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China’s labour lesson

March 13, 2013
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ImageChina has ascended to a unique dilemma, one that unusually makes India feel good about her situation. The Middle Kingdoms past few decades of excessive emphasis on manufacturing and impetus to higher education have availed citizens in a skill bind. Having borne the fruits of their labour, Beijing is now witnessing a positive curve towards a higher number of graduates than ten years ago, With the simultaneous spurt in manufacturing, Beijing’s dilemma now lies in employing their educated lot on the factory floor.

The new conundrum has created the adage that more than half of the educated youth in urban China will face unemployment as their skills don’t match jobs being created by the government. In retrograde, rural semi-skilled workers who are now few and far between are in high demand as factory labour.

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The Mango – Mao’s exotic fruit

March 12, 2013

mango_maoIndias golden fruit the Mango was waxed for preservation, praised as a symbol of Chairman Mao’s love for his workers and treated with utmost respect in 1968-69 China when the unique fruit first crossed the bamboo curtain. The exotic fruit became a short lived political statement when Chairman Mao distributed a dozen mangoes amongst Beijing’s top factories. “It was propaganda, but the thing to remember is that it started with real enthusiasm,” Alfreda Murck, a scholar at Beijing’s Palace Museum told the Telegraph.

A poem in the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the party, ran: “Seeing that golden mango/Was as if seeing the great leader Chairman Mao … Again and again touching that golden mango/the golden mango was so warm”.

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Largest oil importer, China raises defence budget

March 6, 2013

india china militaryA fragile relationship is back on tender hooks after China increased her defence budget to over 720 billion Yuan or more than US$115 billion, three times neighbouring India’s defence allocation of US$37 billion (or Rs. 2 lakh crore). In a greater show of might, and more worry to the global oil game, China also recently overtook America as the world’s largest net importer of oil. A generational shift that will shake up the geopolitics of natural resources, international diplomacy and a country’s influence over others China has played her cards well.

According to the Financial Times, US net oil imports dropped to 5.98m barrels a day in December, the lowest since February 1992, according to provisional figures from the US Energy Information Administration. In the same month, China’s net oil imports surged to 6.12m b/d, according to Chinese customs. The US has been the world’s largest net importer of oil since the mid-1970s, shaping Washington’s foreign policy towards energy-rich countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Venezuela.

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New Delhi issues investment advisory in Mandarin

February 28, 2013

Investing-in-IndiaIn a fresh bid to ring in investments from China, the Indian Embassy together with the International Cooperation Department of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the top economic management agency in China released a sector-wise investment guide specifically targeted towards Chinese companies. The report which includes the infrastructure, automobiles, hospitality, power and energy sectors details Indian law in Mandarin for the ease of investors.

Tackling both language and bureaucracy gap, the Indian Embassy, released the report hoping the path for India entry of Chinese companies would be significantly simplified, encouraging many more mutual collaborations. It has been reiterated at several forums that China and India both share several synergies that could propel their economies if applied in sync, yet diplomatic hurdles, mindsets and bureaucracy maim collaborations.  Recent, strengthening of economic ties are healing bilateral trade and investments. India is keen to attract the deep pockets of Chinese investors who until now have been investing in the American and European markets. With a downturn in the West, India is hoping China will pour her growing stockpile of reserves in India. However until Chinese companies see a significant return on investment, many are holding onto their purse strings.

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In the spirit of things…

January 31, 2013

Bonding over booze, Indian wine makers and Chinese connoisseurs gathered in Beijing to begin a marginal retail odyssey for Indian wines in the Middle Kingdom. With western thought processes and customs quickly percolating into the Chinese consciousness, Indian wine makers are taking the adventurous step of selling wine to the tea sipping nation.

Two wines from India’s Bangalore based Grover vineyards were recently received in the Chinese capital and will be available to a select audience in top hotels, restaurants and exclusive wine stores in Beijing. While Indian wines yet haven’t made their mark in international markets and Chinese connoisseurs preferring the better known French, Argentinean and Australian wines, the move marks a step in the door. While a majority of the market is still captured by incumbent Chinese wine makers – the biggest being Great Wall – Chinese tastes are rapidly maturing to recognise the finess of finer wines.

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