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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Competitive horizon From: Strategic Direction, Volume 26, Issue 7
Stronger growth predicted for Indian economy
It is reported by Domain B (www.domain-b.com) that India’s prime minister’s economic advisory council (PMEAC) is predicting that the country’s economy will expand by 7.5 percent during the current fiscal year. This represents a significant upward revision of the council’s 6.5 percent forecast from last October and is 0.3 percent higher than the figure suggested by the Central Statistical Organization (CSO). Industrial and service sectors will continue to drive the increased economic activity and both are projected to report growth of around 9 percent. According to CSO data, industrial output in December 2009 grew by 16.8 percent, its highest rise for 15 years. In contrast, the report predicts that agriculture will contract over the same period before rebounding next year on the way to hitting target growth of 4 percent during 2011-12. Initial PMEAC estimates forecast GDP will increase by 8.2 percent in 2010-11 and by 9 percent over the subsequent fiscal year. However, high inflation affecting both primary and manufactured food items is an issue for current concern. The council remains alert to the possibility that measures may be needed to prevent inflationary pressures spreading to impact more generally on price levels.
Middle East to provide opportunities for global food industry
According to a report published by Food Navigator (www.foodnavigator.com), the Middle Eastern market is becoming an increasingly attractive proposition to food companies worldwide. It is reported that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and the other nations within the Gulf Cooperation Council import around 90 percent of their foods at present. Food expenditure in 2009 reached $6.78 billion in the UAE alone. Although the UAE government has helped set up 150 food processing plants in the country, it hopes that its support will help increase the number further. This provides scope for companies to provide ingredients to domestic manufacturers and for global operators to create foods that cater specifically to regional tastes. Manufacturers and distributors seeking opportunities in the Middle East attended the 2010 Gulfood event, held in Dubai. The annual exhibition attracts suppliers from all over the world and France, Austria, Germany, Brazil and Afghanistan were among the countries represented by firms that already serve the region.
Growth predicted for Philippines property market
Liquidity, election spending, bank spending and investment trust regulations are cited as key reasons for expecting the property market in the Philippines to grow by at least 10 percent in 2010. CB Richard Ellis Philippines believes that the office sector will be the main driver of growth that will, however, occur across the board. The retail estate firm also expects a considerable increase in demand for residential and retail property. According to a report published by Malaya (www.malaya.com), greater flexibility among property landlords is also helping to generate more demand. Growth of the business process outsourcing industry is expected to have a similar impact. The report also points out the significance of the Retail Estate Investment Trust (REIT) law. Among other things, the law enables property developers to place their assets in REIT firms that utilize investor capital to purchase and manage income properties and mortgage loans. It is claimed by CB Richard Ellis that placing assets into REIT companies can further demand for commercial and office properties, while also potentially stimulating growth in retail tourism and industrial and logistics centers.
Specialist refinery set for South Africa
South Africa is planning to build its first refinery for rare metals, a report published by Business Day (www.businessday.co.za) points out. It is anticipated that titanium, zirconium, magnesium and silicon will be produced at the plant, along with derivative products. At present, rare metals are mined and exported mainly in their raw condition. Significant opportunities exist as the country boasts sizeable reserves of rare minerals. For instance, South Africa’s quantities of titanium and zirconium are second only to those held by China and Australia respectively. The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) are handling the project in unison with partners from Russia and the United States. Construction of the refinery will start in 2012 with capacity intended mainly for overseas markets. When it becomes fully operational in 2014, the export value of metals produced could reach 500 million rand. Around 5,000 permanent positions could be created by this time in addition to the anticipated 2,800 workers needed during construction. Project leaders also hope to generate downstream industries to capitalize on growing demand for these rare metals used currently in cellphones, military technology, electric cars and alternative energy generation.