19/04/2015

Foreign automakers double down on China bets despite slowing growth | Reuters

Foreign automakers continue to plough money into factories in China, the world’s largest car market, even as the biggest economic slowdown in a quarter of a century crimps sales growth.

Employees work at the third factory of Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile company, after its inauguration ceremony, in Wuhan, in this July 2, 2013 file photo.  REUTERS/China Daily/Files

Market leaders Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and General Motors (GM.N) show no sign of letting up on their planned investments, while Toyota Motor (7203.T) and Ford Motor (F.N) are also pursuing new China expansion plans.

That’s in spite of the economic slowdown further depressing the car market in January-March, when sales grew only 3.9 percent, compared to 9.2 percent a year ago and way below the 7 percent growth that the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) predicts for this year.

via Foreign automakers double down on China bets despite slowing growth | Reuters.

18/04/2015

Apple Grows its Own Solar Farms in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Call it savvy public relations or plain good investing, but Apple is becoming a solar-power developer in China.

News Thursday that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is partnering with SunPower., a major U.S. solar-panel maker, to build two solar power plants in China’s southwestern Sichuan province, highlights Apple’s attempts to offset its growing carbon footprint in China, where it is expanding at a rapid pace.

Although financial terms weren’t disclosed, SunPower said Thursday that Apple will co-own the projects, which have the combined capacity of 40 megawatts.

Apple has previously said it wants to be carbon neutral everywhere it operates, but that admirable goal is considerably absent in China, where the bulk of its products are made. Until now, unhappiness over air pollution mainly has been directed at the Chinese government, but Apple — already under fire over labor and customer-support issues –could become a major target. Initiatives like these could go a long way toward making sure its image in China remains favorable.

Apple tends to be financially involved in clean-energy projects only when they provide electricity for its operations. Apple and SunPower, for example, have partnered together in the U.S. to develop six solar power plants, all of which provide at least some power to Apple’s facilities.

In this case, however, Apple’s solar plants are being built in Sichuan’s remote Aba Tibetan and Qiang autonomous prefectures, far from Apple’s corporate offices, retail stores or manufacturing partners. The region is known for its rolling grasslands, where herders take yaks and sheep to graze, and where multi-colored Tibetan prayer flags are strung up along the slopes of hills.

In an interview on Thursday with China’s official Xinhua news agency, Apple’s vice president of environmental initiatives, Lisa Jackson, said the solar plants will be located in grasslands primarily used for raising yaks. Ms. Jackson, who was previously head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said Apple will take care to minimize the impact of construction on the environment. An Apple spokeswoman said Friday in an email that Apple and its local partners won’t use cement to install solar panels or dig trenches for wires during construction.

Apple has been expanding quickly in China as it attempts to go after the country’s burgeoning middle class. The company currently has 21 retail stores in mainland China and hopes to double that number by the end of next year. Although Apple’s latest efforts to produce clean energy in China might be a drop in the bucket when compared with amount of fossil fuels consumed by its manufacturing partners, Ms. Jackson told Xinhua that the company hopes to lead by example for its more than 330 suppliers.

Apple’s latest projects join a wave of new solar farms under construction in western China. Solar-panel makers, Chinese policy banks and other clean-energy developers are all piling into the business after China revived its solar industry amid the country’s ambitious targets to add as much as 18 gigawatts of solar-power capacity by the end of this year.

via Apple Grows its Own Solar Farms in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

16/04/2015

The Statesman: Roadmap for India-Canada free trade pact by Sept: Modi

India and Canada on Wednesday expressed commitment to have a free trade pact, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying a roadmap will be laid for the market opening agreement by September.

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Modi said the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) will also be concluded soon.

“I am confident that we can conclude the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement very soon.

“We will also implement the roadmap to conclude the Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement by September 2015,” he said at a joint press conference with his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper.

He said Canada has the potential to partner India’s economic transformation and “it exists in a new environment in India which is open, predictable, stable and easy to do business in”.

Prime Minister Harper and I are absolutely committed to establishing a new framework for economic partnership. I am pleased that we have made rapid progress on long-pending agreements,” Modi said.

On the free trade pact, Harper said there are many issues in this to be resolved, but “we are committed to see it through”.

Harper further said there was no reason why Canada should not have a free trade pact with India which “is a vibrant democracy. Nothing precludes that”.

The Canadian Prime Minister said while the trade between the two countries has increased, “it is still not as much as it should be”.

He expressed confidence that nuclear agreement signed today with India will raise the bilateral trade volume further.

The bilateral trade increased to USD 5.18 billion in 2013-14 from USD 4.83 billion in previous year.

via The Statesman: Roadmap for India-Canada free trade pact by Sept: Modi.

14/04/2015

The Statesman: Let’s make India Ambedkar dreamt of: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday paid tributes to to BR Ambedkar on his 124th birth anniversary, and said, “Let us pledge to dedicate ourselves to creating India that Ambedkar dreamt of…an India that will make him proud”.

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“I bow to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on his birth anniversary – Jai Bhim,” the prime minister said in a message.

“Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar is a yug purush (man of the era) who lives in the hearts and minds of crores of Indians. His life is characterised by unmatched determination and a firm commitment towards social justice. He made a mark as a bright lawyer, scholar, writer and intellectual who always spoke his mind,” Modi said.

He added: “Who can forget Dr. Ambedkar’s contribution in the making of our Constitution? He served the nation and the people tirelessly and selflessly.”

“Let us pledge to dedicate ourselves to creating the India that Dr. Ambedkar dreamt of…an India that will make him proud.”

via The Statesman: Let’s make India Ambedkar dreamt of: Modi.

14/04/2015

India will set Climate Change conference agenda: Modi – The Hindu

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has slammed developed nations for questioning India over global warming despite it having the lowest per capita emission of gases and asserted that India will set the agenda for the Climate Change conference to be held in France in September.

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser (centre) smiles as a trainee hands over a small Berlin TV Tower to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a visit to the Siemens company in Berlin on Monday.

“I am surprised that the world is scolding us even though our per capita gas emission is the lowest…,” he said while addressing a reception for the Indian community here last night.

Underlining that preservation of nature was in the customs and tradition of Indians which they have done for ages, Mr. Modi said, “The whole world is posing questions to us. Those who have destroyed climate are asking questions to us. If anybody has served the nature, it is Indians.”

He asserted that India is “not answerable to the world” and will tell them that “you destroyed nature.”

Underlining that India should lead the way to deal with climate change, the Prime Minister said, “India will set the agenda for the upcoming Conference of Parties (COP)” meeting to be held in Paris in September.

Referring to India’s traditional practices and traditions, Mr. Modi said it is the only country which has served the nature the most as Indians even treat even river as mother and worship trees.

“Treating the nature well comes naturally for Indians and they (developed nations) are teaching us,” he said.

The Prime Minster said the solutions to the “crisis” on account of global warming are in India’s traditions and customs.

“We should go out with confidence,” he said, asking the Indian diaspora to contribute in this regard.

At the same time, he said India also wants solutions to the global problem of climate change. In this regard, he spoke about his government’s initiatives to tap clean and renewable energy for generating 175 Gigawatts of electricity from it.

One Gigawatt is equal to 1,000 MW.

“Earlier, we did not go beyond Megawatts but in 10 months, we have at least started thinking of Gigawatts,” he said.

via India will set Climate Change conference agenda: Modi – The Hindu.

14/04/2015

Why the Trial of Former Chinese Oil Executive Jiang Jiemin Matters – China Real Time Report – WSJ

A court in central China’s Hubei province today began hearing the case of Jiang Jiemin, the former chairman of China’s biggest oil company who also briefly headed a government commission that oversees state-owned firms.

Though Mr. Jiang may not be a household name, his trial marks the most senior-level prosecution of a Communist Party official in President Xi Jinping’s anticorruption drive, which has targeted both large state industries and their political backers over the past two years.

Far more important than his past role as head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission was Mr. Jiang’s previous tenure as chairman of China National Petroleum Corp. Following his appointment to that role in 2011, CNPC’s revenue rose, and it grew to rival Exxon Mobil Corp. in total market value.

Mr. Jiang was tapped to head Sasac in 2013, just as several other oil-company executives were becoming ensnared in corruption allegations or disappeared from view.

While Sasac oversees state-owned companies, in practice analysts say it is weaker than the larger, clout-wielding companies it supervises.

Mr. Jiang’s trial is being closely watched in part to see if it yields any details about the circumstances surrounding the downfall of Zhou Yongkang, the country’s granite-faced former security chief, who was formally charged with bribery and abuse of power earlier this month. Mr. Jiang had risen through the ranks of the country’s oil industry under Mr. Zhou.

It is also being watched for further details of corruption investigations involving other politicians and officials in the country’s oil industry, a key target for Mr. Xi’s campaign. The trial began at 8:30 a.m. Monday and was announced in a brief notice on the Hubei Hanjiang Intermediate People’s Court Weibo account. Without elaborating, the court said Mr. Jiang faces charges in connection to bribe-taking, holding a large amount of property that came from unidentified sources and abuse of power.

The court said Mr. Jiang has a lawyer and didn’t object to the charges that include taking bribes, holding assets from unexplained sources and abusing his power.

Like Mr. Jiang, Mr. Zhou had previously served as the head of CNPC. A wide network of Mr. Zhou’s acquaintances and family members have been caught up in a far-flung investigation involving deals in areas where Mr. Zhou oversaw power, involving deals worth tens of millions or more.

Officials of Mr. Zhou’s standing have traditionally been considered off limits, but under Mr. Xi, that is changing.

Mr. Zhou is expected to face trial as are other associates, including Li Chuncheng, former deputy party secretary of Sichuan, who worked under Mr. Zhou from 1999-2002

via Why the Trial of Former Chinese Oil Executive Jiang Jiemin Matters – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

14/04/2015

Narendra Modi: India Has Changed – India Real Time – WSJ

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to convince German industry that India is a reliable place to do business on his first visit to Europe’s largest economy as India’s leader.

View image on Twitter

“I am here to assure German companies that India is now a changed country — transparent, responsive and stable,” Mr. Modi told a delegation of Indian and German business leaders on Monday.

The Indian leader insisted that he was committed to introducing a “predictable” business environment in his country, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed him for the start of the Hannover Messe trade fair.

As the official partner country of the Messe—the world’s largest industrial trade fair—India is promoting its industrial and technological assets as Mr. Modi seeks to draw German industrial investment to his country.

Months after his election last May, Mr. Modi, of the conservative Bharatiya Janata Party, launched a “Make in India” campaign to promote the country as an investment destination and manufacturing center. His goal is to market India as an industrial hub for foreign players eager to take advantage of the country’s large workforce, raw materials and infrastructure.

via Narendra Modi: India Has Changed – India Real Time – WSJ.

12/04/2015

Drugs for malaria, osteoporosis, diabetes: Harsh Vardhan – The Hindu

‘The “candidate drugs” for malaria, osteoporosis and diabetes were currently undergoing clinical trials’

The “candidate drugs” for malaria, osteoporosis and diabetes were currently undergoing clinical trials. Photo: V.V.Krishnan

The Indian pharmaceutical sector would soon be showcasing ‘candidate drugs’ for malaria, osteoporosis and diabetes, Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday.

With further R&D, important breakthroughs could be on the horizon for these diseases, he said following a visit to the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow, a wing of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Addressing scientists, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was committed to making India one of the world’s leading destinations for end-to-end drug discovery and innovation by 2020.

“I am confident that the drug laboratories under the CSIR are capable of backing up the Swasth Swachh Bharat Mission. Our scientists are focussing on both infectious and lifestyle diseases. We are developing next generation drugs, biologics, biosimilars, gene therapeutics, stem cell therapeutics, personalised medicine and multifunctional nanomedicine,” said Dr. Vardhan.

Indian R&D efforts in government laboratories like CSIR-CDRI, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT, Hyderabad) and CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (CSIR-IICB, Kolkata) have a track record in making drugs for kala azar, filaria, leprosy and tuberculosis available at affordable rates to the common man, he said.

via Drugs for malaria, osteoporosis, diabetes: Harsh Vardhan – The Hindu.

12/04/2015

Modi’s ‘Make in India’ Gets $2 Billion Vote of Confidence From Airbus – India Real Time – WSJ

On Saturday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a visit to Airbus Group ‘sEADSY +0.49% facilities in Toulouse, France.

He was greeted with a vote of support, from the aerospace company’s CEO, for his Make in India initiative to build up manufacturing in the South Asian country.

Airbus is “ready to manufacture in India, for India and the world,” said Airbus chief Tom Enders. “India already takes a center-stage role in our international activities and we want to even increase its contribution to our products.”

Airbus Group aims to increase its sourcing of aerospace parts from Indian companies to $2 billion in the next five years, the company informed Mr. Modi, as it seeks to diversify its supplier base and tap low-cost suppliers worldwide.

The company’s strategy to ramp up outsourcing from India comes as it competes to secure billions of dollars in deals for military hardware from the country.

India has yet to decide on a joint bid by Airbus and India’s Tata Group to make Airbus’s C295 aircraft, in a contract estimated at about $3 billion. The company is also pursuing separate deals for hundreds of helicopters from the Indian military.

India has already selected Airbus to supply six A330 multirole tanker-transport planes for an estimated $2 billion.

In a presentation to the Indian prime minister on Saturday, the company said it would work with partners in India in areas such as engineering, customer services and pilot training, and to establish centers for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of planes, according to Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin.

In a statement, Airbus said it aims to produce helicopters, military planes, sensors as well as satellites in India, in partnerships with local firms. The company predicted India would India would require 1,291 new planes over the next two decades. It forecast the Indian air travel market to grow 11% each year through 2025.

via Modi’s ‘Make in India’ Gets $2 Billion Vote of Confidence From Airbus – India Real Time – WSJ.

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