G-20 COUNTRIES UPDATE

 

8TH SEPTEMBER 2014

India Govt to formulate IPR policy, set up

think tank: Sitharaman

The government will come out with a policy on intellectual property rights and set up a think tank on IPR to strengthen the country’s patent regime and encourage innovation.

“India does not have an IPR policy. This is the first time we are coming out with an IPR policy. IPR policy issues have been hanging for quite a long time,” Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here.

When asked about the timeline for the new policy, she said it may take about six months.The IPR policy also assumes significance in view of the issues being raised by developed countries such as the US.

Sitharaman said all the countries have IPR policy and hence it is imperative for India to have one.”It will give direction in terms of protecting IPR of India on which several issues are there. With the US, we have (certain) issues… India has become a brand in terms of pharma… We are very strong in IPR and we certainly want to protect our interest,” she said.

The ministry will also soon have a think tank that will enable it to handle the IPR issues more firmly, she added. “We are going to have the benefit of experts (of the think-tank), who will constantly keep us informed about developments on international IPR issues, flag off concerns…”

The think tank will have about 15-20 members on the IPR including professors, end-users and legal experts.The IPR policy will help modernise IP administration and offices; commercialisation of IP; collaboration between different departments including science and technology; encourage innovation and enhance domestic filing of patents.

Sitharaman said the policy will also help in dealing with issues being raised by developed nations and protect interest of India on IPR related matters.Developed nations are picking holes in India’s IPR laws because it does not have any policy, she said.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion will put the draft policy on the website for public comments before finalising the policy.”India has a well established legal framework for IPR but its important to spell out policy. In the next 2-3 months, we will discuss and debate in country,” DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant said.

During the recent times, the Obama administration has been strongly criticising India’s investment climate and IPR laws, especially in the pharmaceuticals and the solar sectors.India has maintained that its IPR regime is fully compliant with WTO laws and it will not take part in any unilateral investigations by the US on the matter.

Kant said the government has approved creation of 1,033 posts to strengthen the country’s IPR administration.
There is a huge backlog of cases related to IPR and the DIPP intends it to clear this in next 18 months, he added.

3 SEPTEMBER 2014

9 TAKEAWAYS OF PM MODI’S VISIT TO JAPAN

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Japan to extend political and economic ties with the Asian giant. This is his first visit to a country outside the Indian subcontinent since being elected as the Prime Minister in May.

The 5-day visit has so far seen some announcements that could help boost the Indian economy. Here is a look at the top 9 takeaways from the visit:

1) Japan to invest $33.5 billion: This is perhaps the biggest announcement to have come from the visit. The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to invest 3.5 trillion yen or $33.5 billion in India in the next five years. This will be in both public and private projects in areas like the Ganga clean-up project, setting up of transport systems, manufacturing and infrastructure projects, clean energy and so on. This could mean Japanese investment in India could go up to $3 billion per year, according to media reports. So far, Japan has invested about $100 billion in projects like the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and the Bangalore-Chennai Economic Corridor.

India needs investments to boost its economy. A sharp fall in investments was one of the main reasons for the slowdown in the economy to sub-5% levels. This is because if companies don’t invest, new projects never take off and industrial productivity falls. It, thus, affects the overall economy, including the job market. Setting up of new projects also often leads to a rise in hiring.

2)  Loan of $479 million for a PPP project: The Japanese premier also announced a loan of $479 million or 50 billion yen for a private-public partnership (PPP) project in India. This will be offered as an ODA or Official Development Assistance – when countries give loans to another country for economic development. While the announcement mentioned no details of the PPP project, reports suggest this is likely to be in the infrastructure sector.

Japanese financing is attractive for Indians as they usually offer low interest rates, thus helping reduce overall costs for the project. Japanese loans also offer a 10-year period for repayment. This is beneficial for companies in the infrastructure sector as projects usually take years to make profits.

3) Double FDI: Shinzo Abe also agreed to double foreign direct investment (FDI) from Japan as well as the number of Japanese companies in India in the next five years. This is part of the Japan-India Investment Promotion Partnership. Modi has wanted Japan to set up manufacturing units in India, much like the South Koreans. This could help boost India’s slowing manufacturing sector, technology and create jobs.

4)  Japan industrial townships: The two Prime Ministers also agreed to set up electronic parks in India. This could help bring in Japanese technology in India, which is generally touted as one of the best in the world. Japanese Industrial Townships were also agreed upon to help India’s manufacturing sector. All these announcements, while small in nature, could help improve the overall foreign investment climate in India.

5) Special management team in India: India’s red tape problems are infamous. To ensure there are no delays for Japanese investment in India due to bureaucracy, Modi announced that a special team would be set up in his office. This management team – containing two nominees from Japan – would ensure fast-track clearances for Japanese investment proposals. The nominees will assist in decision-making and evaluation of business proposals.

6)  Bullet trains: Narendra Modi has been promising bullet trains since his election campaign days. This year’s union budget also set aside some funds for the same. Bullet trains now find mention in Modi’s Japan visit too. The Japanese Prime Minister has offered to support the bullet train project by providing technology, financing and operational support. This means India could tap into the Shinkansen technology of high-speed railway system – touted one of the best in the world.

7)  Defence deal: The Indian Navy could soon get some specialized sea-planes like the Japanese US-2 – generally considered one of the sturdiest aircraft. Japan is likely to share the technology along with the aircraft. This enables India to manufacture the aircraft in India. The US-2 can enhance the Navy’s ability to evacuate casualties, provide assistance on the sea, carry out landings in different sea conditions as well as conduct surveillance. Talks are still on and no agreement has been signed yet. This will be the first time India would buy defence equipment from Japan, boosting the Japanese defence sector. The Japanese Prime Minister has been looking to open their defence sector to foreign investment.

8)  No nuclear deal: India has been in talks with Japan for an ambitious civil nuclear deal since 2010. It was widely expected to be finalized during this visit. However, negotiations continue with no deal in sight. Japan, however, agreed to remove six Indian space and defence-related entities from its Foreign End User List. This allows the companies to trade in sensitive equipment and technology.

9)  Partnerships and student exchanges: The Indo-Japanese collaboration was not just economic, but also included cultural exchange. The agreement saw a partnership city arrangement between Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and the Japanese city of Kyoto. Varanasi is PM Modi’s constituency in Uttar Pradesh, from where he stood for the elections. The two Prime Ministers also agreed upon enhanced student exchange programmes and promotion of Japanese language education in India.

30th AUGUST 2014

India, Japan sign MoU to develop Varanasi

into ‘smart city’

Varanasi, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi represents in the Lok Sabha, will be developed into a ‘smart city’ by using the experience of Kyoto, the ‘smart city’ of Japan, under a pact signed here today.

A Partner City MoU was signed by Indian Ambassador Deepa Wadhwa and Kyoto Mayor Daisaka Kadokawa at a ceremony witnessed by Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.

The MoU, which was signed soon after Modi’s arrival here on a five-day visit, provides for cooperation in heritage conservation, city modernisation and cooperation in the fields of art, culture and academics, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters.This will serve as framework for Smart heritage city programme between the two countries, he added.

Kyoto, which is a heritage city with Buddhist culture, provides special symbolism to the visit as the Prime Minister has the vision of “rejuvenating” Indian cities

23MAY 2014

U.S. Lauds Indian Government’s Invitation to SAARC Leaders

WASHINGTON: The U.S. welcomed Indian government’s initiative to invite SAARC leaders to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi and said increased engagement between India and Pakistan is a “positive step”.

“Broadly speaking, we welcome increased engagement between India and Pakistan and their leaders and other leaders in the region and India’s engagement with its neighbors leading up to the inauguration,” State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.

However, she refrained from answering a question on whether the U.S. would encourage the Pakistani leadership to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 26.

“I don’t think we’re going to get into that level of engagement, but certainly the invitation has been issued. We support increased dialogue and this is representative of that,” Psaki said.

“We believe increased engagement between India and Pakistan is a positive step, so we’ll see what happens,” she said, adding that the United States does not have any plans to send anyone for the swearing-in ceremony on May 26.

“We don’t have any plans to send a representative from the United States. It’s standard for events and inaugurations in India, so it should come as no surprise,” Ms Psaki said, referring to the fact that the U.S. has never sent any delegation for Indian prime ministerial swearing-in ceremony.

For the first time, SAARC Heads of State and Government including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina have been invited to the swearing-in ceremony.

“Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh has written to SAARC counterparts inviting their leaders to attend swearing-in ceremony on 26th May,” the Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said.

Apart from Sharif, Rajapaksa and Hasina, other SAARC leaders are -Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. This is for the first time these foreign leaders are invited to a Prime Minister’s swearing-in ceremony.

9th MAY 2014

India Needs To Modify IPR Regime To Attract FDI: EU

India needs to modify its Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime and fast-track legal system to attract foreign investments, a report said.
“India must sort out some contours of its IPR regime. The legal system must be fast-tracked and the use of compulsory licensing (CL) for essential pharmaceutical drugs must be the exception and not the norm,” it suggested.

 The report has been released by the Europe India Chamber of Commerce (EICC) and European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC) in co-operation with the European Business Group.

 The U.S. industry too has raised concerns over India’s IPR laws particularly in the pharmaceuticals sector. However, Indian government has maintained that its IPR laws are in compliance with WTO norms and rules.

The report also said that over the last two years, India Government has taken several steps to remove FDI barriers in a range of sectors but “it calls for swift implementation” of those measures.

It said: “Modalities such as land acquisition, revenue sharing and others must be discussed and debated by the states and the Centre before a formal policy decision is taken.

“Many EU companies find out that the actual market scenario in India is distinctly different from their original understanding.”

 Reforms also need to be initiated in trade facilitation and export promotion, it added.

2nd MAY 2014

India’s patent laws compatible with international accords: CII

Asserting that India’s patent laws are fully compatible with international agreements, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has suggested that India and US resolve all outstanding trade issues through dialogue and engagement.

The Indian trade body said the US Trade Representative’s  move to keep India on the Priority Watch List in its 2014 Special 301 Report was “a sign of better understanding between the two countries.”

CII, it said in a statement Thursday, “is relieved that despite calls for a downgrade from certain organizations, the report did not designate India as a ‘priority foreign country,’ the worst classification for countries in protection of Intellectual Property Rights.”However, the decision to initiate an Out-of-Cycle Review (OCR) to assess India’s progress in IPR in fall 2014 is a concerning development,” it said.

CII said it strongly recommends that all outstanding issues, including differences on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), be “resolved through dialogue and engagement, which would be in the spirit of the bilateral strategic partnership that has been painstakingly forged over the years by both countries.”

In recent years, it said, India has taken many steps to strengthen its innovation-enabling environment in keeping with its national priorities, including declaring 2010-20 as the “Decade of Innovation”.

Regarding US concerns over Section 3 (d) of India’s Patents Act, CII maintained that India’s patent laws are fully compatible with the World Trade Organization (WTO) administered agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights(TRIPS).

In fact, the Indian laws “provide a clear definition of patentability criteria – including explicitly defined exclusions based on inventiveness,” it said.”India has merely made use of the flexibilities accorded by the WTO agreement. While the USTR assessment goes against Indian Supreme Court’s interpretation, it may be noted that India’s judiciary is fiercely independent, similar to that in the US,” CII said.

“With a new political dispensation due to take center-stage in India in just a couple of weeks, we hope to see stronger collaboration between India and the US on a wide range of issues, including IPR” said CII.  Director General Chandrajit Banerjee.

“We have a real window of opportunity to refocus positively, address each other’s concerns and shape the future business climate in both countries,” he added.

Source: DH

10th JANUARY 2014

U.S. Chamber Seeks Improvement In

IP Protection In India

As Corporate America increasingly looks overseas to expand its business and remove hurdles in foreign countries, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has called for better intellectual property protection in India.

“We’re pursuing bilateral investment treaties with China and other countries, as well as much-needed improvements in intellectual property protections, especially in India,” Thomas J Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber, said in his annual State of American Busine Business address.

In July, more than 40 U.S. business organisations under the banner of the Alliance forFair Trade expressed concern over India’s trade and intellectual property protection policies.

They alleged that in the manufacturing, agriculture, telecommunications, bio pharmaceutical, solar energy, semiconductor and other sectors, companies face measures that are discriminatory, unfair, and/or inconsistent with international norms.The Indian government has strongly defended its policies and denied allegations of not providing a level playing field to U.S. businesses.

Donohue said that with overall growth in 2013 expected at between 1.8 per cent and 2 per cent and at almost 3 per cent this year, the U.S. economy also gains from continued strength in domestic energy production and improvements in trade.

“We’ve got a great opportunity this year to spur jobs and growth by expanding international trade and investment,” he said, adding that the World Trade Organization is standing tall again following the landmark trade facilitation accord.

Donohue said it is time to quickly pass the Trade Promotion Authority, which allows Congress to set negotiating objectives for new trade pacts. The executive branch would be required to consult with Congress, which has the final say on any trade agreement, he said.

“The Chamber will also lead the business community’s efforts in support of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the EU. We’re also working on a Trade in Services Agreement and an expansion of WTO’s Informatio Information Technology Agreement,” the American corporate leader said.

“With 20 years of NAFTA success under our belt, it’s time to move the North American partnership to a higher level — working together to develop energy, attract manufacturing, and build a competitive position in the world that is second to none,” Donohue said.

14th DECEMBER 2013

U.S. Welcomes India’s Engagement

With Myanmar

The United States has welcomed India’s engagement with Myanmar, saying that it believes the ties with Yangon on a whole host of issues will be positive.

“We really welcome the engagement of India with Burma (Myanmar). India and the United States have long had very similar aspirations and goals for Burma, though we’ve often had very different policy approaches to it,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Vikram Singh said.

During a Congressional hearing, Singh said: “We believe that overall, India’s re-engagement with Burma on a whole host of issues will be positive. I would say that we will probably have disagreements about specifics about what that looks like.”

“So, for example, moves into arms and other things will be things that we might be concerned about,” he replied in response to a query from Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera.

“Obviously, Burma sits at a very critical juncture, you know, between an emerging relationship with India and offers some critical access to trade routes and so forth. But from a military perspective, it certainly sits at a critical juncture,” Bera said.

10th DECEMBER 2013

Vince Cable, UK’s Secretary of State for Business, will leave for India on a four-day visit during which he will hold talks with senior ministers and meet captains of industry.

Cable will co-chair the annual UK-India Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) with Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma in New Delhi later in the day.He is being accompanied by a large delegation of over 25 British businesses. He is also scheduled to visit Coimbatore, Chennai and Bangalore during his stay in India.

Cable will also meet Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram and other senior government officials and ministers.Plans to develop business opportunities and strengthen existing partnerships over the coming year to progress advanced engineering, education and skills and innovation through business will be the focus of the talks.

He will participate in a panel discussion at FICCI.“Economic recovery remains a central priority for the UK and our industrial strategy is a key element in giving businesses the confidence to invest. Trade has lagged in recent years but I am delighted that UK exports to India have grown by some 20 per cent this year,” Cable said“UK firms are the largest European investors in India and there is more Indian investment in the UK than the rest of the EU combined, led by Tata.

We have always had a special relationship between our countries and I am keen to push business collaboration much further as we work towards doubling trade with India by 2015.”

During the trip, Cable will sign a new 180 million repayment guarantee deal underwritten by UK Export Finance and coordinated by HSBC which will support Reliance Industries Limited to place up to 30 service and equipment contracts with UK companies for their Jamnagar and Dahej oil refineries.

Indian-based online and mobile search service Zomato intends to invest a further $1 million in Scotland over the next year, set up teams across key UK cities and make the UK the headquarters of its European operations. Newcastle, Leeds and Bristol are amongst the cities being looked into.

9th DECEMBER 2013

Enormous Potential Seen For India-

U.S. Trade Growth

Despite some recent concerns on both sides, representatives of U.S. business and industry are agreed that there is enormous potential for growth in India-U.S. trade and notably job creation in both countries.

This appeared to be the consensus emerging from a round table hosted by Ami Bera, the lone Indian-American member of the U.S. House of Representatives, here Thursday for members of the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

More than 40 representatives from several industries including technology, manufacturing, agriculture, retail, hospitality attended the round table, according to a statement issued by Bera’s office.

“As the world’s oldest and largest democracies, the U.S. and India are natural allies,” said Bera, who is also a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sharing the insights gained from his recent trip to India.

“Our countries must work together to continue to grow our economic partnership and trade relationship.”

Source:SiliconDD

23rd NOVEMBER 2013

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19th NOVEMBER 2013

Angela Merkel to get 2013 Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be awarded the coveted Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2013 with an international jury headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh choosing her.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a gala dinner as part of an employers meeting in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, pool)

The announcement was made today by the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust which said that the award was being given to 59-year-old Merkel for her exemplary leadership in Europe and the world during the financial crisis and her stewardship of German economic growth.

The trust said the prize was being given to the German leader because of the work done by her for promotion of global economic stability, her commitment to universal peace and disarmament and her leadership role in strengthening productive and mutually beneficial relations with India and other developing countries.

Merkel, who became the first woman to be elected as Chancellor of Germany, has been a strong supporter of close relations with India, it said.

Her joint declaration with the Indian Prime Minister greatly strengthened the Indo-German relations, leading to inter-governmental consultations during her state visit to India in 2011 and PM Manmohan Singh’s visit to Berlin in 2013 during which the German participation in the ambitious Green Energy Corridors Project was finalized, it added. 

13th NOVEMBER 2013

China unveil’s new reforms

In a bid to arrest China’s sliding growth, the ruling Communist Party today unveiled new “wave of reforms” to give the market a “decisive role” in the allocation of resources while retaining the public sector’s dominance in the world’s second largest economy.

Billed as the big ticket reforms, building on the first package announced in 1978 after the end of the Mao Zedong-era, the top leadership approved the reforms aimed at halting the slowdown of country’s economy, which slipped from double digit growth rates to around seven per cent in the last two years.

The reforms are aimed to improve and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics and push on with modernisation of the country’s governing system and capabilities, an official communique issued at the end of the Plenum consisting of the 376-member central committee, said.

 Though, China emerged as an open economy in the last three decades, CPC swears by socialism saying that its aim is to build on the “paramount reality” that China remains in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for long.
“Economic reform is key, and the core solution is the proper relationship between the government and the market, leaving the market to play the decisive role in allocation of resources,” the communique said after the four-day meeting.

While the communique issued after the meeting of the top policy body of the CPC touched on the broad reforms approved in various sectors, the party significantly appeared to have broadened the role of ownership and improved property rights protection in the country.

China is yet to open land rights to private owners completely. At present, all land is owned by the government but sold to buyers with long-term lease.

“China is to promote an economy with diverse forms of ownership,” the communique said, widening the role of the ownership and the private sector.Development in non-public sector will be encouraged which will in turn stimulate vitality and creativity in the economy, while maintaining the dominance of the public sector, it said.

This was regarded as a victory for the hardliners in the party who were against the dilution of the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) which emerged as biggest leviathans owning hundreds of billions of properties at home and abroad.
“Both public and non-public sectors of the economy are important components of the socialist market economy and significant basis for economic and social development,” the statement said.

Source:DH

23rd OCTOBER 2013

India, China sign key border agreement

India and China Wednesday inked a key border agreement for peace on the border as well as managing trans-border rivers and water sharing as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held talks here.


Manmohan Singh said the agreement on Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) will add to “existing instrument to establish peace and tranquility on the border”. His Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang said: “I am sure it will bring peace and tranquility in border areas.”
Manmohan Singh said his talks with Premier Li have been very good and said that when India and China shake hands, the world notices.

22nd OCTOBER 2013

Russia to propose India’s name

Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a major global player, is to propose India’s name for participating in the Geneva II peace conference next month.
India has consistently counseled against military intervention in Syria and spoken out strongly on the need for negotiations among all the parties in Syria to resolve the situation in the violence wracked country.
Geneva II is to be held Nov 23-24 and a preliminary meeting to be held before that in early November.

Russia is proposing to speak out at the preliminary meeting to include India in the Geneva II conference, which would aim to find a political solution to Syria where rebels are fighting to oust the regime of President Bashar al -Assad, said official sources.

The preliminary meeting would be attended the US, EU, Russia, China, the regional neighbors of Syria like Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, the rebel parties to Syria and President Assad.
India’s participation would be confirmed only when the other countries agree to it, said the source, adding that was a major recognition for India.
Due to Russia’s intervention, Syria agreed to open up its chemical weapons arsenal to international inspection and for destruction.
India and Russia share similar views on Syria and on the need for negotiations among all sides to find a way out of the crisis, said an official.

22nd OCTOBER 2013

Border issues priority as PM flies to China

After a visit to Moscow, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday left for Beijing on the second leg of his visit where border issues are set to top the agenda of his talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

The prime minister held over four and a half hours of restricted talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday signifying the closeness of their relations and he now flies into comparatively tougher terrain in China.
Before leaving for his two-nation visit, the prime minister had said that India and China have together “reached important consensus on maintaining peace and tranquility on the border and made preliminary progress toward settlement of the India-China boundary question”.
He said that both countries have “areas of concern” which are being addressed by both sides with “sincerity and maturity, without letting them affect the overall atmosphere of friendship and cooperation”.

 The Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA), which aims to prevent face-offs between Indian and Chinese troops along the over 4,000 km Line of Actual Control (LAC), is expected to figure in talks. The blueprint of the BDCA was cleared by the Cabinet  Committee on Security last week.

Water sharing issues, the adverse trade figure and visa issues are expected to figure in the talks.
Ahead of the prime minister’s Beijing visit, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said China is “looking forward” to the visit.

Addressing a regular briefing Monday, she said the Indian prime minister’s visit is of “great importance to deepen China-India strategic partnership as the visit follows the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to India in May”.

21st OCTOBER 2013

INDIA’S FRIENDSHIP WITH RUSSIA

India will never forget that Russia stood by it during international challenges, when India’s resources were limited and when it had few friends, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Monday.

“Russia has stood by India at moments of great international challenge, when our own resources were limited, and our friends were few. Beyond all the assistance that we have received, it is this last fact that Indians will never forget,” the prime minister said while delivering a lecture at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.”And it is for these reasons that the people of India regard Russian friendship and support as something particularly precious,” he said.

The institute conferred an honorary doctorate on the prime minister.He noted that India has benefited enormously from Russian support in every aspect of India’s national development efforts – like development of heavy industry, power sector, space programme or defence.

Russia was the first country with which India signed a Declaration of Strategic Partnership in 2000, he said.

The prime minister said that over the past six decades, no country has had closer relations with India than Russia and no other country inspires more admiration, trust and confidence among the people of India.

10th OCTOBER 2013

Yellen as chair of Federal Reserve Board

US President Barack Obama has nominated Janet Yellen as chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, describing her as one of America’s “foremost economists and policy makers”.

If confirmed by the Senate, 67-year-old Yellen would be the first woman to hold the position of the chief banker.She has been named in place of Ben Bernanke, whose four-year term ends on January 31.

Describing the chair of the Fed as one of the most important policymakers in the world, Obama yesterday said Yellen has been exemplary and a driving force of policies to help boost American economic recovery.

“Janet is exceptionally well-qualified for this role.  She’s served in leadership positions at the Fed for more than a decade. As Vice Chair for the past three years, she’s been exemplary and a driving force of policies to help boost our economic recovery,” he said.

“Janet is renowned for her good judgment. She sounded the alarm early about the housing bubble, about excesses in the financial sector, and about the risks of a major recession.  She doesn’t have a crystal ball, but what she does have is a keen understanding about how markets and the economy work — not just in theory but also in the real world. And she calls it like she sees it,” Obama said.

1ST OCTOBER 2013

NEW HIGH COMMISSIONER TO UK

Former Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai has been appointed as country’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.“He is expected to take up his assignment shortly,” External Affairs Ministry said today while announcing the appointment.

A 1974-batch IFS officer, Mathai, who retired as Foreign Secretary on July 31 this year, will succeed Jaimini Bhagwati. 61-year-old Mathai took over as Foreign Secretary on August 1, 2011. Apart from serving as India’s Ambassador to France, he also had postings in Israel and Qatar among other places.

25th September 2013

The Latest Entrepreneurship Innovation

Isn’t From Silicon Valley, But Moscow

The latest innovation in entrepreneurship isn’t coming from Silicon Valley, but Moscow. Lawrence Wright and his hard working team at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, Russia’s premier private business school (not to be confused with the government-backed Skolkovo Foundation), have been pioneering a new method to create better-trained start ups (Based on a methodology developed over last decade by Steve Blank and now taught at Stanford, Berkeley, Caltech, Columbia, and Princeton). “Unless we address the basic issue of entrepreneurial competency, start ups will never increase their success rate,” says Lawrence, who is the Zimin Chair for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Director of Start up Academy.

“Only a few of the hundreds of accelerators out there are successful. We offer a lot more value at a lot lower price than they.”

Over the past year, Start up Academy, a 10-week program fusing business acceleration with highly practical skill development, has applied its method to 67 start up founders. The result is a group of highly successful start ups with a valuation in excess of $35M, some of whom have already raised seed and venture capital (nearly $4M), created jobs (about 200), and is gathering the attention of local investors.

18th September 2013

Australia’s 28th prime minister Tony Abbott and his new cabinet were Wednesday sworn in by Governor General Quentin Bryce at the Government House in Canberra.

Abbott held his first executive council meeting with the governor general, before attending the swearing-in of his ministers and parliamentary secretaries, Xinhua reported.

Abbott said he would govern “for all Australians, including those who didn’t vote for us”.
“We won’t forget those who are often marginalized, people with disabilities, indigenous people and women struggling to combine career and family. We will do our best not to leave anyone behind,” the prime minister said.

He said the new government aims “to be a calm, measured, steady and purposeful government that says what it means and does what it says”.

 “We hope to be judged by what we have done, rather than by what we have said we would do.”

Warren Truss was sworn in as deputy prime minister and infrastructure and regional development minister, and Julie Bishop as foreign minister.
Altogether, there are 18 cabinet ministers, 11 ministers and 12 parliamentary secretaries.

NOTE: G-20 MEMBER LIST

images (4)

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and also the European Union who is represented by the rotating Council presidency and the European Central Bank.

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One thought on “G-20 COUNTRIES UPDATE

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