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BW Businessworld

Treading On The Trading Path

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Pakistan seems to be responding positively to India's offer to close the gap in bilateral ties. Sixteen years after India granted its neighbour the most favoured nation (MFN) status, Pakistan has reciprocated the gesture and has decided to phase out major trade restrictions on Indian imports. Union commerce minister Anand Sharma, who was recently part of a 100-member trade delegation to Islamabad, welcomed the move, saying, "flourishing trade is the biggest confidence building measure among any two nations." The Confederation of Indian Industry echoed the same sentiments. Pakistan recently scrapped a system of allowing imports of fewer than 2,000 items from India. It moved to a ‘negative list', which bans around 600 items, but allows trade in all other goods. Pakistan plans to scrap this list by the end of this year.

Spectrum Struggle
A month after the Supreme Court cancelled 122 licences for 2G spectrum, the affected parties are warming up. Russian conglomerate Sistema, which is among the worst hit, sent a notice to the government on Tuesday, warning that if the dispute is not settled amicably, it would approach an international tribunal. Tata Teleservices, meanwhile, moved the court seeking a review of the cancellation.

Tech War
Call it the clash of the titans. At a time when Microsoft marches towards Windows 8, whose test version was released last week, Apple is revving up a new version of Mac OS X called Mountain Lion. Meanwhile, iPad 3 will be out on 7 March, along with an 8GB iPad 2.

Shutters Down
It is pack up time for Subhiksha Trading Service. On Wednesday, the Madras High Court ordered the winding up of the 15-year-old firm in response to a 2008 petition filed by Kotak Mahindra Bank, to which the retailer owes about Rs 40 crore. Subhiksha has got three weeks to respond.

Privacy Issues
Google is going ahead with its controversial privacy policy despite protests from users and warnings from the European Union, which is known for its tough anti-trust laws. The policy, which took off on Thursday, is a consolidation of Google's 70-odd privacy policies across its products. But Google defends it, saying not much has changed.

Real Value
In one of the biggest property deals in India in recent years, the real estate arm of Adani Enterprises (AEL) has bought a two-acre land parcel in Andheri, Mumbai, from property developer HDIL for Rs 900 crore. Earlier this month, AEL had said it was exiting real estate business to focus on ports and logistics. 

OFF THE SHELF: Court order puts Subhiksha in a spot (BW pic by Subhabrata Das)

Cycling Abroad
As part of a deal made with retail giant Walmart, Hero Cycles will ship bicycles across the world. "We intend to double our cycle sales to 10 million units annually by 2015... we are exploring new geographies. We are approved with Walmart and can leverage their network to expand overseas," said its managing director Pankaj Munjal.

Designed To Click

PUREVIEW: Nokia strikes back (Bloomberg)

The new Nokia 808 PureView seems to be an astonishing beast, a cameraphone with a 41 megapixel lens, when others in the league can shoot only 5- or 8-megapixel images. Surprisingly, the 808 runs on Symbian, which Nokia had said it would stop using. A low-end Lumia 610, also launched on Monday, has a more modern Windows.

Foreign Interest
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), which had stayed away from the Indian markets last year, seem to be coming back with a vengeance. In 2012, investment into Indian stocks by FIIs has crossed $7 billion, out of which more than $5 billion were pumped in February alone.

Hiring For A Cause
Non-governmental organisations are hiring. According to the Monster Employment Index India, hiring in the non-governmental sector rose 60 per cent in 2011 compared to the previous year.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 12-03-2012)