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NATO official warns rising ammunition prices hinder security, calls for private investment

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A top NATO military official on Saturday warned that a drastic rise in ammunition prices means that allies’ higher defence spending does not automatically translate into greater security and called for more private investment in defence companies.

The remarks came after a meeting of the alliance’s chiefs of defence in Oslo on Saturday, according to a report published by Reuters. 

Dutch Admiral Rob Bauer, the chair of NATO’s military committee said, “Prices for equipment and ammunition are shooting up. Right now, we are paying more and more for exactly the same. That means that we cannot make sure that the increased defence spending actually leads to more security.”

NATO has been pressing for a boost in defence production to satisfy a demand for weapons and equipment that has soared since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as allies not only rush supplies to Kyiv but also build up their own inventories.

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One major concern has been a shortage of 155mm artillery rounds, with Kyiv firing up to 10,000 of these shells per day, Reuters reported.

Earlier in February, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned Kyiv was burning through shells much faster than the West could produce them.

“Long-term stability needs to prevail over short-term profits. As we have seen in Ukraine, war is a whole of society event. Such investment was in the private sector’s strategic interest as well,” he said.

“Forty per cent of the (Ukrainian) economy evaporated in the first days of the war, that was private money to a large extent, that money is gone,” he added as quoted by Reuters. 

However, there was no correlation between a shortage of ammunition and the arduous progress of the counteroffensive in Ukraine, according to Bauer.

“The reason why it takes time is that it is extremely dangerous, because there’s an enormous amount of mines in a very deep minefield – more than 10 kilometres – with five, six mines per square meter,” he said, noting Ukraine was still advancing 200 or 300 meters per day, as per Reuters reports.

In 2024, NATO will be holding its largest collective defence drills since the Cold War, with over 40,000 troops from across the alliance set to take part in the exercise Steadfast Defender in Germany, Poland and the three Baltic states.

 

(With Reuters inputs)

 

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Tense diplomatic relations may not impact trade, investment ties between India, Canada: Experts

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NEW DELHI: The tense diplomatic relations between India and Canada are unlikely to impact trade and investments between the two countries as economic ties are driven by commercial considerations, according to experts. Both India and Canada trade in complementary products and do not compete on similar products.
“Hence, the trade relationship will continue to grow and not be affected by day-to-day events,” Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI) Co-Founder Ajay Srivastava said.
Certain political developments have led to a pause in negotiations for a free trade agreement between the two countries.
On September 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau India’s strong concerns about the continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada that were promoting secessionism, inciting violence against its diplomats and threatening the Indian community there.
India on Tuesday announced the expulsion of a Canadian diplomat hours after Canada asked an Indian official to leave that country, citing a “potential” Indian link to the killing of a Khalistani separatist leader in June.
Srivastava said these recent events are unlikely to affect the deep-rooted people-to-people connections, trade, and economic ties between the two nations.
Bilateral trade between India and Canada has grown significantly in recent years, reaching USD 8.16 billion in 2022-23.
India’s exports (USD 4.1 billion) to Canada include pharmaceuticals, gems and jewellery, textiles, and machinery, while Canada’s exports to India (USD 4.06 billion) include pulses, timber, pulp and paper, and mining products.
On investments, he said that Canadian pension funds will continue investing in India on grounds of India’s large market and good return on money invested.
Canadian pension funds, by the end of 2022, had invested over USD 45 billion in India, making it the fourth-largest recipient of Canadian FDI in the world.
The top sectors for Canadian pension fund investment in India include infrastructure, renewable energy, technology, and financial services.
Mumbai-based exporter and Chairman of Technocraft Industries Sharad Kumar Saraf said the present frosty relations between India and Canada are certainly a cause for concern.
“However, the bilateral trade is entirely driven by commercial considerations. Political turmoil is of a temporary nature and should not be a reason to affect trade relations,” Saraf said.
He added that even with China, India has acrimonious relations but bilateral trade continues to remain healthy.
“In fact, bilateral trade is an effective tool to improve political relations. India must make special efforts to increase our bilateral trade with Canada,” Saraf said.
India and Canada have a strong education partnership. There are over 200 educational partnerships between Indian and Canadian institutions.
In addition, over 3,19,000 Indian students are enrolled in Canadian institutions, making them the largest international student cohort in Canada, according to GTRI.
According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), Indian students contributed USD 4.9 billion to the Canadian economy in 2021.
Indian students are the largest international student group in Canada, accounting for 20 per cent of all international students in 2021.
Benefits of educational partnerships are mutual and hence the current situation may have no impact on the relationship, Srivastava said.

 

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Apple supplier Foxconn aims to double India jobs and investment

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Apple supplier Foxconn aims to double its workforce and investment in India by next year, a company executive said on Sunday.

Taiwan-based Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics, has rapidly expanded its presence in India by investing in manufacturing facilities in the south of the country as the company seeks to move away from China.

V Lee, Foxconn’s representative in India, in a LinkedIn post to mark Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 73rd birthday, said the company was “aiming for another doubling of employment, FDI (foreign direct investment), and business size in India” by this time next year.

He did not give more details.

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Foxconn already has an iPhone factory employing 40,000 people in the state of Tamil Nadu.

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Foxconn dangles incentives for workers as iPhone shortages plague holiday season

Foxconn dangles incentives for workers as iPhone shortages plague holiday season

In August, the state of Karnataka said the firm will invest US$600 million for two projects to make casing components for iPhones and chip-making equipment.

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The company’s Chairman Liu Young-way said in an earnings briefing last month that he sees a lot of potential in India, adding: “several billion dollars in investment is only a beginning”.

Taiwan election: Foxconn’s Terry Gou taps star-powered running mate

 

Last month, Foxconn’s billionaire founder Terry Gou said he would run for the Taiwanese presidency in next year’s election, as an independent candidate.

He said the ruling and independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was unable to offer a bright future for the island and left Foxconn’s board following his decision to run.

The firm operates the world’s largest iPhone plant, in the city of Zhengzhou in Henan province.

 

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Foxconn to double workforce, investment in India by ‘this time next year’

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Foxconn, Taiwan-based Apple supplier, has said that they are planning to double their investment and workforce in India within the next twelve months, according to V Lee’s LinkedIn post on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 73rd birthday.

Taiwan-based Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics, has rapidly expanded its presence in India by investing in manufacturing facilities in the south of the country as the company seeks to move away from China.

Notably, Foxconn already has an iPhone factory in the state of Tamil Nadu, which employs 40,000 people.

V Lee, Foxconn‘s representative in India, in a LinkedIn post to mark Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 73rd birthday, said the company was “aiming for another doubling of employment, FDI (foreign direct investment), and business size in India” by this time next year.

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In August this year, Karnataka governments had said that Foxconn has planned to invest $600 million for two projects in the state to make casing components for iPhones and chip-making equipment.

Earlier this month, Young Liu, Chairman and CEO of Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) had said, ‘India will be an important country in terms of manufacturing in future’.

In the past, it took 30 years to build the entire supply chain ecosystem in China, he noted, adding that while it will take an “appropriate amount of time in India” and the process will be shorter given the experience. The environment too is not quite the same, he said pointing to the advent of new technologies like AI and generative AI.

Meanwhile, Apple Inc. has announced plans to make the India-built iPhone 15 available in the South Asian country and some other regions on the global sales debut day, according to a Bloomberg report.

While the vast majority of iPhone 15s will come from China, that would be the first time a latest generation, India-assembled device is available on the first day of sale, they said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.

Apple introduced the iPhone 15, updated watches and AirPods at a gala event at its US headquarters. Sales of new products begin typically around 10 days after the unveiling.

 

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