DELHI – While India’s economy typically slumps in the lead-up to national elections, international companies have begun vocalizing their intention to step up investment after a new government is constituted in May.
At a private meeting yesterday with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Dr. Raghuram Rahan, top executives from global financial services companies and institutional investors expressed optimism the RBI would enact the reforms necessary to restore investor confidence and stimulate long-term economic growth post-elections. Continue reading
India’s electorate may choose to break its historical tendency to vote according to religious and caste affiliations as the BJP, AAP and Third Front seek broader appeal with messages of good governance, economic development and anti-corruption.
By Shawn Greene
DELHI – India’s Election Commission has announced the dates for this year’s highly anticipated general election, which will be held in nine phases in April and May.
Polling for the 16th Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) will begin April 7 and conclude May 12. Votes will be counted on May 16, and the new Parliament must be constituted by May 31. Continue reading
By Shawn Greene
SHANGHAI – For the first time in five years, worldwide defense spending will increase according to IHS Jane’s Annual Defence Budgets Review.
According to the forecast, China is on track to outspend the UK, France and Germany combined by 2015, and Asia Pacific remains the only region with a steady increase in defense expenditures from 2009 onwards.
The yearly review from the U.K.-based defense analysis company tracks military expenditures in the 77 top-spending countries while making predictions about global defense budgets over the next five years. Continue reading
HONG KONG – From February 5, officials and diplomats from the Philippines visiting Hong Kong will not be able to enjoy the 14 day visa-free exemption they currently do, Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told a press conference yesterday. The move is in response by Hong Kong to a tragedy in Manila over three years ago, when eight Hong Kong tourists were killed and seven others injured in a hostage situation that lasted over 10 hours. The Philippines’ President Benigno Aquino III has consistently refused to make an official apology for what he sees as the actions of a lone gunman, leading to tension between Hong Kong and the Philippines.
In August 2010, after senior police inspector Rolando Mendoza had been dismissed from the Manila Police District, he boarded a tourist bus armed with an assault rifle, in an attempt to get reinstated. The rescue attempt lasted over an hour, and ended after Mendoza was shot and killed. Hong Kong has alleged that it was the poor handling of the incident by the Philippines’ officials that led to the victims’ deaths. The Hong Kong government placed a black travel advisory warning (the highest warning level) on the Philippines, cautioning Hong Kong residents that the country posed a “severe threat” and advising that all travel be avoided. Continue reading
By Edward Barbour-Lacey
Dec. 12 – India’s governing Congress party has suffered heavy losses in three state elections and has narrowly lost in a fourth. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was the clear winner across all the elections; however, the newly formed anti-corruption group Aam Aadmi (Ordinary People) Party (AAP) also saw large gains.
The elections held in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh were clearly won by the BJP. In Delhi, the capital of India, the Congress Party suffered a massive defeat. After 15 years in power it appears that voters desperately wanted a change. The BJP won 31 of the 70 seats, the AAP won 28, and the Congress Party was reduced to holding only 8 seats. Continue reading
By Shawn Greene
Nov. 26 – More than 30 years after Deng Xiaoping first introduced China’s famous “one-child” policy, President Xi Jinping’s government appears set to finally relax the country’s approach to family planning. Announcing this month that many urban couples will soon be permitted to have two children under broader exemptions to the “one-child” rule, the government’s policy shift comes amidst concerns that the country’s low fertility rate and rapidly ageing population may threaten its long-term social and economic stability. Continue reading
There are many ideas about how Asia can be re-imagined as a whole even though it is still coming to terms with colonial era map-making and the intellectual domination of the West. Can India, situated at the heart of Asia, promote connectivities and draw the Asian economies together?
By Ambassador Neelam Deo
Nov. 21 – The growth of many Asian economies in a continent that occupies 30% of the world’s landmass, has 60% of its people, mostly young, and already produces some 25% of global output, has been so rapid in the last 20 years that it has already been vested with the collective image of the “other” in the western gaze.
There are today many ideas floating around about how an economically vibrant Asia can follow the European model, be dominated by China, or continue to grow under the leadership of the U.S. “None of the above” may, however, be the best option as we try to imagine an Asia unencumbered by colonially-devised boundaries, geographical and intellectual. Continue reading
2point6billion.com provides news, commentary and analysis on business, culture and politics throughout China and India. The stories are contributed by the business experts at Dezan Shira & Associates, who have offices throughout south east Asia.