Samsara Newsletter

Week 43, 2018 (Oct 20 - Oct 26)

Policy & Economy News

Startups in India see 108% growth in funding in 2018: NASSCOM

India to become world's 3rd largest aviation market around 2024: IATA

Exports will reach new high, says commerce secretary

New agri export policy to focus on setting up agro specific zones: Suresh Prabhu

Business News - The India Boom Factor

India's trade shows exceptional momentum for Q4 2018: DHL Global Trade Barometer

Organic food product exports up 39% at $515 million in 2017-18: APEDA

India, Vietnam identify biotechnology, super-computing to take bilateral trade to $15 bn

India plans trade deal to boost exports to China

Indian coal imports rise by 35 % in Q3, highest since 42 months

Shipping News

APL announces new India-Mediterranean (IPM) service

Hapag Lloyd, COSCO & CMA-CGM announces New rotation of IMX service covering Mediterranean with Middle East / ISC

Logistics News

Gogha- Dahej Ro-Pax Ferry all set to connect Saurashtra & South Gujarat: Shipping Minister

Logistics industry may reach $215 bn by 2020-21: CARE

Warehousing industry may grow at 13-15% in medium term: CARE Report

Indian Port News

Govt to undertake Rs 2.35 lakh crore (Rs.2.35 trillion) projects under Sagarmala in Maharashtra: Nitin Gadkari

Policy & Economy News

Startups in India see 108% growth in funding in 2018: NASSCOM
PTI: Bengaluru, October 26 Top
The startups in India saw a 108 per cent growth in total funding from USD two billion in 2017 to USD 4.2 billion this year, National Association of Software and Services Companies said Thursday.

The worrying factor, however, was the decline in funding for companies at the seed stage, NASSCOM said.

"India is becoming a startup hub. Opportunity for growth is enormous, which we had never seen in our lifetime.

Challenge is how fast a company wants to transform," NASSCOM president Debjani Ghosh said.

She was speaking to reporters at the launch of NASSCOM report on the 'Indian start-up ecosystem - approaching escapevelocity' on the sidelines of the 15th anniversary edition ofNASSCOM's Product Enclave-2018 in the city.

More than 1,200 startups came up in 2018, including eight unicorns, taking the total number to 7,200 startups, NASSCOM reported.

However, the seed stage funding of Indian startups has declined from USD 191 million in 2017 to USD 151 million in 2018.

"In terms of overall funding, it is a good story.

However, we are seeing a continuous decline in seed stage funding of startup companies. If you fall at the seed stage, innovation is hit. It is the area, which needs protection," Ghosh said.

The report said there was a 50 per cent increase in number of advanced tech startups since 2017.

According to it, startup ecosystem has regained momentum after the slowdown in 2016-17.

These companies created 40,000 new direct jobs while there was three fold increase in indirect jobs.

"Post 2017, investment into startups has increased by over 100 per cent, from USD 2.03 billion in 2017 to USD 4.2 billion in 2018.

The total number of startup funding deals, especially inthe late stages, witnessed a massive growth of around 250 per cent from USD 847 million in 2017 to USD 3 billion in 2018,"the report said.

The key growth drivers were enterprise software, fintech, healthtech marketplace and edtech. Data analytics, artificialintelligence and IoT startups have been witnessing fastest adoption across industry verticals.

There was 120 per cent funding growth for AI startups with USD 150 million investments made in this field in 2018.

The report said more than 400 plus startups expandedglobally including travel and hospitality company Oyo, cabaggregator Ola, edutech Byju's, Zomato and Wittyfeed.

India to become world's 3rd largest aviation market around 2024: IATA
PTI: New Delhi, October 25 Top
India will become the world's third largest aviation market around 2024 surpassing the UK, global airlines' body IATA said on Wednesday as it projected total air passenger numbers to touch 8.2 billion in 2037.

Releasing the latest update to IATA's 20-year Air Passenger Forecast, the grouping also cautioned that growth prospects for air transport and the economic benefits driven by aviation could be curtailed if protectionist measures are implemented by governments.

The present trends in air transport suggest passenger numbers could double to 8.2 billion in 2037, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

The Asia-Pacific region is projected to drive the biggest growth with more than half the total number of new passengers over the next 20 years coming from these markets.

The growth is being driven by a combination of continued robust economic growth, improvements in household incomes and favourable population and demographic profiles, it noted.

According to the IATA, China would displace the United States as the world's largest aviation market in the mid-2020s.

Aviation market is defined in terms of traffic to, from and within a country, as per the grouping.

"India will take 3rd place after the US, surpassing the UK around 2024. Indonesia is forecast to be a standout performer - climbing from the world's 10th largest aviation market in 2017 to the 4th largest by 2030," it said.

IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said a doubling of air passengers in the next 20 years could support 100 million jobs globally, adding that it is seeing a geographical reshuffling of world air traffic to the East.

Exports will reach new high, says commerce secretary
Press Trust of India - Chennai, October 23 Top
The Central government Monday expressed hope exports would touch an all-time high in 2018-19.

Commerce secretary Anup Wadhawan underlined the commitment of the government to address concerns of labour- intensive leather and textiles sectors.

"Our exports will reach a record figure both in rupee and US dollar terms," he told reporters here after an interactive session with exporters, but did not quantify the figure.

He said the government would address the concerns such as easier availability of credit from banks and boosting schemes like the merchandise exports from India scheme, in the wake of the challenges in a global environment.

The commerce secretary said the export scenario in the region, especially in Tamil Nadu, was healthy, and lauded exporters for their performance despite protectionism and unilateralism.

"Despite the challenges, the exporters have been doing well over the last two-and-a-half years and we've since been having a steady growth," he said.

On the country signing a free trade agreement with the European Union, he said,"It is on the table and we will do our best to expedite it (pact)."

New agri export policy to focus on setting up agro specific zones: Suresh Prabhu
Daily Shipping Times: New Delhi, Oct 26 Top
It is a great advantage for organic producers to tap the market which is growing steadily in both domestic and export markets

The Government will soon come out with a new agri export policy which would have provisions for setting up agro specific zones to boost outbound shipments, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said recently.

The Minister said India produces nearly 600 metric tonne (MT) of agri products including horticultural produce and its strategy is to increase farmers' income and reduce wastage of food products.

He added that India is bestowed with the potential to produce all varieties of organic commodities due to the Country's varied agro-climatic regions. "It is a great advantage for organic producers to tap the market which is growing steadily in both domestic and export markets," the Commerce Ministry said in a statement quoting Prabhu. India ranks first in terms of total number of organic producers and 9th in terms of world's organic agricultural land, it said.

India's organic products are exported to the US, EU, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand and Japan.

Business News - The India Boom Factor

India's trade shows exceptional momentum for Q4 2018: DHL Global Trade Barometer
Daily Shipping Times: Mumbai, Oct 22 Top
. India continues to lead the global ranking for the DHL Global Trade Barometer

. Index rises by four points with growth driven by strong ocean trade

India's trade growth looks set to continue leading the world's largest economies at 83 points despite a slight decrease in air trade growth, according to data from the DHL Global Trade Barometer released by DHL, the world's leading logistics company.

The DHL Global Trade Barometer, an early indicator of global trade developments calculated using Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, shows that India's trade outlook is extremely prosperous, having improved four points from the last quarter in June to now stand at 83. This is the highest index value of all seven countries tracked by the Global Trade Barometer.

The improvement will be largely powered by ocean trade which saw a ten-point increase from 79 to 89 this quarter. Robust growth appears on both the import and export fronts, with Industrial Raw Materials, Chemicals and Products, and Basic Raw Materials driving the positive outlook for ocean exports.

High Technology and Basic Raw Materials are both expected to drive the import demand. For air freight, trade is forecasted to grow though at a slower pace.

"India's gross domestic product accelerated to 8.2% in the April-June quarter this year, a significant jump from the 5.5% rise a year earlier that beat most forecasters' expectations," said George Lawson, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding India. "Besides an uptick in consumer spending and foreign investment, the healthy growth of the manufacturing and construction sectors have been key to improvement and crucial in generating jobs. With a population of over 1.25 billion and with over 12 million people entering the job market every year, the statistics reveal a positive outlook for the world's fastest-growing economy. "

The Barometer's results also suggest that despite intensifying global trade disputes, mainly between China and the US, world trade is expected to grow over the next three months albeit at a slower pace. The growth outlook looks positive for all Asia Pacific countries with India leading the ranks, along with optimistic outlooks for South Korea, China, and Japan. This is testament to the Asian economy's growth, especially in the areas of technology and manufacturing.

In the Global Trade Barometer methodology, an index value above 50 indicates positive growth, while values below 50 indicate contraction.

Developed jointly by DHL and Accenture, the DHL Global Trade Barometer provides a quarterly outlook on future trade, taking into consideration the import and export data of seven large economies: China, South Korea, Germany, India, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Organic food product exports up 39% at $515 million in 2017-18: APEDA
Daily Shipping Times: New Delhi, Oct 25 Top
The total volume of exports was 4.58 lakh tonnes and it primarily included oilseeds, cereals & millets, sugar, fruit juice concentrates, tea, spices, pulses, dry fruits, and medicinal plant products.

The Country had exported organic food products worth $515 million in 2017-18, about 39 per cent more than the products worth $370 million exported in the previous year, a top Apeda official said recently.

The total volume of exports was 4.58 lakh tonnes and it primarily included oilseeds, cereals & millets, sugar, fruit juice concentrates, tea, spices, pulses, dry fruits, and medicinal plant products, Apeda General Manager Mr. Tarun Bajaj said while speaking an Organic Trade Fair.

Even though the US, European Union member countries and Canada were the biggest buyers, many new countries like Israel, Vietnam, Mexico have of late evinced interest in Indian organic products, he said.

"The equivalency granted by the European Commission and Switzerland for unprocessed plant products and the conformity assessment granted by the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) have played a pivotal role in increased export to these countries," Bajaj said in a statement.

He also said that India is negotiating with Canada, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan for equivalency with NPOP (National Programme for Organic Production). Besides, the traceability system, Tracenet, established by Apeda for certification and export of organic products has also helped India in maintaining the credibility and traceability of certified products.

The demand for organic agri products is on a constant increase worldwide. Under NPOP, the area under organic certification during 2017-18 was 3.56 million hectare (mha). This includes 1.78 mha cultivated area and another 1.78 mha for wild harvest collection.

"Among all States, Madhya Pradesh has largest area under organic certification followed by Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. During 2016, Sikkim had achieved a remarkable distinction of converting its entire cultivable land (more than 76000 ha) under organic certification" he said.

India, Vietnam identify biotechnology, super-computing to take bilateral trade to $15 bn
Economic Times - New Delhi, October 24 Top
India and Vietnam have identified biotechnology in agriculture and healthcare, super-computing and remote sensing, among other areas to drive bilateral trade to $15 billion by 2020, the government said on Wednesday.

"Vietnam requires technological assistance for its socio-economic and trade logistics development for which India is an appropriate partner," commerce and industry ministry said in a statement.

Both countries have identified biotechnology in agriculture and healthcare, technology for new materials, IT and electronics, super-computing, nuclear energy for peaceful uses, science and technology, remote sensing and non-traditional energy for expanding trade and investment.

The issues are likely to be discussed at a meeting between Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam and Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI). The two sides will discuss business opportunities and future cooperation between India and Vietnam as well as ways and means to promote Indusfood in Vietnam.

India-Vietnam bilateral trade was $7.8 billion in 2015-16 with India maintaining a positive trade balance.

Vietnam is an importer of rapeseed and there is scope to promote Indian fruits like oranges, according to the statement.

India plans trade deal to boost exports to China
Economic Times - October 24 Top
India is devising a plan to boost shipments of around 200 products to China and narrow the deficit with its biggest trading partner, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

The plan includes seeking duty waiver on a raft of products under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement, the person said, asking not to be identified as the talks are still on. New Delhi wants China to scrap levies on items including uncombed single cotton apart from castor oil, menthol, granite, diamonds and glass envelopes for picture tubes when negotiations for expansion come up in April 2019.

An analysis by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration shows that Southeast Asian nations, Australia, and South Korea among others have competitive advantage over India due to free trade agreements with China. In marine products, especially frozen shrimps and prawns, India loses its competitive advantage due to tariffs while shipments from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are allowed duty free.

APTA, established in 1975, seeks to create a liberal trading regime between Bangladesh, India, Laos, Korea and Sri Lanka and China. Apart from seeking tariff concessions, the ongoing U.S. and China trade conflict also presents an opportunity to cut down the $56-billion trade gap it runs with China, the person said.

Export Competitiveness

India's Commerce ministry spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to two phone calls to her mobile phone. China's Ministry of Commerce didn't immediately respond to a fax, seeking comments.

But trade experts feel that it is not tariff concession alone that will help India, which lags many of its southeast Asian peers in competitiveness. Also, India shouldn't lose focus on other trade pacts that are being negotiated including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in its bid to boost exports to China.

"While APTA may be a good idea to pursue, RCEP is a complete package as it would give access to Japan, Australia and other markets too apart from China," Amitendu Palit, a senior research fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, said by phone. "Difference in competitiveness level and non-tariff barriers imposed by China is a major problem for India."

India has dragged its feet as RCEP doesn't provide for free movement of skilled workers, a key concern for New Delhi given its large pool of tech workers, even as it opens its market to a clutch of nations known for their manufacturing prowess. It is facing pressure from member nations -- including Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea -- to conclude talks by end of 2019.

Indian coal imports rise by 35 % in Q3, highest since 42 months
Daily Shipping Times: New Delhi, Oct 26 Top
India's thermal coal imports rose at the fastest pace in three-and-a-half years in the September quarter, spurred by new demand and domestic infrastructure bottlenecks that are threatening Government plans to cut foreign supplies.

Imports jumped 35 per cent to 42.7 million tonnes during the three months ended Sept. 30, according to data from American Fuels & Natural Resources, a Dubai-based trader of coal from the United States which tracks coal shipments around the region.

Shipping News

APL announces new India-Mediterranean (IPM) service
Daily Shipping Times: Singapore, Oct 26 Top
APL has announced new India-Mediterranean (IPM) service as part of it's continuous effort to enhance its network coverage and improve service quality and efficiency.

In addition to the Sri Lankan market, the new IPM service also provides access to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Southwest and Southeast India via transshipment at Colombo.

IPM New Port Rotation : Port Said West - Mersin - Piraeus - Ambarli - Mersin - Iskenderun (Suez), Jebel Ali, Hamad, Jubail, Jebel Ali, Mundra, Nhava Sheva, Colombo, (Suez), Port Said West.

Last voyage on the current IPM rotation:

QINGDAO TOWER, ETA Jebel Ali 4 November 2018.

First voyage on new IPM rotation:

MSC ALGHERO, ETA Hamad 12 November 2018.

Hapag Lloyd, COSCO & CMA-CGM announces New rotation of IMX service covering Mediterranean with Middle East / ISC
Daily Shipping Times: Oct 22 Top
Hapag Lloyd has announced an enhanced service network covering Mediterranean with the Middle East / Indian Subcontinent, by offering a new rotation on the IMX. The service is operated jointly by Hapag-Lloyd, COSCO and CMA-CGM.

The new IMX weekly service rotation will be as follows:

Jebel Ali - Karachi - Nhava Sheva - Mundra - Jeddah - Malta - La Spezia - Genoa - Valencia - Barcelona - Fos - Genoa - Malta - Damietta - Aqaba - Jeddah - Hamad - Jebel Ali.

Planned effective IMX sailings:

Ningbo Express voyage 1845W, ETA Jebel Ali November 9, 2018.

Ningbo Express voyage 1845E, ETA La Spezia, December 2, 2018.

Logistics News

Gogha- Dahej Ro-Pax Ferry all set to connect Saurashtra & South Gujarat: Shipping Minister
Daily Shipping Times: New Delhi/Gandhinagar, Oct 26 Top
The Prime Minister's dream project of Gogha- Dahej Ro-Pax Ferry service is all ready to start under the Sagarmala programme of the Ministry of Shipping. In a successful trial run conducted recently, 12 loaded trucks were transported by the Ro- Pax ferry from Dahej to Gogha across the Gulf of Cambay, via the sea route. The land route between the two places involves a 294 km or 8 hour drive.

The Ro-Pax service reduces this distance to just 31 km through the sea route by crossing the Gulf in Cambay in 17 Nautical Miles.

The travel time gets reduced to just 1.5 hours. This is an important development for diamond and textiles traders & workers in Surat to travel via coastal shipping and save the travel time by almost half.

The fully operational Ro Pax service with carrying capacity of 100 vehicles and 500 passengers will be opened on 27 October 2018.

Speaking after the trail run Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation said, "The Sagarmala programme is touching the lives of people. Gogha-Dahej Ro-Pax Ferry service is all set to connect Saurashtra and South Gujarat."

The total cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 615 crore (Rs.6.15 billion) of which Rs.117 crore (Rs.1.17 billion) has been funded by Central Government under the Sagarmala programme with the main objective of promoting Coastal Shipping and reducing logistics costs.

Logistics industry may reach $215 bn by 2020-21: CARE
Daily Shipping Times: Mumbai, Oct 23 Top
The Country's logistics industry is projected to be worth $215 billion by 2020-21, recording a 10 per cent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over its approximate size of $160 billion in 2016-17.

The industry's growth will be fuelled by the strides in manufacturing, retail, fast-moving consumer goods and e-commerce sectors.

Development of logistics related infrastructure, like dedicated freight corridors, logistics parks, free trade warehousing zones and container freight stations, are expected to improve efficiency, a report by CARE Ratings observed.

At present, the logistics sector is dominated by transportation, which has over 85 per cent share in value terms. Its share is set to remain high for the next few years. The remaining 15 per cent share is accounted for by storage. The sector is employment intensive, absorbing 22 million people. Logistics costs have a significant bearing on exports. It is estimated that slashing logistics costs by 10 per cent could widen exports by five to eight per cent.

Steep logistics costs in India vis-a-vis other nations have been a vexing issue. Logistics costs as a percentage of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) is 13-14 per cent. The figure is higher compared to 10-11 per cent for BRIC countries and eight to nine per cent for developing nations.

USA spends 9.5 per cent of the GDP on logistics, while Germany is even more competitive with a share of eight per cent. Higher logistics costs in India could be ascribed to the lack of efficient inter-modal and multi-modal traditional systems, the ratings agency said in its report.

Going ahead, the logistics costs as a share of the GDP is expected to decline, led by initiatives like the implementation of goods and services tax (GST), investments in road infrastructure, development of inland waterways and coastal shipping, and the thrust on dedicated freight corridors.

At present, the Indian logistics industry is highly fragmented and unorganised. Owing to the presence of numerous unorganised players in the industry, it remains fragmented, with the organised players accounting for approximately 10 per cent of the total market share. With the consumer base of the sector encompassing a wide range of industries, including retail, automobile, telecom, pharmaceuticals and heavy industries, the logistics industry has been increasingly attracting investments in the last decade.

Further, the logistics industry faces challenges such as under-developed material handling infrastructure, fragmented warehousing, multiple regulatory and policy-making bodies, lack of seamless movement of goods across modes, and minimal integrated IT infrastructure. In order to develop this sector, focus on new technology, improved investment, skilling, removing bottlenecks, improving intermodal transportation, automation, a single-window system for giving clearances, and simplifying processes would be required.

Warehousing industry may grow at 13-15% in medium term: CARE Report
Daily Shipping Times: Mumbai, Oct 22 Top
The warehousing industry in the Country is expected to grow at 13-15 per cent in the medium term, driven by the growth in manufacturing, retail, FMCG and e-commerce sectors, a report said.

Growth in overall production and consumption, organised retail, logistics outsourcing and regulatory interventions such as WRDA Act and GST have improved prospects of the organised professional warehousing segment, Care Ratings said in its report.

Private investments in logistics and other infrastructure developments such as dedicated freight corridor (DFC) will also aid the segment growth, it added.

"The domestic warehousing industry grew from Rs 56,000 crore (Rs.560 billion) in 2013 to Rs 77,000 crore (Rs.770 billion) in 2017, and is expected to grow at a rate of 13-15 per cent in the medium term," the report said.

The Country's warehousing market is highly fragmented, with most warehouses having an area of less than 10,000 square feet, it said, adding about 90 per cent of the warehousing space is controlled by unorganised players.

The report said nearly 60 per cent of the modern warehousing capacity is concentrated in the Country's top six cities namely Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, NCR and Pune, with Hyderabad and Kolkata being the other big markets.

"Going forward, due to factors like quality of infrastructure and availability of labour, these advantages are likely to remain with these cities," it added.

Care Ratings pointed out that the domestic industrial warehousing segment is expected to grow due to anticipated increase in global demand, growth in organised retail and increasing manufacturing activities, expansion of e-commerce options and growth in international trade.

The demand for agriculture warehousing is expected to grow moderately, according to the report, on account of high base and expected normal monsoons.

Integrated models, diversification across end-user industries are expected to drive growth of cold chain segment. Significant demand is also seen coming from storage of fruits and vegetables, and pharmaceutical segments, it said.

Indian Port News

Govt to undertake Rs 2.35 lakh crore (Rs.2.35 trillion) projects under Sagarmala in Maharashtra: Nitin Gadkari
Daily Shipping Times: Mumbai, Oct 24 Top
The Shipping Ministry is planning to undertake projects worth Rs 2.35 lakh crore (Rs.2.35 trillion) under the Sagarmala project in Maharashtra, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said recently.

He said projects worth over Rs 1.50 lakh crore (Rs.1.5 trillion) are in various stages of implementation, while the work on remaining Rs 85,000 crore (Rs.850 billion) worth projects is yet to begin.

Work on these remaining projects, starting with preparation of detailed project reports, will be initiated soon, he said. Overall, Departments under him including Shipping, Ports, Roads and Waterways will be spending Rs 7.5 lakh crore (Rs.7.5 trillion) in Maharashtra, he said.

He said initially the estimates of spend on various projects in his home State were in the range of Rs 5 lakh crore (Rs.5 trillion), which have now gone up to Rs 7.5 lakh crore (Rs.7.5 trillion). Eight projects entailing investment of Rs 5,384 crore (Rs.53.84 billion) have already been completed, while 45 others involving investment of Rs 27,000 crore (Rs.270 billion) are in various stages of implementation, he said.

At least five rivers in the state feature in the list of over 100 rivers where water transport potential will be exploited, he said. Gadkari also said that he had a meeting with a Russian Deputy Prime Minister who assured India to deploy ethanol-powered "watercrafts" for waterways.

An Indian company has forged a joint venture with Russian firm United Ship Builders for this, he said.