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  • Jun 13, 2019
  • GSP move: India must take US to the WTO

    The government of India has indicated that the fiscal impact of this withdrawal, which would impact approximately $5.6 billion of India’s exports, is not significant.The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), accorded by the US to imports from India since 1976, stood terminated as on June 5, 2019. The government of India has indicated that the fiscal impact of this withdrawal, which would impact approximately $5.6 billion of India’s exports, is not significant. Perhaps it is indeed not when seen against the overall exports to the US, valued at $230 billion. But the issue is not one of mere numbers, but one of legal principles as the systemic impact of US’s brazen unilateral actions. It is also of the impact that the move would have on exporters of several goods such as jewellery, building materials, solar cells and processed foods, which will face increases of upto 10% in the US tariffs, not all of which exporters can absorb by increasing prices of products in their struggle to remain competitive. Spillover effects in terms of downsizing in export firms, diversification, exploring newer markets, and all the accompanying uncertainties therefore seems inevitable

  • Jun 13, 2019
  • Raghuram Rajan Among Contenders For Bank Of England Governor Post: Report

    Economist Raghuram Rajan, a former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, is now in the race and among the top contenders for the job of governor of the Bank of England, according to Bloomberg.

    Rajan, who served as the 23rd Governor of RBI between 2013 and 2016, is the only contender from outside the United Kingdom, at a time the nation is going through uncertainty over Brexit, with Thresa May being the latest in the long line of public figures and politicians resigning at the altar of the UK's exit from European Union.

    "The job of stewarding the U.K.’s monetary policy and maintaining its financial stability has rarely been more political, and Rajan is the only outsider among the top contenders in the running to replace Mark Carney, according to bookmakers and economists who follow the 325-year-old institution," reported Bloomberg.

    However, neither Rajan nor the Bank of England is commenting on his candidacy, even as the deadline for applying for the job passed last week.

  • Jun 13, 2019
  • As Protesters Fill Hong Kong’s Streets, Businesses Are Alarmed, Too

    As tens of thousands of protesters returned to Hong Kong’s streets on Wednesday to speak out against a proposed law that would allow extraditions to mainland China, one prominent voice has been largely silent: big business.

    But quietly, a wave of concern has spread through the community of foreign consultants, investors and executives who depend on Hong Kong as a safe base from which to do business in China.

    No major company dares to speak out publicly for fear of angering the Chinese government. Behind the scenes, they are grappling with difficult questions about whether the legislation would endanger foreign executives or undermine the city’s legal system, a preferred venue for resolving disputes over the mainland’s Communist Party-controlled courts.

    “The business and financial community is deeply concerned about what this may augur for Hong Kong,” said Fred Hu, founder of the investment firm Primavera Capital Group and former head of Goldman Sachs’s Greater China business.

  • Jun 13, 2019
  • Trump keeps India on tenterhooks

    The US’ efforts to limit our options on weapons purchases could now extend to the choice of 5G technology partner
    The G20 Summit, to be held in Osaka, Japan on June 28-29, brings together leaders from the world’s developed and rising economies. The Summit will be an important occasion for Prime Minister Modi to meet Presidents Trump, Xi Jinping and Putin, after his decisive electoral victory. President Trump has shaken up the world order and given new shape to global power equations. The US now has a leader, who is determined to significantly change the strategic, political, economic, cultural and sociological norms, which have shaped international relations, in the post World War II era.

    It may be simplistic to characterise President Trump as a bigoted racist, because he called for a ban on visas for immigrants from some Muslim countries. He enjoys a personal rapport with rulers of countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt. His son-in-law, Jarred Kushner, evidently shapes his views of the Islamic world. Kushner has strong emotional ties with Israel. He moulds Trump’s hard line towards Iran.

  • Jun 13, 2019
  • The Next India-Pakistan Crisis Will Be Worse

    he last few days have been downright scary in South Asia.

    India and Pakistan, the only two rivals in the world to be both neighbors and nuclear states, have suffered through their most serious crisis in nearly twenty years.

    The crisis has featured multiple traumatic events that made escalation inevitable. Take the February 14 attack by Jaish-e-Mohammad, a Pakistan-based terror group, on Indian security personnel in India-administered Kashmir—one of the deadliest attacks on Indian forces in years. Consider India’s retaliatory strikes on Pakistan—launched not in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, but in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, further away from the border. And witness Pakistan’s decision to respond with its own strikes on Indian targets, and its capture of an Indian Air Force pilot.

  • Jun 13, 2019
  • China badly wants a trade deal with America: Trump

    China is getting hurt by the increased American import tariffs and "badly" wants to strike a deal with the US, President Donald Trump has said, amidst a bruising trade war between the two economic giants.

    The US president increased levies on USD 200 billion worth of Chinese imports into the US from 10 per cent to 25 per cent last month after Washington and Beijing failed to reach a deal on trade.

    China retaliated by announcing plans to raise levies on USD 60 billion of US imports from June 1.

    Last month, the Trump administration added Huawei to its "entity list", which bans the telecom company from acquiring technology from US firms without government approval.

    The US president has previously accused China of targeting Americna industries, and stealing intellectual property, the theft of American jobs and wealth.

    On Tuesday, Trump defended his actions against China, the world's second largest economy after the US.

  • Jun 13, 2019
  • New ethical norms may force Norway’s sovereign fund to offload Glencore stake

    Norway’s $1-trillion sovereign wealth fund may have to sell its $1-billion stake in commodities giant Glencore, among other companies that derive more than 30 per cent of their revenue from coal, to meet proposed tighter ethical investing rules.

    Under the centre-right government’s plan, expected to be adopted by Norway’s Parliament on Wednesday, the world’s largest fund would no longer invest in companies that mine more than 20 million tonnes of coal annually or generate more than 10 gigawatt (GW) of power with coal.

    Environmental campaigners Greenpeace and Urgewald Environmental campaigner Greenpeace said the new guidelines mean the fund would have to divest its stake in Glencore

    said the new guidelines mean the fund would have to divest its stakes in Glencore, in which the fund has a stake of 2.03 per cent, worth $1 billion at the end of 2018, according to fund data.

    The fund would also have to sell its 2.16 per cent holding in miner Anglo American, worth

    $620 million, they added, citing their own analysis.