Aug. 30 – City states might seem a thing of the past. Athens, Danzig, Venice — all became part of nation states. Except for Monaco and the Vatican in Rome, the only true city state remaining is Singapore although Hong Kong and Macau enjoy a high degree of autonomy within China. But as cities rise and become global cities, could the city state make a comeback?
In the West, high profile mayors make the case for increasing cities’ autonomy. Consider London’s Boris Johnson and New York’s Michael Bloomberg. Both are larger than life figures who are able to enact policies and regulations that affect millions under their administration. Indeed, there was talk of letting London become a city state not so long ago. Continue reading
Aug. 29 – The Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, has recently unveiled Australia’s plan for bilateral engagement with India. Australia’s India country strategy will seek to build a stronger and more comprehensive relationship, a directive first revealed in Australia’s most recent White Paper.
“Australia’s relationship with India has perhaps the greatest potential to grow out of all of Australia’s significant bilateral relationships in Asia,” commented Rudd. “There is no greater symbol of the ties we share with India than the contribution and successes of the Indian diaspora who have made Australia home.” Continue reading
Aug. 23 – According to the 2013 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI), a study by the management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, China ranks fourth globally for retail development. Meanwhile, India’s retail development ranking fell nine spots from the 2012 GRDI to fourteenth overall after experiencing backlash from the global economic slowdown. A comparison of India and China’s retail sectors reveals some lessons for retailers in both markets.
China’s Continued Retail Development
China dropped in this year’s rankings from third to fourth, but it has not lost its strong attractiveness as a priority destination for the world’s retailers. China is experiencing double-digit sales growth in addition to continually increasing consumer demand. Continue reading
Case Study: U.S.-based Mylan Pharmaceuticals
Aug. 21 – Right on the heels of Ford Motor’s announcement that their global auto sales manufacturing hub would be in India, U.S.-based pharmaceutical giant Mylan said that the company has additional plans to invest in India. With half its global work force of 20,000 persons located in the country, about one-seventh of its global income is from its India operations – but this is also expected to jump significantly.
Mylan plans to acquire Agila Specialties through its Indian subsidiary for US$1.6 billion. If the proposal is accepted, Mylan expects to increase its domestic sales 12-fold by 2018. The deal would also help Agila increase its capacity to 600 million units by 2017, up from its current production of 180 million units. The news comes as Mylan made their latest submission concerning the Agila acquisition to the Indian Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). Continue reading
Education is the most in-demand commodity amongst both the rich and the poor in India. Yet, the state is unable to ride this wave to create a more liberal society. If education is the gateway to taking India’s liberal agenda forward, then educational institutions must be free to pursue their own paths
By Rama Bijapurkar
Aug. 19 – India has the lion’s share of the world’s young people, and that makes it a key custodian of the values of the world of the future. It has chosen the path of knowledge and ideas and liberalism, rather than military might or economic brute force to get there.
Yet, the very cradle of its chosen path – the education system – is highly state-controlled. Its affirmative action is based on quotas for caste and community, both of which are labels that tend to stick to the person for the rest of his life – ironic because the very purpose of quotas in education is to enable a person to move beyond the circumstances of birth. Its education “licensing” policy is such that it tends to attract “bad capital.” Continue reading
Aug. 17 – Seventeen new airports are to be constructed during India’s current 12th Five-Year Plan period, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, K. C. Venugopal, has informed the Central Government. The 12th Five-Year Plan period runs until 2017.
Included are four airports in Karnataka, three in Maharashtra, two in Kerala and one each in Arunchal Pradesh, Goa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. All 17 airports are listed out below, and an accompanying map can be found to the right. Continue reading
Aug. 16 – Buyers sourcing in China can expect marginally shorter delivery lead times and perhaps more competitive prices from suppliers as fresh government measures to stimulate growth take effect.
Announced by the State Council on July 24, 2013, the measures are targeted at SMEs, which are most impacted by the slowdown in manufacturing and exports. Dubbed as “mini stimulus” for the tight focus, the package has a three-prong approach. The state-owned Xinhua news agency said two of these measures are “designed to provide small businesses with a badly needed liquidity lifeline.”
Under the first measure, micro firms, or businesses making less than 20,000 yuan ($3,260) monthly in sales, will be exempt from value-added tax starting August 2013. About 6 million companies will be covered by the tax break, which aims to encourage hiring among these businesses, consequently reinvigorating production. Continue reading