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India and Hungary on Tuesday agreed to boost bilateral trade that has touched $600 million across multiple sectors, including automobile industry, IT and pharmaceuticals.


According to sources, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and visiting Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, during a meeting here, expressed satisfaction at the increasing bilateral trade which has touched $600 million.


"Foreign Minister Szijjarto positively assessed Indian investment in Hungary which had reached $2 billion and was providing employment to more than 10,000 people," the sources said.


There are around 15 Indian companies operating in Hungary, including Apollo Tyres, TCS, WIPRO, Mahindra Satyam, SMR Group and Sun Pharma.


Sushma Swaraj called for widening cooperation in IT education, innovation and research and development.


On his part, Szijjarto listed four focus areas for cooperation: automotive industry (31.5% of Hungary's GDP comes from the automotive sector); construction industry especially for affordable housing in which Hungarian companies were keen to enter the Indian market; water and sanitation to assist Clean India Mission; and innovative industries.


The two ministers discussed the prospects of India-EU Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) in the wake of Britain's exit from the European Union (EU).


The sources said that the two ministers also discussed cultural, educational and cooperation in science and technology.


A joint India-Hungary science and technology fund of two million euros has been created to promote research in agriculture, pharmacueuticals, information and communication technology, nanotechnology and molecular biology.


According to the sources, both sides also discussed defence cooperation and Hungary's participation in the Make in India initiative.


According to a joint statement issued following the following the conclusion of Szijjarto's visit, both ministers jointly affirmed the need for comprehensive reforms of the UN Security Council.


"Both ministers affirmed the urgent need for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations Security Council, including its expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories, so as to make it more effective, efficient and representative of the contemporary geopolitical realities," the statement said.


"In this light, the two ministers expressed support for early progress in the Intergovernmental Negotiations on United Nations Security Council reform and reiterated their commitment to move towards text-based negotiations," it added.


The Hungarian minister also shared his country's position regarding the issue of migration from conflict zones in the Middle East and the steps being taken by the the EU in this context.


The issue of nuclear non-proliferation also came up for discussion.


"In this regard, Minister Szijjártó welcomed India's joining of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) on June 27," the statement said.


Sushma Swaraj, on her part, thanked Hungary for its support for India's membership in the MTCR and its bid for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).


The two ministers also condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reaffirmed that any act of terrorism was criminal and unjustifiable regardless of its motivations, whenever and by whoever committed.


Both ministers called for an early adoption by the UN General Assembly of the India-initiated draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.


Later on Tuesday, Szijjarto also called on Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman, and Union Minister for Earth Sciences, Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan.


Source: Business-Standard

India will participate in Russia's biggest manufacturing sector exhibition, Innoprom, as the partner country in this year's edition to be held from July 10-14, a development that comes close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Tashkent where expanding bilateral economic partnership was a key item on the agenda of discussion. An Indian delegation led by the minister of state for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman will take part in the mega fair to be held in Russia's Ekaterinburg city, officials said. India hopes to gain from this meet as the Modi government focuses on providing a boost to the manufacturing sector in the country. 


China was the partner country at the exhibition in 2015. The officials said the delegation will comprise chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan; representatives from Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand; secretary, Department of Heavy Industries; and executives from 100 business firms.


"Having great economic power with its more than 1.2 billion people India will be put in the spotlight at the Russian leading industrial trade fair. This is going to offer enormous sales potential for Russian and international exhibitors of Innoprom," a statement from the organisers of the exhibition said. "At the same time, entrepreneurs from India who exhibit at Innoprom gain broad access to new global markets," it said. 


Russia has been keen to expand trade and investments with its old ally India. This was evident from President Putin's statements at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum and later during his meeting with the Indian PM on June 24. 


Indo-Russian economic partnership has not kept pace with the strong bilateral political and strategic ties. India has been expanding its presence in the hydrocarbon sector in Russia, besides eyeing entry into the Eurasian market through Eurasian Economic Union and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. 


Innoprom has been held in Ekaterinburg since 2010. This year's themes include sustainable integration of industrial production and data transfer based on the Internet of Things (IoT) technology; new manufacturing system architecture; international production cooperation: resources, combining production facilities and development centres dispersed across the world in a single network and new model of efficient manufacturing for traditional industries.


On July 11, an India-Russia business forum will be attended by Russian and Indian authorities and major business leaders. 


Source: The Economic Times

Two of Japan's popular electronic brands — Toshiba and Sharp — which recently changed hands are set to re-enter India. Foxconn, which just completed the acquisition of Sharp, will relaunch the brand in India with smartphones, televisions, air purifiers, air-conditioners and other appliances in the next two months. Skyworth Electronics, the Chinese owners of Toshiba, too is drafting its India entry strategy with televisions. 


"Both the brands are inactive with no supplies of inventory in the Indian market for the past few months. But both will enter the market before the festive season. Foxconn is already in talks with a distributor and Skyworth too is formalising its plans," said a senior industry executive. 


What's interesting is that these brands are going to play the pricing game on their return, mirroring a strategy which the Chinese smartphone makers have done in the Indian market to gain share, said two senior industry executives on the condition of anonymity. 


Toshiba Corp has licensed its brand for television business to Skyworth last December for the Asian market — excluding China — in line with similar deals in the US and Europe to pave the way for profitability. On the other hand, Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group acquired ailing Sharp Corp in a $3.5-billion deal in April and is trying to revive the business. 


While an email sent to Skyworth did not elicit any response till Monday press time, Foxconn Technology Group replied that the company as a policy will not comment on market rumours or speculation.


Industry insiders said these deals reflect the seriousness of Far-East companies to replicate their success in smartphones to more categories such as televisions and appliances. 


"Till recently Chinese consumer electronic companies have faced little success in India with TCL and Konka exiting the market. Companies like Midea, Skyworth and Foxconn are trying to make a big entry with their association with established brands like Carrier, Toshiba and Sharp. Eventually, categories like television could become fragmented like smartphones with their entry," said Pulkit Baid, director at Great Eastern, one of East's largest white goods retail chain. 


At present, three MNC brands — Samsung, LG and Sony — control around 80% of the Indian television market. The white goods segment such as air-conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines too is mainly controlled by few brands such as LG, Samsung, Voltas, Videocon, Whirlpool and Godrej. 


ET had first reported in January that Toshiba Corp will exit the television and home appliances business in India after failing to cut much ice in the country. 


Sharp India had last December announced its decision to sell the Indian operations. Both the companies are at present mainly focusing on after-sales service in the country, waiting for the new owners to finalise business plans, executives said.


Source: The Economic Times

Buoyed by relaxation of foreign direct investment (FDI) norms, non-resident Indian businessman Yusuffali M.A., who heads the Dubai-based retail conglomerate Lulu Group, has announced an investment of over Rs.7,000 crore in India for setting up shopping malls and hotels.


Ali said his group will invest Rs.4,650 crore in Kerala, Rs.1,000 crore in Uttar Pradesh and Rs.1,410 crore in Telangana in the hospitality and retail sectors.


Complimenting the National Democratic Alliance government for raising the FDI cap for key sectors, Ali estimated that investment to the tune of $150 billion will flow into India’s retail, aviation, tourism and manufacturing sectors from the Gulf countries in the next few years.


He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s outreach to a number of Gulf nations coupled with initiatives to attract foreign investment have made India the most talked about FDI destination in the region which is eying to broaden its non-oil investment.


“There will be a tremendous push from Gulf investors into India as they are looking to broaden their non-oil investment,” he said.


Ali’s Lulu Group, having an annual turnover of $6.3 billion, has already made major investments in retail, hospitality and food processing sectors in India. Forbes magazine had last year listed Ali, a first generation migrant to the Middle East, as the 30th wealthiest Indian and the 737th richest in the world.


Ali said the company will initially invest Rs.1,000 crore for setting up a shopping mall and a five-star hotel and convention centre in Lucknow. The site for the project has already been identified and construction work will start by December.


In Telangana, Ali said his group is investing Rs.500 crore for establishing a food processing plant, while a shopping mall will be set up with an investment of Rs.900 crore in Hyderabad.


In Kerala, Ali said his group is making an investment of Rs.4,650 crore in a number of projects. A shopping mall and a five-star hotel with investment of Rs.1,250 crore is being set up in Thiruvananthapuram, he said, adding another five-star hotel will come up in Kochi at an investment of Rs.1,600 crore.


Lulu Group is also a setting up an information technology park at Kochi with an investment of Rs.1,400 crore.


Source: LiveMint

The Centre has called a meeting of major private players engaged in the animal husbandry sector, particularly the dairy industry, on July 8 to raise foreign investment in this area.


The Centre has targeted Rs 100,000 crore investment in the dairy industry from private players in the next few years, which will  include foreign direct investment (FDI). According to official sources, just around Rs 114 crore FDI has come into the dairy sector between 2010 and 2016.


“We have initiated discussions with the World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency for increasing their investments in the dairy and animal husbandry sector and will intensify our engagement with them,” Devendra Chaudhury, animal husbandry secretary, told Business Standard.


The move has gathered added impetus after the Centre relaxed norms for FDI in animal husbandry by allowing research in non-controlled conditions as well.


Even before that foreign investment was allowed in most aspects of the dairy and fisheries sector, including equipment and machines.


With milk production and demand rising exponentially, the Centre is looking at the private sector and foreign majors like Danone to increase their investment in India. It is seeking investment in milk processing, marketing and infrastructure like chillers.


The wider objective of encouraging private players to invest in the dairy industry is to gradually lower the role of the unorganised sector in India’s milk production.


Of the country’s total milk production of around 160 million tonnes, 48 per cent is sold in the market. Of this, around 20 per cent is supplied by the organised sector, which includes both the private sector and cooperatives, while the rest comes from the unorganised sector. The organised sector operates on low margins and usually purchases milk from farmers at low prices.


Officials said with the help of FDI and other investments, the share of the organised sector in India’s annual milk production would be enhanced. This will also help in effective transfer of technology. India, despite being a major milk producer, has a limited share in the world export market. Private investment, particularly FDI, can push this up.




The Centre has targeted Rs 100,000 crore investment in the dairy industry from private players in the next few years


Around Rs 114 crore FDI has come into the dairy sector between 2010 and 2016


The wider objective of encouraging private players to invest in the dairy industry is to gradually lower the role of the unorganised sector in India’s milk production


Source: Business-Standard