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India, Guinea must continue to work to further enhance bilateral trade: President

Mar 19, 2019

Asserting that trade between India and Guinea has reached almost USD 900 million, President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said both the countries must continue to work to further enhance bilateral trade.
 
Welcoming Guinea's Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana, who had called on the president at Rashtrapati Bhavan, and his delegation to India, Kovind said that recent high level visits have imparted a new momentum to India-Guinea bilateral ties.
 
Kovind expressed confidence that this visit will mark yet another high point, a statement issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
 
He was happy to note that India is among the top trading partners of Guinea.
 
He said that India-Guinea bilateral trade in 2017-18 reached almost USD 900 million, representing an increase of nearly 40 per cent from the previous year, the statement said.
 
Kovind said that both sides must continue to work to further enhance bilateral trade in the coming years, the statement said.
    
Source: Business Standard



As India works on a strategy to spur Indo-African bilateral trade, Suresh Prabhu pitches for FTA

Mar 19, 2019

The Government is working on a comprehensive strategy to boost India-Africa bilateral trade, which stood at $63 billion in FY18 as opposed to $52 billion in FY17. This was revealed by Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan on the sidelines of the 14th CII-Exim Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership in the capital on Sunday. 
 
Citing facts on Africa’s GDP being over $2 trillion in 2017 and estimated to reach $29 trillion by 2050, Wadhawan added that as per the World Bank, most African countries are expected to reach middle income status by 2025 if current growth rates are to continue. It is extremely heartening to see that both India and several African countries have maintained high economic growth rate over the last two decades and today even as the global economy is faced with several debilitating trends, regions are seen as bright spots on the world map, he said exuberantly. 
 
According to CII, India’s key export in April-February 2016-2017 to Africa was petroleum products, which was around 17 per cent of the total. Other major export items included pharmaceutical products, vehicles other than railway or tramway, machinery and equipment, and cereals. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



India needs farm revolution to attain 9-10% GDP growth: Amitabh Kant

Mar 19, 2019

India cannot achieve 9-10 per cent GDP growth without revolution in the farm sector, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said Monday. Addressing Mahindra Samriddhi Agri awards, he said there is a need to boost investment in the agriculture sector as well as to introduce new technology and market reforms. 
 
Kant also stressed on scrapping Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee and some old laws like Essential Commodites Act, which restrict movement of farm produces. 
 
However, he said agriculture is a state subject and the central government has limited role in it. 
 
In India 50% of our population is dependent on agriculture. If India’s GDP has to grow at 9-10% for the next 30 years, then it cannot be without bringing revolution in the agri sector, Kant said. He also emphasised on eliminating middlemen in marketing of farm produces to boost farmers’ income. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Agro-processing, manufacturing & ICT offer opportunities for Indian investments in SADC region: Report

Mar 19, 2019

Trade across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has grown considerably since the establishment of an FTA in 2008, but there exists immense opportunities for Indian investment in the region. 
 
An Exim Bank study analyses the current trade and investment scenario in the SADC region and the opportunities that the region presents for Indian businesses. The study highlights trends in SADC’s intra-regional as well as global trade and foreign investments, and draws strategies for enhancing its trade and investment. 
 
According to the report, SADC countries are integral part of the African region accounting for around one-third of Africa's total geographical area, GDP and population in 2017. Among the major regional trading blocs in Africa, SADC is the largest contributor to Africa’s GDP (in nominal terms) in 2017. According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), SADC ranks first among African RTAs in value terms, representing 37.3 percent of total African exports in 2017. 
 
With the increasing diversification of India's global trade towards other developing countries, Exim Bank says SADC has emerged as an important partner for India. During the last ten years, India's total trade with SADC countries nearly doubled from$ 13.7 billion in 2008 to $ 25.5 billion in 2017, with SADC’s share in India’s total trade with Africa having increased from 32.8 percent in 2008 to 42.4 percent in 2017. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



India to renew essential commodities quota for Maldives

Mar 19, 2019

India will renew the quota for essential commodities for Maldives, including river sand and stone aggregate, for a period of three years, starting April 1, 2019, Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has said.
 
In a meeting between Swaraj and her counterpart Abdulla Shahid in Male, the two noted the increase in bilateral trade volume over the past few years and agreed to improve connectivity as a means to promote the exchange of goods and services, culture, and people, according to a joint statement released by the two sides.
 
The Ministers also agreed on the need to boost private sector involvement, and agreed to hold the Maldives-India Business Forum in 2019, the statement added.
 
Swaraj is on a two-day visit to Maldives at the invitation of her counterpart Shahid.
 
At present, India’s exports to the Maldives are worth $212 million, which is a miniscule part of the country’s total exports of over $300 billion. Its imports from the tropical country are negligible at round $5 million.
 
Last January there were reports that India had cut down on Maldive’s quota for essential commodities such as onions and eggs. The Indian government had denied the allegation and clarified that the quota for the items were based on the actual utilisation by the country in the recent past.
 
India’s relationship with Maldives improved significantly after pro-India opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won in the September 2018 elections and became the new president after defeating Abdulla Yameen, who was seen as being close to China.
 
FM Shahid thanked the Government of India for the provision of financial assistance in the form of budgetary support, currency swap, and concessional lines of credit, the statement said.
 
The Foreign Ministers welcomed the entry-into-force, on March 11 2019, of the Agreement on Visa Facilitation and expressed their commitment to address the issues related to the welfare of their respective communities residing in both countries, including the speedy provision of consular services.
    
Source: The Hindu Businessline



India's sugar production rises 5.9% till 15 March in SS 2018-19

Mar 19, 2019

154 mills have stopped crushing and 373 sugar mills in the country continue their crushing
 
As per the data released by Indian Sugar Mills Association, 527 sugar mills were in operation and they have produced 273.47 lakh tonnes of sugar till 15 March 2019 in sugar season (SS) October-September 2018-19, showing a growth of 5.9% over same period of last season. As on that date, 154 mills have stopped crushing and 373 sugar mills in the country continue their crushing. On the corresponding date last year, 258.20 lakh tonnes had been produced with 399 mills operating as on 15 March 2018. Mills in Maharashtra and Karnataka are closing fast and their crushing season is on the verge of closing.
 
In Maharashtra, sugar production till 15 March 2019 was 100.08 lakh tonnes, compared with 93.84 lakh tonnes produced last year same period. In the current SS 2018-19, 85 mills have closed their crushing operations in the State while 110 sugar mills are still operating. On the corresponding date in last season 38 mills had closed their operations while 149 mills were in operation.
 
In UP, 116 sugar mills are in operation and 84.14 lakh tonnes of sugar was produced till 15th March 2019, compared with 84.39 lakh tonnes produced on the corresponding date of last year.
 
In case of Karnataka, till 15 March, 2019, 67 sugar mills have produced 42.45 lakh tonnes of sugar. 56 mills have closed their operations in the State while 11 mills are in operation. During the corresponding period last year, 65 sugar mills had produced 35.10 lakh tonnes sugar. Of the 65 sugar mills, 17 mills were in operation as on 15 March 2019 and 48 mills had closed their operations.
    
Source: Business Standard



Trade seeks nod for bulk mustard oil exports

Mar 19, 2019

Amid a record rapeseed-mustard crop this year, the trade has reiterated its demand for allowing bulk exports of mustard oil from India.
 
Per the second advance estimate put out by the Central Government, rapeseed-mustard output is likely to be 83.97 lakh tonnes, up by about 12 per cent over the 75 lakh tonnes projected in the second advance estimate last year.
 
The crop is likely to be the highest since 2010-11, when the output was estimated at 82 lakh tonnes. In the meantime, rapeseed-mustard production had dipped to about 63 lakh tonnes in 2014-15.
 
Considering the sharp decline, collective efforts were made to increase rapeseed output in the country as the oilseed is a commodity of mass consumption.
 
It seems the efforts of SEA in promoting mustard has started to bear results, if this year’s expected production is any indication. According to information available we are likely to harvest the biggest ever crop of Mustard in our Country, said Atul Chaturvedi, President, Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) in a letter to its members on Monday.
 
SEA, however, estimates a higher rapeseeed-mustard crop. In the last week of February, SEA-MOPA jointly conducted a Rape-Mustard survey and provisionally estimated output of 85 lakh tonnes for the current season, 19 per cent higher than last year.
    
Source: The Hindu Businessline



RBI panel on MSME seeks public views on various aspects

Mar 19, 2019

 An RBI-appointed panel Monday sought suggestions from the public on long-term solutions for economic and financial sustainability of MSME sector, including ways to improve credit rating mechanism to help them raise funds at competitive rates. 
 
The committee was set up in January under former Sebi chairman U K Sinha. 
 
MSMEs contribute about 45 per cent of the manufacturing output, over 40 per cent of total exports of the country, and around 8 per cent of the country's GDP. 
 
The committee has sought suggestions till March 28 on definition of MSME for classification / identification of MSME in the context of present system of investment / turnover based criteria. 
 
The panel also wants suggestions for improving the credit rating mechanism for MSMEs, besides infrastructure gaps and problems affecting the development and growth of MSME clusters. 
 
The committee also wants to know from the stakeholders if the District Industrial Centres (DICs) have met the intended objective. 
 
Currently, micro enterprises in the manufacturing sector are those whose investment in plant and machinery is below Rs 25 lakh. Those with investment between Rs 25 lakh and Rs 5 crore are classified as small enterprises and those having investment and machinery in the range of Rs 5-10 crore are classified as medium enterprises. 
    
Source: Times of india



North east spice growers visit Kerala to gain more expertise in the field

Mar 19, 2019

Increasing spice cultivation in the north east India has prompted a team of spice growers to visit Kerala to study from their counterparts good agricultural practices, cultivation of spices meeting global standards, knowledge of the markets to get optimum value for their produce. 
 
The team has arrived on invitation from All India Spices Exporters Forum (AISEF) which has initiated Kisan Pragathi Yojana to work closely with farmer groups all over India, train farmers in good agricultural practices and post-harvest activities. 
 
 
The team led by Akali Sema, professor and head of Horticulture Department Nagaland SASRD University and Abe an entrepreneur who is actively engaged in spice trading has 16 representatives from farmer forums from almost all states of north east region. 
 
 
It was during one of the spices symposiums held in Dimapur, Nagalnd that we came across this group of farmers, who were producing substantial quantities of ginger, turmeric and chillies in their farms. But the lack of infrastructureNSE -0.58 %, non-exposure to modern post harvest practices, storage, access to markets and right sales channels prevents them from getting the optimum value for their produce, Rajiv Palicha- chairman, AISEF said. 
 
The team would visit ginger and turmeric farms. They will also visit spice and oleoresin factories wherein they will understand with the processes involved in converting the spices to end products. They would also have an opportunity to interact with experts on various processes, systems which are followed to meet the standards for exports. 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



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