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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: April 2008

Commit long term to iron ore, China tells India

As China’s voracious demand for iron ore rises, the country demands a more stable, long term pricing policy from India.  India which currently meets 16 percent of China’s iron ore demands sells iron ore on a spot basis, allowing the price to fluctuate as demand grows. India is China’s third largest supplier, after Australia and Brazil, who supply over 60 percent of their iron ore to China at contract prices, which allowed shipping costs to remain ‘relatively stable.’

iron_ore.jpg‘Last year India’s spot sales to China led to additional costs of US$838.3 million for Chinese steel makers,’ Luo Bingsheng, executive vice chairman of the China Iron and Steel Association told Forbes.

Now, China plans to take serious action to make sure iron ore prices are more stablized. China will have to consider reducing purchases of iron ore from India if Indian suppliers do not moderate their ‘over-reliance’ on spot sales, he added.

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Posted in Foreign Trade | 1 Comment

Asia’s Rainforests face depletion from over logging

By Pamela Priya Mathews 

greenpeace-forest-campaigners.jpgGrowth of Asia’s factories are turning forests into grasslands and both booming China and India are to blame for this mass erosion of green cover. Forest experts have warned the soaring demand for timber, food, energy and commodities are all great contributors to the depletion of rainforests in Asia.

More recent reports show that the loss of forest continues to grow in Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Australia and Papua New Guinea amongst others. Although new forests in China, India and Vietnam have been planted to reduce the loss of forest, ecologists say this will not aid the problem.

New forests are being noted as man-made and therefore are said to lack the natural varieties of plants found in forests as well as species which are extremely endangered due to the heightened demand for logging. “Many plantations, in terms of biodiversity, are green concrete,” said Peter Walpole, head of the non-profit Asia Forest Network.

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The world is not flat any more.

untitled2.bmpIts been a long march since Thomas Friedman declared the world to be flat. Now, it seems as economies grow larger and countries struggle to gain control of depleating natural resources national  barriers are rising.  

A story by the wall street journal says that the global economy appears to be entering an epoch in which governments are reasserting their role in the lives of individuals and businesses. Once again, barriers are rising. Call it the new nationalism.

The report goes on to say: Just a decade ago, Asia, Latin America and Russia were on financial life support from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The U.S. was planning yet another round of global trade negotiations. The European Union was writing a constitution to shift power to Brussels from member nations.

Now borrowers shun the IMF and World Bank. Trade talks are shelved. Barriers to foreign investment are rising around the world. State-owned companies are expanding, particularly in oil and gas. Public support of immigration restrictions is growing in countries from the U.S. to India.

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Scotch Whiskey sales (2006)($bn)

Numbers: (1.1,0.048)

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Its all about gas between India, Iran, Pakistan and China


The quest for natural gas has brought age old enemies India and Pakistan to seek an agreement, allowing a pipeline from Iran to bring energy to Pakistan and India.”I am very optimistic about the IPI (Iran, Pakistan, India) pipeline as it would go a along way in meeting India’s energy requirements in the long run,” Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora told The Hindu on Sunday. The US$7.4 billion , 2,700-km-long pipeline is scheduled to be completed by 2011 and would initially carry 600 million cubic metres of gas per day.

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The revivial of Nalanda, Asia’s oldest residential university

Long before Oxford, Harvard or MIT ever made their mark on the global academic stage, Nalanda University in Bihar, (north-east India) attracted students from across Asia. Founded in 427 in northeastern India, not far from what is today the southern border of Nepal, and surviving until 1197, Nalanda, meaning Giver of knowledge in Sanskrit was one of the first great universities in recorded history. It was devoted to Buddhist studies, but it also trained students in fine arts, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, politics and the art of war.

nalanda.jpgThe university was an architectural and environmental masterpiece. It had eight separate compounds, 10 temples, meditation halls, classrooms, lakes and parks. It had a nine-story library where monks meticulously copied books and documents so that individual scholars could have their own collections. It had dormitories for students, perhaps a first for an educational institution, housing 10,000 students in the university’s heyday and providing accommodations for 2,000 professors. Nalanda was also the most global university of its time, attracting pupils and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey.

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cotton production (million tonnes)

Numbers: (7.62,5.34)

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