Foreign Direct Investment in India

The Reserve Bank of India, this week, said that the total amount of FDI in India in the first quarter of this financial year exceeded the TOTAL received in 2005/06, which amounts to $10bn (£5.4bn).

Of the $10bn, a little bit more than $2.2bn was a result of the purchasing of shares by foreign companies in Indian businesses, which shouldn’t come as a surprise with the likes of Tesco and Vodafone showing an interest in India.

There’s an ongoing debate as to whether India can catch up with China, after all the latter nets upto $50bh on average every year. If India continues the explosive growth that these figures show, then there’s no reason why it shouldn’t match China. After all, India has over the past few years accrued the following sums:

2005/06 – $10bn

2006/07 – $22bn

2007/08 – $32bn

If the first quarter trend continues, then India is likely to meet, and possibly break, the RBI’s FDI target of $35bn for 2009.

Olympics 2012

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t write a piece on the Olympics, which is taking place as we speak. Beijing must surely be the place to be at the moment! Just imagine, 10,000 athletes from 220 countries all in one city for 17 days. Can you imagine what this means for China?

Can you imagine the potential for confusion! One of the things that makes this Olympics distinct is that there haven’t been any people moaning or complaining about this, that, and the other. Or is it that we, simply, haven’t heard anything as a result of China’s preoccupation to screen any information about what happens there?

What’s been interesting is the effort put in by LOCOG officials and spokesman including Lord Coe and Mayor Boris in trying to manage the world’s expectations of the 2012 London Olympics. Yes, we all know that the amount of money being spent in China far surpasses anything anyone has or will ever spend on such an event. However, what I believe they must focus on is ensuring that in the run up to 2012, they become more accessible, representative, and open to recognising that the presence of the many diverse cultures in Britain, are our strongest hand in our deck of cards.

I’m certain that you’ll find a representative community from each of the 220 countries already in London. Let’s use the the next four years to learn from them on what it’ll take to ensure that those visiting us have the most amazing experience.

Let’s look at our strongest features – our media, our diversity, our history – let’s make them work for us.

God Bless America…

I’m currently in the US and although some things should not come as a surprise, they still do! To my misfortune, I never get the opportunity to travel beyond the major cities and it may be for this reason that when I do travel away from the major centres that I’m taken aback by simple things that contradict established views about the only superpower in the world!

So, what do we expect from a superpower in today’s age? Well, it would be fair to expect a heightened awareness of global affairs; of the presidential slinging contest currently being played out on TV; recognition that America is one country in a world of many etc etc. I could go on and on.

The truth is so so so way off the scale that I needed to pinch myself to remind me that I wasn’t having a nightmare. I used to think that India was a land of contradictions – ultra wealth VS massive poverty, 650,000 graduates each year VS being the most illiterate country on earth etc. that I’ve now decided to award the mantle of ‘the land of contradictions’ to the US.

This is a complicated place. Can you imagine the cultural challenges of the two trying to work with each other?