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INDIA


 

 

In-depth Business Intelligence

Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 598,966 515,000  481,400 12
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 530 480 470 160
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on India

REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km)
3,287,590

Population

1,049,700,118

Capital
New Delhi

Currency
Irdian Rupee (INR)

President
Abdul Kalam


Update No: 034 - (30/11/06)

INDIA and CHINA'S JOINT PARTNERSHIP
While India definitely scored high points with regard to America on the nuclear deal, it is trying to maintain a similar record in terms of its relationship with China. President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had cordial, open and constructive talks focusing on their bilateral relations and cooperation on regional and multilateral issues. The Joint Declaration reached by India and China is a culmination of all peace talks. The Declaration puts in place a ten pronged strategy to intensify cooperation in all areas and to give greater content to India and China's strategic partnership. The two governments have agreed to hold regular summit level meetings and intensify high level exchanges in addition to strengthening institutional linkages and mechanisms facilitating inter-ministerial dialogue. Additional Consulates General will be opened in each country, one in Kolkata for China and one in Guangzhou for India, to facilitate growing interaction in trade and tourism. We are happy that the long pending issue of the property of the Indian Consulate in Shanghai has been resolved. Comprehensive economic and commercial engagement between India and China will receive highest priority. There will be an endeavor to raise the volume of bilateral trade to 40 billion dollars by 2010 and encourage two way investment flows. Also, a Joint Task Force has been established to expedite its study of the feasibility and benefits of the India China Regional Trading Arrangement and is expected to submit its report by October 2007. It has been decided to boost trans- border connectivity and cooperation. A major initiative in science and technology has also been launched which will involve a further launching of several joint projects. Cooperation in the field of civilian nuclear energy will be promoted. All these provisions in the Joint Declaration signed by the two countries conveys India's effort to not just build strong relations with the United States, but focus on cooperating with powerful neighbors in its backyard such as China. China too recognizes the need to forge stronger ties with India owing to India's booming economic potential.

A QUESTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS 
The largest pro-India political party in Kashmir has suspended talks with the government of India, citing human rights abuses by security forces in the Indian-controlled portion of the restive region. This phenomenon is not new and goes back to the beginning the late 1980s when insurgency began in Kashmir and when the army was called in to maintain law and order. National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said his party would not continue peace talks until the government addressed allegations of human rights abuses. Kashmiris have regularly accused Indian forces of battling Islamic insurgents in the region and beating and killing innocent civilians. Last month, international Human Rights Watch said Kashmiri civilians were targeted both by Indian security forces and militants. The government security forces insist they don' t intentionally target civilians. While they routinely investigate such allegations, they rarely prosecute those involved in the deaths. Meanwhile, suspected rebels shot and killed one policeman after dragging him out of his home in a village south of Srinagar, the capital of India's Jammu-Kashmir state. Separatist rebels often target civilians whom they suspect to be helping police. Nearly a dozen rebel groups have been fighting since 1989, seeking independence for the two-thirds of Kashmir held by India or for its merger with Pakistan. More than 68,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed on both sides of the conflict. The National Conference, which used to be the area's governing party, backs India's rule of the region. What is particularly problematic with the issue of human rights abuses by security forces in Kashmir, is that the government does not have a clear policy on this, and has remained quite complacent in punishing those within the armed forces who are responsible for misusing their power. Moreover, the government needs to separate the army's role in maintenance of law and order from its method of responding to terrorists, because there has been a fine line between dealing with the terrorists and the common people; an argument that allows the security forces to get away with such atrocities. 

INDIA AND PAKISTAN
India and Pakistan have held extensive talks on terrorism and rival claims to the Himalayan region of Kashmir, raising hopes for progress on two issues that have long divided the nuclear-armed neighbors. Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shanker Menon and his Pakistani counterpart, Riaz Mohammed Khan, discussed a range of issues this month, including steps the two nations have taken to build mutual confidence since they began talks nearly three years ago. Both countries are examining a way to implement a proposed anti-terror mechanism that the two countries have agreed to set up. The meeting marked the resumption of a dialogue that India suspended after the Mumbai bombings in July, soon after which New Delhi blamed the attack on the Pakistan intelligence service and a Pakistan-based militant group; allegations that Islamabad denies.

THE NUCLEAR DEAL
According to a recent report in the San Francisco Chronicle by Robert Collier, lawmakers in Washington are recognizing that India is assuming a major strategic role economically and diplomatically, and the United States has little choice but to treat it as a soon-to-be-equal power. The U.S. Senate's approval of a plan for U.S.-Indian nuclear cooperation elevated India to the level of major U.S. ally. It also marked the fruition of a long standing debate over the merits of the nuclear deal with India. The vote has also showed the power that the Indian community exercises within the United States and the effectiveness of the India lobby. There still remain some who are skeptical of the Indo-US nuclear deal. Senator Byron Dorgan, Democrat from North Dakota, said that by rewarding India with sensitive technology despite its development of long-range nuclear weapons, the United States will weaken its position against nuclear proliferation by other nations, including Iran and North Korea. The debate in the Senate "largely ignored a couple decades of work on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and that it was mostly about friendship with India, making India a counterweight to China, and the strategic and economic calculations that come with that." Indian American leaders are calling the Senate's 85-12 vote the most significant step in recent years toward bringing the U.S.-India relationship into a tight embrace after decades of frostiness. The vote approved an agreement signed in March by President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to allow India to buy nuclear fuel and technology from the United States despite its refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The House passed a somewhat different bill over the summer, and the two versions must be reconciled and approved again by both chambers of Congress before it takes effect. What appears interesting is whether or not this deal would have gone through had the Republicans maintained their majority in the Senate before the mid-term elections. A change in the composition of the Senate with the Democrats taking majority could possibly signal the fact that the Democrats have always been more favorable to dealings with India. However, this remains a question that has not been addressed in the last few weeks. If the democrats are more inclined to support India on nuclear issues, then we might find an even stronger partnership between India and the United States if the Democrats win the presidential elections in 2008. 

ECONOMY and BUSINESS
Morgan Stanley sees India's FDI rising to US$10 billion, or 1 per cent of GDP by 2008, with the flows mostly targeting low capital services and manufacturing for the domestic market, rather than factories for exports like many in China. Since the start of 2002, the Pakistan market has risen 741%, topping the 297% gain for India's Sensex. Still, Pakistan stocks only trade at about 10.6 times forecast profits, while Indian stocks trade at 20 times earnings. Pakistan, has an economy that grew by 6.6% in the financial year that ended in June, a rate that the government expects will rise to 7% this year. Liberal rules on foreign investment are luring overseas players, with foreign investors pouring US$307 million into the market since July 1. Pakistan's biggest listed firm, Oil and Gas Development Co., is planning the US$1.4 billion sale of global depository receipts (GDRs) and local shares in December. The Karachi 100 index is up 12 per cent this year on daily turnover that exceeds US$400 million, making it more active than markets such as Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Money from the Middle East, and increasingly Singapore and elsewhere in East Asia, has been helping drive growth, with infrastructure, energy, financial services and makers of consumer goods such as motorcycles seen as attractive plays.

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