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NEW DELHI:  India and Switzerland today discussed issues relating to transparency in financial transactions and agreed on early operationalisation of the automatic exchange of information on tax between the two countries in a bid to check black money.


The issue came up at a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Swiss President Doris Leuthard, who said the automatic information agreement would be operational by 2019 once the Swiss Parliament clears it.


Addressing the media with the visiting dignitary after delegation-level talks, PM Modi said India will continue to work with Switzerland to combat black money while the Swiss President stressed that her country has one of the strongest laws against money laundering.


"Transparency in financial transactions is an issue of concern in today's world, whether it be black money, dirty money, hawala or arms and drugs financing," PM Modi said.


"To combat this global problem, we will continue to cooperate with Switzerland," he said.


He said that with two countries signing a joint declaration for automatic exchange of tax information last year, India will get such information on an automatic basis once it is internally ratified in Switzerland.


PM Modi said foreign direct investment was an important pillar of economic cooperation between India and Switzerland. "We specially welcome Swiss investors in India.


"We agreed to continue discussions on a bilateral investment agreement. Swiss companies have a lot of expertise to partner India in its road to development."


The Prime Minister said that in a meeting of business leaders of the two countries he attended along with Leuthard, it was clear that both sides were eager to have business-to-business collaborations.


He thanked Switzerland for its support to India's entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).


Switzerland is the seventh largest trading partner for India with a total bilateral trade, including merchandise exports, bullion and IT services and software exports, of $18.2 billion in 2016-17.


From April 2000 to September 2016, Switzerland invested approximately $3.57 billion in India, thus becoming the 11th largest investor and accounting for about 1.2 per cent of total foreign direct investment (FDI) in India.


Stating that the proposed free trade agreement between the European Union and India also came up for discussion, PM Modi said that both sides were committed to an early conclusion of this.


He said that Indian traditional medicine can play an important role in health and wellness and thanked Switzerland for giving ayurveda its due recognition.


The Prime Minister said that after India and Switzerland launched a joint initiative called SkillSonics for vocational education and skills training, over 5,000 Indians have benefited.


He also said that both countries have agreed to work together for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.


On her part, President Leuthard said Switzerland had one of the strongest laws against money laundering and hoped other countries would follow suit.


On automatic exchange of tax information, she said that the law was now with the Swiss Parliament for ratification and hoped that such information can be shared with India from 2019 onwards.


"This is important because Switzerland is and will be an important financial place and we have all interest to be transparent, cooperative, and a good reliable partner," she said, adding that both her country and India can go hand-in-hand on this.


The Swiss President said she discussed with PM Modi the issue of an investor protection agreement on which negotiations were underway.


Following today's talks, the two countries signed two agreements on cooperation in the railway sector.


President Leuthard arrived in Delhi yesterday on a four-day visit to India. Swiss Presidents have earlier visited India in 1998, 2003 and 2007.


PM Modi visited Switzerland in June 2016 in what was the first prime ministerial visit from India to that country in several decades.


Source: NDTV News

NEW DELHI: Sweden's Saab will tie up with India's Adani Group to bid for a contract to make fighter aircrafts in India, an aerospace consultant aware of the proposed partnership told Reuters on Thursday.


The partnership will compete with U.S. defence giant Lockheed Martin in a two horse-race to equip the Indian military with single-engine jets to be produced locally under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make-in-India" initiative.The Saab-Adani partnership is aimed at producing planes under India's new "strategic partnership" policy, said Ratan Shrivastava, the independent New-Delhi-based consultant and adviser at India's industry lobby group FICCI said.


The partnership will likely be announced on Friday, Shrivastava said.


Saab President and Chief Executive Hakan Buskhe will host a media event in New Delhi on Friday, Saab said in a press invitation issued on Wednesday. It did not give details.


Saab did not immediately respond to a request for comment. There was no immediate comment from Adani, which is a $12 billion group with businesses ranging from energy and logistics to real estate and defence.


Under the country's new defence partnership policy, a foreign aircraft maker will collaborate with an Indian firm to develop a world-class indigenous aeronautical base that India has struggled to build for decades.


Lockheed has already picked India's Tata Advanced Systems as its local partner to produce its F-16 fighter planes that will compete with Saab's Gripen aircraft.


The government will issue a formal request to Lockheed and Saab over the next few days to provide information about their plans to design, develop and produce combat jets in India, a government official told Reuters earlier this week.


India's air force needs hundreds of aircraft to replace its Soviet-era fleet, but Modi wants the planes built in India to help boost the domestic industrial base and cut imports.


Source:New Indian Express

NEW DELHI: India's growth momentum will get stronger with revival in private investment cycle and real GDP growth is expected to average at about 7.4 per cent over 2017 and 2018, says a Deutsche Bank report. 


It also termed as 'faulty' the argument that a 7.5-8 per cent real GDP growth in the next few years will still be lower than what was achieved in the boom period of 2006-2008. 


It said the global economy post the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC) has adjusted to a new-normal of low-growth low- inflation environment, and India's growth achievement should therefore be judged taking this structural shift into consideration. 


"In the current new normal, an economy which delivers a steady 7.5-8.0 per cent growth in real terms should be comparable to 9-10 per cent growth in the pre-GFC period, in our view," it added. 


According to the global financial services major, the country's growth momentum will only get stronger as private investment cycle starts reviving gradually, along with continuation of strong private consumption. 


The medium-term outlook for the country looks "exceedingly positive" driven by supportive population dynamics, steadily rising aspirational middle class and a reforms oriented government, it said. 


Source:- Economic Times

Inmarsat, the global satellite operator is looking at India to offer commercially high-speed internet services on mobile phones allowing users to stream videos flying on a plane or driving on highways, once its next generation satellite is launched in two years.


Inmarsat has a fleet of four Global Xpress (GX) satellites - that have Ka band transponders with the ability to beam high-speed broadband on mobiles, currently, the only operational fleet in the world.


A fifth one, to be launched in 2019 will cover India, a market as its chief executive Rupert Pearce says is an "important long term opportunity".


"It also gives us access to the Indian Subcontinent for the first time, because it allows us to put a gateway in India to support GX services and break into India with GX services, which is an important long-term - I stress, long-term opportunity," Pearce said earlier this week.


The satellite operator is setting up a gateway jointly with a local firm in the country to offer the commercial services. India, like countries such as Russia and China, mandates satellite service providers to set up a local hub to originate or connect calls or access internet from its soil.


Inmarsat, which was founded as an organisation of the United Nations, has since become commercial and owns a fleet of 13 communication satellites, which helps in providing mobile connectivity on high seas, inaccessible mountains and on highways. It also provides services to the US government as well as enterprises. In India, it already has a tie-up with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd for a local gateway to offer government satellite communication services.


Through the GX satellites, Inmarsat has already signed up international airlines to offer high-speed internet on passenger aircraft. This could an opportunity even in India, say analysts.


"India is seeing a huge expansion in civil aviation. There is increased air connectivity as newer cities are being connected by air and airlines are adding new fleet," says P S Goel, a former Space scientist who heads the Dr Raja Ramanna chair at the National Institute of Advanced Studies. "There is a business opportunity."


On August 1, US plane maker Boeing forecast that airlines in India could order as many as 2,100 planes worth $ 290 billion in the next 20 years. This is an increase over its forecast in 2016 when it had estimated the airlines would order 1,850 planes.


Besides providing internet access to airline passengers, there is a huge opportunity to provide high-speed internet in remote places as well as on highways, which Inmarsat and other global satellite internet providers are looking to tap.


The biggest one is OneWeb, in which Japanese investor Softbank has invested $1. 2 billion to launch a constellation of 648 satellites that would provide high-speed internet at low costs to users on earth. Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder of Bharti Enterprises, is an early investor in the satellite operator.


These satellites would be launched aboard Blue Origin rockets, the company owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.


Source:- Business Standard

15 August 2017 marks the 70th year anniversary since the British withdrew their colonial rule over India, leaving it to be one of the first countries to gain independence. Since then it has become the sixth largest economy in the world and is categorised as one of the major G20 economies. India is seen as a newly industrialised country and was the world’s fastest growing major economy in 2014. With a population of 1.2 billion and the second largest in the world, its economy has a lot to offer and has evolved over the years.


To mark the occasion we have compiled a wide array of facts around the Indian economy pre and post-independence.


1. India’s economy can be considered a paradoxical one. Despite being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, around one-third of the population live below the poverty line.


2. Before the age of European colonization, India accounted for about 25% of the world’s manufactured goods. In the 13th century, India emerged with a great trading capacity and was able to achieve a state of economic dominance within the wider Indian Ocean world. The main manufacture was cotton textiles which were being produced in all parts of the country for both domestic and export trade.


3. The East India Company was formed in Britain to pursue trade within the East Indies and Southeast Asia. Instead, it mainly did most of its trade within the Indian subcontinent and China. Some of the most popular items of trade were tea, silk, cotton, and opium.


4. India is one of the BRIC countries as its economy experienced fast growth in the 2000s and is predicted to surpass many of the world’s largest economies by 2050. It shares this place along with Brazil, Russia, and China.


5. India is well-known as the home of spices and is the world’s largest producer and exporter of spices. It also accounts for half of the trading in spices globally.6. The rupee is the currency of India and it has its amount written in 17 of the Indian languages. It is also the currency of the Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Seychelles, and Sri Lanka.


7. The agricultural economy in India during the 1930s was greatly impacted by the Great Depression. It affected some of the most popular export staples ranging from jute, tea, and cotton.


8. In November 2016, Narendara Modi, the current Prime Minster of India announced that all 500 and, 1,00 rupee notes will be demonetised in order to tackle illicit cash handling and illegal activity.


9. India is a major exporter of IT and software services and this sector is considered to be one of the fastest growing within the economy. Its net IT exports grew from virtually nothing in 1990 to around $70 billion two decades later.


10. 58% of the rural households in India depend on agriculture as their main source of income and is one of the largest contributors to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


Source:- OUP blog