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Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu leads delegation for RCEP meet in Singapore

Nov 13, 2018

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu is leading a delegation at a meeting of the trade ministers of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) member countries in Singapore, beginning Monday.
 
Trade ministers of the 16-member RCEP are meeting to continue efforts to resolve the issues are hindering the conclusion of the negotiations.
 
RCEP is a pact that aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.
 
The chief negotiators had recently concluded the 24th round of the meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, last month, the ministry said.
 
India has a free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Japan and South Korea.
    
Source: Business Standard



Government extends paperless processing of export documents to all ICES locations

Nov 13, 2018

The revenue department has decided to extend the facility of uploading digitally signed documents for all types of exports under Indian Customs EDI System (ICES) with a view to improve ease of doing business and promote paperless processing. 
 
The ICES is operational at 134 major customs locations handling nearly 98 per cent of India's international trade in terms of import and export consignments. 
 
The customs department had introduced paperless processing under Single Window Interface for Facilitation of Trade on pilot basis on e-SANCHIT in exports at air cargo complex, New Delhi and Chennai Customs House. 
 
 
On successful implementation of the pilot, it has been decided to extend this facility to all ICES locations on pan India basis for all types of exports under ICES," the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) said in a circular. 
 
The Shipping Bill (Electronic Integrated Declaration) Regulation, 2011, provides for authorised person to submit digitally signed electronic integrated declarations and supporting documents and dispenses with the need for trade to submit the corresponding hardcopies.
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



US-India $500 billion Trade Target Achievable: CII

Nov 13, 2018

India-US trade in goods and services stands at $126 billion with a $27 billion trade balance in favour of India. While trade negotiations are ongoing, both countries' sustained investments in the other indicate a valuable and resilient economic relationship. Indian investments and job creation in the US continue to rise and the US has also been a significant contributor to the Indian economy. The ambitious $500 billion trade target, while achievable, will need steadfast commitment and reform on both sides. The US is India's largest export destination and second largest source for imports and the two countries can achieve $500 billion trade by widening the trade basket and resolving impediments.
 
In recent months, the US has raised tariffs on its global imports of steel and aluminium, imposed higher duties on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and renegotiated the North American trade agreement. The US has a broad strategic agenda with India and has recently accorded it the Strategic Trade Authorization Tier 1 (STA-1) status.
 
However, India is impacted by the metal tariffs, and the US has recently withdrawn GSP benefits to 50 products totalling $70 million of imports.
A high-profile CEOs delegation led by Mr. Rakesh Bharti Mittal, President, CII and Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises will be visiting the US from 14 - 16 November 2018, to reinforce Indian Industry's commitment to US - India business ties. The Business leaders will meet with diverse stakeholders - including senior government representatives, industry bodies and think tanks - in a bid to fortify the bilateral India-US strategic and economic relationship at this critical time. With the US midterm elections just concluded, the delegation will aim to strengthen US Government, Congressional and US corporate ties with Indian industry and highlight trade and investment concerns at a time when the two Governments are working on negotiations on various issues.
 
The delegation will hold several engagements through which the CII CEOs will deliberate on some of the most pressing economic issues in the bilateral agenda in areas such as commerce, defence equipment, agriculture, energy and high-tech goods. Engaging key stakeholders driving these discussions in Washington, D. C., the delegation aims to deliver future engagement strategies for both countries as well as opportunities for increased business collaboration.
    
Source: Business Standard



India looking for balanced trade pact with RCEP members

Nov 13, 2018

India is pushing for liberalising norms to promote services trade with 15 other countries including China as part of a mega free trade agreement as it looks for a balanced pact with these nations. 
 
India is pushing for liberalizing norms to promote services trade as the sector accounts for about 55% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP), the commerce and industry ministry said on Monday. 
 
The statement comes as trade ministers of 16 members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) meet in Singapore ahead of RCEP Leaders Summit on November 14 in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate. 
 
Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu is meeting his counterparts to continue to exert all efforts towards meeting the targets set. 
 
India is looking for a balanced trade agreement as it would cover 40% of the global GDP and over 42% of world’s population, the ministry said amid pressures to conclude the trade pact at the earliest. 
 
RCEP is a proposed comprehensive regional economic integration agreement among the 10 ASEAN countries and its six free trade agreements partners – Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Korea and India. The grouping comprises 45% of the world’s population, with a combined GDP of about $21trillion.
 
The RCEP negotiations were launched in November 2012 and the first round of negotiations was held in 2013. 
 
In October, the ministers had reaffirmed their resolve to bring negotiations to a substantial conclusion” and reiterated that the completion of a package by the year-end was an important milestone. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Besides RCEP, India will be part of the third round of Quad Dialogue in Singapore

Nov 13, 2018

Besides participating in the most important Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) meetings, leaders of India, US, Japan, and Australia will be having the third round of Quadrilateral dialogue (the Quad) on the sidelines of the East Asia summit in Singapore.
 
Briefing media ahead of the East Asia summit, Vijay Thakur Singh, secretary (East) MEA, said, The meeting of the Quad will take place but let’s make it clear it has nothing to do with the East Asia Summit.  The Prime Minister will also meet with US Vice President Mike Pence in Singapore.
 
Other issues that will be discussed by the ASEAN members and its eight key partners, who will also be present at the East Asia Summit, will discuss a wide range of issues concerning regional cooperation including the environment to cyber security. And other issues related to strengthening the trade and economic relations.
 
The leaders of these countries besides sharing their views on the geopolitics of the region, will highlight the importance of the Quad for the ASEAN Centrality, which could also be extended to other countries in the South Asian region in an effort to maintain balance of power in the region.
 
In this year, there have been several rounds of discussions amongst the members of the Quad in an effort to that the `ASEAN Centrality remains’.
 
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay a two-day visit to Singapore beginning Nov 14 to attend the 13th East Asia Summit organised by ASEAN and associated meetings on both days.  He will also participate in the crucial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) meeting.
    
Source: Financial Express



Narendra Modi in Varanasi: All about National Waterway-1 in 10 points

Nov 13, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Varanasi on Monday for inaugurating key infrastructure projects. These projects included two roadways and an inland waterway.
 
In Varanasi, PM Modi received a large container vessel that left Kolkata inland port on October 30 carrying cargo belonging to PEPSICO (India).
 
This is the first time that a container vessel travelled on inland waterways on the Ganga. This waterway has been named National Waterway-1. PM Modi also dedicated a multi-modal terminal to the nation.
 
NATIONAL WATERWAY-1: 10 POINTS
1National Waterway-1 is an inland water transport route between Haldia in West Bengal to Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh. The National Waterway-1 is aided with differential global positioning system (DGPS), river information system (RIS), river training and conservancy works.
 
2The Haldia-Varanasi stretch of the National Waterway-1 has been developed with technical assistance and investment support from the World Bank. The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 5,369.18 crore. The cost of the project was shared between the Indian government and the World Bank on 50:50 ratio.
    
Source: India Today



India emerges as major seed hub in Asia: Study

Nov 13, 2018

India has emerged as a major seed hub in Asia as 18 companies out of 24 leading firms evaluated, have invested in breeding and production activities in the country, according to a latest study. 
 
Both global and regional seed industry players have invested in a big way to boost crop yields of smallholder farmers in India, it said. 
 
There are about 100 million smallholder farmers in the country. They provide up to 80 per cent of the food supply and helping them to grow more and more food is key to achieving food and nutrition security, it added. 
 
An evaluation of 24 leading seed companies in the region shows that 21 companies sell seeds in India and 18 have invested in breeding and production activities in the country, according to the Access to Seeds Index (ASI) published by the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA). 
 
In comparison, only 11 companies have invested in breeding activities in Thailand and eight in Indonesia, the two other major regional seed hubs. 
 
WBA is global multi-stakeholder initiative that measures and incentivise business efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
 
According to the Index's first ever ranking, four Indian seed companies -- Advanta, Acsen HyVeg, Namdhari Seeds and Nuziveedu Seeds -- have made it to the top 10 seed companies in South and Southeast Asia on their efforts to support smallholder farmer productivity. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



NEDAC to hold general assembly on Nov 15-16 in India

Nov 13, 2018

The Network for Development of Agricultural Cooperatives in Asia and the Pacific (NEDAC) will have its general assembly on November 15-16 in the national capital.
 
The National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), one of the members of the NEDAC, will host the general assembly to be inaugurated by Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala. The Agriculture Secretary will also address the event.
 
The NCDC, which was established in 1963 through an Act of Parliament, is an apex financial and development institution engaged exclusively for the co-operative sector in the country.
 
The NEDAC is a regional forum linking cooperative organisations of eight countries of the region and sensitises governments in the region on the role of agricultural cooperatives in promoting agricultural and rural development to ensure food and livelihood security for millions of people in Asia Pacific region.
 
The event would witness a participation of delegates from the member countries of NEDAC.
 
Initially, NEDAC had 16 co-operative organisations from nine Asian countries as members. 
    
Source: Business Standard



State govt targets revival of sea trade

Nov 13, 2018

 Laden with history, the state's overseas trade ties may get a much-needed push at the Make in Odisha conclave which is slated to begin from Sunday. With a 480-km-long coast, Odisha once commanded a powerful position in the subcontinent's maritime activities. The state's hopes for growth in export now has potential for reviving the same glory. 
 
The revival of maritime trade is quite important for the state and we will certainly try to make business deals with countries that can be connected through sea routes from Odisha," said industry minister Anant Das.
 
Official sources said the fields in which there can be possible collaborations between Odisha and other countries across the Indian Ocean include information technology, telecommunications, finance, education, health, hospitality, travel and tourism, construction and transportation. There is similar scope for joint ventures in food processing, furniture, gems and jewellery, agro-biotech, textiles and wood crafts with various companies.
 
    
Source: Times of india



UP, Maharashtra sugar mills start crushing cane

Nov 13, 2018

India’s 2018-19 sugar production has started gaining momentum across the country as one-fourth of the sugar mills from Uttar Pradesh and 45% from Maharashtra having already started crushing sugarcane. 
 
 
29 sugar mills had started crushing operations in UP by Monday evening and another seven are expected to begin operations by Tuesday morning. 
 
A total of 121 sugar mills will be operational in the state this year. The sugar mills from UP will begin their crushing operations on time by November 25. However, the average yield of cane will be lower by 10% due to excessive rainfall in the state, while it will be down by 15% in the pockets affected by hailstorm, said an official of the UP government.
 
Barring Kolhapur region, sugar mills from the rest of Maharashtra, the second largest producer of the sweetener, have started sugar production before Diwali. About 80 of the 180 sugar mills have become operational. 
 
Mills from Marathwada region have been operational over the last 10 to 12 days. However, the yields are lower by about 25% to 30%, said BB Thombre, chairman of Natural Sugar and Allied Industries. 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



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