Posts tagged ‘United States’

22/01/2015

Now Is the Time to Start a Company in India says Pulse Founder – India Real Time – WSJ

Ankit Gupta, the co-founder of Pulse a news aggregating app that was purchased by LinkedIn, has spent the past two weeks traveling across India meeting startup founders and trying to find out what is behind the recent surge in acquisitions of Indian companies by U.S.-based firms.

His conclusion? Now is the time to start a company in India, but if that sounds too risky, here are a few other ways he suggests you can contribute to the startup ecosystem.

Work for an Indian startup. There is a huge demand for good talent, especially at senior levels. Salaries over $200,000 aren’t unheard of.

Invest in startups. Your college network can be very effective in finding them. Angel list and termsheet.io are good resources as well.

Use Indian products and send them feedback. Help Indian products get distribution in your country.

Signup for this newsletter Mr. Gupta started to stay informed about new products launching in India.

via Now Is the Time to Start a Company in India says Pulse Founder – India Real Time – WSJ.

21/01/2015

India’s Poor Are More Upwardly Mobile Than You Think – India Real Time – WSJ

Despite India’s reputation as a country where millions of families are stuck in grinding poverty, a new World Bank report shows that a surpassingly large portion of the South Asian nation’s poor population has been finding its way out of poverty.

The report titled “Addressing Inequality in South Asia,”– which looked at the gaps between the haves and have-nots in India and its neighbors– looked at different income groups and how they changed over the five year period up to March 31, 2010.

Over that period close to 40% of the people that had been classified as poor had clawed their way above the poverty line. Of course, the income mobility went both ways, but was not as bad on the down side. Around 15% of the people that had been previously classified as middle class or just above the poverty line fell into poverty over the five years.

via India’s Poor Are More Upwardly Mobile Than You Think – India Real Time – WSJ.

21/01/2015

As Obama visits, signs that India is pushing back against China | Reuters

When Sri Lanka unexpectedly turfed out President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an election this month, it was the biggest setback in decades for China’s expansion into South Asia – and a remarkable diplomatic victory for India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a campaign rally ahead of state assembly elections, at Ramlila ground in New Delhi January 10, 2015. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

Despite New Delhi’s protestations, diplomats and politicians in the region say India played a role in organizing the opposition against pro-China Rajapaksa.

His successor, President Maithripala Sirisena, has said India is the “first, main concern” of his foreign policy and that he will review all projects awarded to Chinese firms, including a sea reclamation development in Colombo that would give Beijing a strategic toehold on India’s doorstep.

India has pushed back against China elsewhere in the region since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in May, improving ties with Japan and Vietnam, both locked in territorial disputes with Beijing, and contesting a port project in Bangladesh that could otherwise have been a cakewalk for China.

The new robust diplomacy, which Modi calls “Act East”, has delighted Washington, which has been nudging India for years to dovetail with the U.S. strategic pivot toward the region.

When President Barack Obama makes a landmark visit to India starting Sunday, he will be the chief guest at New Delhi’s showpiece Republic Day military parade, and rarely for a presidential trip, is not scheduled to visit any other country before returning to Washington.

“What is appealing to me and my colleagues is the fact that Prime Minister Modi has undertaken to build from what has been a ‘Look East’ policy to an ‘Act East’ policy,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific Daniel Russel said in Washington last month.

“He has shown in word and deed his interest in involving India in the thinking and the affairs of the broader region. That’s very much to be welcomed.”

Washington made no bones about its distaste for Rajapaksa, who critics accuse of war crimes, corrruption and nepotism. But until last year India was indecisive, perhaps afraid of pushing the hero of the war against Tamil separatists even closer to China.

That changed in September, when Rajapaksa allowed a Chinese submarine to dock in Colombo, without informing India, as it was bound to under an existing agreement.

“That was the last straw,” a senior Indian diplomat told Reuters.

“He told Modi: “the next time I will keep you informed,”” the diplomat said, a promise that was broken when the submarine visited again in November.

In the build up to the Jan 8 election, India played a role in uniting Sri Lanka’s usually fractious opposition, for which the station chief of India’s spy agency was expelled, diplomatic and political sources say.

“At least that was the perception of Mahinda Rajapkasa,” said M.A. Sumanthiran, a prominent member of the Tamil National Alliance, a coalition of parties close to India. “He managed to get one of their top diplomats recalled.”

The Indian government denies any of its officers was expelled. But Sumanthiran said Modi had in a meeting encouraged the Tamil alliance to join forces with others in politics.

“The Indians realized that you can’t do business with this man and they were hoping for a change,” he said.

“FAMILY MATTER”

On Friday, Sri Lanka said it would review a $1.5 billion deal with China Communication Construction Co Ltd to build a 233 hectare patch of real estate on redeveloped land overlooking Colombo’s South Port.

In return, China was to get land on a freehold basis in the development. This is of particular concern for India, the destination for the majority of the trans shipment cargo through Colombo.

“The message is clear, that you do not ignore Indian security concerns,” said the Indian diplomatic source.

Modi is looking for similar good news elsewhere in South Asia. He has already visited Nepal twice, becoming the first Indian prime minister to travel to the Himalayan buffer state with China in 17 years, and signing long delayed power projects.

India has muscled into an $8 billion deep water port project that Bangladesh wants to develop in Sonadia in the Bay of Bengal, with the Adani Group, a company close to Modi, submitting a proposal in October. China Harbour Engineering Company, an early bidder, was previously the front-runner.

“Modi is willing to engage on long-term issues that stretch beyond India’s border, including maritime security in the South China Sea, as well as North Korea and Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria,” said Richard Rossow at policy think tank CSIS.

“That’s when we start to think about India as a regional global provider – or as a global provider of security.”

However, the bonhomie has limits – India and the United States do not see eye-to-eye on Pakistan, New Delhi’s traditional foe that enjoys substantial funding from Washington.

Tricky conflicts over trade and intellectual property hold back business, and India has limits to its ability to project force outside its immediate neighborhood.

But Modi’s policies mark a departure from India’s traditional non-aligned approach to foreign power blocs.

“Having the U.S. president at the Republic Day celebration is a good thing, he is blessing Modi,” said Mohan Guruswamy, of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, a think-tank.

“And that is a lesson to the Chinese that you have to mend your fences with us.”

via As Obama visits, signs that India is pushing back against China | Reuters.

20/01/2015

Obama’s Seven Habits for a Highly Successful India Visit – India Real Time – WSJ

U.S. President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to India won’t be his first trip to the country.

Mr. Obama and the First Lady last swept through Delhi and Mumbai in November 2010 in a carefully- choreographed charm offensive, addressing sensitive issues such as Pakistan and the U.N. Security Council, while finding time to dance at a high school and speak a bit of Hindi.

Much has changed in India since Mr. Obama last arrived on its shores: the government, the prime minister, the number of international coffee and burger chains. Many things haven’t altered however and by the time he leaves next week, the president will be something of an old hand in the world’s largest democracy. By visiting a second time, he becomes the only serving U.S. president to have made two official trips to India.

1. Back a Bid

India has for years coveted a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. In Mr. Obama’s 2010 visit, he used a speech to the Indian Parliament  to back the country’s inclusion “in the years to come” as a permanent member of the council with power of veto.

2. Tread Carefully on Pakistan

Any world leader visiting India must choose their words on the country’s rival Pakistan carefully.  In the same speech to the Indian Parliament, Mr Obama said the U.S. insisted Pakistan limit terrorist-safe havens within its borders, adding: “We must also recognize that all of us have an interest in both an Afghanistan and a Pakistan that is stable, prosperous and democratic—and none more so than India.”

3. Make a Trade Announcement…

Mr. Obama was in Mumbai when he announced a loosening of restrictions on U.S. exports to India. The move was aimed at making it easier for U.S. companies to export technology for military and non-military use after the U.S. imposed controls on trade with India in dual-use technologies — items that have both military and peaceful purposes – after India’s nuclear-weapons tests in 1998.

The president said: “We’re taking the necessary steps to strengthen this relationship.”

4. …And Ask for Something Back

Mr. Obama asked India to reduce barriers in sectors such as agriculture, retail and telecommunications to promote trade. “In a global economy, new growth and jobs flow to countries that lower barriers to trade and investment,” he said.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, embrace following a joint statement and press conference at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2010. Associated Press

5. Work on Chemistry

Ahead of the 2010 meeting, both Mr. Obama and then-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh echoed each other’s language on the relationship between their two countries. “I think the India-United States relationship has entered a new phase,” Mr. Singh said before Mr. Obama’s visit.

6. Pick Your Battles

There was much speculation that Mr. Obama would touch on the issue of the outsourcing of U.S. jobs to India during his 2010 visit. In the end, he deftly sidestepped the issue in the name of healthy competition:

“There are many Americans whose only experience with trade and globalization has been a shuttered factory or a job that was shipped overseas,” he said, adding that many Americans still had a “caricature” of India as a place with call centers where U.S. jobs have been outsourced.

On another touchy subject, Kashmir, Mr. Obama let Mr. Singh do the talking. Mr. Singh said he wanted to reduce tensions with Pakistan, including over Kashmir, but could not do so unless Islamabad cracked down on terrorism.

U.S. President Barack Obama bows as he arrives to deliver a speech at Parliament House in New Delhi Nov. 8, 2010. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

7. Visit the Right Places, Wear the Right Things, Use the Local Lingo

Photogenic India provided Mr. and Mrs. Obama with ample visual material. Mrs. Obama gamely joined children dancing at a high school in Mumbai, eventually persuading the president to join her. She also took part in a game of hopscotch and urged students at a college in Mumbai to “keep dreaming big huge, gigantic dreams–for your community and for your world.”

Perhaps the most arduous part of the visit of any dignitary to another country is avoiding any faux pas, embarrassing photographs or poor sartorial choices.

Mr. Obama’s staff carefully chose Humayun’s tomb in New Delhi as an appropriate tourist destination for the president.

Meanwhile, Michelle Obama’s outfits were carefully scrutinized for any embarrassing mistakes – which she seemed to avoid.

Mr. Obama rounded off the whirlwind tour with the crowd-pleasing cry in Hindi of ‘jai hind!’, or ‘hail India!’ at the end of his speech to the Indian Parliament.

via Obama’s Seven Habits for a Highly Successful India Visit – India Real Time – WSJ.

20/01/2015

China’s rising Internet wave: Wired companies | McKinsey & Company

Until recently, China’s Internet economy was consumer driven. The country leads the world in the number of Internet users, and Chinese enterprises deploy sophisticated e-commerce strategies. The same companies, though, have lagged behind the United States and other developed nations in using the Internet to run key aspects of their businesses (Exhibit 1).

That’s changing. China’s companies are quickly climbing the adoption curve. Their increased digital engagement will not only give the economy a new burst of momentum but also change the nature of growth. China sorely needs a new leg of expansion because the industrial growth of recent years—driven by heavy capital expenditures in manufacturing—will be difficult to sustain. The Internet, by contrast, should foster new economic activity rooted in productivity, innovation, and higher consumption.

For global companies counting on China for continued growth, the new Internet wave will change the nature of competition: it will enable the most efficient Chinese companies to grow more quickly, shine more transparency on business and consumer markets, and create conditions for a better allocation of capital.

A new McKinsey Global Institute report looks broadly at the coming transformation.1 Our research shows that Chinese companies are investing heavily in the building blocks of the Internet economy: cloud computing, wireless communications, new digital platforms, big data analytics, and more. Across six sectors (Exhibit 2), which accounted for 25 percent of Chinese economic activity in 2013, we find that increased Internet adoption could add 60 billion to 1.2 trillion renminbi (about $10 billion to $190 billion) in GDP to individual sectors by 2025. About one-third of these gains will come from the creation of entirely new markets, the remainder from productivity gains across the value chain. When we scale up this level of growth across all sectors of the economy, we find that Internet adoption could add 4 trillion to 14 trillion renminbi to GDP by 2025. The Internet is also expected to contribute 7 to 22 percent of total GDP growth from 2013 to 2025.2

via China’s rising Internet wave: Wired companies | McKinsey & Company.

17/01/2015

Alibaba in major initiative to court China consumer for U.S. retailers | Reuters

China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) plans a major move to win U.S. business this year, by offering American retailers new ways to sell to China’s vast and growing middle class.

The logo of Alibaba Group is seen inside the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province early November 11, 2014. REUTERS/Aly Song

Anchored by Alipay, the dominant Chinese electronic payments system that works closely with Alibaba and is controlled by its executives, the world’s largest Internet retailer is using the calling card of China’s consumers to attract U.S. partners, two sources close to the company told Reuters.

Long seen as the most potent threat to Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) with $300 billion in global sales, the moves add up to a conservative approach to expanding in the United States, contrary to industry speculation that the company may be plotting a direct assault on U.S. soil.

That considered strategy, outlined to Reuters for the first time by the sources and executives who work directly with the Chinese company, is intended to heighten awareness in the United States of what Alibaba does, gain goodwill in an important Western market, and lay the groundwork for a longer-term play.

At the heart of its push are Alibaba’s and Alipay’s trial deals to handle Chinese sales, payment and shipping for some of the biggest names in U.S. retail from Neiman Marcus Group [NMRCUS.UL] to Saks Inc. Both confirmed the agreement but would not talk about how the pilots are faring.

The Chinese companies will also work with U.S. startup Shoprunner, an online mall for U.S. retailers in which it owns a stake, and retail services provider Borderfree Inc (BRDR.O) to court Chinese consumers.

And Alibaba is preparing a marketing campaign to raise awareness among U.S. businesses of its global business-to-business wholesale platform, Alibaba.com, so they can buy and sell to and from global suppliers.

via Alibaba in major initiative to court China consumer for U.S. retailers | Reuters.

17/01/2015

China Telecom plans bid to build Mexico broadband network – sources | Reuters

China’s third-largest carrier China Telecom is preparing a possible bid for a contract to build and run a new mobile broadband network in Mexico and is seeking local partners to join it in a consortium, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

It has already secured up to several billion dollars of financing from Chinese state-controlled banks, including the China Development Bank, for the project, which Mexico estimates will cost $10 billion over 10 years, one of the people said.

The proposed network is part of a sweeping reform designed to break billionaire Carlos Slim‘s hold on the Mexican telecoms business, but the Chinese involvement could prove controversial and trigger concerns from the U.S., some Mexican officials say.

Mexico’s government is trying to ease its economic dependence on the United States and ramp up Chinese investment. A Chinese-led consortium looks poised to win a $3.75 billion contract to build a high-speed train system, sources with knowledge of the plan say. This is despite the group’s previous winning bid being revoked late last year amid a political scandal.

via Exclusive: China Telecom plans bid to build Mexico broadband network – sources | Reuters.

31/12/2014

Chinese diplomacy 2014

China made or re-established relationships or alliances in 2014 with 167 nations (a few multiple relationships); in:

  • January: Cambodia; Ghana; Bulgaria; Peru; Mongolia; Gulf States; Belarus; France; Taiwan; India; France; Germany; Viet Nam = 13
  • February: Fiji; Greece; Afghanistan; South Korea; Sri Lanka; Hungary; USA; Pakistan; Senegal; Afghanistan; Iraq; Vietnam = 13
  • March: Saudi Arabia; UK; Poland; Cambodia; South Korea; Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium and EU; Kazakhstan; USA = 12
  • April: Israel; Namibia; Timor L’este; Myanmar; Laos: Australia; Brazil; Germany; Hungary; Syrian opposition leader; Malaysia; Cuba; Britain; Ghana; South Africa; Denmark; Brunei = 17
  • May: Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola, and Kenya; Taiwan; Iran; Turkmenistan; Bulgaria; Portugal; France; Myanmar; Kyrgyzstan; Russia; Kazakhstan; Switzerland; Azerbaijan; Turkey; Pakistan = 18
  • June: Congo; Ukraine; Angola; India; Egypt; Denmark, Finland, Ireland ; Portugal; Russia; Afghanistan; Somalia= 12
  • July: Sudan; France; Azerbaijan; Switzerland; South Korea; Germany; USA; Brazil; Argentina; Venezuela; Cuba; Bulgaria; Portugal; Indonesia; Myanmar; Laos; Canada = 17
  • August: Egypt; Mauritania; at AEAN Summit (Vietnam; Korea; Myanmar; Malaysia; Thai, India); Hungary; Burundi; Uzbekistan; Mongolia ; Vietnam; Zimbabwe; Egypt; Czech; Turkmenistan; Turkey; Antigua & Barbuda; Croatia; Madagascar; Djibouti; Singapore; Croatia = 18
  • September: Russia; Romania; Poland; Malaysia; Cuba; Tajikistan; France;  Mongolia; Pakistan; Maldives; Sri Lanka; Zimbabwe; France; India; Indonesia = 15
  • October: Italy, Jordan, Kenya; France; Zambia; Afghanistan = 6
  • November: Indonesia; Pakistan; Iraq; Cambodia, Bahrain; Jordan; Australia; Finland; New Zealand; Nepal; Fiji; Slovenia; Columbia = 14
  • December: Uzbekistan; Australia; Pakistan; Maldives; South Africa; Ireland; Tonga; Cuba; Kazakhstan; Serbia; Republic of Korea; Cambodia = 12
31/12/2014

China Adds the Equivalent of Malaysia’s Economy to its Output – Businessweek

China’s economy officially just got bigger. More important, it also became more balanced, a longtime priority of Chinese leaders and good news for the world.

China's Revised GDP Shows Rebalancing Success With Bigger Service Sector

China’s GDP revision, announced by the national bureau of statistics on its website today, shows the economy in 2013 was 1.92 trillion yuan ($303.8 billion) larger than previously thought. That’s 3.4 percent more and equivalent to adding the Malaysian economy to Chinese output, as Bloomberg News and others have noted. That puts last year’s GDP at about $9.61 trillion.

The 2014 figure will also be revised upward, although by not much, the statistics bureau says, probably early next year. And planned changes to how Beijing counts research and development costs and housing, will likely boost the size of the economy.

The revision follows the release earlier this week of data from China’s last economic census. Almost 3 million census takers polled more than 10 million companies and 60 million individual-owned private enterprises across the country for a three-month period last spring. The two previous censuses saw GDP revised up by 16.8 percent in 2004 and 4.4 percent in 2008.

“The relatively small upwards adjustment [this time], compared with previous [census] revisions, won’t make a huge difference to how the economy is viewed or to key metrics, such as China’s debt to GDP ratio,” writes Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at London’s Capital Economics, in a research note today. “Nonetheless, it does provide some positive news on rebalancing.”

The census revealed a bigger service sector, which in 2013 made up 46.9 percent of GDP, up from 46.1 percent before. Meanwhile, China’s often resource-wasting, pollution-generating industrial sector takes up a slightly smaller share of the economy, falling to 43.7 percent from 43.9 percent before the census.

via China Adds the Equivalent of Malaysia’s Economy to its Output – Businessweek.

19/12/2014

What could happen in China in 2015? | McKinsey & Company

It seemed harder to prepare my “look ahead” this year. On reflection, I believe this is because political and economic leaders in China have clear plans and supporting policies that they are sticking to. You can debate the pace at which actions are being taken, but not really the direction in which the country is traveling. This means a number of the themes I highlighted for this year will remain relevant in 2015:

Improving productivity and efficiency will remain the key to maintaining profitability for many companies, given lower economic growth (overall and at a sector level) and the impact of producer price deflation on multiple sectors.

The impact of technology as it eliminates jobs in services and manufacturing will become even greater (but still not in government).

As a result, the government will keep a sharper focus on net job creation and the quality of those new positions. Companies will hire even more information technologists to keep up in the race to exploit technology better than their competitors.

The push to lower pollution, and now carbon emissions, will lead to even greater investment in domestic solar and wind farms, boosting the global position of Chinese producers.

High-speed-rail construction will continue domestically and increasingly abroad, as Chinese companies become the builder of choice for high-speed rail globally.

Beyond these, there are several additional themes that will be important in 2015. I describe them below.

via What could happen in China in 2015? | McKinsey & Company.

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