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India will be the host of the next steering committee meeting of the proposed 1,814 kilometre-long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.
The decision was came during the sixth joint Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) meeting on trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation.
The pipeline, that had its ground-breaking ceremony in December 2015, has seen flagging interest since then for a number of reasons. India’s effort is to tap Turkmenistan’s Galkynysh gasfields, which are the fourth largest in the world.
The Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline (TAPI), also known as Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline, is a natural gas pipeline being developed by the Asian Development Bank.
The pipeline will transport Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India. Construction on the project started in Turkmenistan on December 13th, 2015. The pipeline is expected to be operational by 2019.
Indian Navy would join the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in a maiden maritime search and rescue exercise to be chaired by Bangladesh at the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) in November this year.
“Bangladesh, the current Chair, is scheduling a maiden International Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) in November in the Bay of Bengal to be attended by ships and aircraft of the members and observers of the IONS.
The IONS is a regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states, represented by their Navy chiefs, launched by India in February 2008. It presently has 23 members and nine observers.
India and Russia will hold a mega war game ‘Indra’ in October involving their armies, navies and the air forces for the first time to further ramp up military ties.
The exercise Indra, which will be held in Russia from October 19 to 29, will primarily focus on achieving coordination between forces of the two countries in a tri- services integrated theatre command scenario
It will be for the first time India will participate in a tri-services exercise with a foreign country with such a large scale participation by the Navy, the Army and the Air Force.
The armies, navies and air forces of Russia are holding bilateral exercises separately but this is for the first time, both the countries will carry out a tri-services exercise.
The Fifteenth BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting was convened in Kathmandu, Nepal on 10-11 August 2017.
The Fifteenth BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting was attended by ;
1. His Excellency Mr. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali,M.P., Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh;
2. His Excellency Lyonpo Damcho Dorji, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Royal Government of Bhutan; 3. Her Excellency Smt. Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister of the Government of the Republic of India.
The Meeting considered and approved the Reports of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Sessions of the BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meetings held in Kathmandu, Nepal on 07 February 2017 and 10 August 2017 respectively.
India has ratified the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol that commits countries to contain the emission of greenhouse gases, reaffirming its stand on climate action.
In a brief statement, India’s Permanent Mission to the UN said that India deposited its Instrument of Acceptance of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol under the UN Convention on Climate Change.
With this, India became the 80th country to accept the amendment relating to the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the international emissions reduction treaty.
The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets.
US- India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) — is being set up to further enhance business relations between the two countries
The non-profit corporation aims to promote bilateral trade and work on creating “meaningful opportunities that have the power to change the lives of citizens”
The body will work closely together with businesses and government leaders to achieve its goals of driving economic growth, job creation, innovation, inclusion and entrepreneurship.
USISPFs board of directors will include ;
1. Chairman John Chambers (Executive Chairman, Cisco),
2. Vice-Chairs Punit Renjen (Global CEO, Deloitte LLP) and Edward Monser (President, Emerson Electric),
3. Board members Indra Nooyi (Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo), and Ajay Banga (President and CEO, MasterCard).
4. Others on the board include Susan Esserman (Partner, Steptoe and Johnson), William Cohen (Chairman and CEO, The Cohen Group), Purna Saggurti (Chairman of Global Corporate and Investment Banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch), and Frank Wisner (International Affairs Advisor, Squire Patton Boggs).
Mukesh Aghi will lead USISPF as president while Gaurav Verma will serve as chief operating officer.
India and Bhutan mutually decided to bring into force the ‘new’ bilateral Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit with effect from this July 29.
The agreement provides for a free trade regime between the territories of India and Bhutan. The agreement also provides for duty-free transit of Bhutanese merchandise for trade with third countries.
It was last renewed on July 29, 2006 for ten years. The validity of this agreement was extended (with effect from July 29, 2016) for one year or till the new agreement comes into force, through exchange of diplomatic notes.
The new agreement was signed on November 12, 2016, and as per its provisions, the pact was to come into force on a mutually decided date.
Tax authorities of the five BRICS countries signed a landmark document to establish a mechanism for taxation cooperation
The BRICS Taxation Cooperation Memorandum, signed at the fifth meeting of BRICS Heads of Tax Authorities, is the blocs first document that elevates taxation cooperation to the institutional level.
The authorities also agreed to cooperate on taxation information exchange, improve consultation procedures efficiency, boost taxation capacities and plan paths for coordination of taxation policies and tax collection.
The meeting comes ahead of the 2017 BRICS Summit to be held in Fujian provinces Xiamen city from September 3 to 5.
India and EU on Friday announced the establishment of an Investment Facilitation Mechanism (IFM) to promote investments from European Union.
The mechanism will allow for a close coordination between the European Union and the India with an aim to promote and facilitate EU investment in India.
This agreement builds on the joint statement of the 13th EU-India Summit held in Brussels in March 2016, where EU had welcomed India’s readiness to establish such a mechanism and leaders from both sides had reaffirmed their shared commitment to oppose protectionism and to work in favour of a fair, transparent and rule-based trade and investment environment.
As part of the IFM, the EU Delegation to India and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) agreed to hold regular high level meetings to assess and facilitate “ease of doing business” for EU investors in India.
The U.S National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2018 passed by the House of Representatives has mandated the Secretaries of Defence and State to come up with a strategy for advancing defence cooperation between India and the U.S in six months.
The legislation that appropriates funds for defence will have to be passed by the Senate before it moves for the President’s signature.
Indian American Representative Ami Bera, Vice-Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, moved the amendment on US-India defence cooperation.
The Union Cabinet approved the Joint Interpretative Notes (JIN) on the Agreement between India and Bangladesh for to bring clarity to the interpretation of the existing Bilateral Trade and Promotion Agreement (BIPA).
The JIN includes interpretative notes to be jointly adopted for many clauses, including, the definition of investor, definition of investment, exclusion of taxation measures, Fair and Equitable Treatment (FET), National Treatment (NT) and Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment, expropriation, essential security interests and Settlement of Disputes between an Investor-and a Contracting Party.
With increasing Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) disputes, issuance of such statements is likely to have strong persuasive value before tribunals.
The Cabinet was apprised of two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs). The first was between India and Bangladesh on cyber security cooperation.
The other was between India and Palestine on cooperation in the field of information technology and electronics.
The Cabinet also gave an ex-post facto approval for signing a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between India and Germany on cooperation in health.
G20 Hamburg Action Plan praises India for promoting ease of doing business, labour reforms in sustainable and inclusive growth
Acknowledging steps being taken by India for sustainable and inclusive growth as well as support to global economy, the G20 has praised the initiatives in the country for promoting ease of doing business, startup funding and labour reforms.
In its Hamburg Action Plan, adopted at the G20 Summit of leaders from the world’s 20 largest economies, the group also noted that “in the financial sector, India is popularising a number of derivative instruments in exchanges or electronic trading platforms” as part of measures to enhance resilience of its economy.
India has slipped by one spot to become the fourth-largest foreign investor into the UK, according to the official figures.
The US remains on the top, investing in 577 projects in the UK, with China (including Hong Kong) remaining in second place with 160 projects. India set up 127 new projects in Britain last year and safeguarded 7,645 existing jobs as a result and created 3,999 new jobs in 2016-17, it said.
However, it lost its position as the third largest investor in the UK to France which set up 131 projects last year, according to the data. India shares the fourth spot with Australia and New Zealand, which also set up 127 projects collectively.
10th Session of the India-Jordan Morocco Trade and Economic Joint Committee (TEJC) was held in New Delhi on 4th and 5th July 2017 for diversification of bilateral trade and deepening their engagements for greater cooperation in the investment sector.
The two countries emphasised the need for diversification of bilateral trade and deepening their engagements for greater cooperation in the investment sector.
During the TEJC meeting, the two sides also reaffirmed their mutual interest and discussed the roadmap for cooperation in various fields such as ;
1. Fertilizer Sector,
3. Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement,
4. Visa and Consular issues,
5. Health and Pharmaceuticals,
6. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises,
7. Maritime Transport, Rail Transport, and Air Transport,
8. Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and
9. Smart Grid development,
10. Information Technology,
11. Higher Education and Vocational Training,
12. Agriculture sector etc.
India, Israel ink 7 agreements on space, agriculture and water conservation.
India and Israel signed seven agreements to increase cooperation in key sectors like space, agriculture and water conservation after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held in-depth talks with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed for setting up of USD 40 million worth India-Israel Industrial Research and Development (R&D) and Technical Innovation Fund.
Scientists and researchers development
Two-way trade and investment flows
Two agreements were signed to increase cooperation on water conservation
In the agriculture sector, the two countries have agreed for India-Israel Development Cooperation – a three-year work programme in agriculture from 2018 to 2020.
6th Joint Trade Committee Meeting between India and Myanmar was held at New Delhi for facilitating issues related to enhancement of the bilateral economic partnership between the two countries
The 6th India – Myanmar Joint Trade Committee (JTC) Meeting co-chaired by Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Commerce & Industry from India and Dr. Than Myint, Union Commerce Minister from Myanmar was held at New Delhi.
The Joint Trade Committee plays a key role in facilitating issues related to enhancement of the bilateral economic partnership between the two countries.
Our bilateral relationship has been further strengthened by the high level exchanges between our countries. Prime Minister of India visited Myanmar in November 2014 for the Twelfth India-ASEAN Summit. State counsellor of Myanmar visited India in October 2016.
Indians become second largest group of migrants in Australia according to The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Indians have become the second largest group of migrants living in Australia since 2011 at 1,63,000, following people of Chinese origin, according to the latest census data.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the latest figures of the country’s fast changing population and demographics that has recorded 1.3 million new migrants settled in Australia since 2011 from around 180 countries, including India and China.
According to official data, Census 2016 recorded new migrants from India at 1,63,000, emerging as the most common country of birth of new arrivals after China at 1,91,000 new migrants.
India, Russia Sign ‘Military Cooperation Roadmap’ between Indian Defense Minister Arun Jaitley and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu in Moscow, Russia.
Indian Defense Minister Arun Jaitley and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu signed a military cooperation roadmap during the 17th meeting of the Russian-Indian inter-governmental commission for military-technical cooperation, which took place in Moscow, Russia.
India and Russia are also set to upgrade joint military exercises. “Military cooperation is a major component and platform of Russian-Indian strategic interaction.
India and Portugal sign 11 pacts on science, tech, education, research, commerce during the visit of Narendra Modi.
India and Portugal announced a four million euros joint fund to bolster research in science and technology as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held in-depth talks with his Portuguese counterpart on cooperation in areas like counter-terrorism, space and climate studies.
The agreements signed included cooperation in outer space, double taxation avoidance, nano technology, improving cultural ties, youth and sports, higher education and scientific research, and Portugal-India business hub and Indian Chamber of Commerce.
Kenneth I Juster, a top aide of US President Donald Trump, is set to be America’s new ambassador to India.
Juster, 62, who is the deputy assistant to the US president for International Economic Affairs and deputy director of his National Economic Council, would replace Richard Verma if nominated and confirmed by the Senate.
India and Portugal Sign A Historical agreement to promote Cooperation in The Field of Archives which will be named known as ‘Moncoes do Reino’ (Monsoon correspondence).
A Protocol of Cooperation was signed between the National Archives of India and the Minister of Culture of the Portuguese Republic in the field of archives.
As a first step under this agreement, the Torre do Tombo (National Archives of Portugal) handed over to the National Archives of India digital copies of 62 volumes of the collection known as ‘Moncoes do Reino’ (Monsoon correspondence).
Daily Current Affairs for 21 Jun, 17.
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