Ideas

Peace

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

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, France, Australia Hold First Trilateral Dialogue with Focus on Indo-Pacific

The three countries held inaugural talks under a trilateral framework with a major focus on enhancing economic and geo-strategic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, given the rising Chinese military assertiveness in the region.

India to be Largest Source of Energy Demand Growth

In its annual Energy Outlook 2020, BP plc has stated that India will be the largest source of demand growth for energy by 2050 with the primary energy consumption estimated to grow by 2.5% between 2018 and 2050.

Government to Extend Suspension of Bankruptcy Filings by Six Months

India’s corporate affairs ministry are planning to extend the suspension of new bankruptcy filings by six months as it seeks to help financially strapped borrowers hit by the pandemic from further damage.

India, Japan Sign Mutual Military Logistics Agreement

Following years of negotiations, India and Japan have signed an agreement that provides for creation of an enabling framework for closer cooperation and interoperability, besides allowing militaries of the two countries to use each other's bases and facilities.

Apple's Top Three Global Vendors to Invest c.US$866m in India over Five Years

Given Apple’s increasing focus to shifting parts of its manufacturing operations to India, its top three suppliers have committed investments of c.US$866m towards increasing its capacities in the country over the next five years.

India and Denmark Sign Green Strategic Partnership

Following the bilateral summit between Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the two countries signed the partnership that aims to advance cooperation within economics and commerce, science and technology, environment, energy, education and culture.

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

Media coverage in India this month covered Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the annual United Nations General Assembly, escalating tensions between India and China following the recent border confrontations and the passage of legislation that is expected to build more efficient value chains within the Indian agriculture market.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Demands Bigger Role for India During United Nations General Assembly

 

At the annual United Nations (UN) General Assembly, Prime Minister Modi made the case for India to have a more prominent role on the global stage. His speech included arguments for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council, India’s ability to be a force multiplier to the global economy and the country’s commitment to the Sustainable Goals.

 

An op-ed in Livemint detailed how a permanent seat for India at the UN Security Council would be critical in establishing world peace over the coming decades given the expected shift in influence over the world order from west to east through this century. “With influence over the world order this century expected to tilt from west to east, it is not just a travesty of the United Nations’ (UN) ideals to deny India an equal voice at its highest level, it could actually worsen the odds of global peace. That the world’s largest democracy, home to every sixth individual alive, must have a vote no less than any other country has been obvious all along…. A permanent seat at the UN Security Council would not be a favour to India, but to all. Addressing the UN’s general assembly on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked how long we must wait for one... This approach needs to be reconsidered... Today, it seems, China fancies itself as a fully paid-up hegemon, ready to bend the world’s future to its will. It has violated India’s borders, muzzled Hong Kong, and glowered at Taiwan. Beijing has some reason to be smug… the job of keeping the planet in harmony is the UN’s. If the challenges on this front stiffen, the world may come to rue letting Beijing hold the East’s sole veto. For the sake of peace in Asia and beyond, India must have equal authority at the high table.

 

Hindustan Times focused on how India, as the largest vaccine producing country in the world, could effectively utilise its vaccine production and delivery capacity and play a key role in accelerating the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to citizens across different countries. “Even though the pandemic presented difficulties and its own set of challenges, India made sure that its pharmaceutical industries send essential medicines to more than 150 nations,” Modi said while addressing the United Nations General Assembly’s 75th session… “As the world’s largest vaccine producing nation, I want to assure the world community that India’s vaccine production and production delivery ability will help humanity tide over this crisis,” the Prime Minister said in a pre-recorded speech in Hindi. “We are now approaching Phase III of our clinical trials. India will also help cold chain and cold storage facilities of other nations as well,”… India has said more than four vaccines against Covid-19 are in advanced stages of pre-clinical trial in the country… Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has struck a production and clinical trials deal with AstraZeneca for the UK’s Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.”.

 

An article in The Print summarised how India was focused on strengthening global action on counter-terrorism with Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitching for more transparency in the process of listing and delisting of terror entities and individuals by the UN sanction committees. “Some of the priority issues for India at the ongoing 75th session of UN General Assembly will be to push for strengthening global action against terrorism…. India will pitch for more transparency in the process of listing and delisting of terror entities and individuals by the UN sanction committees. Being one of the largest troops contributing nations to the UN, India will also seek to engage intensively in finalising of mandates for the UN peacekeeping mission.... India’s priorities will be to ensure inclusive and responsible solutions for international peace and security, effective response to international terrorism, new orientation for a reformed multilateral system, technology for all and streamlining of UN peacekeeping.”

 

Fresh China-India Border Confrontations Lead to New Round of Escalation Between Two Countries

 

Following a violent clash between Indian and Chinese military troops in June, border escalations between both countries have continued to escalate. Media publications focused on the implications of these new border confrontations on India-China relations in the coming years.

 

An op-ed by a former National Security Adviser in The Hindu summarised why India needs a carefully drawn-up effective strategy together with building stronger relations with different countries across the region to deny Beijing its immediate objectives, including its determination to establish regional dominance. “In the first statement made in Parliament (on September 15) on the situation on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh lambasted China, stating that China was attempting to unilaterally alter the status quo, and that while India wanted to peacefully resolve the ongoing military confrontation, it was fully prepared to deal with any situation... There was considerably great anticipation about a possible breakthrough during the September 10 meeting... What emerged from the talks, however, fell well short of expectations… In the extant circumstances, the dilemma that India’s External Affairs Minister probably faced was how best to achieve a modus vivendi, without compromising India’s position and foreclosing all options with China, short of war... In this context, India must reach out to its neighbours, and even countries beyond, warning them about falling into the trap of allowing alluring prospects of both economic cooperation and military support for the maintenance of peace, to cloud their thinking… For this purpose, India must be prepared militarily and otherwise to keep a check on China’s burgeoning ambitions.”

 

Livemint outlined the impact of the Indian Government banning Chinese technology companies and investments in the Indian technology ecosystem, given how dependent Indian start-ups are on the northern neighbour for technology as well as capital. “As public sentiment turns against China amid an ongoing border conflict, New Delhi has clamped down hard on Chinese presence in the Indian tech ecosystem. Over 200 Chinese apps have been banned and Chinese investments in Indian startups are increasingly facing scrutiny from regulators… However, these curbs have created a void in India’s startup universe. In the last few years, China invested significantly in Indian tech startups... India is an important frontier in the tech war, with a growing demand for mobile phones and internet. While the defence and strategic community worries about Chinese influence on India’s tech ecosystem, greater dependence on the US is not without risks... However, foreign funding remains crucial in a capital-starved economy… The 99 bets that do not pay off for the venture capitalist still help Indian entrepreneurs learn, innovate, and pay the bills… At a time when India’s economy has been crippled by a raging pandemic, the tech ecosystem has shown greater resilience. Policymakers should aim to foster competition and innovation in the sector rather than restrict either capital or technology flows.”

 

An column in Hindustan Times detailed why the Modi government needed to learn from past experiences as to why diplomacy is unlikely to deliver the status quo ante India seeks given that China seems intent on continuing coercive military pressure along the entire frontier until India acquiesces to its demands, including reconciling to the new status quo. “Successive governments have put more faith in diplomacy than the armed forces in achieving security objectives. The diplomatic blunders of 1948 (Kashmir dispute’s internationalisation), 1954 (Panchsheel Agreement’s acceptance of the “Tibet region of China”), 1960 (Indus Waters Treaty), 1966 (Taskhent) and 1972 (Simla) have imposed enduring costs.... One reason history repeats itself is that virtually every prime minister, although unschooled in national security at the time of assuming office, has sought to reinvent the foreign-policy wheel, rather than learn from past blunders.... China is showing it is a master in protracting negotiations to buy time to consolidate its territorial gains, while exploring the limits of its adversary’s flexibility and testing its patience. For Beijing, any agreement is designed to bind not China but the other side to its terms. It is seeking fresh CBMs to make India respect the new, Chinese-created territorial status quo and to restrict India from upgrading its border infrastructure.... Will China’s win-without-fighting warfare campaign help create a new India steeped in realism and determined to break the cycle of history repeating itself? At a minimum, it promises to shake up India’s business-as-usual approach to national security.”

 

Parliament Passes Three Farm Bills to Liberalise Agriculture Markets across India

 

The Government of India passed key legislation aimed towards providing Indian farmers with the independence to sell their produce anywhere in the country. This legislation has been met by significant backlash from farmers and opposition political parties, who argue that the bills favour large farmers.Media publications debated the merits and demerits of these farm bills and focused on whether providing greater freedom to farmers would bring about greater transparency in the Indian agriculture markets.

 

An op-ed in Indian Express detailed how the new farm bills would build more efficient value chains in agriculture by reducing marketing costs, enabling better price discovery, improving price realisation for farmers and, at the same time, reducing the price paid by consumers. “The passing of the farm bills in both the Houses of Parliament has sparked a major controversy in the country. The government claims that it is a historic step taken in the interest of farmers, giving them the freedom to sell their produce anywhere in the country and to any one they want.... The economic rationale of these pieces of legislation is to provide greater choice and freedom to farmers to sell their produce and to buyers to buy and store, thereby creating competition in agricultural marketing… It will also encourage private investment in storage, thus reducing wastage and help contain seasonal price volatility… It will make Indian agriculture globally competitive, and benefit farmers and consumers alike… The reality, as the 70th round of NSSO on Key Indicators of Situal Agricultural Households in India shows that only six per cent of farmers gain from MSPs… The rest of the farming community (94 per cent) faces imperfect markets. It is time to “get agri-markets right”. These farm bills are steps in that direction.”

 

An article in Livemint focused on the rising wave of protests against the farm bills in north-west India, summarising that by weakening the state regulated Agricultural Produce Market Committees, farmers would be left at the mercy of large corporate buyers without any regulatory oversight and monitoring. “Despite repeated agitations by farmers and the minister of food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigning in protest, the passage of the contentious bills marks a new beginning—farmers will now have the freedom to sell their produce to any buyer outside state regulated wholesale markets and such transactions will not attract any taxes or fees.… They fear that by weakening mandis and leaving them to market forces, the government will gradually withdraw from open-ended (unlimited) procurement of paddy and wheat at minimum support prices (MSP), the mainstay of farmers in northwestern India.… trade of farm produce is likely to move out of regulated APMCs (to save on taxes and fees) but if out-of-mandi transactions remain invisible (transactions between a private buyer and farmer are not recorded) it will be difficult to ascertain if farmers are benefitting or losing out… It may be sobering to recall the experience of Bihar which abolished regulated mandis back in 2006. Farmers in Bihar are often fleeced by traders and sell their harvests at prices significantly lower than MSPs, the study showed.”

 

Finally a column in the Hindustan Times emphasised that while the farm bills could potentially make farmers independent of government controlled markets and fetch them a better price for their produce, a rights-based farmer-protection law would help both farmers and private buyers by bringing about transparency and accountability in the farm trade. “A decade ago, a few top Indian companies entered the fruit and vegetable market in Himachal Pradesh (HP). For the first few years, they gave farmers a good price for their entire produce. As their control over the market grew, they bought the best quality produce and left the rest to be sold by farmers at depressed prices through the weakened mandi system… The farm reforms bills approved by Parliament this week will initially do what corporates did in HP; push up prices in the initial years and eventually control the agriculture trade. They may then manipulate prices as commission agents in the mandis do. This is a big danger to farmers… The changed scenario in most states allows the farmer to choose between private buyers and the regulated mandi system. The farms bills, by abolishing the second option, leaves farmers at the mercy of unregulated private players… A base price will ensure a fair price for every farmer, removing MSP limitations, which cover only 22 crops.. It would be best if this mechanism is introduced through a rights-based farmer-protection law..”

Key insights and forecasts that show us what is to come

India and Japan’s Proactive Convergence Continues

The signing of the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement marks a milestone in a near two-decade process of strategic convergence between India and Japan and will enable both countries to actively contribute to international peace and security, given their growing concerns about China.

China is Paying a High Price for Provoking India

China’s incursions into India’s borders seemed to be focused on entrenching China’s regional pre-eminence but it has intensified the pushback by the various Indo-Pacific powers including India, Japan, Australia and the US and deepened their security cooperation.

India’s Tibet Card in the Stand-Off with China

India challenging Chinese Sovereignty over Tibet could provoke Beijing to not only harden its hostile positions vis-à-vis India in global forums, but also result in an increase of incursions by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

China’s Rapid Shift to a Digital Economy

China is expected to be the only major economy to achieve growth this year due to a decade of significant investment in technology-driven structural transformation and the government’s planned investments in new infrastructure such as 5G networks over the coming years will further accelerate this growth.

China’s New Carbon Neutrality Commitment Impacts Global Energy Security

China’s commitment has been on the back of its strong domestic manufacturing of renewable energy equipment, which is why developing countries need to be wary of overt dependence on China for supplies of renewable energy equipment and systems.

The Australia–India Strategic Partnership

In order to further strengthen their strategic partnership, Australia and India need to improve interoperability between their armed services, deepen their defence technological cooperation, prioritise coordination at regional institutions and forums and broaden their commercial and security relationship.

What the Israel-UAE-Bahrain Accord Means for India

Given India enjoys strong bilateral relations with UAE, Israel and Bahrain, the agreement provides an opportunity for India to expand its co-operation with the three nations in many areas including healthcare, energy, cyber security, regional security and technology.

India Can Soon be the Technology Garage of the World

An enabling environment and a favourable regulatory ecosystem will encourage Indian technology industry to develop innovative technology solutions to the massive and intractable challenges across healthcare, education, financial inclusion, modernisation of agriculture and others.

China Signals its Desire to Improve Relations with US

President Xi Jinping has begun to indicate through local outlets the desire to reduce tensions, using conversations rather than confrontations to sort out differences with the United States.

China’s Diplomatic Duo Fails to Engineer a Successful Summit with Europe

Given the souring Sino-European relations due to Covid-19, it will take significant effort by the Chinese leaders to convince European leaders of the country’s goodwill to compromise on key issues such as reciprocity, market access and human rights.

Decoding China’s “Dual Circulation” Strategy

The Trump administration’s policy of decoupling and sanctions has resulted in Chinese leaders emphasising doubling down on linking economic growth to domestic demand and support for domestic innovation, in order to secure a solid position in global value chains. 

China’s Supply-Side Structural Reform

Amidst the pandemic, Beijing may renegotiate the terms of BRI-related debt which will bring its own political and economic risks, or seek to postpone payments increasing the financial sector’s total debt, both of which would undermine the principles of Supply-Side Structural Reform

The Key Events Driving Global Instability & Opportunity

Big Picture TEST Metrics for the US, India and China, September 2020

India's manufacturing sector activity re-entered the growth territory in August, driven by a rebound in production volumes due to greater demand for Indian goods following the resumption of global business operations. The PMI rose to 52 in August from 46 in July signalling a turnaround in industrial activity following the gradual easing of lockdown curbs. The revival of demand remained a concern as both exports and imports saw a decline by 13% and 25% respectively over the same period last year.

The official China manufacturing PMI for the month increased to 51.1 in August, higher than analyst expectations of 50.2 as improving prospects for electrical and pharmaceutical goods helped sustain a broader recovery from earlier coronavirus shutdowns. Additionally, trade metrics have continued to improve as major global economies have gradually restarted their economic activities with China’s exports increased by 9.6% (while imports decreased by 2.0%) over the same period last year.