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Green building industry will grow by 20 per cent in India in the next three years, mainly on account of environmental regulation and rising demand, a report said. 

 

The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced the outcome of the Dodge Data & Analytics World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report, in which the USGBC is a contributing partner.

 

"The new report finds that by 2018, the green building industry in India will grow by 20 per cent driven largely by environmental regulations and demand for healthier neighborhoods," USGBC said in a statement. 

 

New high-rise residential, communities and mixed-use development are expected to be the top three sectors for green building growth in India, it added. 

 

The report, conducted in nearly 70 countries, also demonstrates that global green building continues to double every three years. 

 

The report said the increase in consumer demand has pushed the world's green building market to a trillion dollar industry, a surge that has led to a corresponding increase in the scope and size of the green building material market, which is expected to reach USD 234 billion by 2019. 

 

Green building programs such as LEED have been significant drivers of market transformation across the globe. 

 

Today, there are nearly 75,000 commercial projects participating in LEED across the globe, with 1.85 million sq ft of building space which LEED is certifying every day. 

 

In India, there are more than 1,990 projects, comprising more than 822 million sq ft of space, participating in LEED. 

 

"The growth of LEED reflects its global adaptability as the world's most widely used and recognised system guiding the design, construction, operations and maintenance of green buildings," Mahesh Ramanujam, COO, USGBC, said. 

 

The report found that green buildings offer significant operational cost savings compared with conventional buildings. 

 

To this effect, respondents expect 14 per cent savings in operational costs over five year savings for new green buildings and 13 percent savings in operational costs over five years for green retrofit and renovation projects. 

 

Building owners also report that green buildings -- whether new or renovated -- command a 7 percent increase in asset value over conventional buildings. 

 

Source: The Economic Times

Lockheed Martin Corp. has offered to build its flagship F-16 fighter jet in India, as the South Asian nation scrambles to modernize its aging defense fleet while trying to establish the country as a manufacturing base.

 

Lockheed Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Marillyn Hewson made the offer to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September, Phil Shaw, CEO of Lockheed’s Indian unit, said in an interview Thursday at the Singapore Airshow. The U.S. and Indian governments are negotiating the deal, he said.

 

Modi needs to quickly replace many of the air force’s 650 planes -- a third of which are more than 40 years old -- and has vowed to turn India from the world’s biggest weapons importer into a global hub for defense manufacturing. The country sold about $150 million of arms in the last fiscal year, a fraction of the $64 billion in worldwide defense trade and its own arms imports of $5.6 billion.

 

"The U.S.-Indian relationship that has been developing could benefit Lockheed," Jon Grevatt, Asia-Pacific defense-industry analyst for IHS Jane’s, said by phone from Singapore. But, he added, "I don’t see it happening immediately. This is still very early stages."

 

Locally Made

 

After coming to power in May 2014 with the country’s biggest election mandate in three decades, Modi unveiled his ‘‘Make in India’’ campaign to boost manufacturing to 25 percent of gross domestic product by 2022 from 18 percent now. The cornerstone of the policy is attracting companies to set up factories in India for manufacturing.

 

India picked Paris-based Dassault Aviation SA in 2012 to build 126 warplanes at an estimated cost of about $11 billion -- at the time the world’s biggest fighter-jet deal, and one in which Lockheed lost out. As talks stalled over price and quality guarantees, Modi flew to France last April and sought to directly buy 36 fighter jets from the French government in a bid to speed things up.

 

Lockheed understands the preferred option on such strategic purchases is a government-to-government discussion, Shaw said. He declined to say whether he thought India had erred by going for an auction process in the first round of the fighter jet deal that Dassault won. India first sought bids for new fighter jets in 2007.

 

Lobbying Process

 

Lockheed Martin is "anxious" to know the Indian Air Force’s requirements, which will help determine how many jets the country seeks to buy, Randall Howard, head of F-16 business development at Lockheed, said in the same interview. 

 

"The problem we see is that India hasn’t come clean and said what its requirements are, in terms of both number of planes and their technical requirements," IHS Jane’s Grevatt said. "Until a requirement is made clear in either a tender or request for proposals, there seems to be a lobbying process going on."

 

Last week India summoned the U.S. ambassador in New Delhi to convey its displeasure at the planned sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, its nuclear-armed neighbor and biggest strategic rival. Howard called the proposed sale a government decision.

 

Shaw said Lockheed is in talks with Indian companies, including its existing Indian partner Tata Group, to find a potential partner for the fighter-jet program if it wins the contract. Phone calls seeking comment from Tata Group or Tata Advanced Systems Ltd., the group’s defense unit, were unsuccessful.

 

Source: Bloomberg

The Make in India week in Mumbai, which concluded on Thursday, has resulted in investment commitments worth Rs.15.2 trillion across various Indian states, Amitabh Kant, secretary, department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), told reporters.

 

Of this, about 30% of the investments fall under the foreign direct investment (FDI) category, he said, adding that these commitments are those that the DIPP and other government agencies have been able to collect information about. “There may be more investment that has been committed but which we have not been able to get information on,” he said.

 

Maharashtra, which hosted the Make in India week, has bagged more than half this investment commitment.

 

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the state has signed 2,594 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) worth over Rs.8 trillion. These MoUs would create more than 3 million jobs in Maharashtra. Fadnavis said the investment was spread across the state and that the Vidarbha, Marathwada and Khandesh regions had a share of Rs.1.75 trillion.

 

“The spectrum of these investment proposals is so large that it covers sectors from real estate to tourism to skill development to agro food processing to animal husbandry. I am sure these investments, and the regions where the investors are putting their money, will open up more sectors and spur more investment,” Fadnavis said.

 

Asked about the rate of investment implementation, Fadnavis said the state had entered into these MoUs after a rigorous process of vetting.

 

“Each of these MoUs has been vetted by us and we will make every effort to translate them into reality. The investments should not take more time than what is due,” he said.

 

Kant, who will soon exit as DIPP secretary, said the investment commitments would typically take 18 months to three years to materialize, and called the Make in India event and programme a big success.

 

“Since the prime minister launched this initiative, we have been able to create a sense of competition among states. We have promoted an investment-enabling environment and encouraged design, innovation and start-ups. The Make in India week offered a platform to investors, governments, countries, CEOs, consultants, diplomats and companies a common to come together and discuss business,” he said.

 

The Make in India centre in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex registered more than 100,000 business enquiries from 13 to 18 February. The grounds where the event was held saw nearly 600,000 visitors, 150 events, 215 exhibitions, and 8245 business-to-business, business-to-government and government-to-government meetings.

 

Kant said that 20 countries were represented and 17 Indian states exhibited their investment credentials. More than 9,000 Indian companies and 2,000 foreign companies participated in the event, along with more than 1,000 CEOs.

 

Source: Live Mint

India has emerged as the sole ray of sunshine in an OECD global forecast clouded with gloom. It's the only large economy that's been upgraded by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which pared growth forecasts for all the others. It has raised India's growth forecast for 2016 to 7.4%, cut the global growth estimate to 3% and kept China's unchanged at 6.5%. 

 

In what will come as a boost for the Modi government, which has been drumming up investment at the Make in India Week, the OECD forecast followed positive comments by Moody's. In its Global Macro Outlook released on Thursday, Moody's said India is relatively insulated from external turmoil and put growth for the country over the next two years at a stable 7.5%. 

 

Stocks were buoyant, shrugging off recent tumult, and advancing for the second day led by positive global market cues. These included the US Federal Reserve's comments that it may not consider a faster pace of interest rate hikes this year due to fragile global economic conditions and Iran coming to terms with Saudi Arabia and Russia to freeze oil output levels. The Moody's report chimed with this sentiment. 

 

The Sensex gained 1.14% to close at 23,649 points while the Nifty advanced 1.17% to 7,191, a shade below the immediate critical level of 7,200.

 

"India will continue to grow robustly, by 7.4% in 2016 and 7.3% in 2017," OECD said in its report published on Thursday. OECD's previous 2016 growth forecast was 7.3% for India and 3.3% for the world. China is expected to continue rebalancing its economy from manufacturing to services, with growth forecast at 6.5% in 2016 and 6.2% in 2017. By contrast, Brazil's economy is experiencing a deep recession and is expected to shrink by 4% this year and will only begin to climb back up next year. Monetary authorities need to be proactive, OECD suggested. 

 

"In emerging market economies, monetary support should be provided where possible, taking into account inflation developments and capital market responses," it said.

 

WAGE BURDEN

 

Moody's Investors Services expects India to reduce spending appropriately to provide for higher wages to government employees and stay in compliance with the fiscal consolidation road map unveiled last year. "The 23.55% increase in public sector salaries proposed by the Seventh Pay Commission is worth 0.7% of GDP," it said. "The pay increase will also probably raise inflationary pressures. However, we assume the government will cut spending in other parts of the budget to maintain the deficit broadly in line with the 3.5% of GDP objective, thereby mitigating some of the inflationary effects."

 

Many analysts expect the government to stretch the fiscal consolidation road map again this year, seeing the FY17 deficit at about the current year's level of 3.9% of GDP in particular from overseas. Recent measures that allow 100% foreign ownership in many sectors will help further increases in foreign direct investment ( FDI), it said. At the Make in India Week, which ended on Thursday, investment pledges added up to Rs 15.2 lakh crore ($222 billion).

 

SERVICES CUSHION

 

According to Moody's, the services sector will provide some support to growth. "In a context of low growth in global trade in goods, India's large services export sector (IT services account for about 18% of total exports) provides another source of resilience," it said. The agency said the generally robust economic environment is constrained by "banks' balance sheet repair and elevated corporate debt" and corporate pricing power being limited by the impact on food price inflation and households budgets of two consecutive droughts." Global growth will fail to pick up steam over the next two years amid a slowdown in China, lower commodity prices and tighter financing in some countries.

 

"Together with Turkey and China among the G20 emerging markets, India benefits from lower commodity prices: in 2014, net commodity imports amounted to 5.9% of India's GDP, compared with net exports worth 1.3%, 3.3% and 4.3% for South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia, respectively," it said.

 

Headline inflation in India will depend on the weather during the planting season. Without particularly unfavourable weather conditions, it estimates inflation will rise from last year's levels (4.9% on average) and fall back to the central bank's target of 5% by early 2017.

 

Another year of moderate price gains will help anchor inflation expectations and foster both consumer spending and investment, Moody's said. 

 

Source: The Economic Times

Looking at India as a "favourable" investment destination, Australia is keen to invest in LNG, financial services, education and healthcare sectors of the USD 2-trillion economy.

 

India, which expects its economy to grow at 7.6 per cent this fiscal, has launched major initiatives to attract companies and investors from abroad amidst a subdued global economic sentiment.

 

India presents some "great" prospects for Australian businesses on account of a huge market of 1.2 billion people, Australia's Minister for Trade & Investment Andrew Robb told PTI.

 

"We expect the opportunity for those things that we are good at. We expect the opportunity to be able to come in and compete and to offer. In a lot of cases that would involve doing Joint Ventures (JVs) as there are a lot of local issues that need to be understood and the best way to do that is to find a good and trustworthy JV partner," he added.

 

When asked about the sectors, Robb said: "We expect to compete in the healthcare, education, financial services; and with world-class services, including resources and energy space."

 

The Minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has transformed India's image and made it a "favourable" investment destination.

 

On his expectations from India, Robb said: "We want the opportunity to invest in a way which is not fraught with long delays, approvals and endless red tape.(We want to) invest in an efficient way and also be able to offer, after investing, a fair opportunity to compete with other service offerings.

 

"And in many cases, I think we will bring IP ( intellectual property) that will be valuable to India and in many cases we will gain IP that will be an advantage to Australia."

 

He further said there is a "huge interest" in Australia to participate in helping India in developing resources, but also stressed on the need for clarity in policy at the same time.

 

"... we've got the gas, of course India's got some, but we've got huge quantities of gas.In the past there has been frustration with companies that went in, either at the state level or federal level, commercial frustrations and roadblocks.

 

"It has discouraged some companies from participating. But, a lot of that has changed under the new government (Modi government). That's why we are doing Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), because we think now is the time where India is on the move and they are looking for whatever help different countries can give," he added.

 

Robb said that if governments get together it can ensure that there are no developments that hold the projects unnecessarily and that right attention is given and decisions are taken.

 

"States (in both the countries) can be brought in and commitments can be taken from them to give priority to certain projects. So, all of that creates a lot of business certainty, he added.

 

Talks for a CECA also known as FTA between India and Australia was started in 2011 to provide fillip to both trade and investments between the two countries.

 

"Well, certainly on the gas front, what the Minister (Power Minister Piyush Goyal) was talking about to Aussies on end-to-end projects, I think end-to-end propositions haven't been timed rightly in the past. I think there is a lot of scope for that. But in the end it will be a commercial decision," he said.

 

Goyal was in Australia last week for the India-Australia Energy Dialogue, which seeks to increase cooperation between both the governments and business in LNG, clean coal technologies, renewable energy among others. During his meetings with the government and businesses, Goyal stressed India's requirement of cheap gas for its power plants.

 

He, however added: "But I can say that if you do end-to- end and you have got a lot of certainty attached, both to the development of the project and also the ongoing, then the price issue could well be sorted. I think it's a graceful proposition for us to explore. It's a very worthwhile thing to explore."

 

Success breeds success and one thing will lead to other. There are some long term prospects for both the countries, Robb said.

 

Source: The Economic Times