All that glitters is not Golden Rice

AS MARKETING gimmicks go, the name Golden Rice should have been a runaway success. Instead, widespread protests are being staged against the imminent introduction of this genetically modified (GM) rice in Bangladesh as well as in the Philippines, Indonesia and India because it poses risks to...

India should take the RCEP route to trade integration

INDIA must quickly negotiate the sticking points to joining the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) grouping, which is further prying open the relatively protected Indian market. New Delhi must not stay out of - or get left behind - the US$2.8 trillion trading area to be...

Pick a dance partner carefully in this market

THE floor is getting dusted with powder, but where are the dancers?

India laws a dose of reality for Big Pharma

THE United States was on the verge of making a controversial amendment to the US patent law in June this year that would have modelled it on India's Patent Law which prohibits the patenting of new forms, new uses and new methods of administration of new medicines unless the patent applicant can...

Anti-GMO 'rock star' continues to challenge 'Big Six' corporations

THE "rock star" of the global movement opposing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Vandana Shiva, has been taking on the "Big Six" producers of GMOs even as their agricultural use is banned or restricted in some countries, and they are fighting court cases in others.

Integrated financial market has to start with political will

A FEW years ago, the countries of South Asia had a farsighted idea: Create a stock exchange or a board where companies of the region would list their shares. Even though the vision crashed headlong into political reality, the idea still has backers in governments and multilateral institutions....

Monsanto suffers more dents to its image

THE public image of the legally embattled agribusiness giant, Monsanto, is getting tarnished in the United States and in India.

CLMV countries must step up reform of business and financial ecosystems

The CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) are grabbing investor attention following the creation of the CLMV Exposure Index on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), and an audacious plan to list CLMV companies on the Thai bourse.

Indian economy waits for dose of optimism

THE euphoria is over. India's business community had welcomed the re-election of prime minister Narendra Modi in May, but it is becoming critical of his government's policies just three months later.

Indochina states drive Asean investor appeal

THE Indochina quartet of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (the CLMV countries) are predicted to remain the fastest-growing sub-region within Asean - at least until 2022 - and are seen by many foreign investors as the key magnets drawing attention to Asean. The four, however, need to catch up...

Don't dismiss India's SMEs as 'dwarves'

INDIAN government economists appear to be ignoring the important lessons of China and Taiwan, which have achieved spectacular economic growth through the massive contribution of their small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Injecting new life into Yangon Stock Exchange

THE Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) will be the last of the region's markets to open up to foreign investors. The normally tight-lipped Yangon market regulator announced on July 12 that it would allow foreigners to own shares of companies listed on the bourse.

India's economic roadmap a bumpy ride

THE Modi government has set its sights on doubling the size of the Indian economy to US$5 trillion by 2025. The objective is desirable, but the path to achieving it is not clear because, even for the short term, the leading indicators have been pointing downwards for quite a while.

Vietnam stock market mired by being insular

VIETNAM, the best performing stock market in South-east Asia, is not as yet officially recognised as an emerging market by the global index agency, Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI). The non-recognition denotes the country's unpreparedness, and deters many large funds from investing....

'Big Bang reforms' must not fizzle out

THE Modi government has promised "Big Bang reforms" in its first 100 days. The announcement must be welcomed because the economy has slowed to a five-year low. But then, Indians have heard many slogans before - such as "Make in India", and the promise to create millions of jobs - which by and...

Fallout from US$2b ruling against Monsanto

THE embattled German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company, Bayer, has adopted a strategy of "circling the wagons" to discredit the scientists who have been warning that the mass-selling weed killer, Roundup, manufactured by its subsidiary, Monsanto, can cause cancer.

Has the BJP lost its mojo in the core Hindi heartland?

THE wheels are coming off the "Modi juggernaut" that was expected to propel the Indian prime minister and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) back to power, according to latest statistical analyses and political forecasts of the general election whose results are to be announced on May 23....

Modi ignoring the two elephants in the room

THE election campaign run by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is neglecting the burning issues of massive unemployment and declining economic growth - both of which have worsened in the latest data released this month.

Cracks opening up in India's BJP in heat of polling season

IN the run-up to the general election, multiple influential voices have emerged from within India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a development that has cautioned Indians about its policies and performance. For a disciplined party such as the BJP, open dissent is not common.

Election slogan humour masks serious issues in India

INDIAN election slogans have never been short on humour. Examples include the former Bihar chief minister's one-liner using the symbol of the aloo or potato: "Samose mein Aloo, Bihar mein Laloo," (Aloo in samosa and Laloo in Bihar), and Indira Gandhi's famous put-down of her weak-kneed opponents...

Bayer pushed to put growth plans on ice

IN recent emotion-charged, real-life courtroom dramas in the United States, Bayer, the German multinational pharmaceuticals and chemicals conglomerate, was cast as a purveyor of cancer-causing products against victims who may not have long to live.

COMMENTARY

India's economic data under a cloud

THE carefully-crafted image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an economic reformer who would power the Indian economy to new heights is fading. Slowing GDP growth, industrial decline, sputtering exports, and unemployment at a 45-year high is worsened by a blackout of economic data and "...

Can one really make money in the market during a war?

INDIAN investors were humming tunes from the epic British musical Oh, What a Lovely War! when stocks were massively boosted by the Kargil War against Pakistan in 1999 and when the bourse saw a smaller increase during terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008.

Reality bites in Vietnam's march towards privatisation

SIGNALLING the caution with which the Vietnamese government is moving in its privatisation programme, only a few large-cap state-owned companies are planning to stage initial public offerings (IPOs) or to return to the market to raise fresh funds on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) this...

Data blackout in India demonstrates a lack of responsibility

INDIA is facing its biggest employment crisis since the 1970s. It is also confronting an unprecedented "employment data crisis" caused by the government's suppression of unfavourable job numbers that can seriously damage the ruling party's prospects in the forthcoming general...