India looks at MENAWA region for growth

   Nov 8, 9:22 pm

New Delhi, Nov. 8 (ANI): With lingering economic uncertainties in the U.S. and a deepening debt crisis in Europe, India is looking to reduce its dependence on these countries and seeking investment opportunities elsewhere. A key focus area that has come into prominence in recent times is MENAWA - Middle East, North Africa and West Asia.

This region has lately been in the news for the birth of an "Arab Spring". With a civil unrest and political changes underway, companies fear to tread here. But an interesting study hopes to change the perception. Michael O' Sullivan, Portfolio Head of Credit Suisse, who profile 87 political transitions across the world, found that such transitions tended to lift the GDP and the Foreign Direct Investments in a country in the subsequent decade. They also brought down unemployment and inflation.

"Right now this area is in trouble. But when their problems are sorted out, they will bounce back and create a lot of opportunity for growth," said Prabhu Guptara, Ex Executive Director of UBS Switzerland.

And Indian companies are already taking notice. The MENAWA region, has traditionally been lacking in social media networks, tourism and infrastructure and companies here seeking cooperation in these fields. "There are more than 2000-3000 companies that are willing to enter this region. We believe this region, especially Africa, is going to be the next action area in the next 10-20 years," said Abhishek Sharma, a banker with a reputed MNC.

But until cooperation in these areas is developed, a major focus is going to be oil. "Out of the 12 OPEC countries, eight are in this region. So obviously it is very important. Sixty percent of the world's oil reserves are in this area and 45% of world's natural gas is found here. As long as have an oil and hydrocarbon based economy, this region will continue to remain politically and economically important," said Guptara.

Everyone is hoping the transition to democracy takes place quickly and smoothly in the region.

"If these political efforts are successful, then MENAWA with the EU will become a very powerful block," added Guptara.

The region comprises 400 million people but regularly needs to import skilled workforce to overcome labour shortages. Indians, along with Europeans, are the number two immigrants in the MENAWA region. A team in India has recently launched the "MENAWA network" to reach out to companies seeking investment and workforce.

"The vision behind MENAWA is to bring out the talent pool they have with them. This platform gives us an opportunity to work with emerging economies where one can see the kind of development that is taking place, the kind of opportunities we have in terms of infrastructure, finance, FTAs and socializing across the border. For us borders are not barriers," said Rajat Khullar, founding member of the MENAWA group.

Students of the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) have launched the networking group. They are discussing the holding of a business summit in New Delhi.

"We are going to bring business leaders from all across the globe and have a conclave and build relations with industry leaders. We have lined some big players and will be hosting a summit soon," said Mukesh Kumar, founder of the group.

African leaders too seem enthused with the idea. "You will not believe if I say that Kenya and India are neighbours! But we actually are. We are connected by the vast Indian Ocean. For long traders have been coming through this route to Africa. Your companies should make Kenya as a platform for setting up a base in Africa and through us reaching the MENAWA region," said Thomas Okemwa Obwocha, first secretary, in-charge of Finance and accounts at the Kenyan High Commission in New Delhi. By Damanjeet Kohli (ANI)

LeEco bags 100,000 registrations for its Le 1s Eco in 24 hours May 5, 6:26 pm
New Delhi, May 5 (ANI): The Le 1S Eco launched by the internet and technology conglomerate LeEco has received whopping 100,000 registrations on Flipkart in the first 24 hours itself.
Full Story
Ban on diesel vehicles in Delhi detrimental to auto industry: FICCI May 5, 6:16 pm
New Delhi, May 5 (ANI): The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Thursday said the ban on registration of new diesel-powered vehicles by the Supreme Court in the national capital could prove detrimental to the auto industry and may not result in any significant lower emission levels since the new diesel vehicles emit lower pollutants given they comply with the advance vehicle emission standards (Euro IV).
Full Story
Crownit to organize 'Startup Premier League' in Gurgaon May 5, 5:57 pm
New Delhi, May 5 (ANI): Leading merchant discovery and privileges platform Crownit has announced its plans to bring the excitement home by organizing its Startup Premier League. The event is meant to celebrate the exponential success that has been achieved by the Indian start-up community and promote the spirit of sportsmanship through cricket.
Full Story
ClearTax launches its 2G optimized app for tax filling May 5, 5:11 pm
New Delhi, May 5 (ANI): In a world that is increasingly going mobile, ClearTax India's leading Income Tax Returns e-filing website has launched another dimension to the convenience quotient of the Indian consumer by announcing the launch of its mobile app.
Full Story
Comments