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India Business Report

Release Date

15 May 2015

India is a new bright spot in Asia: IMF

Overseas investors may be voting with their feet, but the International Monetary Fund (IMF) still sees India as a "bright spot" and expects it to be the fastest-growing large economy in the world over the medium term. The IMF also lauded the Narendra Modi government's reform initiatives in its Asia-Pacific regional outlook released on Thursday.

"Following its landslide victory in May 2014, the new government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced numerous economic reforms, including deregulating diesel prices and raising natural gas prices, moving to create more flexible labour markets and introduce a goods and services tax, enhancing financial inclusion, and relaxing FDI (foreign direct investment) limits in several key sectors," the report noted. "These actions have also served to buoy investor sentiment." The IMF expects India's economy to expand 7.5% in both 2015 and 2016, which will see it exceed China's growth rate.

"India is a new bright spot in Asia, and its growth is expected to strengthen... benefitting from the recent policy reform announcements and lower oil prices," the IMF said. "Early implementation of the reforms will reinforce confidence and increase potential growth." The multilateral lender said the Indian economy expanded 7.2% in 2014.

India’s e-learning market second largest after US

India has become the largest market for e-learning after the US, and the sector is expected to receive a boost from the government’s Rs 1.13 trillion (AUD 23 billion) Digital India initiative, says a recent report by the UK-India Business Council.
While the existing educational infrastructure is inadequate to meet the current and future needs of the country, the Digital India initiative will increase Internet access, which in turn will help take quality education to large parts of the population that have been hitherto neglected, say the report.

India’s e-learning sector is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 17.4% between 2013 and 2018, twice as fast as the global average.

“Education providers from various countries are aggressively targeting the Indian market and the competition is stiff. For instance, Germany is strong on centres of excellence and education as part of its development agenda. The Australian model is based on government-sponsored assessment programmes. It has gained popularity because the certifications issued are recognised by Australian authorities,” the report says.

Many businesses in India are developing e-learning content for markets such as the US, Australia, the UK and Europe. This content is not being deployed locally because of infrastructure and technology inadequacies, says the report.

Australian expert visits India to boost links in mining education and research

Professor Stephen Fityus, one of the foremost Australian experts in mining and geotechnical engineering from the University of Newcastle, is visiting India to tap opportunities for collaboration with prominent Indian higher education institutions, research centres and industry bodies.

Professor Fityus has made contributions to a wide range of research areas including minesite geomechanics, geotechnical and geo-environmental engineering, and engineering geology. He is also the Principal Researcher in the Priority Research Centre for Geotechnical and Materials Modelling at the University of Newcastle.

He will deliver lectures at the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad; the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Kolkata; the CSIR-Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology; the Society of Geoscientists and Allied Technologists, Bhubaneshwar; and Coal India Ltd.

Welcoming the initiative, Australia's High Commissioner to India, Patrick Suckling said: "Mining is an area of mutual interest to Australia and India. In particular, this visit will address both our Prime Ministers' stated desire to explore partnerships with the Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad, as indicated in their joint statement during Prime Minister Modi's visit."

Make in India drove FDI up by 56%

Foreign direct investments (FDI) into India have surged by 56% in five months since the Make in India program was launched on September 24, official data revealed. The inflow into the manufacturing sector alone saw a jump of 45% at US $6.9 billion from US $4.8 billion in the corresponding period a year ago.

“India received US $21.2 billion in inflows overall during the five-month period, against US $13.5 billion in the same period last year. If this surge continues, then as per our estimates, 2015-16 would be the year with the second highest FDI ever received by the country since 2000 (when maintenance of data started),” the official said.

This article was contributed by SP Joshi, Senior Advisor India, Australian Business Consulting & Solutions

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