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India economy & business news in brief for Nov 17: India president bats for local industries to make economy robust

Indian president Droupadi Murmu (ANI Photo/Sansad TV)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HERE are news in brief on Indian economy and business for Friday, November 17, 2023:

Indian president Droupadi Murmu on Friday affirmed India’s commitment to becoming an inclusive and developed nation, emphasising the pivotal role of indigenous industries in fostering a self-reliant, competitive economy. She highlighted recent government policy initiatives and reforms aimed at promoting the domestic design, development, and manufacturing of defence equipment. Addressing officers of the Indian Ordnance Factories Service and probationers of the Indian Defence Accounts Service in New Delhi, she underscored the significance of campaigns like “Atmanirbhar Bharat,” “Make in India,” “Startup India,” and “National Skill Development Mission” in achieving these objectives.

India’s unemployment rate has reached a historic low, undergoing a transformative shift towards self-employment, states a State Bank of India report, Moneycontrol reported. The report emphasizes deep structural changes in the country’s labour market, citing self-entrepreneurship and higher educational attainment as key factors. The recently released sixth annual Periodic Labour Force Survey from the National Sample Survey Office indicates a significant decline in the unemployment rate from 6.1 per cent in FY18 to 3.2 per cent in FY23, accompanied by a rise in the overall labour force participation rate (LFPR) from 36.9 per cent to 42.4 per cent. The female LFPR showed a remarkable increase from 17.5 per cent to 27.8 per cent during this period.

Amazon aims to achieve $20 billion (£16 billion) in merchandise exports from India by 2025, intending to achieve this goal by onboarding numerous small sellers onto its e-commerce platform, as stated by Bhupen Wakankar, director of global trade at Amazon, Reuters reported. Expressing optimism on the sidelines of an industry event in New Delhi about the increasing number of entrepreneurs joining this year, Wakankar mentioned plans to expand further. He noted substantial demand for “Made in India” products, such as organic health supplements, homeware, and robotic games, ahead of the Black Friday Cyber Monday sale. Amazon Global Trade, the company’s business-to-consumer (B2C) exports platform which was launched in 2015 with a few sellers, has gained traction in the South Asian economy.

Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman and managing director of Indian vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII), has suffered a mild cardiac arrest and underwent angioplasty procedure in a hospital in the western Indian city of Pune, doctors said on Friday. Poonawalla, father of SII CEO Adar Poonawalla, suffered the cardiac arrest on Thursday (16). Doctors said he was recovering fast and was in good health. Poonawalla is also the chairman of the Cyrus Poonawalla Group that includes SII which had played a major role in India’s fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

The State Bank of India (SBI) is set to launch its banking mobile app, ‘Yono Global,’ in Singapore and the US, providing digitalized remittance and other services to customers, according to Vidya Krishnan, deputy managing director (IT), SBI. Speaking to PTI at the three-day Singapore Fintech Festival which concluded on Friday, Krishnan said ongoing investments in Yono Global to enhance customer experiences. She also discussed collaborations with Singapore-based digital platform enablers and engaged with the local regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, to improve the remittance services for the significant Indian diaspora in the city-state.

Citigroup Inc. is set to announce a collaboration with an Indian bank aimed at financing female small-business owners in the country. As part of their broader initiative supporting enterprises in Asia, Central America, and beyond, the bank plans to provide capital to over 300,000 rural Indian female entrepreneurs. Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser highlighted the importance of aiding these small businesses in their growth and global trade participation at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in San Francisco, US. While not specifying the Indian bank, Fraser emphasized Citigroup’s extensive global reach and the challenges posed by recent geopolitical and macroeconomic disruptions in trade and supply chains.

(With agencies inputs)

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