Newly-elected official KNRI Forum - UAE president and chairman of Fortune Group of Hotels, Praveen Kumar Shetty in association with well-known philanthropist and entrepreneur Ronald Colaco hosted the first ever historical KNRI-UAE Business Meet with chief minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah at Fortune Park Hotel, Dubai Investment Park on Saturday April 29 evening with many well-known business community Kannadiga invitees along with KNRI-UAE office-bearers.
Ronald Olivera as master of ceremony welcomed CM Siddaramaiah, Ronald Colaco, Praveen Shetty and all the dignified members of KNRI to the business meet and elaborated on the event. CM Siddaramaiah was honoured with a shaul by Ronald Colaco and a bouquet by Praveen Shetty. Other distinguished guests, Dr Arathi Krishna, vice-president of NRI Forum, government of Karnataka, L K Atheeq, principal secretary to the Karnataka government, Govindaraju, parliament secretary, former MLA H Srinivas, MLA Mohiuddin Bava and other dignitaries were also welcomed with bouquets. Philanthropist Ronald Colaco was welcomed with a bouquet by Praveen Shetty.
CM Siddaramaiah later inaugurated the event with the traditional lighting of the lamp along with Ronald Colaco and Praveen Shetty.Praveen Shetty rendered the welcome speech and thanked all those who had wholeheartedly come to the event and also mentioned special thanks to the CM for accepting his invitation. He also thanked Ronald Colaco for supporting him in this historical event.
Be united in the interest of Karnataka: Ronald Colaco to NRIs
Philanthropist Ronald Colaco beautifully introduced CM Siddaramaiah with step by step chronological narration of a humble person's life story from his early days to his meteoric rise to the current position, and his transformation into becoming a leader of all Kannadigas. "I feel proud to say that I have known CM Siddaramaiah closely all these years and I respect him as a true leader," he said.
"When we have a person like Siddaramaiah, who, with a humble beginning, having been born in a poor family, rose from being a cattle grazing boy to become the chief minister of Karnataka, then who better than him do we require as role model to emulate?" Colaco said. He also stated that when Siddaramaiah, after becoming the finance minister for the first time during 1994 and made an attempt to present his maiden budget, the opposition were sarcastic with their comments as to what knowledge a shepherd would have of accounting. Siddaramaiah took this comment as a challenge and earned the rare distinction of a finance minister who went on to present ten annual state budgets thereafter, with some of his budgets had been rated as the best of all time.
"Siddaramaiah's real concern for the marginalised and downtrodden people of our state prompted him to start the AHINDA movement for the benefit of dalits, backward classes and minorities. He has introduced various welfare schemes like Anna Bhagya, Ksheera Bhagya, Vidya Siri, Kere Sanjeevni, etc," Colaco said.
At the beginning of his talk, Colaco heralded the sincere efforts of Praveen Shetty in organising the registration of KNRI Forum in UAE as well as the NRI business men/women meet in Dubai and expressed displeasure over some individuals' and groups' deliberate attempt to create controversies which is not in good taste and which brings disrepute to the people of Karnataka on a foreign soil and therefore urged everyone to be united and supportive of all programmes organised by anybody irrespective of whether it is Praveen Shetty or others, in the best interest and image of the state as well as people of Karnataka. Colaco also reminded the audience about the solemn need to uphold the unity and dignity of a country like Bharat heralded for its largest democracy in the world in spite of enumerous diversities having multiple regions, religions, languages,castes, cultures, traditions, food habits, dress code, etc, yet maintaining harmony and unity in diversity.
Karnataka No 1 investor-friendly state: Siddaramaiah
The evening continued with the introduction of all the invited Kannadiga NRI business community people who one by one introduced themselves to the audience as well as the CM, who was carefully listening all through.
The CM later thanked Ronald Colaco for his wonderful introduction as well as Praveen Shetty and Colaco for hosting such an event and thanked the Kannadiga NRI business community for attending the event. He then repeated some of his briefings of the previous day's KNRI-UAE inauguration speech and said that it may educate those who had not attended the historical event. He requoted the words of the famous Kannada poet Kuvempu "Wherever you live, however you live, be a Kannadiga (Yelladuruiru, Yenthadaruiru, Yendendigu nee Kannada Vagiru)".
While briefing that Karnataka now has become the number 1 investment-friendly state for Indians and also number 2 for foreign direct investments, he promised full cooperation and support with legal assistance to all investors in their ventures in Karnataka. While welcoming new investors he said that the Karnataka government has started the Pravasi Bharatiya Conference which identifies the 'Varshada Kannadiga' (Kannadiga of the Year) and honours the identified NRI with the award every year. He also briefed on the NRI Forum, Karnataka's slogan 'One State – Many Opportunities' and said that Karnataka is the IT hub of the world with the state contributing over 40% of the IT exports of India.
He added that the GDP of the state grew at 5.3% as against 5% of the country's GDP. Karnataka is the ideal location for hi-tech industries like aerospace, automobiles, IT and BT. Bengaluru is the Silicon Valley of India and Karnataka is the knowledge hub of Asia. The pamphlet distributed by the NRI Forum Karnataka states that Karnataka ranks 5th in India for growing vegetable crops, it is the largest producer of floriculture, spices, aromatic and medicinal crops and fruits, producer of 70% of India’s coffee, 3rd highest producer of sugar in India and has major scope for agri-exports, animal husbandry, poultry, milk and fisheries, he said.
A question-answer session followed, wherein some of the NRI Kannadigas raised valuable questions, to which the CM responded. Hafiz Saifulla, CEO of Zhumino Group of Companies highlighted on the vegetable exports from India which is banned due to poor methodology, stressing that Karnataka should follow the methodology of Europe and set standards for Karnataka-based perishable products. CM answering to his question invited him to raise this issue directly with him so that he could work on solutions to this issue.
There were various other questions including one on providing spaces in some of the industrial zones and/or granting special zones for KNRIs in those specified zones. Dr Kaup Mohammed, one of the respected members, also stressed on giving permission to foreign educational institutes and universities to open in Karnataka so that Kannadiga students get opportunities to opt for higher studies in Karnataka instead of going to Europe.
The CM informed that there is an online link created by the government for all the queries one may have and NRI Kannadigas could log in to it anytime to know Karnataka better. He assured that his government is looking into all the grievances of Kannadigas worldwide and will be more than happy to address each and every issue. He said that in the government's efforts to take Karnataka forward and tranform it into a complaint-free state, it would provide all assistance to Kannadigas in need.
Ronald Olivera concluded the evening with the vote of thanks which was followed by sumptuous dinner hosted by Fortune Group of Hotels.
Broadway Events headed by Joel Crasta supported both the KNRI-UAE main event and the business dinner event with sounds and lights.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asserted that India was never a more promising investment destination than it is today as his government completes three years in office later this month.
The BJP-led NDA (national Democratic Alliance) government stormed to power in May 2014, winning by a huge majority.
Addressing the India-Turkey Business Summit here, Modi said that since coming to power in this very month three years ago, the government has launched several initiatives to reform the economy and administrative processes.
The government also launched several flagship programmes like Make in India, Startup India and Digital India.
FASTEST GROWING ECONOMY
"Today, Indian economy is the fastest growing major economy in the world. In addition to maintaining this pace, our focus is to remove the inefficiencies from the system," the Prime Minister said.
The government, Modi said, is in the process of building a New India, adding that the focus is on improving ease of doing business by reforming policies, processes and procedures.
Seeking Turkish investments, the PM said there is a huge potential and opportunity to enhance bilateral engagement.
FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT
This, he felt, is possible through trade and FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) inflows, technology tie-ups and cooperation on various projects.
"Let us work together for enhancing the level of our economic activities for welfare of our people. From the Indian side, I welcome you with open arms. I can say with confidence that India was never a more promising destination than it is today," the PM said.
He called on the chambers of commerce and industry of both sides to engage with each other pro-actively and work closely, both at the government and B2B levels.
"I know that Turkish construction companies have successfully undertaken many construction and infrastructure projects in other countries. Our infrastructure requirements are enormous, including core as well as social and industrial infrastructure," he said.
50 MILLION HOUSES BY 2022
Referring to opportunities in India, Modi said the country plans to build 50 million houses by 2022, metro rail projects in 50 cities and high-speed trains in various national corridors.
The two-way trade has gone up to $6.4 billion in 2016, from $2.8 billion in 2008.
"While this is encouraging, the level of present economic and commercial relations is not enough against the real potential," Modi said.
He spoke of energy, mining, textile, automobile and food processing as other areas that offer great promise.
FREE TRADE AGREEMENT WITH INDIA
In his address to the Summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a free trade agreement (FTA) with India to expand the ambit of bilateral economic ties.
He also suggested that the two should explore the possibility of trade in local currency to deal with exchange rate fluctuations.
Hardselling his country as an ideal tourist destination, the president said Indian families are increasingly organising wedding ceremonies in Turkey in recent years.
"Therefore, we would like to host more Indian tourists in Turkey... you can come to Turkey for honeymoon. We would like to host you in Turkey," he added.
The visiting president said Turkish companies can participate in India's project to develop 100 smart cities.
Analysts at NAB note that the Australia’s Prime Minister visited India in April, aiming to further strengthen the economic and political relationship between two countries with many close historical ties.
“A long awaited free trade agreement has been delayed – perhaps permanently – due to a number of stumbling blocks, particularly in relation to agricultural protectionism and labour mobility. It now looks more likely that the bilateral trade relationship could be advanced on a case by case basis rather than via a wide-ranging trade deal.”
“Closer ties are certainly worthwhile as India is the world’s third largest economy (behind China and the United States) and has considerable growth potential over the next few decades. Output grew by around 7.4% in 2016 (making it the fastest growing major economy) and its demographic profile is especially favourable for growth (particularly compared with a rapidly ageing China).”
“From an Australian perspective, India was our fifth largest export market in 2015-16, with exports totalling $12.9 billion. That said, exports are quite narrowly based – with coal accounting for the majority of goods exports and education dominating services trade. The government has created an Indian Economic Strategy, aiming to help Australian business tap into India’s rapid growth.”
India and the U.S. are slated to hold trade talks in May to identify opportunities in sectors such as infrastructure, digital technologies and smart cities even as commercial ties have soured by the recent visa and intellectual property (IP) issues.
Government and industry representatives from both the nations will hold talks during the ‘Annual West Coast Summit’ in Menlo Park, California on May 8. The discussions apart from food processing and supply chain logistics will focus on financial services, clean energy, healthcare and manufacturing from a technology partnership perspective.
During the mega trade expo called ‘Glorious India’ in New Jersey on May 27-28 the focus of the talks will shift to garments, gems and jewellery, travel & tourism and real estate.
About 400 companies from India will take part in ‘Glorious India’ backed by the Indian Commerce and Industry Ministry (leading the ‘Make in India programme) and Tourism Ministry (spearheading the ‘Incredible India’ initiative). India-US trade in goods and services had risen to around $115 billion in 2016 from $109 billion in 2015, according to U.S. government data, and the aim is to raise this to $500 billion soon.
The U.S. Presidential Executive Order on ‘Buy American and Hire American’ on April 18 had said the H-1B visa (temporary work visa for non-immigrants) programme will soon be ‘reformed’ to ensure that the visas are awarded to the most skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries, a move that may hit the Indian technology sector.
This indication of visa curbs came close on the heels of the U.S. government on March 3 “temporarily suspending premium processing for all H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions, for up to six months.” Also, much to India’s chagrin, the 2017 “Special 301” Report on trade and intellectual property (IP) issues released by the U.S. government in April had said, “India remains on the ‘Priority Watch List’ this year for lack of sufficient measurable improvements to its IP framework…”
Notwithstanding these hurdles, there will be several high-level India-U.S. interactions in May. As per the industry body U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), its members will on May 3 interact with the Indian Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari on opportunities for U.S.-India supply chain and infrastructure collaboration.
During that discussion on the sidelines of the ‘India Integrated Transport & Logistics Summit 2017’ (learnt to be a ‘precursor to the formation of the Indian government’s dedicated working group on logistics’), the USIBC will unveil a task force on supply chain standards, according to the USIBC.
This will be followed by meetings on May 5, 8 and 10 with Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on the “emerging reform landscape in the food processing industry and food retail” as well as on the ‘World Food Forum in India’ that Ms. Badal’s ministry is slated to host in New Delhi in November 2017, the USIBC added.
The ‘Annual West Coast Summit' — to be attended among others by Ms. Badal and other senior representatives from the Indian government, as well as Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu — will have discussions on U.S.-India technology partnerships in ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), smart city planning, India’s move towards a cashless economy and the future of technology relationship as well as investment opportunities in food retail and food processing, it said.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called for deepening economic relations between New Delhi and Ankara, and also invited Turkish businesses to invest in this country
"India and Turkey are among the top 20 largest economies in the world. Both economies have shown remarkable stability even in volatile global situations," Modi told an India-Turkey business summit in Delhi
"We are optimistic about our economic prospects. There is immense goodwill for each other between the people of the two countries. Time has come to deepen economic relations.
He added: "There is huge potential to enhance bilateral engagement. This is possible through trade and FDI (foreign direct investment) inflows, technology tie-ups and cooperation on various projects. We have seen some increase in participation of Turkish companies in some areas.
Claiming that his government was in the process of building a new India, the Indian prime minister said: "Our focus is on making it easier to work and to do business. This includes reforming policies, processes and procedures. We have achieved lots of success and recognition on this front. Our global ranking has gone up on many parameters.
On the tourism sector, he said: "We are putting up new ports and modernizing old ones ... Similar focus is on upgrading existing airports. Turkish tourism sector is globally renowned. The number of tourists going to Turkey has gone up in the last few years. It's also popular for shooting Indian films and television industry. We must explore wider opportunities in this area.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on a two-day tour of India.