No country has become powerful by being dependent on foreign defence supplies. It is now increasingly imperative for India to indigenise production through private sector involvement with the aim of eventually developing the ecosystem of a defence industry.
By Aakash Brahmachari
Feb. 18 – The unfolding scandal in the Indian Air Force’s acquisition of 12 helicopters from AgustaWestland has exposed yet again, the need for India to reduce the import quotient of its defence equipment purchases. It’s time to accelerate indigenisation through the participation of India’s private sector, simplify rules and specifications, and streamline the acquisition process.
As India seeks to replace its aging defence system, it has become the world’s largest armaments customer – and is expected to spend more than $80 billion between 2011 and 2015. India’s own public sector, which has so far been entrusted with localizing development, is notorious for cost overruns and long delays. For instance, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), India’s indigenous attempt to replace its dated MiG-21 fighters, was an early ambitious attempt. However, it first flew in 2001 and was scheduled to be inducted into the Indian Air Force in 2012 – four decades after the program was started. The ‘Arjun,’ India’s Main Battle Tank, was judged to be too expensive and inadequate for the Army’s requirements – hundreds of T-90S tanks were purchased from Russia instead. Now we are dependent on the French for fighters and missiles; the Russians for naval ships and aircraft; the Italians for helicopters; the Israelis for drones and missiles; the Americans for transport aircraft. Continue reading
New Delhi has actively worked with Beijing to address its massive bilateral trade deficit. However, it has another option. India can seek greater economic integration with ASEAN and substitute its imports from China with that of ASEAN. The India-ASEAN Summit on December 20 would be a good place to start.
By Spike Nowak & Daniel Jacobius Morgan
Dec. 19 – In August 2012, at the ninth meeting of the India-China Joint Group on Economic Relations, Trade, Science and Technology in New Delhi, the main point of concern for India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Anand Sharma, was the widening trade deficit between the two countries – $40 billion for the year ending in March 2012. India’s trade deficit with China has increased by a massive 4,000% in the last 10 years.
At the meeting, the Indian and Chinese commerce ministers agreed to set up a joint working group to address trade issues, including the trade deficit. However, India has another option. Instead of relying on the working group to fix India’s trade woes, New Delhi can actively seek greater economic integration with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It is important for India to pursue this option at the next ASEAN-India Summit scheduled to be held in New Delhi on December 20-21. Continue reading
Dec. 6 – In a worrying development this week, China and India have become embroiled in a dispute regarding energy exploration in the South China Sea (SCS).
India currently operates a joint venture in an offshore energy bloc with Vietnam, and has affirmed this week that it is willing to militarily counter any aggression in the disputed SCS to guard its economic interests. China, whose territorial claims include the area in which India is operating, has negatively reacted to India’s posturing, and reiterated that unilateral energy exploration within its sovereign waters is unacceptable. Continue reading
Dec. 6 – The latest issue of DPRK Business Monthly is now available as a complimentary PDF download on the Asia Briefing Bookstore. This regular magazine looks at current international, domestic, and peninsular affairs concerning North Korea while also offering commentary and tourism information on the country.
In recent international news, Yonhap reported that North Korea has signed an air service deal with the United Arab Emirates in an apparent attempt to provide cheaper transportation means for its overseas workers, though the prospect of launching regular flights between the two nations remains unclear. Continue reading
Dec. 3 – With U.S. President Barack Obama winning a second term at the White House, some China exporters are breathing a sigh of relief. But should they? The consensus, at least at first glance, is yes.
The China business community is welcoming Obama’s reelection for the continuity it brings to U.S.-China trade relations. Continue reading
The Chinese have learned from Russia’s past mistakes at reforming state-owned enterprises (SOE), and some well-connected politicians have reaped the economic benefits that followed. Will the new administration in Beijing reform China’s SOEs or maintain the large role of government in industry?
By Spike Novak
Dec. 2 – Now that the 18th Party Congress has come to a close and China’s new leaders have taken up their posts it’s time see whether or not they have the political capital and aptitude to implement the economic reforms that both economists and China’s own leaders recognize the country desperately needs. Unfortunately, General Party Secretary Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, and the other newly appointed members of top Party posts face a conflict of interests problem. Continue reading
By Daniel Fleishman
Nov. 30 – India and China are looking to take their thriving economic relationship to a new high. This week, delegates from East Asia’s two fastest-growing economies met in Delhi for the second official India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue. Initiated in 2010 during a visit to India by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, the India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue is a forum at which the two countries share thoughts on mutual economic issues, promote macroeconomic coordination, and enhance political and economic cooperation. This week’s conference also featured discussions on expansion of bilateral trade and partnerships in key economic sectors. By the meeting’s end, the two economic giants signed 11 agreements enumerating over US$5 billion in direct investment. 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.