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Newsletter. Issue 2008-05. March 01, 2008
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India News Clips

India's Big Population Challenge
By Nils Blythe

Business correspondent, BBC News, Mumbai, India

The world's population is growing at remarkable speed.

In 2000 it was around 6 billion. In 2050, based on estimates from the United Nations Commission on Population and Development, it will be 9 billion. An already crowded planet will have half as many people again. Few countries face as big a challenge as India.

It is already the world's second most populated country with over 1.1 billion people, not far behind China which has 1.3 billion. But China's population is expected to level off in the coming decades because of the government's one-child per family policy.

India's population will keep on rising and the UN expects it to reach around 1.6 billion by 2050, by which time it will have overtaken China to become the world's most populated country.


Food Prices Spur Indian Inflation

Inflation in India rose more than expected in early February to a six month high on rising food prices. The wholesale price index hit 4.35% for the year up to 9 February, as the price of vegetables, fruit and lentils rose. Economists expect inflation to head higher still as last week's rise in fuel prices starts to take effect.

Inflation remains below the Indian central bank's target rate of 5% but economists say it could breach that level in the near future. "The numbers are definitely higher than expectations, "With the fuel price hike showing up in headline numbers from next week, inflation seems to be on an uptrend and may reach the 5 percent mark very soon," said A. Parana, economist at ICICI Securities in Mumbai.

Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/business/7258501.stm


Lockheed wins $1bn Indian order

The US defence firm Lockheed Martin has won an order worth about $1bn (£512m) from India for six Super Hercules C-130J military transport aircraft.
BBC News - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7250474.stm

News of the deal, agreed in January, emerged during South Asia's biggest defence fair in New Delhi.

Hundreds of global weapons firms are displaying their wares at DefExpo2008 in an effort to grab a share of India's expanding defence budget. India is keen to modernise its Soviet-era weaponry. Cold War politics meant that India relied on Russian military hardware and it currently has no US-made combat aircraft.

India's air force flies Russian-made MiG fighters, British Jaguars and French Mirages. Lockheed, the world's biggest defence contractor, is bidding against US aerospace giant Boeing and Russian and European rivals for contracts, including a deal worth as much as $12bn to sell 126 multi-role fighters jets.

Over the weekend, the state-run Israel Aerospace Industries and business conglomerate Tata agreed a joint venture to produce drones, radar and electronic warfare systems.Israel is India's second largest arms supplier after Russia, with France in third place.

Story from BBC NEWS


Africa, India, CIS To Forge Links On Agriculture, Seafood
14 February 2008, Thursday


ENTHUSED BY the business generated in Agri food last year, over 50 agri and seafood buyers from 12 African countries and 15 buyers from five CIS countries are headed for New Delhi and Mumbai to meet with their counterparts in India at the ‘Africa-CIS-India Agri and Sea Food Business Meet 2008’, a series of mega buyer-seller meets spread over four days from February 19 - 22, 2008.

Organised by FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) and department of commerce, government of India, the Meet aims at bringing the suppliers and buyers of products and equipments in the related sectors at a common forum to explore mutually beneficial opportunities.

The business interests of participating companies from Africa and CIS countries are varied but there is a very strong interest of the participating international buyers in agri machinery especially tractors, agri chemicals, seeds, processing and packaging machinery for sea food and agri food, agri products like tea, coffee, spices, fresh fruits and vegetables, animal feed, dairy, meat and poultry and seafood products.

The Africa-CIS-India Agrifood Business Meet 2008 will brings together private and public players from Africa, CIS and India on a common platform to explore synergistic strategic partnerships in joint ventures, co-production possibilities, boosting exports of products and services, exploring food and nutrition security, fostering institutional tie-ups, technology transfer and human resource development.

The African companies that would be present at the Meet are from Angola, Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Swaziland and Tanzania. The buyers from CIS countries are from Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.

The buyer-seller meeting would be held on February 19, followed by site visits to Indian factories and units on February 20.

In New Delhi, the African and CIS countries’ buyers will meet at a conference and buyer-seller meetings and field visits on February 21 - 22, 2008.


Nissan, Renault Team for India Plant
New factory will feed growing market.

by Marty Padgett

Renault and Nissan will team up with local manufacturer Mahindra to build a new vehicle assembly plant in southernIndia, an investment worth a total of more than $900 million.

The new factory will be located in Chennai, formerly Madras . Due to open in 2009, the factory will eventually have the capacity to build 400,000 vehicles a year. On paper, Mahindra & Mahindra will own 50 percent of the plant, while Renault and Nissan each will control a quarter of it.

The factory will produce an unnamed low-cost vehicle for sale under the Renault, Nissan, and Mahindra brands. Nissan also has a deal with Indian automaker Maruti to build a compact car for Europe under the Nissan brand.

India's rapid economic growth is leading to the development of a middle class with a growing taste for luxuries like personal vehicles. And growth in vehicle sales, while stable in Western Europe and North America, is booming: the Wall Street Journal reports that Indian sales totaled 1.14 million units in the year ending March 31, 2006, up 70 percent in four years.

Other automakers already represented in India include Ford, Hyundai, Toyota , Honda, GM, and BMW. Nissan currently exports vehicles to India . Suzuki operates in a joint-venture with India 's largest automaker, Maruti, while Fiat has a partnership with number-three Indian automaker Tata.

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