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
At the so-called “Three Amigos Summit” in Toluca, Mexico, celebrating the 20th anniversary of NAFTA this week, the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States have vowed to expand free trade agreements between North America and Asia while pushing for the successful conclusion of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations this year.
Speaking at the summit, President Obama expressed a determination to keep TPP progress on track despite many in the U.S. Congress indicating they will refuse to support a renewal of so-called ‘fast-track’ negotiating authority, or trade promotion authority. 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
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
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
By Aryaman Bhatnagar
May 23 – India has reaffirmed its willingness to develop Iran’s Port of Chabahar during the seventeenth meeting of the India-Iran Joint Commission in Tehran. With an initial investment pledge of some $100 million, the move further strengthens the emerging partnership between the two countries in Afghanistan.
The Chabahar port is critical to India’s Afghanistan policy. In the absence of direct physical access to the country and a hostile Pakistan denying Indian goods transit, the Iranian harbor is the most viable access point India has to Afghanistan and the rest of Central Asia.
India has already signed agreements with Afghanistan and Iran that grants preferential treatment and tariff reductions to Indian goods bound for Afghanistan and Central Asia at Chabahar. It has helped build the Delaram–Zaranj Highway, which connects Iran to the main Kandahar-Herat Highway in Afghanistan, as well as a road from Chabahar to the Iranian border. Continue reading
Posted in Politics
Tagged India, Iran
By Amit Ranjan
May. 3 – In the Himalayas, two great powers are blaming each other for stirring tension. India says Chinese troops crossed the Line of Actual Control, the de facto border there. China claims it was merely responding to earlier intrusions carried out by Indian border guards. We don’t know who is speaking the truth. But “calculated” political tension has emerged.
The root of the Sino-Indian border dispute lies in the 1914 Simla Accord, signed by India’s British rulers and demarcating the border with Tibet. This “McMahon Line,” named after India’s foreign secretary at the time, is recognized by India but disputed by China which insists that Tibet was not a sovereign power. China invaded and conquered Tibet in 1950. Continue reading
For the latest political news and analysis from South East Asia, visit 2point6billion.com. Stories are contributed by the foreign direct investment experts at Dezan Shira & Associates, who have offices in China, India and Vietnam.