India

India and Russia Plan Oil Pipeline

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Source: WikipediaDELHI – India and Russia have agreed to jointly build an oil pipeline that connects the two through Xinjiang province, China. It is expected to cost US$30 billion to build and will be completed by 2020-2022. The project was agreed to at a meeting held between Manmohan Singh and Vladimir Putin in October 2013 during the former’s trip to Moscow for the 14th India-Russia Annual Summit.

Presently, 28 percent of India’s energy comes from crude oil, 40 percent from coal and six percent form natural gas. India runs a high energy deficit and relies on imports to satisfy demand. In 2011, approximately 28 percent of the country’s energy came from imports – this number is expected to grow to 50 percent by 2030.

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India Seeks Investment from Hong Kong for Infrastructure Development

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HONG KONG – In an effort to attract increased foreign funding for the country’s 12th five-year plan, India is stepping up efforts to court investors from Hong Kong and mainland China.

India’s 12th five-year plan outlines more than US$1 trillion in infrastructure investments that will aim to increase the country’s economic competitiveness between 2012 and 2017. While the majority of funds will come from the Indian government, roughly 47 percent is being sought from private investors.

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Tax Policy Ranks as Key Consideration for Foreign Investors in Asia

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By Wiebke Szymczak

According to a survey by Deloitte, published on Monday, tax policy remains one of the key investment considerations for firms engaging in business activities in the Asia-Pacific economic region.

85 percent of more than 800 financial and tax professionals who responded to the survey considered tax policy to be a high priority when investing in Asia, with roughly one third listing it among their top three criteria.

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India-China Strategic Dialogue Revolves Around Indian Infrastructure Development

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BEIJING – India and China have been holding their third round of the joint Strategic Economic Dialogue in Beijing this past week, with changing demographics in both of these two Asian giants dictating future collaborations.

While China has apparently steamed far ahead of India in economic and development progress the past two decades, much of the reason for this has been China’s ability to exploit its demographic population dividend. Simply put, over the past twenty years China has had a large, young and available workforce coupled with a minimum number of dependents for each worker. India has had an older workforce during this period, with the additional burden of having to cater for more dependents per worker. That demographic is now shifting – fast – as China ages and India increasingly adds young workers to its labor pool.

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Indian Outbound Investment is the New Target to Attract

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Op-Ed Commentary: Chris Devonshire-Ellis

With governments around the world seeking to redress massive trade imbalances with China, a lot has been done to try and attract Chinese outbound investment overseas. The figures, at first glance, look impressive – China has become the world’s third largest overseas investor, behind the United States and Japan. The numbers, too, are huge – US$87.8 billion in 2012. Not surprisingly, a lot of international trade delegations have been visiting China, knocking on doors and hopeful that the Chinese will see attraction in investing in their respective countries. It is, however, a flawed strategy.

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Bitcoin’s Future in Asia

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By Edward Barbour-Lacey

HANOI – Created in 2009, Bitcoins are a peer-to-peer virtual form of currency able to be bought or sold on online exchanges. Additionally, the coins can be “mined” using high-performance computers and complex algorithms. While the value of a single Bitcoin can be very volatile (the price often swings wildly), the total value of Bitcoins in the world is estimated to be around US$7.5-10 billion.

Bitcoin was originally seen as a low-cost way of sending money electronically. It essentially removed the need to use third parties, such as banks, in order to move funds. A key differentiator from other currencies for Bitcoin is that it is not regulated by a central bank.

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Japan and the Philippines Join to Develop Information and Communication Technologies

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Japan and the Philippines announced plans this week to increase cooperation in the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) sector, a step that is expected to not only boost business and commerce opportunities between the two nations, but also facilitate the sharing of emergency relief technologies.

The announcement was made during a joint statement released by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) and the Philippine’s Department of Science and Technology (DoST). According to the statement, the two countries will “encourage the development of cooperation and exchange of experiences and best practices in the field of ICT between business, research and development, educational institutions, government policy and regulatory agencies and other organizations.”

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India: the Developing Market of Choice for UK Investment

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DELHI – India emerged as the developing market of choice among British investors, attracting US$31 billion (Rs 1.9 lakh crore) in investments over the last ten years alone. The figures came from an analysis of mergers and acquisitions statistics over the past decade, conducted by international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. “When it comes to searching for faster growth, India has tended to be the front runner over the past 10 years,” commented the firm’s Global Head of Corporate, Edward Braham.

The research showed that Britain’s leading companies invested US$645 billion globally across 3,967 deals, with investment in the UK (US$168 billion across 1,074 deals) and US (US$163 billion across 741 deals) accounting for more than half of that figure. Canada came in a distant third with 8 percent of the global investment total, although a single acquisition in 2007 by Rio Tinto of the aluminium manufacturer Alcan accounted for US$43 billion of Canada’s US$51 billion. India’s US$31 billion of investment put it at fourth place overall, with 4.8 percent of the global total.

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2013 Changes in Indian FDI Policy

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By Shawn Greene

Nov. 26 – Navigating foreign investment in India can be daunting. The World Bank’s Doing Business 2014 report ranks India among the most difficult countries in which to start a business – 179th out of 189 countries analyzed. As such, foreign firms are highly recommended to hire a professional services firm to assist with setup and investment in the country.

For foreign institutional investors (FII) and firms considering foreign direct investment (FDI), a familiarity with India’s recent changes in FDI policy is critical. Below, important amendments made to India’s foreign investment policy in 2013 are summarized, and changes currently under discussion for 2014 explored.

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Vietnam and India Pledge Greater Economic and Strategic Cooperation

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Nov. 26 – Vietnam’s Party General Secretary Trong led a four-day visit to India last week, which included a series of high-level meetings with government officials aimed at boosting cooperation between the two countries.

During Trong’s meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, both leaders pledged that they would strive to increase bilateral trade and cooperation between the two nations. Both leaders communicated enthusiasm for the ideas expressed during the 2012 India–Vietnam Friendship Year, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of their strategic partnership.

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