International Goa News

Just 1.6% of purchased ore exported to China

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Panaji: As prices of low-grade iron ore in the International market continue to fall, firms that bid for ore in the e-auction have managed to export just 1.6 percent of the purchased ore to China. Till date just 12.29 lakh tonnes of ore, out of the 7.7 million tonnes of ore sold in 13 e-auctions, have been dispatched from Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) and Panjim Port. Directorate of Mines and Geology (DMG) has issued export permits for 21.01 lakh tonnes of ore from April 2014 till October 2015.  However, only 12.29 lakh tonnes have been exported through 25 ships. While 21 ships have sailed from MPT, four ships sailed from Panjim port with the ore.  The ore exporters include Sesa Sterlite, Shree Durga Mining company, Sudhar Ind Ltd, Shraddha Ispat Pvt Ltd, MMTC Ltd (Government of India), Bagadiya Brothers Pvt Ltd and Royalline Resources Pvt Ltd. The government, however, claims it has transported around 2.486 million tonnes of auctioned ore, which may include ore transported to local players. DMG has identified 15 million tonnes of ore for e-auction of which after 13 e-auctions it has managed to sell half the quantity. The first three e-auctions, held on February 17, March 4 and May 12, last year, had received a good response with over 15 companies participating in the process. Thereafter, with fall in iron ore prices, the demand for ore reduced during the subsequent e-auctions of August 19, November 6 and 7, 2014, and May 19, September 8, 10, 15, 22 and 30 and October 1. Traditionally Goa has been the biggest exporter of low grade iron ore to China, the ferrous content of the ore being as low as 58 Fe. With the mining industry shut down for the past three years, Goa has almost lost its China market, which has been captured by other mining countries like Brazil and Australia.[H]

India, China on path of national rejuvenation: Yucheng

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Panaji: In light of their growing ties, China and India need to align their economic strategies and build on the opportunities available for two countries that are not only the largest developing economies, but who also share the same philosophy of growth, China's ambassador to India, Le Yucheng, said.

The Chinese diplomat was speaking at a exploratory meeting with the Goa chamber of commerce and industry (GCCI) at Panaji on Monday. As part of his visit, he also met with chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar and local industrialists to try and identify viable sectors to invest in.

"China and India are on the path of national rejuvenation. We need to align our economic strategies. We need to strengthen our cooperation and need to coordinate our strategy of 'Make in India' with China's 'One Belt, One Road' initiative," Yucheng said. "We should make joint efforts to increase or strengthen our economies."

The two Asian countries have witnessed a resurgence in their economies, especially India, following the election of Narendra Modi as prime minister. This in turn has had a positive effect on Indo-China bilateral trade and discussions, Yucheng pointed out.

"Our opportunity also comes from the growing ties of our relationship. I have witnessed the fast-growing ties and bilateral cooperation. Our two leaders, over the past year, have met five times," Yucheng said while addressing Goan industrialists.

While he acknowledged the recent turbulence in the Chinese growth story, he sought to allay fears by putting it down to "restructuring measures" which were taken because "fast speed of growth is not sustainable."

"China is also facing a few difficulties. There were some ups and downs, but the underlying trends remain positive. We need to restructure our economy. During this stage we have slowed down a little bit, but the structure of the economy becomes even better," Yucheng stated.

The Chinese diplomat later admitted that measures to combat air pollution may have also contributed to the tapering in China's growth engine. "We are taking strong measures to combat air pollution. This year, the sky is much cleaner and better. It is a result of the systematic measures taken by our government, including reducing the emissions from factories and moving polluting factories out of cities or stopping production," he said.

While addressing Goan businessmen about viable sectors for China to invest in, Yucheng said, "I believe Goa has a great potential for cooperation with China. Goa is a good place for Chinese investment in entertainment, tourism, culture and IT education."[TOI]

First chapter of Indo-Brazil’s chamber of commerce in Goa

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Panaji: The first-ever Indo-Brazil chamber of commerce chapter was inaugurated in Goa by the consul general of Brazil, Rosimarda Silva Suzano, on Wednesday. The chamber will work towards increasing bilateral ties in the areas of economy, culture, tourism, sports, science and research, education and higher learning, and environmental balance.

"Indo-Brazil bilateral trade is currently at $11.4 billion. The number may sound impressive, but it is far below potential and is concentrated on commodities like oil and fuel," Suzano said. "In contrast, China's trade is 10 times more than India's."

Keen to narrow the gap, the Indo-Brazil chamber of commerce will attempt to increase bilateral exchange and partnership between the two countries. With respect to Goa, the south American nation is looking specifically at the areas of tourism and agriculture.

"More than an exchange of goods, partnership is the way forward," Suzano said. "What is seen as a weakness can be an area for cooperation and exchange of know-how for the two countries."

Also present at the inauguration was the state's deputy chief minister, Francis D'souza, who spoke about the similarities between Goa and Brazil. "We are a tourist destination and wouldn't want polluting industries. A green industry is welcome," he said.

Representatives of local business bodies, including the Goa chamber of commerce and industry and confederation of Indian industries, along with members of the local diplomatic community were also in attendance.

"The big challenge for both the countries is to diversify trade. Trade has been restricted because of difficulties for big conglomerates of Brazil to enter India," Suzano said.

Pointing out that both India and Brazil were economic powerhouses in their respective regions, Suzano said both countries could no longer ignore each other, thereby making it necessary to increase strategic and bilateral ties.

Two more chapters of the Indo-Brazil chamber of commerce will be opened - one in Pune and the other in Bengaluru - in the near future. Priyanka Row, an image consultant, has been appointed as the chairperson for the Goa chapter.[TOI]

State wants waiver in visa fee for Russia

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Panaji: Goa tourism will pursue with the government of India bilateral visa fee exemption between India and Russia. The Russian government has already written to the government of India while making a move in this direction. The issue was discussed at the recently-concluded Moscow trade fair. Nilesh Cabral, Goa tourism development corporation (GTDC) chairman, who was part of the Goa delegation, that went to Moscow, said at least, the government should do away with group visa fee. "We had a discussion with Russia's deputy tourism minister and tourism director on this," he said. If done, it will give a much-needed boost to the tourist flow to Goa from Russia that has taken a hit after the economic crisis in Russia, and crisis in Ukraine," he said. [TOI]

India juniors prepare for tough Frenz challenge in Asian Champions Trophy

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Panaji: India juniors will face their fiercest test yet in the Asian Champions Trophy as they take on the might of Frenz United A in a group B clash at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco on Wednesday.

India scored their first win in three games in the championship when they played their last clash at home, and although they now return to familiar surroundings, it won't be a smooth ride against Frenz United.

The Malaysian side are leading the group with seven points from three games and are understood to be among the stronger teams in the competition. They have Liverpool FC legend Steve McMahon as technical advisor and, before you say he will only be on the sidelines, the club has recently snared a couple of young Brazilians.

India are yet to play the group leaders and will face them twice in their remaining three matches.

"They have good infrastructure, experienced coaches and their technical director is (Liverpool legend) Steve McMahon. When you have that experience, it's only going to be good for them. They have foreign players too," India coach Lee Johnson told TOI after monitoring a training session at the artificial-turf ground in Fatorda.

India took time to warm up to the ACT challenge. First forced to field a weakened side to release players for the SAFF Championship squad -- being played simultaneously -- India were also hampered by away travel, landing at their destination less than 24 hours before the clash. When at home, India took control but Frenz United will provide for more than just a formidable challenge.

"Frenz (United) will be technically good. I have watched their games and they will be well organized. I told our players to stay disciplined but don't hesitate to express yourself," said Lee, formerly coach of Chelsea FC and Crystal Palace academies.

The Asian Champions Trophy offers India juniors the chance to test their mettle against different South-East Asian opponents on a home and away basis.

"This is a perfect opportunity for us to stamp our mark. The boys have worked hard in training and shown improvement in terms of tactical understanding of the game. They need to work hard and stay focused," he echoed.

Frenz United have one of the more impressive youth development programmes in the continent. Their academy brings together a group of young, aspiring and talented players between the ages of 13 to 17 from all over Malaysia to the professional football training center located on 12 acres of land.

According to the club website, these young players are offered a full scholarship, which covers the costs of accommodation and boarding at the academy's training centre, football training, coaching services and education.[TOI]


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