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US Secretary of State Pompeo to discuss ways to strengthen strategic, trade ties with India
Jun 25, 2019
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will discuss ways to strengthen strategic and trade relationship with India in a series of meetings lined up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, in his three-day visit beginning Tuesday.
Pompeo is scheduled to have three bilaterals, one each with PM Modi, Jaishankar and Doval. The meetings will focus on addressing current irritants in Indo-US relationships including trade issues and India’s relationship with Iran and Russia, so that bilateral ties can be further strengthened, an official told BusinessLine. Pompeo will also deliver an address at US Embassy on Wednesday.
India-US trade ties are strained at the moment with the Trump regime deciding earlier this month to withdraw the Generalised System of Preferences scheme for exporters offering duty-free entry to over 3,000 Indian items. Two weeks later, India decided to finally implement the retaliatory tariffs on 28 items imported from the US as a quid pro quo for the unilateral tariffs imposed by the US on Indian steel and aluminium last year.
The Hindu Business line
India, Brunei vow to step up trade, investment
Jun 25, 2019
India and Brunei Monday reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral ties and resolved to step up trade and investment.
The 7th Foreign Office Consultations between India and Brunei Darussalam was held here with the Indian side led by Secretary East Vijay Thakur Singh and the Brunei side led by Hajah Siti Norishan Haji Abdul Ghafor, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brunei government.
The consultations provided an opportunity to review the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including political, trade and investment, defence, cultural and people to people contact, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
The two sides also exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues, it said.
Both sides expressed satisfaction on the regular political-level exchanges and the current state of relationship and cooperation, the MEA said.
They agreed to explore cooperation in energy, health and pharmaceuticals, higher education and agricultural sectors. A presentation was made to the Brunei delegation on investment opportunities in India, it said.
It was decided to convene the next round of consultations in Brunei on mutually agreed dates, the MEA said.
Punjab pushes ‘pesticide free’ Basmati
Jun 25, 2019
To save Basmati export to Europe, USA and Arab countries, Punjab, which is highest user of fertilisers and insecticides per hectare in the country — much above the national average, has launched a ‘pesticide-free’ Basmati campaign in the state.
Basmati exporters and Basmati growers in the state are now working together to use less pesticides in order meet the new guidelines of the European Union (EU) and other countries regarding the Basmati import from India.
This effort is to achieve total compliance with EU Maximum Residue Level (MRLs).
The Department of Agriculture, through its network of field officers, would recruit fresh agriculture graduates to fan out to all the Basmati clusters in the state and directly remain in touch with the farmers.
Govt committed to double farmers’ income: Tomar
Jun 25, 2019
Reiterating the words of his predecessor Radha Mohan Singh, the new union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in Rajya Sabha that Modi govt is committed to doubling farmers’ income by adopting new measures.
In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha Tomar said the Government has constituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee to examine issues relating to doubling of farmers’ income and recommend a strategy to achieve doubling of farmers’ income in real terms by the year 2022.
The committee has, inter-alia, appreciated the role of Digital Technology, which can play a transformational role in modernizing and organizing how rural India performs it’s agricultural activities. The technologies include Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, Block chain Technology, Internet of Things etc. The deployment of technology is very important to make schemes of the Ministry successful, Minister said.
Major technology interventions include Development of Kisan Suvidha mobile application to facilitate dissemination of information to farmers on the critical parameters. With market information, Farmers are better informed about markets to sell produce.
Narendra Modi, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin to discuss US' protectionist trade policies on G20 sidelines: China
Jun 25, 2019
Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other leaders of the BRICS grouping during the G20 Summit in Japan this week where the talks would be focussed on opposing the unilateralist and protectionist trade policies of the US, a senior Chinese minister said on Monday.
China, which is seeking to build a strong opposition against President Donald Trump using trade and tariffs as a weapon to enforce his America first policy, said the issues of unilateral and protectionist policies would be discussed in detail at the meetings of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) and Russia, India and China (RIC) at Osaka.
The G20 summit would be held at Osaka on June 28-29. Chinese President Xi Jinping will go there a day ahead of the Summit to take part in host of informal meetings including his meeting with Trump for key talks to end the bruising trade war between the top two economies of the world.
Modi, Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin met at the recently held Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit at Kirgiz capital Bishkek.
Highlighting the importance of Modi-Xi-Putin meeting at Osaka, China's Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Jun said, Given the current international landscape, the meeting among the three leaders is also of significance. As you know, China's relations with Russia and India are showing sound momentum of growth.
Government incentivising MSMEs with various schemes: Gadkari
Jun 25, 2019
Various schemes have been launched in recent years to encourage micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which employ 11.1 crore people and are the largest provider of jobs after agriculture, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Monday.
Schemes like Make in India, Skill India, Digital India, Startup India, and MUDRA (Micro Units Development and Re-finance Agency) Bank have been initiated to enhance the employment base and facilitate self-employment across the country, said Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Nitin Gadkari in reply to a question in the Upper House of Parliament.
Under the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP,) the number of people employed in micro enterprises increased from 3.58 lakh in 2014-15 to 5.87 lakh in 2018-19, he said. An amount of Rs 2,247.10 crore has been allocated under PMEGP for the financial year 2019-20, he said.
The Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) was launched to make available collateral-free credit to the MSME sector. During FY 2018-19, a total of 4.35 lakh proposals were approved providing a guarantee to a tune of Rs 30,168 crore.
The Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (CLCSS) facilitates technology upgradation of small scale industries, including agro and rural industrial units by providing 15 per cent upfront capital subsidy.
Since the inception of the scheme in 2000-01, a total of 62,827 MSE units have been given a subsidy of Rs 3,888.13 crore. During 2018-19, a total of 14,155 MSE units were provided a subsidy of Rs 980.44 crore.
A total of 18 tool rooms have been set up for integrated development of the industries by way of providing quality tools, trained personnel, and consultancy in tooling and related areas and upgradation of technology.
During the year 2017-18 and 2018-19, these tool rooms provided training to 1.47 lakh and 2.08 lakh people which helped them gain self-employment.
Britain is a 'steadfast friend' of India: UK minister
Jun 25, 2019
The UK is a steadfast friend of India and the new British Prime Minister who takes over from Theresa May will ensure that strengthening the bilateral relationship is on the top of his agenda, secretary of state for work and pensions Amber Rudd said Monday.
The senior Conservative Party MP and minister in the UK Cabinet, who was the chief guest at the first-ever India Day at the Houses of Parliament complex in London, welcomed the event to launch UK-India Week 2019 as an important reminder of the need to be more ambitious with India-UK ties.
I do hope that Jeremy Hunt will be our next Prime Minister and I know that he takes relations with India very seriously and it will certainly be top of his in-tray, said Rudd, in reference to the ongoing prime ministerial contest between UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson.
UK-India Week is a wonderful reminder of the ties the UK and India share. There is a need to be ambitious from the UK's side, but one thing is certain that Britain is a steadfast friend of India and vice versa, she said.
The India Day event, hosted by the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Ruchi Ghanashyam, and Indian-origin peer Lord Jitesh Gadhia, involved a special reception and high-profile roundtables between business executives and policymakers from both countries and the ruling Conservative Party and the Opposition Labour Party in the House of Lords complex in London.
IIFT's Centre for trade facilitation and logistics working to boost performance of 9 key trade sectors on global level
Jun 25, 2019
The Centre for Trade Facilitation and Logistics (CTFL), under the aegis of the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), recently organised a round table meet at the IIFT, New Delhi campus.
The meet was attended by heads and representatives from various key sectors along with academicians and logistics experts. The round table meet was chaired by N. Sivasailam, Special Secretary, Logistics Division, Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Prof Manoj Pant, Head CTFL and Director IIFT.
The CTFL is an institution that was set up at the IIFT Campus in 2018 by the Logistics Division, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. CTFL aims at helping India's Trade and Logistics expertise by acting as a forum for collaborations on domestic and international fronts to gain competitiveness at a global level.
CTFL is working towards the development of a sector specific Logistics Performance Index (LPI-S). There is no such index at present; the purpose of this index is to serve as a common measure of logistics performance for various industries in India.
This measure would help industries of different sectors to pinpoint critical issues in the logistics efficiency and related policy implications which would smoothen the process of movement of goods leading to an increase in the overall national and global trade. An efficient logistics performance can also help resolve the current big issue of trade deficit.
CTFL has been given a mandate to work along with nine different sectors and councils to understand and measure their logistics performance. These key sectors include leather, electronics, marine, apparel, agriculture, gems and jewellery, chemical, engineering goods and pharmaceuticals. To achieve this objective, different workshops and sector meets have been planned throughout the year to understand the logistics issues faced by the sectors through working with the key stakeholders and industry experts.
CAIT delegation to visit Singapore looking to boost trade ties
Jun 25, 2019
A delegation of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) will depart for Singapore on Tuesday on a three-day visit with a view to create a pilot for a trade corridor.
The delegation is making this visit on the invitation of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Infocom Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA). As a part of the visit and with a view to create a pilot for an India Singapore Trade Corridor, MAS and IMDA have invited CAIT, accompanied by GlobalLinker to a three day visit to Singapore as a part of a 'Study Tour', CAIT stated.
The primary objective of the Study Tour is to immerse CAIT officials in the concept of Business Sans Border (BSB) an initiative of MAS and IMDA by leveraging Global Linkers participation and to get the views of the CAIT representatives on the BSB program construct and to secure their participation in the pilot programme.
A few other related meetings are also being organised including a meeting with the Singapore India Chamber of Commerce to explore the Singapore India Trade corridor opportunity and with the Singapore Business Federation, the traders' body said. The delegation will be led by CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal.
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