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

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

Doubling of FDI Inflow in 2014-23 to US$596bn Marks India’s Golden Era: Sitharaman.

FDI inflow into the country in the 2014-23 period doubled to $596 billion, compared to the inflows in 2005-13, while the focus of the bilateral investment treaties being negotiated with foreign partners is now on `first develop India’, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pointed in her Budget speech for 2024-25.

Switzerland and India Reach Deal on FTA After 16 Years of Negotiations.

Switzerland and India have reached consensus on a free-trade agreement after 16 years of negotiations, Swiss Economy Minister Guy Parmelin said. The agreement “will create jobs for the young population of India, and secure employment in Switzerland,” Parmelin said in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Sonntagszeitung.

As UAE Deepens Ties, Indian Securities Get First ETF in Gulf.

Investors in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are set to get their first regional exchange-traded fund (ETF) tracking Indian equities. Lunate Capital LLC is launching the Chimera S&P India Shariah ETF, replicating the performance of the S&P India Shariah Liquid 35/20 Capped Index. The fund will track the performance of Shariah-compliant Indian equities listed on the BSE.

IMF Raises India's FY24 Growth Forecast to 6.7% From 6.3%.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised India’s growth forecast upwards amid better-than-expected resilience in its domestic demand, it said in its latest World Economic Outlook update for January. IMF now expects India’s GDP to grow by 6.7% in FY24 as against 6.3% forecast made in the October 2023 update of its report. For FY25 and FY26, India’s GDP growth is seen steady at 6.5%.

PE-VC Deal Activity in India Picks Pace in January 2024.

Private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) deal flow picked up in January with the month recording a seven-month high in the number of deals closed. January recorded 71 investments worth $2.9 billion, as per Venture Intelligence. The spike was primarily due to PE major Brookfield’s $2 billion deal to acquire ATC India.

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

Media coverage in the world this month covered the consecration of Ram Mandir on a disputed site in India and Iranian missile strikes in Pakistan.

 

Consecration of Ram Mandir on a Site of Previous Conflicts in India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the consecration on 22nd January 2024 of a grand temple to the Hindu God Lord Ram on a site believed to be his birthplace. For decades, the temple site has been contested by both Hindus and Muslims, leading to nationwide riots in 1992 that killed an estimated 2,000 people after a Hindu group destroyed a 16th-century mosque that had stood there, and Hindus were burned alive in a train returning home from the site. National and global media coverage sought to explore the importance of the event, especially its political agenda for the BJP.

 

An op-ed article in News18 commented on the clash of ideologies between Hindus and Muslims with regards to the disputed site. “The dissenters of radical, political Islam are increasing in numbers; they do not want the dissolution of Islamic supremacists in Islamic as well as non-Islamic areas and people… The rise of populist governments all over has provided the space for dissenters of Muslim heritage to openly voice out their heresy (disagreement), controversial opinions, and taboo thoughts without the backlash… The 22 January 2024 Pran Pratishtha event in the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya is attributed to the cultural resurgence of the Indic civilisation and the religious revival of Hinduism. After nearly five centuries of Mughal rule, French, Portuguese, and British colonialism, and the Communist historians’ whitewashing of history, the Ram Mandir was constructed, restoring Ayodhya to its rightful city of reverence and importance… If the cities of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem had so much meaning and symbolism for the billions of Muslims across the world, why wouldn’t Ayodhya have the same meaning to billions of Hindus across the country and abroad?”

 

An article in The Print explored how the world and especially Pakistan reacted to the inauguration ceremony. “Critics of the Ayodhya ceremony, however, called it a dark day for India, referring to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 and the communal riots that followed… Audrey Truschke, Rutgers University professor and historian, wrote a 1,000-word piece on how this ceremony may unleash more violence on India’s “beleaguered” Muslim minority… The Pakistan Foreign Office also issued a statement condemning the temple inauguration, arguing that it was proof of growing “majoritarianism” in India and was a “blot” on Indian democracy… Foreign observers like Charlotte Littlewood offered tongue-in-cheek one-liners by comparing Ayodhya to Islam’s holiest city, Mecca… American author and astrologer David Frawley also predicted that this would pave the way for a new India, a new Bharat.”

 

Finally, an op-ed article in Deccan Herald focussed on the temple’s lingering effect on India’s political discourse. “This pledge has been a prominent feature of the BJP’s election manifesto for about three decades, serving as a pivotal factor in propelling it to power in both the Hindi heartland and New Delhi… The completion of the Ram temple means the BJP has gained credibility to champion Hindu causes in the future… The lukewarm response of opposition parties to the invitation to attend the Pran Pratishtha event could potentially disappoint many Hindus. Their excuses notwithstanding, it conveys a message that they may not be fully committed to respecting matters… A key concern of the opposition parties is that the BJP will now redirect its attention to other religious disputes, with Kashi and Mathura emerging as potential focal points… The Ayodhya Ram temple will offer the BJP substantial fuel to champion the Hindu cause, and the opposition parties a wake-up call to realign their approach.”

 

2024 Iran-Pakistan Missile Strikes

 

On 16 January 2024, Iran carried out a series of missile and drone strikes within Pakistan's Balochistan province, claiming that it had targeted the Iranian Baloch militant group Jaish ul-Adl. The incident occurred one day after Iran carried out a similar series of aerial and drone strikes within Iraq and Syria, claiming that it had targeted the regional headquarters of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and several strongholds of terrorist groups in response to the Kerman bombings on 3 January, for which the Islamic State took responsibility. The Pakistani government condemned the attack, stating that Iran had killed two children and calling it an unprovoked violation of Pakistan's airspace. Media coverage sought to explore the reasons and implications.

 

An op-ed article in Atlantic Council examined how the international community has limited options to reduce Iran-Pakistan tensions. “The reciprocal attacks between Pakistan and Iran were a marked escalation to decades of skirmishes along one of the world’s more remote border regions. The international response may well be confused, since no one knows much about the area or about the terrorist groups or even the internal decision-making process of the countries involved… The international community has limited options to reduce tensions, although the United States is no doubt urging restraint. Unfortunately, US influence with Islamabad has waned because of the US decision to keep Pakistan, and particularly the Pakistani army, at arm’s length.”

 

An op-ed article in NDTV discussed how Iran's strikes in Pakistan reveal Islamabad's strategic collapse. “For Pakistan, this new theatre is another gash on a rapid disintegration of its now institutionally failed policies of promoting state-sponsored extremism and terrorism. As the country's economy collapses further and it fails to control its own strategic assets from turning against its rule, other countries and interests seem to be looking at this time in history as the most opportune to target these ecosystems unilaterally as well. With only caretakers managing the madhouse, political will seems limited, and the military has been too busy undermining its parallel civilian challenges from figures such as Imran Khan who got too big for the military's comfort level.”

 

Finally, an op-ed article in Firstpost argued how the deaths of civilians have been swept under the rug, and Iran and Pakistan are talking again. “Pakistan is hosting the Iranian foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdolla-Hian… He was invited by his Pakistani counterpart. The two leaders held a bilateral meeting. They emphasised regional security, border relations, and trade… The Iranian minister’s visit comes right after the death of nine Pakistani civilians. Islamabad has demanded an investigation. Iran says it will cooperate, and both sides ended the matter by agreeing to combat terror… So, they say they want to normalise ties. The talks were followed by laughs and hugs. Islamabad has even officially invited Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi; the visit is scheduled for next month.”

Key insights and forecasts that show us what is to come

Democracy and Geopolitics Are on the Ballot in 2024.

This year, a dizzyingly diverse array of countries—from the most populous (India), to one of the least (Palau)—will hold national elections. In some, the outcomes are already predictable; for others, uncertainty prevails.

In the Year of Global Elections, China Must Pragmatically Re-engage the West.

Economic rejuvenation requires Beijing to stabilise and pragmatically re-engage with the West, establishing clear commitment to China being a stable, certain, and transparent environment for foreign businesses.

Can Japan’s Kishida Deliver on Political Reform?

Kishida pledged to restore trust in politics to renew his ruling Liberal Democratic Party which incurred a political funds scandal.

The Case for Rebuilding Ukraine.

Russia has caused unprecedented damage in Ukraine and with no diplomatic end in sight to the conflict, many Ukrainians are wondering when, if ever, they will be able to go back to their homes. According to many experts, the answer is sooner rather than later.

The Political Impact of the Israel-Hamas Ceasefire.

Another truce may not be imminent, but some short- and long-term effects—and the players who helped push them forward—are noteworthy.

How the Israel-Hamas War in Gaza Is Changing Arab Views.

Since October 7, the latest war between Hamas and Israel has claimed the lives of more than 15,000 Palestinians and over 1,200 Israelis and the high costs in Gaza have reverberated around the Arab world.

Thailand’s New Government Rebalances Its Relationship with China.

It is still early days, but all indications suggest that Thailand under Srettha’s leadership will continue to be practical in how it engages China and other major powers. This means identifying economic solutions and partnerships that will benefit its interests, and perhaps finding more of a balance between the two superpowers.

Americans Need Domestic Unity for Effective Foreign Policy.

This country’s founders believed that a system based on democratic principles better provides for domestic security and prosperity than any other. By showing progress on the long-standing issues that concern Americans at home, leaders can restore people’s confidence that this is so.

Big Picture TEST Metrics for the US, India and China, February 2022

India’s Manufacturing PMI was down to 55.5 in December 2021 from a tenth-month high of 57.6 in October, remaining in the growth territory, amid slower rise in sales and new orders, even as business sentiment was dampened by concerns surrounding supply-chain disruptions, COVID-19 and inflationary pressures. Exports and imports grew by 39% and 40% respectively as compared to the same period last year driven by rising international demand for Indian goods. No further rate cut was announced by the RBI during this month.

 

China’s Manufacturing PMI rose to 50.3 in December 2021 from 50.1 in November, slightly above market expectations of 50. The latest reading pointed to a modest growth rate in the manufacturing sector, which is expected to remain subdued at the start of the new year due to uncertainties brought by the pandemic outbreak in Xian and Omicron variant. Exports and imports grew by 21% and 20% respectively as compared to the same period last year.