Daily Archives: September 1, 2014

Global CEOs, top bankers queue up to meet Modi

Global chief executives and top bankers of iconic Wall Street companies are queuing up to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a clear sign that India’s economy has never mattered more than now.

Indian-born Deutsche Bank co-CEO Anshu Jain called on Modi recently while Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Bank of America CEO Brian T Moynihan are expected to meet the PM during his visit to the US in September, top government sources told HT.

The top brass of General Motors (GM), the world’s second-largest carmaker by sales volumes, including its global CEO Mary Barra, chairman Tim Solso and head of International operations Stefan Jacoby are expected to meet Modi next month, sources said.

The Prime Minister is learnt to have also recently met Mark Fields, CEO of Ford, which has a manufacturing plant in Sanand in Modi’s home state of Gujarat.

The string of meetings is being seen as a major turnaround for India’s image as an investment destination.

In the last two years, global credit rating agencies and investment banks had been unsparing in their criticism about the Indian economy’s management, which had been marred by policy logjams, project delays and a string of corruption scandals sending Asia’s third-largest economy into its sharpest deceleration in 25 years.

Analysts said the meetings with global CEOs and influential bankers are clear signs that the investors view the Modi government’s commitment on reforms and easing business environment as serious intent.

“So far the governments have taken a piecemeal approach – but there now appears to be serious effort by the central government and some of the state governments to revive the manufacturing sector,” Chetan Ahya, of Morgan Stanley, said in a recent research report.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley Saturday said better days were ahead amid signs that companies were investing and hiring more and prices were moderating, buoyed by the measures that the Modi-led government has taken to aid the India economy claw out of its deepest slump in a quarter of a century.

Latest data showed that the Indian economy expanded at 5.7% in April-June—the fastest in two-and-a-half years.

HT

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Rajapaksa-Modi Meeting on UNGA Session Sidelines Likely

COLOMBO: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa are likely to meet on the sidelines of the 69th UN General Assembly session in New York in the third week of September, Lankan officials told Express.

“Whether Modi will meet a particular Head of Government or not will depend on the number of requests made and the availability of time. The Indian PM is expected to be in New York for three days when he will be having bilateral meetings with select Heads of Government among other engagements, apart from addressing the Assembly,” an official said.

While the Lankan President will address the General Assembly on September 25, the Indian PM will do so on September 27.

Rajapaksa is believed to be keen on meeting Modi following the latter’s much publicized session with the Tamil National Alliance at which the Indian PM had expressed his commitment to the Tamil cause and to the 13th Amendment as the basis for power devolution to the Tamil-speaking provinces.

He had also backed the TNA’s demand that bilateral talks between the Lankan government and the TNA should be resumed, irrespective of the fate of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC).

The Rajapaksa government is uneasy with the TNA’s tendency to seek Indian and other foreign help instead of joining the PSC. In this context, President Rajapaksa will certainly be eager to know Modi’s mind first hand.

Modi himself is believed to be eager to convey to Rajapaksa his take on the situation in Sri Lanka after his interaction with the TNA. That the Lankan Tamil issue has become important for the BJP is evident in the meeting the TNA had with the BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit at Chennai on their way back to Lanka from New Delhi.

TNIE

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Japan PM Abe Dividing China, India: Chinese daily

BEIJING: Accusing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of “dividing” China and India, a state-run Chinese daily today said Indo-Japan ties face “huge uncertainty” in view of rise of BRICS and emerging Sino-Indian cooperation.

“BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) agreed establish their own development bank, ushering Sino-Indian strategic cooperation into a new historical era,” said an article in the state-run Global Times’ web edition on the current visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan.

“Beijing’s improving maritime strategies and the development of China-India strategic relations will inevitably exert far-reaching influence upon Japan’s strategic resources, channels and markets.

Consequently, dividing China and India has become a key issue for Abe,” said the ruling Communist Party-run newspaper known for its usually nationalistic views.

“Tokyo and New Delhi must consider the coexistence of China, Japan and the US in the region when promoting their security cooperation,” it said.

“As two Asian powers, how the growing intimacy between Japan and India coordinates with US “rebalancing to Asia” strategy and cooperates with BRICS member states will wield direct influence upon regional architecture. Therefore this solicits plenty of attention,” it said.

It said security is another area of cooperation between India and Japan.

“When Abe travelled to India early this year, he proposed beefing up the cooperation between the two national security committees. This time, they will probably launch a “two plus two” mechanism of diplomacy and defence to intensify their collaboration in air and sea,” it said.

During his India visit, Abe increased the official development assistance to India to 210 billion yen (USD 2.02 billion) and provided a programme worth USD 4.5 billion to obtain orders for Japanese nuclear power firms, it said.

Tokyo attaches great importance to India’s vast market and infrastructure projects, it said.

However, Modi is more inclined to attract investment from Japanese firms to help with the manufacturing industry.

“All in all, the Japan-India relationship, in the context of current international politics, witnesses too many uncertain actors in its development,” it said.

China despises Abe for his nationalistic stand over the East China Sea dispute with Beijing and calls him a “troublemaker”.

TNIE

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