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India eyes stronger business ties with ASEAN, at par with political relations: Ram Nath Kovind

Oct 21, 2019

India has deep political and people-to-people relations with each and every country in the ASEAN and wish to bring economic and business relations up to the same level, suggested President Ram Nath Kovind.
 
Kovind - during his ongoing state visit to Philippines - noted that ASEAN-India trade has jumped significantly in the past few years. However, he said, the two sides still have a long distance to cover to reach the target of US$ 200 billion by 2022.
 
Effective use of existing mechanisms, particularly the ASEAN-India Business Council can go a long way in realizing this goal. He said that just as Indian companies see significant opportunities in the region, he was confident the ASEAN business community also recognises the tremendous business potential in India. He said that India wishes to participate in ASEAN’s growth story and it invites all of the ASEAN to participate in its.
 
The President said that the Philippines-India business story is an encouraging one. “While bilateral trade has shown continuous progress, the real gain has been our collaboration in the IT-BPO segment. As we race into the digital age, we have immense opportunities before us to fill e-commerce shelves, create fin-tech services, develop imaginative entertainment platforms, and power green and clean solutions.
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Kashmiri apples to be exported to Middle East

Oct 21, 2019

 The famed Kashmiri apples are being exported to the Middle East market. 
 
 The LuLu Group, which runs more than 180 hypermarkets and shopping malls across the Middle East, shipped 10 containers (200 tonnes) of three apple varieties on Saturday, a company spokesperson said. 
 
 This initiative is the direct result of meetings held during the recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE, where Yusuffali M A, LuLu Group chairman and prominent NRI businessman, shared his willingness to procure Kashmiri agricultural produce and set up a logistics hub in Srinagar for uninterrupted supply, the spokesperson said. 
 
 Apart from apples, LuLu Group has also placed orders for saffron and would soon be sourcing rice, walnuts, pulses and spices from Kashmir, the spokesperson said. 
 
 This shipment of 200 tonnes is actually just the first lot, we expect this to increase in the coming days. Soon, we will be having a 'Kashmir Promotion Week' in our Lulu hypermarkets to popularize the high-quality agriculture produce of the state, which I am sure will further boost the export and trade sector in Kashmir, Yusuffali said. 
 
 The first shipment is slated to reach UAE shores by the end of the month and would be available in LuLu hypermarkets shelves in the first week of November 2019. 
 
 A high-level delegation, led by A V Ananth, director of the group, along with procurement experts, personally visited various farms and processing units to oversee the packaging and shipment process. 
    
Source: Times of india



Top leaders from India, US to discuss trade, geopolitics at leadership summit

Oct 21, 2019

Top leaders and corporate executives from India and the US will gather in New Delhi on October 21 for a day-long brain storming session on trade and geo-politics.
 
 
To be hosted by US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) with the theme Partners of Growth, the second annual India Leadership Summit would also be attended by former US Secretary of State and statesman Henry Kessinger, Condoleezza Rice, India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar among others.
 
The relationship between India and the US is not just about trade. It's not just about geopolitical. Now it has gone beyond that. It is about learning how you build research-led universities, learning on managing waste, learning on quality of air exchange of scientists, USISPF president Mukesh Aghi told in an interview.
 
What I'm saying is that there has to be a platform which encourages, supports and propagates these discussions, Aghi added.
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Govt considering more steps to boost consumer demand, economic growth: CEA

Oct 21, 2019

India plans to take more steps to boost consumer demand including injecting liquidity through banks and simplifying personal taxes, a top government economic adviser said on Friday, in a bid to raise economic growth from six-year lows.
 
Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser at the finance ministry, said the government had slashed corporate taxes to attract investment and was looking for ways to boost consumer demand to support that investment.
 
In the short-run, we are taking steps to increase consumption so that anticipating that consumption, investment also goes up, he told Reuters in an interview.
 
One of the measures on the table is aimed at easing personal taxation and making the whole tax administration simpler. The government is also considering the report of a task force to bring India's six-decades-old tax legislation more into line with those of other countries.
 
Subramanian said the government planned to make public the recommendations of the task force.
 
The direct tax code task force has submitted its report, he said, adding that the steps that have already been taken to streamline the tax administration are likely to help in improving the tax buoyancy.
 
Last month Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman cut corporate tax rates from over 30% to 25%, and to 15% for new manufacturing companies, putting it on a par or even ahead of some of its Asian peers.
 
That landmark move has raised hopes that the government might consider similar cuts to personal taxes to put more money into the hands of consumers and especially the middle class who form the core of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling group.
    
Source: Live mint



India to spend USD 1.4 trillion on infrastructure in next five years: Nirmala Sitharaman

Oct 21, 2019

As part of its goal to become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024, India plans to spend USD 1.4 trillion on its infrastructure in the next five years, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday.
 
Addressing the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) here, Sitharaman said a task force has been constituted in the finance ministry that will draw up a national infrastructure pipeline for the next five years.
 
As we envisage becoming a five trillion-dollar economy by 2024-25, our focus on creating world-class infrastructure has become even more resolute. If we spent USD 1.1 trillion on infrastructure in the last 10 years (2008-17), we now are going to invest about USD 1.4 trillion in the next five years, she said.
 
India, she said, has taken various steps to enhance infrastructure investment by launching innovative financial vehicles such as Infrastructure Debt Funds (IDFs), Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) and laying down a framework for municipal bonds.
 
We are already applying Public Private Partnership (PPP) models in the country. We have adopted the Asset Recycling model to modernize existing infrastructure, like highways, while providing government with upfront capital to support new infrastructure, she said.
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Exporters body keen on value added exports to Japan

Oct 21, 2019

The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has said that Indian exporters should export value added products to Japan in order to utilise the full potential of the East Asian country.
 
The current export does not reflect the true potential of trade between India and Japan. The untapped export potential for Japan is more than $3 billion in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, gems & jewellery, marine products, rice, bovine meat, knitted t-shirts, ferro silicon, aluminium, said S K Saraf, President, FIEO addressing a session on Trade & Business Opportunities between India and Japan on Friday.
 
FIEO said that Indian exporters should look into value added segment of exports which account for major imports into Japan. In many of the products, the share of India is extremely low.
 
India’s share in electric and electronic components (0.09%), machinery (0.36%), pharmaceutical (0.24%) and medical & surgical equipment (0.38%) requires massive improvement as combined imports of these products in Japan is over $250 billion, according to FIEO director general and CEO Ajay Sahai.
 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



India, Netherlands could collaborate in agri, says Dutch king at tech meet

Oct 21, 2019

The Netherlands and India could work together in areas such as agriculture and food security, water management and climate change. This was stated by King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands at the inaugural session of the India–Netherlands Technology Summit, which was organised by the Department of Science and Technology and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi recently.
 
India and the Netherlands complement each other in terms of technology and taken together, they make a great team. In the Netherlands’ experience, India is a partner you could trust, he added, stating that another area where he felt that the two countries could share their experiences and approach was in terms of public-private partnerships.
 
Recalling the centuries-old partnership between the two countries, Dr Harsh Vardhan, minister of science and technology, health and family welfare and earth sciences, Government of India, stated that traditional items of trade between the two countries had given way to more high-technology ones.
 
He added that India and the Netherlands were celebrating 10 years of cooperation in the science, technology and innovation space. especially in areas such as urban water management, smart energy grids, and anti-microbial resistance, among others.
 
The minister stated that the Netherlands could help India in its quest to double farmers’ incomes by improving water technology in the farm sector.
 
In her address, Ineke Dezentje Hamming, vice-president, Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers, VNO-NCW, noted that the two countries could work together on areas such as dredging, agri and food processing and start-ups among others.
 
She stated that entrepreneurship and technology have no borders, and the Netherlands was ready to join India in its quest for development.
 
Professor Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, stated, India has been using technology to try and achieve its aspirational goals.
    
Source: Fnb News



Paddy and basmati see increase in sown area over last year

Oct 21, 2019

Paddy acreages in the current fiscal have grown by 6.5 per cent and basmati acreages have increased by a whopping 36 per cent in comparison to kharif 2018 but the increased cultivation may turn out to be a challenge due to growth concerns at the global level and within India.
 
National Collateral Management Services conducted a field-based crop survey for assessment of acreage, crop health and production of basmati rice during kharif 2019. The survey was commissioned by the Basmati Export Development Foundation (BEDF), founded by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
 
As per the latest kharif sowing report released by the Agriculture Ministry on September 27, all India paddy acreages are reported at 382 lakh hectares which are 1 per cent lower than 2018 paddy acreages of 387 lakh hectares.
 
This survey is at variance with the government report and paddy cultivation is higher as per the NCML survey with total paddy acreages during kharif 2019 estimated at 6,204,000 hectares which are 6.5 per cent higher than last year''s acreage of 5,825,000 hectares.
 
The field survey was conducted in August 2019 and then in September in the selected 83 districts of the study area and this report covers the results of the survey for total paddy and basmati acreage.
    
Source: outlookindia.com



India to produce record cotton crop for 2019-20, predicts USDA

Oct 21, 2019

India is set to retain its numero uno position in cotton cultivation globally.
 
The latest United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimate for the marketing year 2019-20 has projected India's cotton crop at 305 lakh US bales (each of 217.7 kg), which works out to 390 lakh India bales (each of 170 kg).
 
Last season in 2018-19, India’s cotton crop was reported decade-low at 312 lakh bales by the apex cotton trade body, Cotton Association of India (CAI).
 
Increased production
Production in India — the leading cotton producer — is forecast at 30.5 million bales, 15 per cent above 2018-19, and the second highest on record, as both area and yield in 2019-20 are expected higher. Harvested area in India is projected at a record 12.9 million hectares in 2019-20, as domestic prices and internal support price prospects favour cotton over competing crops,” USDA stated in its international outlook on cotton crop, which was released on October 15, 2019.
 
The report also noted that the recent above-average monsoon rainfall will likely provide an extended picking season, which is expected to increase the yield to a 3-year high.
 
The cotton trade bodies in India are yet to come out with their own crop estimate while, the first advance estimate by the Government of India has projected cotton crop in the country at 322.7 lakh bales.
    
Source: The Hindu Businessline



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