Archive for the ‘prosperity’ Category

Mumbai Violence Clouds India’s Economic Future

November 29, 2008

The terrorist siege in southern Mumbai, not far from its financial district, is likely to threaten India’s already murky economic future and thwart plans to transform the city into a regional financial center, economists and investors said.
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By HEATHER TIMMONS and KEITH BRADSHER
The New York Times
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India’s economy had already been slowing significantly, because of the global credit crunch and the rupee’s decline. The country’s leading stock market index, the Sensex, has been cut in half since January as foreign investors redirected billions of dollars out of the country. Real estate markets around the country are cooling off.

Now foreign investors and business executives, who fueled much of India’s blistering growth over the past three years, are expected to be even more cautious about investing in India, at least in the short run, analysts said. Local companies and executives, who have already put the brakes on growth projections, could revise them further.

“Of course there will be some setbacks” related to the attacks, said Hitesh Kuvelkar, associate director at First Global, a financial research firm. Even before the attacks, First Global predicted that India’s economic growth could slow to about 6 percent in 2009 and less than 4 percent in 2010.

An Indian soldier holds positions outside the Taj Mahal hotel ...
An Indian soldier holds positions outside the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai. Indian commandos have killed the last remaining gunmen in Mumbai’s Taj hotel to end a devastating attack by Islamic militants on India’s financial capital that left 195 dead, including 26 foreigners.(AFP/Sajjad Hussain)

The attacks, which left more than 150 people dead by Friday evening, made targets of foreigners, witnesses said. The heavily armed terrorists were able to bypass security at two of India’s most expensive hotels, and it has taken India’s military several days to quell the violence, raising questions about safety in even the most exclusive locations.

It may be some time before the hotels, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower and the Oberoi, once regular haunts for executives, become deal-making hubs again. “I would not feel comfortable either staying in or going to meetings at the Taj or the Oberoi, at least in the near future,” said Joel Perlman, the president of Copal Partners, a research company.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/29/world/asia/29impact.html?_r=1&hp

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Problems creep out past official front in China

March 20, 2008
BEIJING — Last month, Olympic organizers were showing off a new basketball arena and denied that any residents were forcibly evicted to build the many sites for the Summer Games. But the Olympic Media Village sits where Li Yukui and his neighbors had to leave their homes.

Olympic officials promised to clean Beijing’s severe air pollution, but an Ethiopian runner said last week that he won’t run the marathon because breathing the air could harm his health.

And the neighborhood volunteers touted for learning English to give directions to visitors instead spend their time monitoring residents and even confronted one pregnant woman about whether she was violating China’s one-child policy.

Five months before the Olympics, China is discovering the difficult line between promotion of its many successes and concealment of deep problems that dog the communist nation.

China’s crackdown on pro-independence protests in Tibet is just one front of this struggle. The world’s most populous nation wants to present a united image of harmony and prosperity. But the ruling Communist Party, which bristles at outside criticism, sometimes contains dissidents and ignores human rights complaints.

Riot police take a rest on a street in Tongren, in China's Qinghai ...
Riot police take a rest on a street in Tongren, in China’s Qinghai province, March 17, 2008.(Kyodo/Reuters)

Read the rest:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-03-19-chinaimage_N.htm?csp=34

Saving Asia from the ground up

August 6, 2007

 By Andy Zieminski
The Washington Times
August 6, 2007

For some development authorities, one good deed — to land — could change the world. Giving even small amounts of land to the landless in India and ensuring property rights for Chinese farmers have the potential not only to improve the lives of hundreds of millions, but also to help close the rural-urban gap in two vast countries where years of rapid growth have disproportionately benefited the cities, said Tim Hanstad, president of the Seattle-based Rural Development Institute.

Mr. Hanstad and others argue that the lack of clear rules regarding land ownership has locked many of India and China”s 1.5 billion rural residents into deep poverty, blocking them from contributing significantly to each country”s booming economy.

“Really what land reform is about in both countries is creating or broadening an ownership society….

Read the rest:
http://washingtontimes.com/article/20070806/FOREIGN/108060032/1003