Sept. 17 – Japan will extend an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan to Vietnam this year worth US$500 million, according to Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. The announcement was made this week during the fifth meeting of the Vietnam-Japan Cooperation Committee, a forum for bilateral cooperation chaired by the foreign ministers of both countries.
The US$500 million ODA loan has been earmarked for infrastructure and educational projects in Vietnam as a key component of the Joint Vietnam-Japan Initiative. The initiative, established in 2003, brings together both public and private sector leaders in an effort to strengthen Vietnam’s investment environment.
The Joint Vietnam-Japan Initiative utilizes the public-private partnership (PPP) model to provide support to Vietnam’s service and retail industries as well as funding for infrastructure projects. It also seeks to address macroeconomic concerns affecting Vietnam, such as inflation control and exchange rate stabilization. Continue reading
By David Anthony Matthew
Sept. 9 – Named as one of Bloomberg Markets’ fifty most influential people in its upcoming October issue, Raghuram Rajan has been much more than a mere professor of economics over the course of the past decade. One part public intellectual, one part policymaker and perhaps the most famous Cassandra of the global financial crisis, he is widely considered to be among the world’s preeminent thinkers on economic matters. Yet few would envy Rajan today as he steps into the middle of his country’s growing financial maelstrom as governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
While nearly all emerging markets have suffered from capital flight in anticipation of the American Federal Reserve’s return to tighter monetary policy — including the winding down of its quantitative easing program — India has been especially hard hit. Its economy is suffering from multiple woes: a rupee diminishing in value every week and mired in inflation, uncontrolled budget deficits and subsidy programs and the world’s second largest current account deficit. Continue reading
Posted in Business
Tagged India, RBI, Reform
Sept. 5 – In a stroke of fortunate luck, despite the devaluing rupee, Indian tea exporters have benefited recently thanks to tea producers lowering their prices which has in turn made them much more competitive globally.
The decrease in the value of the rupee has actually come at a somewhat opportune time for Indian growers since Kenya (a major competitor to India) recently had a bumper crop and was able to lower its prices to a level that India would have previously struggled to compete with. As a result, many of India’s largest tea producers, such as McLeod Russel, Joonktollee Tea & Industries and the Goodricke Group are forecasting a 10-20 percent increase in global tea exports. Continue reading
Posted in Business
Tagged Export, India, Tea
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. 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
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