saying. Continue reading
Nov. 12- India’s Ministry of Defense has changed rules that could allow foreign arms companies blacklisted pending a bribery case to join tests aimed at modernizing the army.
The ministry banned local and foreign firms in June based on a suspected bribery charge on the former chief of the Ordinance Factories’ Board, Sudipta Ghosh. The new rules could pave the way for blacklisted arms companies to showcase their equipment although they will not be allowed to finalize contracts pending the investigation says The Telegraph.
The Indian Armed Forces is the third largest in the world in terms of size with an active force of 1,414,000 people but severely lacks in modern equipment. The Indian Army for one has not bought heavy artillery in 22 years. Past attempts to equip the military have been delayed so far. Continue reading
Oct. 20 – The New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) has signed an agreement with Sical Iron Ore Terminal (Mangalore) Ltd., a subsidiary of the Chennai-based Sical Logistics to set up mechanized iron ore handling facility.
The port has been handling iron ore fines in 2003 and volumes have been increasing steadily since then. Last year, there were eight million tons handled manually. The new investment mechanized this process and will lead to increased handling capabilities. Continue reading
Sept. 28 – India and Australia are set to begin negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement to enhance bilateral commerce.
The findings of the Joint Study Group show that an FTA pact between India and Australia would be favorable for both. “The negotiations on the proposed FTA will begin after governments of both the countries examine the feasibility study on the pact. We expect it to start soon,” the Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese was quoted by The Economic Times as saying. Continue reading
Sept. 15 – Foreign direct investment inflow to India was US$3.5 billion in July, 56 percent higher than US$2.25 billion in the same month a year ago said Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma.
The Hindu Business Line reports that the figure represents an increase of 36 percent over June which was in turn an increase of 23 percent over the equity inflows received in May. Continue reading
Sept. 10 – The Indian government is exploring the possibility of a duty-free trade agreement between India and Turkey.
The Financial Express reports that India’s Commerce minister Anand Sharma confirmed that a panel will look into a trade agreement between the two countries during a meeting of India-Turkey Joint Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation in Ankara.
A Joint Study Group will study the benefits of bilateral trade in terms of goods and services, and investment prospects. India and Turkey have many possible avenues of cooperation including contracting and consultancy, tourism, science and technology, energy, transportation and leather. Continue reading
Aug. 28 – The government has announced new measures to help India’s 10 month export decline in its new Foreign Trade Policy for 2009-14 released yesterday.
The country’s exports have dropped by 31.3 percent during the first quarter of this fiscal year. The government has decided to act by expanding its export scope to offset declining demand from western markets, namely adding 26 additional markets in in Africa, South America and CIS under Focus Market Scheme (FMS), says The Times of India.
Aug. 18 – India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma recently met with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to discuss the details of the new five-year foreign trade policy (FTP) to be unveiled on August 27.
The new FTP is expected to help exporters struggling with the recession in their traditional markets in the United States and the European Union through incentives. “We will be surely looking at market expansion because if the diversion and expansion of market is not there, we will not be able to respond to this challenge,” Sharma told The Hindu after the meeting.
Sharma said that the government could extend support but would not be in a position to generate demand from contracting economies in the West. India’s exports have been declining since October last year at an average rate of around 30 percent.