The Indian economy that was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic is now in recovery mode and the World Bank welcomes that, its president David Malpass said on Wednesday.
Malpass also said that India, which faces huge challenges of integrating more people into the formal sector economy and raising the earnings of the people, has made some progress but that's not enough.
“Indians were hard hit by the waves of COVID and that's unfortunate. They responded with the huge production of vaccines and there's been progress on the vaccination effort. But we have to recognise the hit that COVID caused on the Indian economy and especially on the informal sector of the Indian economy which is large,” Malpass told reporters here.
Boosting trade and investment, including negotiations for an interim early harvest deal, and security cooperation across the Indo-Pacific are expected to top the agenda during UK foreign secretary Liz Truss’ maiden visit to India next week.
This will be the first visit to Asia by Truss since she replaced Dominic Raab as foreign secretary in mid-September, and only her second trip abroad following a visit to the US and Mexico. She is expected to review bilateral ties with her Indian counterpart S Jaishankar and meet top business leaders in New Delhi and Mumbai during her three-day visit.
With India and the UK recently sorting out a row over vaccine certification for travellers, both sides are looking forward to meaningful engagement on key issues, especially trade and investment and closer cooperation across the Indo-Pacific. With the two sides set to launch negotiations for a free trade agreement on November 1, the UK is especially keen on finalising an interim early harvest deal by March 2022.
India and Armenia have discussed the possibility of using Iran’s Chabahar port to enhance connectivity between the two countries to boost trade and commerce, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday.
Jaishankar is the first Indian foreign minister to visit Armenia since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1992. Armenia was the final stop on his three-nation tour that has also taken him to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
India and Armenia are members of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), which has the potential to bridge the connectivity barrier between the two sides, and Armenia’s interest in using Chabahar port figured in Jaishankar’s talks with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan.
‘Minister Mirzoyan and I discussed the interest which Armenia has shown in the utilisation of the Chabahar port in Iran, which is being developed by India,’ he told a media briefing in Yerevan.
‘We have also proposed that Chabahar port be included in the INSTC. We would definitely like to welcome the use of Chabahar port and any other initiatives that will increase the connectivity between our countries,’ he said, adding the two sides also discussed the possibility of direct flights under an air services agreement.
LUCKNOW: The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), an apex organization under the Union ministry of commerce and industry, will dispatch the first-ever shipment of bananas from Uttar Pradesh to Iran by sea route through Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Navi Mumbai on Thursday.
Officials of APEDA’s UP regional office said the shipment will be sent by registered exporter M/s Desai Agro Foods at 12 noon from Mango Pack House at Malihabad in Lucknow district.
‘It will be the first time that the international market will taste the bananas from UP. The fruit will be procured directly from farmers of Palia Kalan, Lakhimpur, and will be brought to the packhouse. Two containers of 40 feet will be sent to the Iranian market on trial basis,’ said an APEDA official.
The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the ICAR-Central Citrus Research Institute (ICAR-CCRI), in Nagpur. The goal is to boost the exports of citrus and its value added products.
The MoU aims to promote exports by focusing on the creation of product specific clusters along with development of technologies by APEDA and ICAR-CCRI with a focus on efficient and precision farming. The collaboration would focus on diversifying the export basket, destinations and boosting high value agricultural products exports through establishing Brand India globally.
According to the MoU, product development work comprising of field digitization, efficient quality control measures and development of organic farms will be central. APEDA and ICAR-CCRI would also organize capacity building for farmers, entrepreneurs, exporters and other stakeholders to promote agri-businesses and exports.
Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) targets to achieve financing of USD 7 billion of project exports over the next five years with the government announcing fund infusion of Rs 1,650 crore in the National Export Insurance Account (NEIA) to boost project exports. The NEIA Trust, set up by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in March 2006, provides export credit insurance cover for promoting medium and long-term project exports from India.
The corpus infusion will enhance the project export possibility having cover by NEIA by about Rs 33,000 crore over the next five years (equivalent to USD 4.5 billion), the bank said in a statement.
Shipping Corporation of India Ltd (SCI) has started a new container shipping service linking India with West Asian ports such as Jebel Ali and Hamad.
The service will connect Kandla – Mundra – Cochin – Tuticorin – Nhava Sheva – Jebel Ali and Hamad, the company said.
The new service will be run using a single vessel, the 4,469 twenty-foot equivalent unit (teu) capacity ‘SCI Chennai’ owned by the state-run company.
The ship was earlier deployed on coastal service connecting various Indian ports. Dubai is a big trading partner of India with as many as 8,000 TEUs being shipped there every week.
The service seeks to tap into the business ties between the two nations in the backdrop of rising freight rates for container shipping globally, combined with capacity and equipment shortages.
Despite varied resources on Indian foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa region, there remain significant gaps in our understanding of India-North Africa ties. This article explores the relationship using material from Indian foreign policy archives as well as statements from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs apart from news articles.
In the modern day, India’s relations with the North African nations was seen in India supporting democratic reforms and decolonisation, a product of Jawaharlal Nehru’s foreign policy impetus. India’s partnership with Egypt to form the Non-Aligned Movement as well as the presence of the rest of the four North African nations in the movement is proof of it. Moreover, India also supported the independence movements of Tunisia and Algeria, and figures like Nehru were often honoured in Libya for his vision of decolonisation. Presently, North Africa’s importance for India is rooted in several factors.
Firstly, Egypt is a power broker in the Middle East, making North Africa a lucrative target for Indian diplomacy. Egypt’s ties with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) make it an important ally in the Middle East region, where India has been expanding its footprint. Secondly, nations such as Morocco and Algeria become geographical gateways to other parts of Africa. This is especially relevant for India given its desire to penetrate Francophone Africa, a goal that Morocco has largely positioned itself to fulfil. Lastly, North African nations are also important for Europe which provides many opportunities for India to collaborate with the European Union (EU) on issues such as terrorism, migration, and climate change amongst others.
The Philippines may import more rice this year as local traders are expected to increase their purchases from Vietnam, according to the latest estimate from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The USDA has also projected that Bangladesh will overtake the Philippines as the world’s second-largest buyer of rice this year.
In its latest monthly global grain situation report, the USDA revised upward its rice import forecast for the Philippines this year by 200,000 metric tons (MT) to 2.3 million metric tons (MMT) from its previous estimate of 2.1 MMT.
The USDA hiked its import forecast due to the “strong pace and large purchases from Vietnam” by Philippine rice traders and importers.
Despite the projected increase in the country’s rice purchases this year, the estimate is still 145,000 MT lower than the 2.45 MMT the Philippines imported last year, USDA data showed.
The USDA also revised upward its rice import forecast for Bangladesh this year to 2.4 MMT, higher than the Philippines’s purchases.
The USDA said Bangladesh is poised to import more rice this year on the back of “lower import tariff, high internal prices, and continued tender activity.”
In 2019, the Philippines became the world’s largest buyer of rice after it imported a record volume of 2.9 MMT, based on USDA data.