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India, USA track 1.5 dialogue next week to push ties after PM visit

Oct 18, 2019

The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) will convene one of largest gathering of over 300 private sector executives, global CEOs, and the U.S. and Indian government leaders at the second Annual Leadership Summit in New Delhi on October 21. The theme of the summit - ' Partners For Growth' will be a full spectrum discussion on the current state of play and the growth trajectory of the U.S.-India bilateral ties. This summit is significant in the backdrop of PM Narendra Modi's recent US visit and prospective Indo-US trade deal.
 
Speakers at the summit will include Minister of External Affairs, Dr. S. Jaishankar; Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas & Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan; Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways, Piyush Goyal; Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs,
Anurag Thakur; Ram Madhav, National General Secretary of the BJP; Former US Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice; Former US Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger; Technical Advisor of Alphabet Inc. and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt;President & CEO, Bank of the West, Nandita Bakhshi; Chairman of PwC Global Bob Moritz; President of Emerson Mike Train, Chief Legal & Policy Officer, Netflix, David Hyman, among many others.
 
 
In a recent report, USISPF estimates that by 2025, bilateral trade could range between $283 billion to $327 billion, at an annual average growth rate of 10%-12.5% (as witnessed in 2017 and 2018). The assessment underscores a roadmap for growth and economic opportunity in the bilateral ties by highlighting current trends. Sectors such as defense trade, commercial aviation, oil and LNG, coal, machinery and electronics are areas of potential growth in U.S. investments into India. Similarly, Indian industry has an opportunity to promote key sectors including automotive, pharmaceuticals, seafood, IT and travel services to the U.S. market.
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



President Kovind reaches Manila for 5-day visit

Oct 18, 2019

President Ram Nath Kovind and his wife Savita Kovind on Thursday reached Manila for a five-day state visit to the Philippines.
The visit has been organised at the invitation of Philippines President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and will carry forward the high-level engagements between the two countries.
 
Apart from a friendly relationship, the trade between the two countries stands at USD 2.3 billion dollars and is growing.
Kovind will receive a ceremonial guard of honour at Malacanang Palace. The President will lay a wreath at a memorial of Jose Rizal, who is the national hero of the Philippines.
 
 
The one-to-one talks between Kovind and Duterte will be followed by delegation-level talks.
 
The President will address the plenary meetings of Indo-Philippine business conclave and fourth ASEAN India business summit.
Kovind will also unveil the bust of Mahatama Gandhi at the Centre of peace education at Marian College in Manila. He will interact with the Indian community on the penultimate day of his visit to the Philippines.
 
The President will head to Tokyo on October 21 for the second leg of his visit. He will attend various ceremonies related to the Emperor Naruhito's enthronement and also take part in a banquet hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The ceremony will be attended by leaders from all parts of the world.
 
Along with participating in a community event, the President will visit a Buddhist temple and plant a sapling from the sacred Bodhi Tree in Gaya to highlight India and Japan's historical and cultural linkages based on Buddhism.
    
Source: Ani News



MSME holds great potential of becoming export strength for the country: Nitin Gadkari

Oct 18, 2019

Union Minister for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Nitin Gadkari lauded the MSME sector and said that it has  enormous scope for growth and great potential of becoming export strengths for the country.
 
While speaking at the closing ceremony of Apprenticeship Pakhwada 2019 on Wednesday Gadkari said,  It is important to understand and map the demand for skilling programs in SME cluster associations in growth areas and industries, especially in the rural, agricultural and tribal areas of the country. The MSME sector has enormous scope for growth and a great need of skilled manpower for sericulture, horticulture, tribal arts and paintings, honey, bamboo, etc, sectors that have great potential of becoming export strengths for the country.
 
In fact, we need to reduce our dependence on imports and move towards growing skills in traditional skills that will inch us closer to realizing the ambition of creating a five-trillion dollar economy, he added.
 
Lauding the initiative to launch the Pakhwada, he added, “Technology, innovation, research and skill go hand in hand and always bring great value. The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises will need all the support from the Skill Development Ministry in meeting the demand of its industries. Our efforts should be directed at converting knowledge and skill into wealth.”
 
Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said, Apprenticeship can provide hands-on training to candidates and provide a better industry exposure to help them gain confidence in a working environment. New job roles will need new skill sets and it is therefore important to inspire the youth to equip themselves with industry-relevant skill sets.
 
We are training all our energies in creating a demand-driven model that caters to both industry needs as well as the youth to enable them with the skills necessary for jobs of the future. Together we must all pledge to make apprenticeship a pathway for the creation of a strong and stable workforce, which is extremely important for India to become the five-trillion dollar economy that we have set our sights on, he added, emphasizing the Prime Minister’s vision of taking the country on the road to growth.
    
Source: Knn India



No better place for investors than democracy-loving, capitalist-respecting India: FM Sitharaman

Oct 18, 2019

Investors can find no better place in the world than India that has a democracy loving and capitalist respecting environment, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said.
 
She also assured international investors at an interaction session at the IMF's headquarters that the government was continuously working to bring reforms.
 
It (India) is one of the fastest growing (economies) even today. It has the best skilled manpower and a government that is continuously doing what is required in the name of reforms, above all democracy and rule of law, Sitharaman said on Wednesday.
 
 
Responding to a question on why investors should allocate funds for India, she said that even if the court system is a bit delayed, India is a transparent and open society.
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Netherlands can help India become the food factory of the world: Dutch Minister

Oct 18, 2019

Netherlands can contribute to connect the production capacity of India to consumers worldwide, by excellent logistics and cold chain, says Dutch vice minister of Agriculture Marjolijn Sonnema who is India with a trade delegation.
 
 
To strengthen the relations in agriculture, horticulture and climate, the delegation of over 37 business delegates under the leadership of minister of Agriculture are engaging with local authorities in Karnataka and business leaders.
 
India has the ambition to become the food factory of the world, to double farmers income and to increase the export of agriculture & food products by 2022. The Netherlands is the ideal partner to realize these goals, and simultaneously work together to realize the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) by 2030, says Sonnema.
 
The Netherlands is the second largest exporter of agricultural products in the world (2018: US$ 100 billion) and has vast experience in managing supply chains for fresh vegetables, food and flowers to market destinations all over the world.
 
We are the second largest exporter of agricultural products, but it is certainly not our ambition to feed the population in India. Our strength is that we have the ambition to help Indian farmers to produce food in a more sustainable and efficient way. In fact, Indian agriculture exports to the Netherlands are about six times higher than the other way around, says Sonnema.
 
The minister says that many Dutch companies have already strong ties with their partners in the Bangalore region. We are particularly happy that so many training institutes and knowledge centers are attracted to this mission. Together we can overcome some of the pressing problems facing the sustainability of food production, introducing best practices, she says.
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Economy fundamentals are strong, 2nd half to be better

Oct 18, 2019

The economy’s core fundamentals are strong and India is on track to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025, said top ministers and officials of the Narendra Modi government. The second half of this financial year is expected to be better than the first half as the economy recovers from a slowdown caused by reasons including impact of structural reforms undertaken by the Modi government and the crisis gripping the global economy, the officials said.
 
The core foundation of the economy is strong and, as the IMF has said, India is expected to grow at a rate of 7% next year, IT, electronics and communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said at the India Economic Conclave-2019 North Chapter event of Times Network. Minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur, minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh and Niti Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar also spoke.
 
 
Prasad said the current slowdown was cyclical and the government had taken many steps to revive the economy and would take more if required. The decision to forego revenue of Rs 1,45,000 crore through tax cuts has had a positive impact on the country’s investment climate, the minister said. Thakur said the world’s GDP growth rate has been slashed to 3% from 3.8% amid issues such as the Brexit deal, the US-China trade war and the job crisis in countries such as Brazil.
 
Calling the current slowdown a cyclical blip, he said the government had taken several measures such as cleaning up of bank balance sheets and merger of state-owned enterprises that were long pending and these steps would help. The Modi government added $1 trillion to the $1.7 trillion economy in only five years. We can certainly achieve the target of a $5 trillion economy by 2025, he said.
 
According to Singh, who is also minister for development of the northeastern region, If the country has to meet its target of a $5 trillion economy, then it will have to tap the untapped resources present in regions such as the northeastern states. Singh added that there had been a 30% enhancement in the budget for the northeast during the Modi regime.
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Modi's new mission: Propel livestock production to increase India's GDP

Oct 18, 2019

Propelling livestock production into 'mission mode' would be one of the keys for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in achieving his ambitious target of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2024. After brainstorming serial meetings with livestock experts, top veterinary scientists and key officials of the Animal Husbandry and Dairying Ministry, Modi has launched three game-changing schemes which can turn around the growth story of millions of livestock farmers in India. The Government estimates that in the next five years, livestock farmers will not only save losses worth Rs 2.50 lakh crore, but will increase their income four times, contributing a major share in India's GDP.
 
On boosting the Indian economy through significant increase in livestock production, Atul Chaturvedi, Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying told IANS: The government's determination to increase livestock production will certainly improve the economy in a big way. The three schemes launched by the Centre are unprecedented in scale. At the moment, we are carrying a mammoth exercise to assess the expected contribution of livestock production in the economy.
 
One of the most senior IAS officers in the Modi government, Chaturvedi said that extraordinary efforts are being made to implement some of the biggest schemes (in the animal husbandry sector) in the world. "We are hopeful that it would lead to a fourfold increase in farmers' income by 2024, said Chaturvedi, a zoologist-turned-bureaucrat, who was earlier holding a key position in the Union Ministry of Commerce.
 
How focused the Modi government is on the livestock production is evident from its very first cabinet meeting. A source in the PMO revealed that soon after taking oath as Prime Minister for the second term, Modi presided over meetings related to animal husbandry issues. Subsequently, the very first decision of Modi's first cabinet meeting was approval of a Rs 13,000 crore scheme for the benefit of livestock farmers.
 
By 2017-18, Prime Minister Modi (in his first term) had decided to push the animal husbandry and dairy (sector) into mission mode because he realised that growth in this sector is over 6 per cent whereas the yearly growth in the agriculture sector is just half, at a meagre 3 per cent. The government was convinced that if livestock production is stimulated, the growth in animal husbandry and dairy could be raised up to 12 to 15 per cent, heralding a revolution in the agriculture market,said a key official, implementing vaccination of bovines across the country.
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Gujarat to begin groundnut procurement from November 1

Oct 18, 2019

Amid bumper crop estimates for groundnut, the Gujarat government will begin the procurement of groundnut crop from Labh Panchami (the fifth day after Diwali) or November 1.
 
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced that the government will not let farmers suffer due to falling prices of oilseed as a result of the bumper crop.
 
We will begin procurement of groundnut at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) from Labh Panchami (or November 1), Rupani said while addressing an election rally in North Gujarat.
 
Per the latest government estimates, the groundnut output in the State is estimated at 32 lakh tonnes — nearly double that of last year.
 
Market prices have already slipped to Rs.4,000 and traded in the range of Rs.4,000-4,100 a quintal in Gujarat.
 
The Centre has hiked the minimum support price (MSP) for the kharif procurement at Rs.5,090 a quintal as against Rs.4,890 a quintal last year.
 
So far, about 4.44 lakh farmers have registered to participate in the procurement process, which will end on January 30, 2020. The State civil supplies corporation will conduct procurement operations from 122 procurement centres across the State.
 
Per the initial estimates by the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), the groundnut crop in Gujarat will be more than double than what was seen last year, primarily on a good monsoon this year.
    
Source: The Hindu Businessline



Assam set to have India''s first International Multi-Modal Hub

Oct 18, 2019

Assam Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said here on Wednesday that the strate is all set o have India's first International Multi-Modal Hub.
 
He also said that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to fund the project at an estimated cost of around Rs 600 crore.
 
Assam is going to hold an exclusive India-Bangladesh Stakeholders Meet at Guwahati to discuss and create awareness on the opportunities made available by these trade agreements on October 22 and 23.
 
The Government of Assam is planning to develop Jogighopa, a small township near Brahmaputra river, as a logistics hub or trans-shipment point for cargo moving from Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland to Bangladesh, he said, while talking to reporters on Wednesday.
 
In addition, the Munshiganj River Terminal in Bangladesh will be used as a customs station to handle third-party export and import cargo via Kolkata Port.
 
To bring about a significant reduction in logistics cost and faster delivery of Bangladesh export cargo, the Indian side have raised the point regarding permitting a third country export-import trade under the coastal shipping agreement and protocol on inland water transit and trade (PIWTT) by allowing trans-shipment through ports on the east coast of India,he said.
 
The Bangladesh government agreed to hold stakeholder consultations and revert on the matter, he added.
 
Increasing connectivity through air, water, rail, road offer mutually beneficial opportunity for enhancing economic cooperation between Bangladesh and the Northeastern states of India and beyond, Patowary said.
 
Standard operating procedures for the use of Chattagram and Mongla ports for movement of goods to and from India, particularly to and from the Northeast of India has recently been concluded and it is expected that it would create a win-win situation for both economies, he added.
    
Source: outlookindia.com



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