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Investment News and Commentary from Emerging Markets in Asia - China, India and ASEAN

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2point6billion.com discusses business and investment news rising from the geopolitical relations of China and India, and the interactions these two countries have with the rest of emerging Asia.

Monthly Archives: July 2007

FOREX Fuelling Infrastructure Development in India & China

.. Indian scenario

Today India’s foreign exchange reserves are around USD 219 billion and in spite of the fact that Foreign Direct Investments (FDI’s) are on the increase and India’s economy is showing an upward trend, the basic infrastructure still is far from what it should have been for a country of its size and population. Reason: the infrastructure projects – irrigation, power generation, roads, ports, airports, railways, residential and office complexes, health care, education etc. all need a lot of funds. Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Trade | 2 Comments

Gold Consumption, 2006


Gold is considered a store of value and given as gifts on special occasions in both the countries; China is now the world’s third-biggest gold consumer while India has been topping the list from decades.

Posted in The Comparator | 2 Comments

Last Chance to Vote for 2point6billion !

Dear 2point6billion blog reader;

As you are aware, 2point6billion has been entered in the business category for Chinalysts China blog awards. Now is your last chance to vote for us – please click HERE – it will only take 20 seconds.

For those of you who have voted thanks – and please lets help get 2point6billion the recognition it deserves as the only China-India blog. We’d really appreciate it ! Your support is really helpful.

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Posted in Business | Comments Off on Last Chance to Vote for 2point6billion !

Sino-Indian military exchanges another step in bilateral relations

Republic Day parade, New Delhi - Antonio Milena/ABr

China and India are set to begin joint military exercises in October, just another example of the two nations growing bilateral relations. The decision to begin military exchanges and cooperation has focused on two areas: counterterrorism and joint military exercises. 

In June we reported on India Army Chief of Staff General Joginder Jaswant Sigh’s visit to China and the subsequent announcement that China and India would hold the first ever joint army exercises between the two nations. Both countries hope that the joint exercises will strengthen Sino-Indian defense ties and build up confidence within each another.

Jagannath Panda comments in a report for The Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief, that China has increasingly relied on its military diplomacy to advance its strategic ambitions overseas. Indeed, China’s military is a very active ambassador for the country abroad, supplying arms and training across the developing world. In India, the Chinese have looked to overcome a historical mistrust by increasing the breadth of the exchanges, as Panda’s report states:

Perhaps, the significance of these exchanges is their unprecedented nature; not even in the prime days of the “bhai-bhai” Sino-Indian relations did this type of relationship exist. It seems that the proposed “joint military operations” are intended to bridge the communications gap between the two militaries. Both armies are in favor of inviting observers to their exercises, which suggests a “degree of comfort” with each other more than anything else. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Comments Off on Sino-Indian military exchanges another step in bilateral relations

The Coming of the Consumaholics!

India is undergoing an unprecedented consumption boom. Indian consumers have never felt better before. They are confident shopping as they are contended on major fronts such better job prospects, easy loans and increasing salaries.

The International Marketing firm, ACNielsen conducted an international survey covering 47 countries to study Consumer Confidence and Opinions. The results for the first half of 2007 shows India as the topper for the 5th consecutive year scoring 135 points while the global average was just 97. The figure has been in line with India’s booming economy reported to be at an 18 years all time high at 9.4% last month. China was at 99 just close to the average figures.  Below is a bar diagarm depicting trends in the Consumer Confidence Index in 2006 and for first half of 2007.


More on this can be read at http://www.business-standard.com/common/storypage.php?autono=291308&leftnm=6&subLeft=0&chkFlg=

According to the survey,

– 93 % of the Indian consumers felt that their job prospects in the next 12 months were excellent or good

– 90 % thought great about their personal finances in the next 12 months

– 61 % consider it the right time buy things that they ever wanted, and

– 53 % of Indians wanted to invest in shares of stock or mutual funds

The urban middle class in China and India are spending on durables, home decoration, clothes, mobiles, cars, equity investments, and travel and latest gadgets. A third of Chinese consumers and one fifth of Indians say clothes shopping is their favorite thing to do.

India has never seen so many shopping outlets that it has in the last 4 years. Indians were (had to be) contended with Kiranas (little family owned grocery shops and there are millions & millions of them) when it came to buying dailies and for clothing and accessories there were a few branded outlets. Shopping was an eventful activity mainly on dedicated shopping streets, often open to the vagaries of the weather, sweating it out in Janpath or Karol Bagh in New Delhi or Crawford market & Linking Road in Mumbai. Each Locality within Delhi still has a weekly Bazar and they sell everything you ever wanted. Its like an open shopping complex. Even until 2002-3 we didn’t have many reasonable sized shopping malls. Today there has been an explosion of supermarkets and hypermarkets in India with modern retailers coming in to serve the “new” consumer.

According to a survey about 32 percent of Indians go for shopping once a month where as 22 percent of them indulge in it once a week. Both in China and India mobile phones and cars is almost a status symbol. I believe the rise in Confidence levels in the Indian Consumer (similar in China in many ways) can be attributed to

1. Higher salaries and expectations of its increase with regard to rapid high growth in the economy

2. Increase in double income families

3. One and two leading to higher affordability and disposable incomes.

4. Significantly better job prospects.

5. Easy access to variety of branded goods (The word branded was earlier connected with gifts from foreign relatives visiting us in India in summer holidays)

6. Change in fashion and trends following the more developed countries – obviously is attributed to higher dispensable incomes

7. Increased competition from international players and growing domestic market thus lowering down prices thereby bringing goods within reach of the middle class

8. Loans on easy terms thus moderating the ideology of every Indian household to “save & Invest” only

9. Concept of shopping in multiplexes being new and they are loving the “discovery”. These malls are more than just about buying. They are entertainment hubs and millions of Indians living in congested accommodations find themselves easing out in a one stop shop with movies, food courts, and clothing outlets.

To conclude: The consumer in India and China is changing rapidly. The young middle class, below 30 years and constituting majority of their population are aspirational of their needs, ambitious, hard working and have money to spend on trends. They are brand-conscious and aware of what the West is doing in fashion and style, making shopping almost a national pastime.

Posted in Foreign Trade | 2 Comments

Mobile Subscribers, 30th June 2007

Numbers:(“501″,”185″,”Millions”,”As on 3oth June 2007″)

Today, China has more mobile subscribers than the population of USA and to know whats happening in the Indian Telecom Industry read our article “India Ringing”.

Posted in The Comparator | Comments Off on Mobile Subscribers, 30th June 2007

India Ringing

rural-india-mobile.jpgThe Indian Telecom market is amongst the largest in the world and 2nd among emerging economies in Asia with an estimated 5-6 million subscribers being added every month.

Indian telecom is more than 160 years old, beginning with commissioning of the first telegraph line between Kolkata and Diamond Harbour in 1839. Reforms in the Indian Telecom sector began in the 1980s when equipment manufacturing was opened to private players and the Centre for Development of Telecommunication (DOT) was established for the development of indigenous technologies. It was in 1986 that DOT was converted into two wholly owned Government bodies like Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) and Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) were set up. In 1997, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India created.

With the coming into force of the National Telecom Policy (NTP) in 1994 and the New Telecom Policy in 1999, the telecom industry was heading towards a significant change. Now comes 2000, when DOT was renamed Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). BSNL is today India’s leading telecommunications company and the largest public
sector undertaking. Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Trade | 2 Comments

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