CBI India Update January 2018
The main highlight this month is a hard-hitting speech by CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn at the University of Warwick. She argues why a comprehensive customs union after transition is best for Britain. Read/see her speech here.
Meanwhile in Davos, Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi attended the World Economic Forum meeting with the fourth largest contingent after the US, UK and Switzerland, comprising cabinet colleagues and businessmen. He invited investors to India with the message ‘red tape out, red carpet in’. Read his Davos speech here.
CBI in a joint exercise with the UK India Business Council, submitted a pre-budget note based on member feedback to the Indian finance ministry. Members interested in a copy, may please get in touch with me. The Indian Budget will be announced on 1 February 2018. The CBI International Director Mr Ben Digby will be in Delhi this week.
Meanwhile after the economic slowdown, multilateral agencies have predicted improved growth rates for the Indian economy in 2018 and 2019.
According to the International Monetary Fund, India is poised to reclaims its position as the world’s fastest growing economy. India is projected to grow at 7.4% of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 as against China’s 6.8%.
This is expected to further escalate to 7.8% in 2019, the IMF announced at Davos in its World Economic Outlook.
Here are some important highlights of the month:
Government clears 100% FDI in single brand retail via automatic route.
To simplify the FDI policy and improve ease of doing business, the Indian government has eased FDI rules by allowing 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand retail via automatic route. Read more here.
Government allows foreign airlines to invest up to 49% in Air India
The Indian government recently allowed foreign airlines to invest up to 49% in it national carrier Air India through government approval route ahead of its proposed privatization
UK INDIA COOPERATION
TFL and MoRTH sign MoU
Transport for London (TfL) and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways India (MoRTH) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation in urban transport policy, planning, technology transfer and institutional organisation for transport on January 10.
Indian Union Minister Nitin Gadkari along with Chief Technology Officer and Director of Customer Experience TfL, Shashi Verma signed the MoU.
The MoU provides a framework for TfL and MoRTH to work together sharing expertise to improve public transport system in selected cities in India.
This collaboration between the two authorities will cover urban mobility solutions such as passenger information services, electric vehicle mobility, digital ticketing, major project financing, operations and maintenance strategies, and behavioural change and public transport promotion.
TfL is the local government body responsible for integrated public transport system in London. British High Commissioner to India Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, was present at the event and he welcomed the collaboration between the two countries.
TfL has the responsibility for the operation of London Underground, London Buses, Docklands Light Railway, London Overground, TfL Rail, London Trams, London River Services, London Dial-a-Ride, Victoria Coach Station, Santander Cycles and cable car.
The UK is the country partner for building three smart cities in India, namely Indore, Pune and Amaravati.
Createch Summit 2018
The India-UK Createch Summit 2018 will be a one-day conference in Mumbai on 6 February bringing together thought-leaders from business and government for a series of exclusive keynotes, panel sessions and workshops. It is designed to celebrate and inspire the convergence of creativity and technology: Createch.
The Summit will be the centrepiece of a series of events promoting trade between the UK and India in January and February 2018, with creativity and technology to the fore.
Over 100 British companies from film, music, Immersive Technology, healthcare, retail, Industrial Design and sport will visit India in various trade missions to meet leading Indian businesses to discuss opportunities for collaboration and trade between the countries.
UK food and drink delegation
The UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) brought a delegation of 13 companies from the food & drink sector to India, showcasing the best of British brands and forging partnerships with like-minded Indian firms.
The mission was designed to grow and develop the local market’s awareness of British whisky, gin, craft beer, meat, fish, gourmet food and drink, health food and dairy at a time when the Indian market appetite for these products continues to expand.
The delegates also participated in the iconic food industry trade show - the 11th India Food Forum, between 17 to 18 January, before travelling to Bengaluru to attend the British Food and Drinks Symposium on 19 January.
Infosys, TCS join global tech-reskilling for 1 mn workers
Indian IT giants and CBI members TCS and Infosys have joined a global drive for tech reskilling of one million workers in the first ever such IT industry initiative taken at Davos. Read more here.
BAE Systems to promote defence manufacturing in Maharashtra
In Davos, the Maharashtra Chief Minister Mr Devendra Fadnavis met several global corporate heads, including BAE Systems chairman Roger Carr, and also hosted a business roundtable with several business leaders. Chief Minister Fadnavis announced that BAE Systems has agreed to promote defence manufacturing in Maharashtra. Read more here.
Virgin Atlantic appoints new Country Manager for India
Virgin Atlantic has announced the appointment of David Hodges as the new Country Manager for its India operations. In his new role, David will drive Virgin’s business at a strategic and commercial level for all sales within India. Read more here.
BP makes big investment commitments for India
See the BP Group CEO Bob Dudley’s interview here.
TCS bags 5-year deal from Marks & Spencer
India's largest IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) today said it has expanded its partnership with Marks and Spencer (M&S) to enable the British retail giant become a digital-first business. As part of M&S' five-year plan, TCS will be the principal technology partner for the retailer and help drive agility, intelligence, innovation and efficiency, TCS said in a statement. Read more here.
STATES OF INDIA
West Bengal bags £ 25 billion worth of new investment proposals
In the recently held West Bengal Global Business Summit at Kolkata, the state government has received investment proposals worth an estimated £ 25 billion and is poised to create 2,000,000 jobs in the state. Read more here.
Gujarat tops national logistics index
Gujarat has topped a perception-based index of mobility of goods and efficiency of logistics chain, closely followed by Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. Read more here
ON THE RADAR
Indian industry bats for a budget for economic recovery
Indian Industry feels that the green shoots of recovery are already showing and has some ideas about how to take this forward. For an economic roundup just ahead of the Indian Budget, click here for an article by the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) Director General Mr Chandrajit Banerjee.