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Jan. 31 – A report issued by Ernst & Young at the World Economic Forum in Davos says that foreign direct investment in India is set to swell in the coming years as investors look beyond perennial issues such as a lack of transparency, poor infrastructure and government policy paralysis in their search for growth.
“The fundamentals that make India attractive to investors remain intact,” Farokh T. Balsara, head of markets at Ernst & Young India, wrote in the report released on Sunday. “However, our respondents continue to cite inadequate infrastructure and a lack of governance and transparency as major obstacles to investment.” Continue reading
Jan. 27 – Norway could block China’s attempts to gain permanent observer status on the increasingly relevant Arctic Council due to a souring of relations between the countries over the last few years, according to a report on Wednesday in Aftenposten – Norway’s largest newspaper.
“As long as the Chinese authorities refuse to speak to their Norwegian counterparts, it will be difficult for Norway to say yes to a (Chinese) candidacy to become a permanent observer on the Arctic Council,” an unidentified “highly-placed diplomatic source” told the paper. Continue reading
Jan. 26 – Houston-based ConocoPhillips and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) have reached a financial settlement agreement with China’s Ministry of Agriculture to compensate for the damage caused by the June 2011 Bohai Bay oil leaks.
Under the agreement, RMB1 billion (nearly US$160 million) will be paid as compensation to settle public and private claims of potentially affected fishermen in relevant Bohai Bay communities, according to a January 24 press release issued by ConocoPhillips. Continue reading
A look at foreign investment access to the Indian market as relates to several key sectors
By Ankit Shrivastava
Jan. 25 – India has recently liberalized foreign investment regulations in many of its key sectors, opening up commodity exchanges, credit information services and aircraft maintenance operations. The foreign investment limit in public sector unit refineries has been raised from 26 percent to 49 percent and an additional sweetener is that the mandatory disinvestment clause within five years has been done away with. Continue reading
Jan. 20 – Despite harsh weather conditions, the Arctic is becoming a global hot spot, with non-Arctic countries like China, India and Brazil pursuing “observer” status on the Arctic Council – an intergovernmental body promoting cooperation and environmental protection among countries that have territories in the Arctic area.
Experts believe that the increasing focus in the Arctic is drawn by its abundant natural resources, which will be extracted in the future if the region’s environmental conditions become friendlier and global warming melts more glaciers and sea-ice. Continue reading
Jan. 19 – The financial crisis in the Eurozone may affect credit ratings in the Asia-Pacific region, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services recently warned.
Last Friday, the firm downgraded Italy, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus by two notches and France, Austria, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia by one notch. Germany, Finland and the Netherland’s AAA rating did not change. Experts predict that the Eurozone states may face further downgrading in the future. Continue reading
Jan. 18 – U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner visited major Asian oil importers China and Japan last week, attempting to gain support for U.S. sanctions on Iran in response to its suspected nuclear weapons program.
On his two-day trip in Beijing, Geithner urged top Chinese authorities to sharply reduce imports of Iranian crude oil, and he informed China of a new U.S. sanction policy that would be imposed on countries which refuse to join U.S. efforts to curb Iran’s oil revenues. Continue reading