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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday laid out the many reforms in the economic sphere which he said are significantly improving the ease of doing business in India.


He was addressing business leaders from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in order to boost India's trade and investment relations with the Gulf nations.At a meeting here with GCC corporate leaders, Modi outlined the changes that had resulted in India climbing 30 places last year in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business rankings to break into the top 100 countries. Modi is on his second visit to the UAE, on route from an Indian Prime Minister's first visit to Palestine. The trip comes at a time of tensions within the GCC caused by a standoff between Qatar and some members led by Saudi Arabia.


"Taking India story to the business leaders! (Modi) painted the vision of a new India and shared the ease of doing business in India with the business leaders from GCC countries," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar tweeted following the meeting here.


Earlier, Modi met the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.


"Strengthening our comprehensive strategic partnership! ... The two leaders had an engaging discussion on expanding cooperation in trade and investment, defence and security and people-to-people contacts," Kumar added. 


On Saturday, India and the UAE signed five MoUs, including in the areas of energy and railways, following delegation-level talks headed by Modi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan here.


While the UAE is one of the largest suppliers of crude oil to India, it is also the 10th largest investor in India in terms of foreign direct investment, having invested an estimated $8 billion.


As of 2016-17, India-UAE trade stood at around $52 billion, making India the largest trading partner of the UAE. The UAE the fourth largest trading partner of India. 


Source:- Greater Kashmir

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday invited Omani businesses to invest in the country as he showcased the government’s initiatives to further ease doing of business in the “New India”.


Addressing around 50 Omani chief executives at the Oman-India Business Meet here, Modi said that the reforms were aimed at preparing India for the 21st century and make it a global manufacturing hub.


He said India was ushering in a knowledge-based technologically driven society which presents many opportunities for Omani businesses.


“Four countries in four-days strengthening our footprint in Gulf and West Asia! PM @narendramodi begins Day 4 with business – Oman-India Business Meet in Muscat. Pitching India as an attractive destination,” Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.


Listing some of the major reforms by the government in the last over three years, Modi noted that India had climbed to the third position in the global Start-up Index.


On Sunday during his meeting with Sultan of Oman Qaboos Bin Said Al Said, Modi voiced his appreciation of the Indian expatriates for their contributions to Oman’s development.


Oman is home to over 800,000 expatriate Indians and Modi, in a community gathering earlier on Monday, praised their role in the Gulf country’s development.


Following the meeting between Modi and Sultan Qaboos, eight agreements were signed between India and Oman.


These include three memorandums of understanding on cooperation in the fields of health, outer space, diplomacy and defence studies and analyses.


The India-Oman defence cooperation has emerged as a key pillar of the strategic partnership between the two countries.


Oman is a strategic partner of India in the Gulf and an important interlocutor at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Arab League and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).


Modi arrived here on Sunday evening on the third and final leg of his visit to West Asia and the Gulf that also took him to Palestine and the United Arab Emirates.(IANS)


Source:-The Shillong Times

New Delhi, 12th February, 2018 (WAM) – The UAE and India have reached a historic agreement which will enable businesses on both sides to bypass the US Dollar or any other foreign currency and trade directly in UAE Dirhams and the Indian Rupee.


The agreement will mean large savings for business communities on both sides as trade between the UAE and India soars to new highs.


India’s Ambassador to the UAE, Navdeep Suri, said that this is in addition to the agreements and memoranda of understanding which were signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s just-concluded two-day visit to Abu Dhabi and Dubai.


"There were two other agreements that have been finalised. One is a currency swap agreement where India and UAE – it is an agreement between the two Central Banks – and the agreement has been completed and it is going to be exchanged through letters. Under this, businesses from the two sides will be able to trade directly in Rupees and in Dirhams and not have to go through US Dollars which means that there is a saving for business community. It makes trade between the two countries more competitive," Suri said while reviewing Modi’s visits to the UAE, Jordan and Palestine along with India’s new Foreign Secretary, Vijay Gokhale, for Indian reporters.


Although the Dirham has a fixed peg to the US Dollar, the currency swap agreement between the UAE and India could favourably impact trade between the two countries as the Trump Administration in the US cements further an expansionary fiscal policy and the US Federal Reserve considers rate hikes.


The impact of US policies on the Indian Rupee would be greater and favourable to trade with the UAE since the Indian currency’s value is not pegged to the US Dollar but is determined by a basket of currencies.


The rationale for the currency swap agreement is evident from UAE-India trade figures. From a mere $182 million in 1982, the current level of bilateral trade amounted to about USD 53 billion, according to a joint statement released at the end Modi’s visit.


Another agreement which has been finalised and will be signed this week is "between the Financial Intelligence Units which commits both countries to work more closely together in money laundering, in preventing money laundering that takes place," Suri said.


About this agreement, the joint statement said "the two sides welcomed the finalisation of an MOU on cooperation in the exchange of financial intelligence related to money laundering, associated predicate offences and terrorist financing."


Source:- Emirates New Agency

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, he has focused on making India a more attractive investment destination, easing foreign direct investment rules, and ensuring India climbs up the World Bank’s Ease Of Doing Business index. This focus has yielded impressive dividends. India is one of the world’s fastest-growing large economies, and is attracting record levels of foreign investment. 


Yet, there are increasingly loud voices calling for protections against foreign internet firms. It is important for India to repudiate these protectionist sentiments. As India knows well from its long period of self-imposed economic isolation, Indian businesses thrive in competitive environments. 


Investors and businesses have responded enthusiastically to the Modi government’s focus on openness and deregulation. According to the ministry of commerce and industry, in fiscal year 2016-17, India attracted a record $60.1 billion of foreign direct investment. In 2017, India attracted a net foreign portfolio investment of $31 billion, up from $3.2 billion in 2016 and $10.6 billion in 2015. 


The Modi government has also launched new projects to strengthen India’s ecosystem for innovation, such as the Atal Innovation Mission and Startup India. While such projects take a while to yield results, they are headed in a very positive direction. Companies such as Uber, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google are investing in India and sharing their skills and expertise—and more importantly, adding choice and variety for Indian consumers and businesses. Uber, for example, has partnered with Invest India to create UberEXCHANGE, in which Uber executives visited India and shared their expertise with Indian start-ups. 


Despite these positive examples, there are reports that some are asking the Indian government to shield India’s internet start-ups from foreign competition, arguing that they are not able to match the resources of multinational companies and therefore need protection. Their argument lies in the notion that not only do multinational companies have more capital, they can run negative margins in India by leveraging successful businesses in other countries.


However, this idea that Indian companies are hurt by multinational presence and cannot compete with foreign companies due to a lack of resources does not hold much merit. It not only ignores the fruitful tech ecosystem to which multinationals have contributed in India, but also the accomplishments of Indian technology companies.


Companies such as MakeMyTrip, Oyo, and Naukri.com have built their businesses on innovating for users rather than relying on protectionist policies, allowing them to successfully compete with multinational companies. Indian tech giants like TCS, HCL, Infosys, and Wipro thrive and have successfully built international businesses to make India the world’s leading software and IT services provider. These companies have since flourished due to their ability to innovate and provide a variety of effective solutions to consumers. Rather than restricting consumer choice through protectionist measures, government should be encouraging a broadening and deepening of the tech ecosystem in India. 


By promoting competition, the government can ensure that Indian consumers have access to the best products and services available. India’s businesses and growing middle class want more choices, and cutting-edge tech companies of all nationalities are at the forefront of meeting these demands in a tailored way. 


In 2016, Samsung launched a strategy entitled “Make for India”, creating products specifically based on insights from the Indian experience. In the absence of arbitrary barriers to market entry, companies are able to innovate in a unique fashion to cater to the Indian market, ultimately benefitting Indian consumers and companies, providing them a wider array of products and services to meet their demands and to make India more competitive. 


In the same vein, discouraging access to the best technology, no matter the country of origin, impedes India’s ability to achieve some of the prime minister’s key stated priorities. The economic multiplier effect of a robust tech sector simply cannot be underestimated. A tilt towards protectionism will likely result in a slide down the World Bank’s Ease Of Doing Business rankings, where India has recently made impressive gains (its rank improved by 30 spots in 2017, reaching the top 100 for the first time). 


Additionally, by limiting competition, the Modi government would disadvantage its acclaimed Digital India campaign—and the Startup India campaign as well, as Indian start-ups would lose access to international platforms and information. 


Ultimately, India stands at a crossroads. Doubling down and creating barriers might help some businesses in the short term, but in the long term, start-ups, entrepreneurs, and consumers would lose and India’s competitiveness would suffer. Worse, the negative signal would leave both foreign and domestic companies wary of investing in India, and those that remain would have lost any incentive to innovate. 


Instead of allowing protectionist urges to isolate India from the thriving global technology sector, the government should invest in the future by encouraging start-ups to be more competitive and to become global leaders (as so many Indian companies have), as well as by ensuring Indian consumers have the choices they want and deserve.


Source:-Live Mint

The newly-launched Manchester- India Partnership (MIP) aims at connecting Indian companies with northern England to further trade, investments, science and innovation cooperation between the two nations.


The MIP is a public-private initiative designed for building closer ties between Manchester and India encompassing the full scope of country-to-city ties, including trade, investment, science and innovation, connectivity and culture.


"A major target of the MIP will be to encourage direct air connectivity between the two countries to further broaden the existing economic and cultural links, with the Manchester airport, which is the sixth largest European gateway to India," Manchester airport chief executive Andrew Cowan said.


Addressing the India-UK Createch summit that celebrates and explores the convergence of creativity and technology,held here recently, he said, "we are having discussions with the government of India, and a number of airlines have shown keen interest in direct flights between Manchester and India."Meanwhile, many English companies have shown keen interest to invest in India and have signed 58 million pounds worth of commercial deals in technology and creative sectors during the summit.


"Britain has shows its world-leading capabilities in the creative and tech sectors, while continuing to build strong ties with the fast-growing Indian economy.


"Over 60 British companies have travelled to India during this month-long celebration of Createch and met hundreds of Indian companies," British minister trade and export promotion minister Baroness Rona Fairhead said.


Addressing the summit, she said the discussions held at the summit demonstrate "our commitments to continuing to forge creative, new technology-led partnerships between Britain and India."


As an economic success story, the creative industries contributed 92 billion pounds to the British economy in 2016 and employed over 1.9 million.


Britain is the largest investor among the G20 nations in India and India is the fourth largest investor in England, she added.


Around 1,000 delegates from film, advertising, healthcare, industrial design, music, gaming and immersive technologies sectors attended the summit and have entered into commercial deals worth 58 million pounds.


Some of the top such deals include those inked by the Producers Guild of India with the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television of England.


Source:- Money Control