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Economy and Business

Between political timidity and regulatory logjams, India has done a 'good' job of spawning its own monsters. Joblessness is one of the biggest. India`s industrial performance now nears the lows of 1991-92, suggesting that reforms of similar magnitude as were unleashed back then are necessary.

 

Demand weaknesses from growth slowdown in Western traditional markets require us to look for compensating growth opportunities from increased trade and investment within our own sub-region. South Asian economies have accordingly acted to lower tariff and non-tariff barriers to intraregional trade and investment flows as much as feasible in specific country contexts. Additionally, Bangladesh also opted to open up her inland transport routes to commodity transit traffic of neighbouring India, Nepal and Bhutan.

 

Emerging as the world’s second largest exporter of textiles and garments, next only to China, and beating competition from India, the Philippines and others, Bangladesh apparel industrey should have been a grand success story for Bangladesh, one of the least developed nations writes Mahendra Ved

 

The Bangladeshi workers living and working abroad who number some 6.5 million and sent over $14bn in remittances in 2009 … are one of the few pillars of strength holding up the national economy. … But the ones who are contributing so much … can do with more care. …The terms and conditions of many of the unskilled … workers from Bangladesh are sometimes found unfair. Manpower agents who send them abroad hardly discharge any service … in [this respect].

 

Have the economic slowdown and rising deficits hurt India's global profile? Last summer, at the Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore, when France's newly appointed defence minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, spoke eloquently about his country's stake in Asia-Pacific security, he was asked a straight question from the audience — had France's finance minister assured him that he would get the budget needed to ensure France's continued investment in Asian security? Le Drian was honest and candid enough to admit that his colleague had given him no such assurance.

 

The International Monetary Fund Tuesday lowered its forecast on India’s economic growth to 5.7% for 2013, down from its January estimate of 5.9%. It also revised its 2014 growth forecast to 6.2% to 6.3%. No doubt the economy is going through a gloomy period. Growth is estimated to have slowed to a decade-low of about 5% last fiscal year through March.

 

It would be hard to find a more passionate advocate for doing business in India than Ravi Venkatesan, the former chairman of Microsoft India. When Mr. Venkatesan moved to India in 1996 from the United States, he was so sure he wouldn’t be here long that he put his belongings in storage.

 

The Bangladesh is often cited as one of the eleven emerging economies of the world. Today, in respect of the global market share, we are number two in the world after China in the manufacture of ready-made garments and have reached the 20 million mark in textile industry.

 

Why is India not the startup nation that Israel so successfully is? India has three times more product startups annually than Israel, there is twice the amount of M&A activity in Indian companies and Indians make up 52 per cent of Silicon Valley startup founders, while Israelis make up less than 8 per cent. After my third visit to Israel in less than two months, I am hopeful that India too will one day mix the magic sauce of innovation, and not just create companies in bulk.

 

December 31, 2012: this was the deadline for Pakistan to phase out its “negative list” of goods that can’t be traded with India. Riding on the coattails of Pakistan’s decision in 2011 to grant Most-Favoured Nation status to India, the move was meant to be a major step in transforming 65 years of modest, haphazard, and often informal trade into a formal commercial partnership emblazoned with the MFN label.

 


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