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PM Modi at BRICS: India world's most open, investment friendly economy

Nov 14, 2019

India is the world's most open and investment friendly economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Thursday as he wooed the BRICS business leaders and urged them to invest in the country's infrastructure development.
 
Addressing the closing ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum, prime minister Modi said the grouping of five countries had led to economic development despite the global economic slowdown.
 
Terming India a land of limitless opportunities, the prime minister urged the business leaders of the BRICS nations to invest in India, particularly in its infrastructure development.
 
India is the world's most open and investment friendly economy due to political stability, predictable policy and business friendly reforms, Modi said.
 
BRICS countries account for 50 per cent of the world's economic growth. Despite the recession in the world, BRICS countries accelerated economic development, brought millions out of poverty and achieved new breakthroughs in technology and innovation, he said.
    
Source: Live mint



Goyal in US: Tariff on medical devices, agri imports dominate discussions

Nov 14, 2019

Tariff issues related to agriculture and import of medical devices from the US, and the reinstatement of export incentives under the American Generalized System of Preferences, are likely to dominate discussions between India and the US.
 
These issues were said to be highlighted during Goyal’s meeting with US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer on November 13, said people in the know.
 
Top officials from the ministries of health and agriculture, as well as some from the Indian Council of Medical Research and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, have accompanied Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal for his three-day visit to the US, they added.
 
This meeting assumes significance at a time when New Delhi has openly backed a bilateral deal with the US — a significant change in its position.
 
US President Donald Trump’s administration has pushed India towards lowering import duties across sectors. Proliferation of issues with its largest export destination had led New Delhi to target a ‘mini trade deal’, focused on finding an amicable solution to some of the US’ biggest demands.
 
Among the major ones are fewer restrictions on market access for US medical device manufacturers, as well as access for other key products. Goyal will be meeting Scott Walker, president of AdvaMed (the American medical device trade association), which had repeatedly lobbied with Washington DC to push India to dismantle its price cap regime for crucial medical devices, said people in the know.
    
Source: Business Standard



India organic products’ export rises by 49%: APEDA Chairman

Nov 14, 2019

Agricultural Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) a statutory body under Ministry of Commerce claims that India exported organic products worth Rs. 5151 Crore (over US $ 757 million) in 2018-19, from Rs 3453 Crore in 2017-18 (US$ 515 million).
 
It registered an increase of about 49 per cent and the major demands under the organic product category are for flax seeds, sesame and soybean; pulses such as arhar (red gram), chana (pigeon pea); and rice, along with tea and medicinal plants, said Paban K Borthakur, Chairman of APEDA while inaugurating the Biofach India 2019 India’s largest international trade fair of organic products in Greater Noida.
 
USA and European Union member-countries were the biggest buyers of organic products from India There is a growing demand from Canada, Taiwan and South Korea in recent years, Germany is one of the biggest importers of Indian organic products. Now, many new countries are also taking interest he said.
 
 
 
As per the industry estimates, India organic agricultural products market is about 8500 crores. Exports account for nearly 60% at 5150 crore while domestic market is estimated at Rs 2500 crore. Compared to international trade of about 97 billion US$ Indian market seems to be very small but it is growing very fast. he added
 
APEDA proposes to extend NPOP into organic AYUSH products, organic textiles and organic cosmetics. National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) is a certification services program which enjoys equivalence with European Union and Switzerland and has recognition agreement with the USA.
    
Source: Indiancooperative



India-Russia-China explore alternative to SWIFT payment mechanism

Nov 14, 2019

India, Russia and China are exploring an alternative to the US-dominated SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) payment mechanism in a bid to smoothen trade with countries facing American sanctions, people aware of the development said.
 
Russia’s financial messaging system SPFS will be linked with the Chinese cross-border interbank payment system CIPS. While India still does not have a domestic financial messaging system, it plans to link the Central Bank of Russia’s platform with a service that is under development, the persons cited earlier told ET.
 
The new system is expected to work as a gateway model when messages on payments are transcoded in accordance with a certain financial system. India stopped importing oil from Iran after waiver for such imports was not extended by the US in May this year.
 
This proposed alternative to the SWIFT financial payment mechanism could be on the agenda of BRICS Summit in Brasilia, according to sources.
 
BRICS nations are separately exploring trade among themselves in national currencies, some officials said, requesting not to be named. ET had reported in July that to bypass the threat of US sanctions, India had earlier decided to pay in euros for defence equipment purchased from Russia. India and Russia have also been trading through rupee-rouble mechanism in the backdrop of US sanctions against Russia.
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



BRICS Summit: Modi meets Xi, says there's new direction to India-China ties

Nov 14, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday met Chinese President Xi Jinping here and said there has been a "new direction and new energy" in bilateral ties after their second informal summit in Chennai as the two leaders discussed ways to further strengthen India-China relations, including on the trade front.
 
Modi, who is in Brazil for the 11th BRICS Summit which will focus on building mechanisms for counter-terrorism cooperation and strengthen India's ties with the world's five major economies, met Xi on the sidelines of the meeting, over a month after the two leaders held their second informal summit in India.
 
Prime Minister Modi told President Xi: I am glad to meet you once again.
 
When I look back, we had met for the first time in Brazil itself... our journey began. The journey of unknown people has today turned into a close friendship. We have since then met in many forums, bilaterals, you visited my home state, took me to your village, you came to receive me outside Beijing in Wuhan.... It is such a significant thing that within the five years, there have been so much trust and friendly relations.
 
As you said and I believe that our meeting in Chennai gave our journey a new direction and new energy. Without any agenda, we talked about each other's issues, global situations. these have been very successful, Modi said.
 
The two leaders held talks on a wide range of bilateral issues.
    
Source: Business Standard



Government extends relaxed fumigation norms for onion imports till December 31

Nov 14, 2019

The Agriculture Ministry on Wednesday extended relaxed fumigation norms for imported onions up to December 31, in a bid to improve domestic supply and check prices that have skyrocketed up to Rs 100 per kg.
 
On November 6, the ministry had liberalised fumigation provisions under the Plant Quarantine (PQ) Order, 2003 till November 30 to facilitate import of the key kitchen staple from Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey and Iran to boost availability and check price rise.
 
In its latest order, the ministry has extended these relaxed provisions till December 31 for onion imports with some conditions.
 
Traders who have imported onions without fumigation or having endorsement of such treatment on phytosanitary certificate (PSC) will be allowed to fumigate in India through an accredited treatment provider, it said.
 
The consignment will be inspected thoroughly by quarantine officials and released only if found free from pests and diseases of concern to India, it said.
 
Also, such consignments of onions will not be subjected to the four times additional inspection fees on account of non-compliance of conditions under the 2003 PQ Order, it added.
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Farmers' concerns, rural development top priority: Sitharaman

Nov 14, 2019

India’s top priority is to put the farmers' concerns and rural development on a larger landscape, said Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday in New Delhi. 
 
Speaking at the inauguration of the 6th World Congress on Rural and Agriculture Finance jointly organised by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and Asia - Pacific Rural Agricultural and Credit Association (APRACA), the Finance Minister said that the Government is looking at acknowledging huge dependence on rural life and agriculture and further emphasised on the immediate need for taking up water management and water-related stress points.
 
She also enumerated benefits of soil health cards provided to farmers. While talking about energy security, the Finance Minister said that there is a need for the farmers contributing in solar energy generation, participation in wind energy, installing solar panels in his farms, etc. and also to become an Urjadaata from Annadata.
 
The Finance Minister also directed NABARD to take up immediate and necessary steps to extend support to the farmers in the states of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh; so that the next crop of saffron, peaches, walnuts and other agriculture produce in the state is procured at the right time.
 
I have requested Chairman of NABARD to visit J&K, so that NABARD can support the farmers there, Smt. Sitharaman said. She also stressed the need to promote solar energy in the Ladakh region.
 
The Finance Minister said that the Government was focusing on the priorities of fishermen in the coastal and inland water areas.
 
She encouraged NABARD to focus on marketing of nutrients in the coastal areas. She said NABARD can work with the FPOs and SHGs in these areas to help increase nutritional input of the area, which could be well-received in the wellness industry.
 
Debasish Panda, Additional Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmer Welfare emphasised on the need for financial inclusion for inclusive and sustainable development.
 
He maintained that JAM Trinity will be further leveraged to drive financial inclusion. Digtial on-boarding opportunities such as analytics, artificial Intelligence, mobility and overall Fin-tech solutions will have a huge impact in the area of financial inclusion.
 
In his welcome address, Dr Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman, NABARD said, India provides $200 billion agriculture credit every year to small and marginal farmers. This will be enhanced once the formation 10,000 FPOs, as announced in this year’s Budget, will be functional.
    
Source: Sme Times



Arunachal on way to become highest producer of large cardamom in the country: Taki

Nov 14, 2019

Arunachal is on its way to become the highest producer of large cardamom in the country,’ said state minister for agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, veterinary & fisheries TageTaki during the regional seminar on spices in North-eastern region organized by the Spices Board India at DK Convention Hall here on Wednesday.
 
Arunachal has already become the second largest producer of large cardamom in the country. The SBI and all stakeholders should work together so our state becomes the highest producer of large cardamom in the years to come and thereby meet the entire domestic and international consumer demands, he stated.
 
While lauding the SBI for its efforts towards encouraging state’s large cardamom growers and making spices one of the major earning sources, the Minister urged the Board to also put similar thrust on production of other spices like black pepper, cardamom, chilli, ginger and turmeric in the state.
 
The Minister further pointed out the issue of animals damaging cardamom plantations and appealed to the Spices Board India to consider implementing scheme for protection of large cardamom plantation by providing farmers assistance for laying fencing around their plantation.
 
He further emphasised the need for government agencies to promote Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) so that the economic activities of the farming community increase without involvement of middlemen and help the farmers to harness more profit. He also appealed the Govt. of India to take efforts to control the fluctuation in prices of large cardamom and to ensure stable price for the growers.
    
Source: Arunachaltimes.in



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