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Newsletter for Jan 8, 2009

A weekly sampling of news, analysis and opinion on economic issues of India, China and the U.S. Articles and opinion pieces are from a variety of sources and viewpoints and do not necessarily reflect those of ICA Institute. Access to some articles may require free registration to the site or may not be cited to the original source. Access archive.

In this issue
  • ABEAI Call for Papers
  • IJEB Call for Papers
  • Headlines
  • Energy
  • ICT
  • Agriculture
  • Industrial Resources | Manufacturing
  • Environment | Climate Change
  • Corporate Social Responsibility | Business Ethics
  • Innovation
  • Health | Medicine
  • Logistics | Transportation
  • Education | Human Capital
  • Newsletter staff

  • ABEAI Call for Papers

    Applied Business and Entrepreneurship Association International
    Announces Call for Papers

    Sixth Annual Meeting, November 16-20, 2009 at Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii

    Submission Deadline: August 15, 2009
    Submit papers to:

    Visit for more information.

    IJEB Call for Papers

    December 18-22, 2009
    New Delhi, India

    To be Invited Speakers: Dr. Subramanian Swamy, Ex- Union Minister of Commerce, Government of India and Harvard Professor of Economics, Dr. Narendra Jadhav, Vice Chancellor, University of Pune; Dr. Narayana Murthy, Mentor, Infosys India and many other eminent scholars, academicians, business leaders and researchers. Invited speakers will address Luncheons and Dinners meetings on the India specific topics.

    Paper & abstract submissions:
    Deadline: June 1, 2009 even if early submission are encouraged. Blind review and acceptance letters out to primary author: June 1, 2009 or earlier if possible. Full paper submission deadline: October 1, 2009. Electronic submissions may be emailed to All paper submissions should follow guidelines listed on the journal website .
    Selected papers will be published in the refereed conference proceedings which will be available to all participants at the conference.

    Please send papers and registration fees to:
    Dr. Kishore G. Kulkarni.
    Editor, Indian Journal of Economics and Business, (visit,
    Campus Box 77, P. O. Box 173362
    Metropolitan State College of Denver
    Denver, CO 80217-3362, USA.
    Tel: 303-556-2675. Fax: 303-556-3966


    Satyam Founder Sparks India's Enron With Fake Reports (, Jan 8)
    Ramalinga Raju built Satyam Computer Services Ltd. into India's fourth-biggest software maker over two decades. He undermined the company's future with revelations that he overstated profit and falsified assets for years, triggering a scandal that's being compared to Enron Corp. Satyam fell 78 percent yesterday after Raju told the Hyderabad-based company's board that 50.4 billion rupees ($1.03 billion) of the 53.61 billion rupees of cash and bank balances the company reported on Sept. 30 were non-existent, according to a letter delivered to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

    China Stocks Drop Most in 2 Weeks; Sinopec, Bank of China Fall (, Jan 8)
    China's stocks fell the most in more than two weeks, led by energy and financial companies, after oil prices slumped and billionaire Li Ka-shing sold Hong Kong-traded shares of Bank of China Ltd. PetroChina Co., the nation's biggest oil company, dropped 3.1 percent after crude plunged the most in seven years yesterday. Bank of China Ltd., the country's third largest, lost 2 percent as Li sold $511 million of shares in the company in Hong Kong. China United Telecommunications Corp. and ZTE Corp. declined for a second day after Shenyin & Wanguo Securities Co. said their share prices more than reflect optimism following the award of licenses for high-speed wireless services.

    Chinese VP: Developing Sino-U.S. relations goes with historical trend (People's Daily Online, Jan 8)
    Sino-U.S. relations made remarkable progress over the past three decades. In the past eight years in particular, cooperation in all areas had further developed and coordination in international and regional issues had been fruitful, said Xi. Negroponte said no relationship in the world was more important than U.S-China relations.

    U.S. debt is losing its appeal in China (International Herald Tribune, Jan 8)
    China has bought more than $1 trillion in American debt, but as the global downturn has intensified, Beijing is starting to keep more of its money at home - a shift that could pose some challenges to the U.S. government in the near future but eventually may even produce salutary effects on the world economy. At first glance, the declining Chinese appetite for U.S. debt - apparent in a series of hints from Chinese policy makers over the past two weeks, with official statistics due for release in the next few days - comes at an inopportune time. On Tuesday, the U.S. president-elect, Barack Obama, said Americans should get used to the prospect of "trillion-dollar deficits for years to come" as he seeks to finance an $800 billion economic stimulus package.

    China shifts course as export demand slows (International Herald Tribune, Oct 20)
    The Chinese government has begun drafting tax and spending policies to stimulate the economy after economic growth slowed in the third quarter of this year to 9 percent, the slowest pace since an outbreak of SARS in 2003. The Chinese State Council, or cabinet, met over the weekend and decided to shift the emphasis of economic policy toward maintaining "a stable and rapid economic development," state-controlled media reported Monday. The previous policy had been "to ensure growth and control inflation." As part of the new policy, the State Council announced that it planned to increase export tax rebates for everything from labor-intensive products like garments and textile to high-value products like mechanical and electrical products. Banks will be encouraged to lend more money to small and midsize enterprises and a variety of support programs will be drafted to help farmers, the government said.


    Venezuela Cuts Oil Sales to U.S., China to Comply With OPEC (, Jan 8)
    Venezuela reduced oil exports to the U.S., China and Europe as part of an OPEC output cut designed to bolster prices. Crude sales to the U.S. were lowered by 166,000 barrels a day, sales to China reduced by 18,000 barrels a day, and to Europe by 5,000 barrels a day, the country's Energy and Oil Ministry said in a statement. The largest cut, of 90,000 barrels, is to Louisiana's Chalmette refinery that is owned by Petroleos de Venezuela SA and Exxon Mobil Corp.

    China top coal producer says 2008 output up 20 pct (Reuters, Jan 8)
    China's coal market currently has ample supplies, while despite heating needs in winter demand is weak due to an economic slowdown, dragging down coal sales in recent months. China's power generation fell over 6 percent in December, its third decline in a row as efforts to revive the economy by investing heavily in infrastructure failed to boost industrial activity.

    Strike hits some refineries, natgas supply (Reuters, Jan 8)
    NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Officials at state-run oil firms began a strike on Wednesday demanding higher wages, hitting operations at four refineries and cutting gas supplies, although officials said fuel stocks were adequate for now. State firms dominate India's energy sector, controlling almost the entire supply of transport fuels, natural gas and domestic crude oil in Asia's third-largest oil consumer.

    Popularity of Wind Energy Surges, But Recession May Slow Progress (finding Dulcinea, Jan 8)
    As the United States takes the lead in global wind energy production, the world looks to the alternative fuel as a partial replacement for finite reserves of oil and coal.

    China Datang Eyes Africa as Domestic Power Use Wanes (, Jan 8)
    China Datang Corp., the Chinese power producer with investments in Laos, Cambodia and Kazakhstan, plans to explore the African market as the global financial crisis slows domestic demand for electricity. China's second-biggest power producer signed an accord with the China-Africa Development Fund, initiated by President Hu Jintao in 2006, to help develop ``electricity and relevant industries'' on the continent, China Datang said in a statement on its Web site today. The parent of Hong Kong-listed Datang International Power Generation Co. gave no details.


    Satyam Scandal Shocks IT Sector (WSJ, Jan 8)
    Satyam's rivals could benefit as the customers seek other options, although the company's deviance could taint the whole industry. "I think there could be a flight to quality, which means some of the larger companies, such as Infosys, could benefit," Gilford Securities analyst Ashish Thadhani said. Mr. Thadhani said that non-Indian companies, such as Accenture Ltd. and International Business Machines Corp. also could gain market share. Satyam shares were halted in U.S. trading at $9.35 Wednesday after tumbling as much as 90% in the U.S. before the market opened. "I think it's going to be a mixed bag for the other offshore IT-services firms," said George Price, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. "Both investors and clients and potential clients are going to be more concerned about how stable their providers are."

    China Issues 3-G Licenses to Three Domestic Firms (WSJ, Jan 7)
    China issued third-generation mobile licenses to the country's three telecommunications operators, China Mobile Ltd., China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. and China Telecom Corp., the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said. The ministry issued a license to China Mobile to offer services based on Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access, a homegrown third-generation technology, said spokesman Wang Lijian.

    Lenovo cuts jobs, restructures (Reuters, Jan 8)
    Lenovo Group, the world's fourth-biggest PC maker, forecast a quarterly loss as China's slowing economy hit sales, and said it will axe 2,500 jobs as part of a restructuring to cope with falling demand for computers. Shares in the company, which bought IBM's PC business for $1.25 billion in 2005 to put the Chinese brand on the global stage, slumped by more than a quarter, their biggest fall in 11 years.
    Chinese Court Convicts 11 in Software Piracy Ring (The New York Times, Dec 31)
    A court in southern China convicted 11 people on Wednesday of violating national copyright laws and participating in a sophisticated counterfeiting ring that for years manufactured and distributed pirated Microsoft software throughout the world.

    China targets Google in crackdown on pornography (, Jan 5)
    China launched a major crackdown on Internet pornography Monday targeting popular online portals and major search engines such as Google.


    Developing Countries Get Preferential Treatment Under Doha Talks (Farm Futures, Jan 8)
    McClendon says the U.S. industry already has made ample concessions in trade talks. Speaking at the ongoing 2009 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in San Antonio, McClendon notes that only a few years ago, the U.S. milled about 10% of the world's cotton. Today, it's a mere 3%. Meanwhile, China mills 40% of the entire world's cotton now. Yet, he laments, China is classified only as a "developing" country. He finds irony in that term for China. But because the U.S. is classified as a developed country, it doesn't get the preferential treatment under current world trade protocol as China. Gary Adams, NCC vice president of economics and policy analysis, Cordova, Tenn., says West Africa exports about 90% of its cotton, with much going to China.

    Italy prepares for G8 aid and agriculture meetings (China View, Jan 8)
    Special meetings dedicated to agriculture and development aid will be held for the first time on the sidelines of the G8 summit this year, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on Wednesday. Frattini said he would preside over the two meetings which will be held in Pescara in May, two months before Italy hosts the main G8 summit on the Sardinian island of La Maddalena, according to Italian News Agency ANSA. The minister said food security would be the main topic at the agriculture meeting, while the global financial crisis had necessitated discussions on development aid because many countries had to cut back on contributions.

    Industrial Resources | Manufacturing

    Mining: China looks beyond Africa amid growing choices (, Jan 7)
    China has focused its overseas resources acquisitions in the world's least-developed countries - such as copper concessions in the Democratic Republic of Congo - but could now be poised to expand its reach into Canada, Australia and mining companies in other countries. Moves to buy more developed mining assets would mirror the trends in the agricultural sector, where China has turned its attention away from Africa, instead buying assets in Latin American countries such as Brazil and Argentina.

    Tough lessons for Africa as downturn hits home (Business Day, Jan 8)
    More than 60 Chinese mining companies have left the mineral-rich Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the past two months, as cobalt and copper prices have more than halved. More than 100 small Chinese operators are reported to have left Zambian mines for the same reason. The implications for Africa are many. Economic growth will be slashed. Indeed, the price declines have been so sudden and so brutal many African leaders, who believed they were doing what the west recommended, suddenly find their economies again in tatters.

    Chinese Steelmaker Shows Optimism (WSJ, Jan 8)
    The current pall over the global steel industry is not as severe for Shen Wenrong, chairman of Jiangsu Shagang Group, China's largest private steelmaker. While other companies in the industry are downsizing, Mr. Shen is actively leading his company in exploring the capital and raw-material markets and planning further market expansion based on low-cost advantages. Shagang and copper-tube maker Gaoxin Zhangtong Co. said Dec. 19 that Zhangtong would merge with the steelmaker's subsidiaries Huaigang Special Steel and Anyang Yongxing as a first step toward a long-awaited stock-market listing.

    Environment | Climate Change

    China's green investment challenge (Guardian, Jan 5)
    So far, the Chinese green sector appears to be unscathed from the current financial crisis with no shortage of capital flowing in. The most recent boost of course was the central government's RMB 4 trillion (US$585 billion) economic stimulus package, which includes RMB 350 billion (US$36.5 billion) for environmental projects, such as waste-water treatment and renewable energy facilities.

    Cleantech Investment Slowdown Predicted in 2009 (Jan 7)
    "The way I would interpret [the 2008 numbers] is we are seeing that the cleantech sector is not immune from the global economic environment," said Brian Fan, senior director of research at the Cleantech Group. "What we're seeing in the fourth quarter is the beginning of a trend where I think we'll see the numbers come down a bit and the megarounds, the $150 million and $200 million rounds, come fewer and farther between." Fan added that he doesn't expect a decrease in the total number of deals, but in the average deal size.

    Sustainability Lessons From India: Q&A With Environmental Consultant Trudy Heller (Ecommerce Times, Jan 8)
    An American's first impressions of India often include images of alternate approaches to trash management, intermittent electrical power supplies and issues of environmental sustainability. In this interview with Trudy Heller, those approaches are seen from the perspective of Heller's work designing products for environmental sustainability and providing training to executives in environmental management.

    Corporate Social Responsibility | Business Ethics

    Ethical Firms Fought to Hold Ground in 2008 (ThomasNet, Jan 6)
    In the midst of corporate and political malfeasance in the past year, some companies managed to hold true to their core mission while promoting the well-being of their workers, the public and the planet - to mixed results. It's not all doom and gloom in 2008. Though there have been a few bad apples in the bushel, there were encouraging signs in the area of corporate responsibility during the current financial climate. The following are six companies that have appeared in at least two of the following Top 20 lists - Fortune's most admired, the Ethisphere Institute's most ethical and BusinessWeek's most influential.

    Friends Try to Reconcile 2 Sides of Indian Executive (WSJ, Jan 8)
    Mr. Raju was repeatedly recognized nationally and internationally, getting awards for leadership, entrepreneurship and corporate responsibility. Mr. Raju wasn't available to comment, according to a Satyam spokesman. Mr. Raju has two mantras: scale and speed, those who worked with him say. "He used to say to me, 'I don't want to do this project if it takes 60 years to change the destiny of the people of rural India. I want to do it in five years,'" Mr. Jacob says. As he tried to reconcile Mr. Raju's social conscience with Wednesday's confession, Mr. Jacob blamed investors for pushing companies for short-term growth, driving CEOs to "take shortcuts."

    21st century business responsibilities (The Economic Times, Jan 8)
    In India, the US and elsewhere, business leaders who until 2009 had tried to get government out of business are now urging governments to vigorously save businesses. They want governments to intervene in the markets but, at the same time to keep markets free. This raises questions in the common man's mind about what these beneficiaries of free markets want markets to be free from. Freedom only from barriers to trade? Or also freedom from government regulations? Or even freedom from responsibility for their own actions? Meanwhile, US voters going into the elections in November were no longer prepared to grant business all these freedoms because trust in business institutions and their leaders had broken down.


    India drops 18 places in innovation index (Business Standard, Jan 7)
    India has dropped 18 places in the latest Global Innovation Index as other countries have increased their efforts to foster innovation by spending more on research and development (R&D), and also by creating right environment. According to the index for 2008-09, India is now ranked 41, compared with the previous survey's ranking of 23. While China occupies the 37th slot, US continues to remain on top, scoring high on most of the parameters (see table). "India's ranking has slipped as other countries are progressing faster," said Soumitra Dutta, who developed the methodology for the latest innovation index. "Factors that contribute to low ranking need long and consistent effort. It cannot be improved in the short term." He was referring to India's poor ranking in important parameters like literacy rate (ranking of 72), overall infrastructure quality (70) and university-industry research collaboration (43).

    China to turn Pearl River Delta into "technological innovation lab" (China View, Jan 8)
    The Pearl River Delta, an export-oriented region severely hit by the financial crisis, aims to become a "significant innovation center" in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020, said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) here Thursday. "The delta region had taken the first step in the country's reform and opening-up thirty years ago, which had led to the glorious growth in the region's economy," NDRC vice-director Du Ying said here in a press conference Thursday. He said under the new State Council plan, the government would facilitate innovation to bring about more achievements to the region. In next three years, about 100 state laboratories for engineering innovation and research and development (R&D) will be established, according to the commission.

    Health | Medicine

    More Chinese Overweight or Obese (Voice of America, Jan 6)
    Fatty foods, increased use of automobiles and a drop off in cycling all have contributed to some unwelcome side effects in China. The latest government figures, from 2002, show roughly one fifth of the population is either overweight or obese.

    08 China Pharmaceutical Sector Ran Better than Stock Market (Trading, Jan 7)
    Stock price index in the Chinese pharmaceutical industry fell 45.5% to 2,412.44 from 4,426.62 in 2008, compared with a slump of 65.39% in Shanghai Stock Market (SSE) Composite Index. Stock price index in the chemical medicine industry witnessed the smallest drop of 38%, while the traditional Chinese medicine industry suffered the largest growth of 50.7%.

    Global Pharma looks to India for pain relief (The Economic Times, Jan 8)
    There's probably not been a better time for the Indian pharmaceutical industry. With the global pharma companies cutting back on costs, letting go of people and shutting down plants in large markets, the crisis is palpable. Now, a lot of these players are actively looking to convince Indian companies to set up units in their countries. Over the past couple of months, representatives from at least four such countries have been in India conducting conferences and interacting with senior officials at Indian pharma companies who are open to investing outside India.

    Logistics | Transportation

    India truck strike begins to bite (BBC news, Jan 7)
    Truck operators want cheaper diesel and exemption from road tolls. Talks with the government have broken down. Most freight in India goes by road. A prolonged strike will further push up costs of essential goods, analysts say. Meanwhile, more than 45,000 public sector employees in the oil industry are also threatening industrial action. They are demanding higher wages. The petroleum ministry has responded by saying it will take action against them if they go on strike.

    Airlines push for 11% more passengers this year (China View, Jan 8)
    Domestic carriers are expected to fly 11 percent more passengers this year thanks to government efforts to boost demand. China aims to increase air passenger volume by 11 percent to 220 million this year, compared to the 3.3-percent growth of last year, according to the Ministry of Transport. The volume of cargo and mail will grow by 8 percent to 4.37 million tons, compared with 0.2-percent growth of last year, the ministry said on its Website yesterday.

    Education | Human Capital

    China: Government to Help College Graduates (The New York Times, Jan 8)
    China announced a series of measures aimed at helping millions of recent college graduates find work amid the deepening impact of the global financial crisis. Chinese officials have warned that the slowing economy will severely affect employment prospects, with job seekers in the cities already outnumbering available jobs by two to one. There were nearly 5.6 million university graduates in China in 2008.

    Blazing the trail for private universities in China (, Jan 7)
    Xi'an Fanyi University has blazed a trail in China's education through its pioneering, innovative educational style, large number of boarding students and high graduate employment rate. In the late 1980s competition for a place at universities and colleges in the nation was so intense that about two million high school graduates were unable to go on higher education each year.   The students wanted to find an alternative to continue their education, which they believed would be a better way to develop a career. So Xi'an Fanyi University was founded.

    Enhancing employability of India's IT workforce (CIOL, Jan 7)
    Every year, India produces more than 2.5 million university graduates, of which 20 perceent are engineering majors. NASSCOM estimates that only 25 percent of these technical graduates and approximately 15 percent of other graduates are considered employable by the rapidly growing IT and ITeS companies. NASSCOM also predicts that India's IT sector will face a shortfall of half a million professionals by 2010, while a recent IDC report suggests India will experience a shortfall of 118,000 skilled IT networking professionals in 2008 alone.

    Newsletter staff

    International Contributors Editorial Board
    RJ Paulsick - Co-Editor
    Roxanne Russell - Co-Editor
    Geoff Hiscock - Australia
    Harsha Harjani - Hong Kong
    Dr. Nilay Yajnik - India
    Farhad Mirzaei - Iran
    Ajay Sharma - Netherlands
    Melissa Steinmetz - UK
    Dr. Daney Jackson - USA
    Dr. John R. McIntyre - USA
    Dr. Sudhanva Char - Academic Resources
    Shree Pandya - Engaging Youth
    Laurel Askue - Environment & Conservation
    Christopher Chan - Intellectual Property

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