CBI India Update June 2018
Read all about the Chancellor’s visit to India, the UK-India Week and the impact on India by the global trade war in this month’s India Update.
The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond was in India in the last week of June 2018. He showcased the best that the UK had to offer on fintech and also promoted the UK’s offer on infrastructure finance. He attended the annual meetings of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Mumbai. The UK is the first G7 country to join the AIIB, demonstrating the UK’s commitment to supporting investment in sustainable infrastructure across Asia. Read more.
The CBI Deputy Director General Josh Hardie was one of the panelists in the first- ever UK India Week celebrated in London and Buckinghamshire between 18 and 22 June 2018 to promote bilateral trade and investment. The high-powered panel discussion ‘Global Britain meets Global India’ included former BIS Secretary Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable. CBI’s International Director Ben Digby was included in the list of 100 most influential persons in the UK India relationship. The CBI found a place in the shortlist for ‘Trade & Investment Promotion organization of the year’ in the UK India Awards this year.
Meanwhile in India, the Reserve Bank of India hiked interest rates by 25 basis points to 6.25%. Read more. The Indian government’s Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramaniam quit from his government position citing personal reasons. Read more.
Trade war snapshot from India
India joined the ongoing global trade war by hiking import duty on 29 items imported from the US including pulses, other food items like chocolate and shrimps and iron and steel products. This move will impact both countries to the tune of US$ 241 million. Trade war fears and rising global fuel prices have weakened the Indian rupee to a historic 19-month low at INR Rs 69 to the US$.
The US trade war seems to have brought India and China economically closer. China is India’s largest trading partner, with an estimate bilateral trade of US$ 89 billion. China recently announced a policy to reduce or bring to zero tariff on over 8,000 products that originate from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Laos. This includes tariff exemption of 28 drugs. It is hoped China’s move will provide a shot-in-the-arm for PM Modi’s ‘Make in India’ programme.
Here are some developments in the past month.
UK visa rules changes
The UK government eases its immigration cap blocking professionals such as Indian doctors and nurses, but excludes India from relaxed student visa rules. Read more.
Women only a fourth of India’s workforce
India has a lot to do to increase women in its workforce. A recent McKinsey report reveals that only 25% of India’s workforce are women. And 97% of this works in the informal sector- which means no job benefits or regulated employment. Recently Thomson Reuters Foundation came up with a report which indicates India is the most dangerous country for women. This has however been challenged by the Indian government.
Towards an Indian e-commerce policy
India is under pressure to negotiate international rules on e-commerce under the World Trade Organization. Read more.
Vodafone to invest £ 900 million in India in June
British telecom major Vodafone plans to invest £ 900 million in its proposed joint venture with Idea Cellular in India. Read more.
Aviva India launches AI-powered chatbot
Aviva Life Insurance on Tuesday launched a chatbot named "ALISHA" in partnership with Findability Sciences -- a cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions company. Read more.
Wipro Infra sets up industrial automation unit in India
Wipro Infrastructure Engineering (WIN), a part of Wipro, has set up an industrial automation unit to gain a large pie of the near $400 million manufacturing automation market for IT service players in India. Read more.
ON THE RADAR
Climate change and its costs for India
In a recent report, the World Bank has found that India could lose up to 2.8% of its GDP by 2050 on account of rising temperatures and changing monsoon patterns.Read the report.