Swinburne University continues to host “Western Immersion” programs for Indian uni students – I am always pleased to speak about “Letting your light shine” to these groups – this one is from Tamil Nadu. With 50% of the India population under the age of 25, they face stiff competition for jobs – hope we helped give them an advantage with some of the secrets of PR and good communication. Especially focusing on teaching them how to do a “personal pitch”.
One of the global initiatives of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been International Yoga Day – celebrated across the world on 21 June each year since 2015.
While China is building a global reputation based on the “belt and road” initiative and creating bases in the South China Sea, defending accusations of deliberately creating debt in emerging nations and interfering with neighbours, India just goes on doing its own thing.
China has an ageing population and a trade-dependent economy – it is vulnerable to global economic shifts and worried about security of trade routes.
In contrast, India has a young population and economic growth driven by internal demand. It is less likely to be affected by global economic downturns or security issues.
This is not to say security is not on the mind of India – it recently did a significant deal with Indonesia. But for China, security of trade routes is the dominant global concern.
That is why International Yoga Day gives special insight into modern India – lifting millions out of poverty, creating a strong economy and global strength but celebrating the quiet and peaceful side of its culture. This year the theme was “Yoga for Peace” and somehow I feel only India could come up with such a concept.
Fitch Ratings this week raised India growth forecast for 2018-19 to 7.4 per cent from 7.3 per cent, but cited higher financing costs and rising oil prices as risks to growth.
For 2019-20, it estimated the country to grow at 7.5 per cent.
The economy grew at 6.7 per cent in 2017-18 and 7.7 per cent in January-March quarter.
According to Fitch, India has better macroeconomic fundamentals than in 2013 and very low foreign ownership rates in the domestic government bond market, but the current account deficit has been widening as a result of rising oil prices, reviving domestic demand and poor manufacturing export performance, it said.
Time to review your India engagement strategy?
This weekend showed how much the west looks at the world through the prism of Europe and America – with the focus very much on the G7 meeting.
There was little or no western media coverage or political analysis of another important meeting over this last weekend – the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which has 8 members, representing 42 per cent of the world’s population, 22 per cent of the land area and 20 per cent of the GDP.
SCO focuses on political, economic, security and cultural cooperation among members – China, Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.
Unlike the friction of the G7 (pictured below), this meeting was a real opportunity for one-on-one discussions between leaders such as India’s Prime Minister Modi and China’s President Xi, who met on multiple occasions.
India is a new member of SCO and was very much focused on regional connectivity projects to boost trade among members of the SCO countries. India has been strongly pushing for connectivity projects like the Chabahar port project in Iran and the over-7,200 km long International North-South Transport Corridor to gain access to resource-rich Central Asian countries.
Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi were also expected to discuss the economic ties between the two countries over the two days. India has been asking China to open its IT and pharmaceutical sectors to address the trade deficit which climbed to over $51 billion last year.
Outcomes of this meeting will be important for countries like Australia and Indonesia – but in Australia, at least, it seems SCO is not on the radar while the goings on at the G7 gain all the attention. Time to change our prism?
The World Bank has forecast a growth rate of 7.3 per cent for India this year and 7.5 per cent for the next two years, making it the fastest growing country among major emerging economies.
A top World Bank official said India’s economy is robust, resilient and has potential to deliver sustained growth. India retains the tag of the fastest growing country among the world’s major emerging economies, Ayhan Kose, Director of the Development Prospects Group at the World Bank, told PTI.
“India’s economy (today) is robust, resilient and has potential to deliver sustained growth,” Kose said.
“India is doing well. Growth is being robust. Investment growth remains high. Consumption remains strong. All in all these numbers are encouraging,” Kose said, referring to the World Bank report on India’s growth rate figures.
“However, you look at it, India is in a very strong position,” he said.
If you are in business or investment, this question (why India?) will have been asked before. But the answer is becoming more compelling as the following list shows: