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In a world set to reach nearly 10 billion inter-connected people, power will come from creating peace, prosperity and freedom so that we can make breakthroughs in how we live together, and this requires a transformation in the very definition of power, and the purpose and principles by which it is exercised

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GPC’s Macro Thought Leadership

GPC’s research focuses on the geostrategic changes in the world and the implications of for peace, prosperity and freedom. Our analysis seeks to find the patterns and identify the new forces that are the signs of our times and will determine the future of the world


The world is in a historic transition of great power hegemony, world order, population and resources which will change the very nature of civilisation. These transformations create discontinuities and a dynamic canvas on which the world’s future will be written

The 21st Century has been widely predicted to be the Asian Century, in which the continent, home to 60% of the world’s population, will become the world’s dominant economic, political and even cultural force. Within this continent of 49 countries, two will disproportionately impact the trajectory of the 21st Century on account of their scale and growth potential: China and India. The relationship between these two countries as well as the trialogue with the world’s current hegemon, the United States, will will be critical to shaping global economic and political trends for generations to come.

 

A modern India lifting a billion people out of poverty will need a large, modern and diversified economy to not only realize the aspirations of people but also to clothe, feed, employ and educate what will become the world’s largest population within the next five years and this will require an India that is open to the world and dedicated to unlocking the potential of its people and its assets

 

We bring our network of business leaders, entrepreneurs, influencers and thinkers who are at the frontline of change across to provide insights into the global issues that are rapidly changing the world and how they see an impact being made for good

 

We recognise the complex and rapidly changing nature of India’s markets and economy as it grows and expands internationally and have focused the firm’s thought leadership on detailed research to generate insights into the macro-environment, market strategy, investment opportunities and challenges to generate attractive risk adjusted returns

We live in revolutionary times. Increasingly political, economic and social volatility is driving change on a global level, creating both risks and opportunities for international investors. Greater Pacific Capital’s thought leadership and investing strategy placed it at the forefront of global change

Selected news that makes the difference

India in Talks with World Bank for Modi’s Global Electricity Grid Plan

India has started consultations with the World Bank as its technical partner to implement a global electricity grid plan pitched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that leverages solar power generated in one geography to feed the electricity demands of other nations

Government to Decriminalise Income Tax Act, Anti-Money Laundering Law

The government will make changes in the Companies Act to decriminalise several procedural lapses and those that do not affect public interest as part of its efforts to reduce the rigors of compliance and to improve ease of doing business in India

Government to Allow Indian Companies to List Overseas

The Indian government is expected to soon permit Indian companies to list their equity shares overseas, which would provide the companies looking to expand and boost their business activities with an additional fund-raising avenue and also help in bringing more capital into the country

Government Plans 7,500 km New Highways with US$44bn Investment

The government will invest US$44bn in new highway projects to provide through connectivity for major towns, thereby reducing distance and travel time, along with giving thrust to backward regions in the country by improving infrastructure

Government Approves 2,636 New Charging Stations in 62 Cities

The government has approved 2,636 charging stations to be set up in 62 cities across 24 states and union territories in order to encourage original equipment manufacturers to launch new electric vehicle models

India’s Food Tech Sector to Grow to US$8bn by 2022

According to a report by Google and Boston Consulting Group, India’s online food ordering market expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 25-30% over the next three years to touch c.US$8bn by 2022, up from US$4bn currently

Spotlight on the key monthly news events shaping media coverage in India

Media coverage in India this month focused on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s first visit to India, expectations from the ruling government’s union budget to be announced early next month, and Amazon.com founder, Jeff Bezos’ three-day visit to India, during which he announced an additional investment of US$1bn in India.

 

India, Brazil Sign 15 Pacts, Agree on Joint Action Plan

 

India and Brazil agreed on an action plan to strengthen bilateral partnership and signed fifteen pacts in sectors ranging from agriculture to energy during Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s four-day visit to India. Media publications weighed in on the implications of President Bolsonaro’s visit and its impact on ties between both countries going forward.

 

The  Hindu Business Line outlined how the agreement would strengthen the bilateral partnership between India and Brazil and why Brazil could be a valuable partner in India's economic growth over the next few years. “India and Brazil agreed on an action plan to strengthen bilateral partnership and signed fifteen pacts in sectors ranging from agriculture to energy following talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro… The plan provides for following up in a coordinated manner the outcomes and activities of the existing institutional mechanisms and the implementation of cooperation initiatives in all areas of bilateral relations, according to an official release… As the main mechanism for high-level political dialogue and cooperation between the two countries, the India-Brazil Joint Commission for Political, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation shall be the main forum for monitoring the implementation of the action plan of the strategic partnership... Modi said that there was a high potential for growth in bilateral trade, and as developing countries, India and Brazil shared similar views on multi-lateral issues including terrorism. Focus is also on increasing defence industrial cooperation”

 

An article in  Livemint detailed out how the agreement would provide a framework to increase trade and investment between the two countries over the coming years. “The two countries also unveiled an action plan to further expand strategic ties between the two countries. Bolsonaro, who is the chief guest at India’s 71st Republic Day celebrations on Sunday, arrived in New Delhi on Friday afternoon. This is his first visit to India… After talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bolsonaro, the two countries signed an investment cooperation and facilitation treaty that provides a framework to increase trade and investment in high growth areas. The two leaders acknowledged the great synergies between India and Brazil which were two large economies with a combined GDP of around $4.5 trillion and having a total population of 1.5 billion… Describing Brazil a valuable partner in India's economic growth, Modi said that the “two countries share similar views on a number of global issues despite geographical distance." He identified terrorism and climate change as two such subjects where the two countries shared similar opinions. “We are looking at various ways to strengthen our defence industrial partnership," he said adding “we want a broadbased partnership in this area." To boost investments from Brazil, “we have strengthened the necessary legal framework," the prime minister said.”

 

A column in  Times of India covered how India has been trying to increase its trade outreach with Latin American countries and why a strong partnership with Brazil could be its gateway to the continent. “Reaffirming a strategic partnership, India and Brazil on Saturday signed 15 agreements as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonar.... India wants to open up its relations with Latin American countries... The two sides signed a joint statement and an action plan to deepen cooperation in defence and security; trade and investment; agriculture and energy; civil aviation; energy;  environment; and health and innovation... India and Brazil drew up ambitious plan to boost their stuttering economies by expanding cooperation in oil, gas and minerals sectors, and set a target of USD 15 billion in bilateral trade by 2022.”

 

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to Present the Second Budget of Modi 2.0 Government on February 1st 

 

Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman will present her second Union budget on February 1st.  The budget is already being billed as the most defining budget of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and a number of media publications opined on the expected areas of focus for the budget.

 

An op-ed in  Livemint outlined the challenge before the finance minister of walking the fine balance between a candid assessment of the economy and providing a medium-term vision to kick-start the Indian economy. “Today thanks to the inclement political climate and a concerted campaign by the opposition, the popular perception is that the economy is at a point of no return. Yes, the economy is in pain and performing way below potential, but it would be stretch to dub it a basket case. The finance minister’s speech will, therefore, have to strike the right notes and signal that the economy is not written off and that the present stewards are firmly in control...  The big choice the finance minister, and for that matter the prime minister, will have to make is on how much can they come clean on the economy. This is because admitting economic pain, some of which is unresolved legacy issues they inherited in 2014, will leave the government vulnerable to even sharper attacks at the hands of the Opposition… There is no gainsaying that the budget, despite the fiscal constraints, will have to serve up some goodies for the voluble middle class. Already expectations, especially after the cut in corporate tax rates in October, abound that there would be an encore with respect to personal income tax. Like in politics, the finance minister will need to be seen to be doing the right thing.”

 

India Today covered why the budget needs to focus on attracting foreign capital into the country to achieve its target of being a US$5tn economy. “For four years, India has struggled to hold the interest of foreign investors. Foreign investment is vital as it results in expanded facilities and creates jobs. In 2015, India had the world's largest volume of announced greenfield FDI--about $60 billion. In 2018, however, India received about $55 billion, roughly half of that of China's $107 billion. The initial euphoria of investments has worn off especially in greenfield projects, since the foreign institutional investor (FII) money is now invested into India for the short term…  Budget 2020 is crucial for the government for several reasons. It comes at a time when the Indian economy is faltering, and the term recession is being used to describe the five per cent growth India is staring at. Going by the old methodology, this growth rate could be anywhere around 3 per cent. For a nation of a billion plus and dreams of a $5 five trillion economy, this is as good as no growth rate... The government is yet to deliver on its promise of 'minimum government and maximum governance'. In fact, one of the big questions standing between India and a $5 trillion economy is whether India has the institutional and governance capacity to be a big economy. At the moment, India's financial and governance capacity is extremely constricted. It needs an investment rate of 30 per cent for its $5 trillion economy goal.”

 

Another op-ed in  The Hindu expected the budget to tackle some of the immediate challenges facing the economy, including slowing demand, distress among Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the rising level of unemployment. “The prolonged, and ongoing, slowdown, is the main reason behind the depressing employment scenario, though several structural factors have also contributed to the situation. The GDP growth for the second quarter of Financial Year 2019-2020 is 4.5%, the lowest in the last six years, for which a decline in private consumption and investment are the factors primarily responsible…  The government does not seem to realise that for private investment, regulatory certainty is as important as the cost of capital. Many infrastructure projects are languishing due to regulatory hurdles and contractual disputes between construction companies and government departments. As a result, infrastructure investment has come to be perceived as very risky. This is the major reason behind non-availability of private capital for infrastructure…  Due to this anomaly, around ₹20,000 crore gets stuck with the government annually in the form of input tax credits. This has increased cost of doing business for SMEs, which employ over 11 crore people.”

 

Jeff Bezos Visits India, Commits to Invest US$1bn over the Next Five Years

 

Amazon.com Founder, Jeff Bezos, visited India for three days earlier this month during which he announced an investment of US$1bn in India over the next five years and how the company would use it global footprint to enable US$10bn in exports of Indian products by 2025. Media publications weighed in on the how the investment would impact small and medium businesses and increase employment in India.

 

A column in  The Hindu outlined how the investment by Amazon would help onboard and digitise several new small and medium businesses across the country, enabling them to export their products worldwide.  “E-commerce giant Amazon will invest USD one billion in India over the next five years… Mr. Bezos, who is in India this week, added that the new investments will also help the company enable cumulative exports of USD 10 billion worth “make in India” goods by 2025 via its platform… “We’re committed to being a long-term partner of India... Over the next five years, Amazon will invest an incremental USD 1 billion to digitize micro and small businesses in cities, towns, and villages across India, helping them reach more customers than ever before... as a part of this [initiative], we are going to use Amazon's size, scope and scale…” With the USD 1 billion, the company aims to bring more than 10 million Indian businesses online by 2025. “The company will establish 100 Digital Haats to inspire, support, and onboard Indian businesses of all sizes into the digital economy. Currently, over 550,000 Indian businesses are selling on the Amazon marketplace and over 60,000 sellers are exporting their “make in India” products worldwide.”

 

An article in  Livemint focused on how Amazon’s investments in infrastructure, technology and logistics would help create a million jobs in India by 2025. “Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos wound up a three-day visit to India by promising to create a million jobs by 2025… “The jobs–created both directly and indirectly–will be across industries, including information technology, skill development, content creation, retail, logistics, and manufacturing."... These million jobs will be in addition to the 700,000 Amazon’s investments have already enabled over the last six years in India, the retailer added. The announcement follows Bezos’ promise on Wednesday to investing $1 billion in India to help small businesses digitise… In his note to “customers, sellers, and partners", Bezos spoke of his admiration for the country that has rapidly scaled up to become the largest market for Amazon’s streaming platform Prime Video.”

 

Finally, an op-ed in  Indian Express was critical of the Indian government’s behaviour towards Jeff Bezos during his visit, especially at a time when India has been trying to attract the job-generating FDI it desperately needs to revive the economy. “Since he began his second term as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has talked of many things. Nationalism, Kashmir, citizenship, Pakistan, patriotism, treacherous Congress leaders... If for no other reason than that India faces an unemployment crisis, we should have welcomed Jeff Bezos with open arms last week. He tried his best to assure Modi and his ministers that he came bearing the gift of creating a million new jobs by 2025… In one voice they say that they voted for Modi not once but twice in the hope that he would concentrate on reviving the economy. When I ask if they are not pleased that such big political reforms as the abrogation of Article 370 have happened, they admit that they are not displeased. But that what they want more is for the economy to start showing signs of real recovery. It is in Modi’s hands to control the uncertainty that is caused by the endless new rules and regulations that his officials have come up with. But it is in the hands of men like Bezos to create the millions of jobs that young Indians desperately need.”

Key insights and forecasts that show us what is to come

US-India: Shared Values and Shared Interests

As the world’s two largest democracies, a partnership between the United States and India appears only natural. However, recent actions undermining India’s commitment to these values raise questions over just how durable the relationship and the strategy that underpins it may be

UPI’s Rapid Growth Proves India Can Build World-Class Payments Infrastructure from Scratch

Three years ago, even banks did not give Modi govt's Unified Payments Interface much odds of success. Now, UPI is one of the fastest-growing payment platforms in the world

Sri Lanka’s Role in Sino-Indian Competition in South Asia

Both China and India are clearly attempting to ensure that they do not lose out to the other when it comes to currying favour with the new regime in Colombo. At the same time, is unlikely that Colombo will pick one side or the other because it makes more sense for it to get China and India continue to woo it with gifts and attention, which will stop if Sri Lanka makes a choice

How to Protect Trade in A Tug of War Between Nations

How should developed countries respond to domestic pressures to make trade fairer? For starters, it is reasonable to demand that developing countries lower tariffs steadily… But to go much beyond these measures will further undermine the consensus for trade. Less intrusive trade agreements today may do more for trade tomorrow

How India Must Tackle China’s Killer Bug

Surveillance mechanisms have to be improved detection has to be strengthened at all major airports and along the border with Nepal. Of course, one also needs to maintain quarantine facilities at key points where adequate stock of medicines and fluids is stocked. Finally, awareness campaigns have to be launched on precautions to be taken

Greta Thunberg, Donald Trump, and the Future of Capitalism

Some lament the Trump administration’s animosity toward young people and scientists who speak common sense about a massive threat that we should confront through global cooperation. But Trump and his cabal appear to understand something that their liberal detractors do not. Their politics is the only authentic defence of contemporary capitalism

Facing Up to China’s Military Interests in the Arctic

China’s military interests in the Arctic are missing from the narrative China promotes to foreigners but are prominent in materials available in Chinese. Understanding the pace and extent of China’s Arctic military interests requires access to Chinese language sources and knowledge of China’s interlocked strategic, economic and science activities in the Arctic

China's Coronavirus Health Crisis Is Also A Threat To Its Economy

A month after the first case of the coronavirus surfaced in the city of Wuhan in central China, deaths and illnesses have resulted in country's biggest public health crisis in nearly two decades and have taken a toll on China's slowing economy accompanied by losses in the stock market

Artificial Intelligence, Geopolitics, And Information Integrity

A less well-recognized but equally important application for artificial intelligence is in helping to detect misinformation and limit its spread. This dual role will be particularly important in geopolitics, which is closely tied to how governments shape and react to public opinion both within and beyond their borders

A Smarter US Strategy for China in Four Steps

There is no doubt that the United States must respond more effectively to China’s domestic repression and disruptive international behaviour. But the administration’s simplistic, hostile rhetoric and policies have thus far produced very limited returns. Indeed, in some ways they have undermined U.S. interests

The Key Events Driving Global instability & Opportunity

Big Picture TEST Metrics for the US, India and China, December 2019

A decline in trade and subdued demand conditions in India were offset by further expansion in India’s manufacturing sector. The Nikkei India Manufacturing PMI rose to 52.7 in December from 51.2 in November indicating improvement in the manufacturing activity driven by rise in factory orders resulting higher production. On the trade front, exports and imports declined by 2% and 6% respectively, over the same period last year.

China’s manufacturing activity slowed down from the previous month due to slowdown in the growth of output, new orders and employment. The Official China Manufacturing PMI reading for the month remained unchanged from the previous month at 50.2. On the trade front, exports and imports increased by 7% and 16% respectively, over the same period last year.