Trump’s America Takes One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Trump’s America Takes One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Posted by: on Jul 9, 2018 | No Comments

The US has imposed 25% tariffs on Chinese imports worth $34 billion. Beijing immediately retaliated with tariffs on $34 billion worth of US imports. The Trump administration is working on a second wave of tariffs on Chinese goods

Will Trumponomics Drive America into Another Recession?

Will Trumponomics Drive America into Another Recession?

Posted by: on Jul 2, 2018 | No Comments

The Trump economy received an “important endorsement” from Fed Chairman Jay Power, who said, “The US economy is in great shape…Most people who want to find jobs are finding them,” said an article published by Yahoo Finance on June

Trade and Prosperity: Where Does India Stand?

Posted by: on Dec 21, 2011 | 4 Comments

Economic Growth and prosperity have always been measured by the values and volumes of international trade. Both exports and imports are critical to economic development and prosperity. Exports bring in the much-needed foreign exchange and earnings into

Open The Borders

Posted by: on Oct 10, 2006 | No Comments

We have our freedom to move & settle, according to our choice. Then what is it, that chains our feet?

>Trade will make us rich

Posted by: on Jul 24, 2006 | No Comments

>

Countries which trade are rich. Countries which don’t are poor.

If I were to pick up one indicator of the wealth of a nation, that would be its exports and imports. Consider India: its share of world trade which was 2.5% at the time of its Independence, had plummeted to 0.45% by the late 80s.

It was a pathetic performance. India, with 16% of the world’s population, would have had to increase its imports and exports by 32 times to just reach the world’s ‘average’. India remained poor – its people had to survive on less than a dollar a day.

Compare this with a ‘dot’ on the globe: Singapore. With a population of just 4.2 million, its imports and exports are double that of India’s. This translates to each Singaporean trading, on average, 500 times more than an Indian. No wonder an average Singaporean lives comfortably, enjoying an annual income of over US$ 25,000.

Some say that the comparison with Singapore is not apt. Let us compare China with India. ‘Anti-capitalist’ China’s trade with the world has burgeoned to a trillion dollars, five times that of India’s while China’s population exceeds India’s by just 28%. Chinese now enjoy an annual income which is more than twice that of the Indians while just three decades ago the Chinese were poorer.

Contrast Nepal with Switzerland. Both countries are landlocked, but, the similarity ends there. Again trade provides an indication of why Nepal lags behind. Nepal’s imports and exports don’t add upto even three billion dollars. Switzerland’s figure is 326 billion dollars.

On a per person basis, the comparison is even more stark. Each person in Switzerland trades 400 times more than a Nepali. Switzerland’s per capita annual income at US$ 35,000 is one of the world’s highest.

Trade is not the only reason for Switzerland’s wealth. Their banking laws which guarantee anonymity to the depositor also have a lot to do with the Swiss being rich. However, trade plays a significant role.

Why are Singaporeans and the Swiss such good traders, achieving a prodigious percentage of the world’s trade, while the Indians and Nepalese are bit players and do not count? High taxes and stifling controls pursued by Nepal and India compared to the free market, low tax policies (average import duty is below one percent) of Singapore and Switzerland is the reason.

India, upto 1990, was ‘protected’ by the world’s highest tariff rates, import bans on all consumer products, and an inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy bent upon controlling trade.

The results of this ‘protection’ were obvious. Indians who would buy from a Scot and sell to Jew and still make a profit had no opportunity to do so in the world markets.

Post 1990, India began to see sense, but only after its policies had brought the economy to a shuddering halt. It had no foreign currency left and had to pawn its gold reserves. India liberalized and very soon its trade took off and dollar reserves started accumulating.


Within 15 years India achieved what it could not do in the earlier five decades. Its share of world trade has increased to 0.8% and foreign exchange reserves have crossed the 140 billion dollar mark starting from almost nothing.

If this was achieved with only a modest reduction of controls and import duties, consider what can be attained by the abolition of all controls and taxes on trade.

The good news for Nepal is that it can rewrite its laws tomorrow. There is nothing stopping this country from emulating Singapore and eliminating its trade barriers.

The government has to do just this and then watch the people of this country take to trade as a child takes to candy. Nepal will have shopping malls no less full of merchandise than Singapore. Goods will be cheaper too as both labour and real estate are priced lower.

Further Nepal will get as many tourists as it can handle. Why should people from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan go to Singapore, Hong Kong or Dubai when they can come to Nepal with its warm, hospitable people, majestic mountains, and, yes, cheaper perfumes too.

The Himalyan Times

>Trade will make us rich

Posted by: on Jul 24, 2006 | No Comments

>

Countries which trade are rich. Countries which don’t are poor.

If I were to pick up one indicator of the wealth of a nation, that would be its exports and imports. Consider India: its share of world trade which was 2.5% at the time of its Independence, had plummeted to 0.45% by the late 80s.

It was a pathetic performance. India, with 16% of the world’s population, would have had to increase its imports and exports by 32 times to just reach the world’s ‘average’. India remained poor – its people had to survive on less than a dollar a day.

Compare this with a ‘dot’ on the globe: Singapore. With a population of just 4.2 million, its imports and exports are double that of India’s. This translates to each Singaporean trading, on average, 500 times more than an Indian. No wonder an average Singaporean lives comfortably, enjoying an annual income of over US$ 25,000.

Some say that the comparison with Singapore is not apt. Let us compare China with India. ‘Anti-capitalist’ China’s trade with the world has burgeoned to a trillion dollars, five times that of India’s while China’s population exceeds India’s by just 28%. Chinese now enjoy an annual income which is more than twice that of the Indians while just three decades ago the Chinese were poorer.

Contrast Nepal with Switzerland. Both countries are landlocked, but, the similarity ends there. Again trade provides an indication of why Nepal lags behind. Nepal’s imports and exports don’t add upto even three billion dollars. Switzerland’s figure is 326 billion dollars.

On a per person basis, the comparison is even more stark. Each person in Switzerland trades 400 times more than a Nepali. Switzerland’s per capita annual income at US$ 35,000 is one of the world’s highest.

Trade is not the only reason for Switzerland’s wealth. Their banking laws which guarantee anonymity to the depositor also have a lot to do with the Swiss being rich. However, trade plays a significant role.

Why are Singaporeans and the Swiss such good traders, achieving a prodigious percentage of the world’s trade, while the Indians and Nepalese are bit players and do not count? High taxes and stifling controls pursued by Nepal and India compared to the free market, low tax policies (average import duty is below one percent) of Singapore and Switzerland is the reason.

India, upto 1990, was ‘protected’ by the world’s highest tariff rates, import bans on all consumer products, and an inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy bent upon controlling trade.

The results of this ‘protection’ were obvious. Indians who would buy from a Scot and sell to Jew and still make a profit had no opportunity to do so in the world markets.

Post 1990, India began to see sense, but only after its policies had brought the economy to a shuddering halt. It had no foreign currency left and had to pawn its gold reserves. India liberalized and very soon its trade took off and dollar reserves started accumulating.


Within 15 years India achieved what it could not do in the earlier five decades. Its share of world trade has increased to 0.8% and foreign exchange reserves have crossed the 140 billion dollar mark starting from almost nothing.

If this was achieved with only a modest reduction of controls and import duties, consider what can be attained by the abolition of all controls and taxes on trade.

The good news for Nepal is that it can rewrite its laws tomorrow. There is nothing stopping this country from emulating Singapore and eliminating its trade barriers.

The government has to do just this and then watch the people of this country take to trade as a child takes to candy. Nepal will have shopping malls no less full of merchandise than Singapore. Goods will be cheaper too as both labour and real estate are priced lower.

Further Nepal will get as many tourists as it can handle. Why should people from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan go to Singapore, Hong Kong or Dubai when they can come to Nepal with its warm, hospitable people, majestic mountains, and, yes, cheaper perfumes too.

The Himalyan Times

Trade will make us rich

Posted by: on Jul 24, 2006 | No Comments

Countries which trade are rich. Countries which don’t are poor.

If I were to pick up one indicator of the wealth of a nation, that would be its exports and imports. Consider India: its share of world trade which was 2.5% at the time of its Independence, had plummeted to 0.45% by the late 80s.

It was a pathetic performance. India, with 16% of the world’s population, would have had to increase its imports and exports by 32 times to just reach the world’s ‘average’. India remained poor – its people had to survive on less than a dollar a day.

Compare this with a ‘dot’ on the globe: Singapore. With a population of just 4.2 million, its imports and exports are double that of India’s. This translates to each Singaporean trading, on average, 500 times more than an Indian. No wonder an average Singaporean lives comfortably, enjoying an annual income of over US$ 25,000.

Some say that the comparison with Singapore is not apt. Let us compare China with India. ‘Anti-capitalist’ China’s trade with the world has burgeoned to a trillion dollars, five times that of India’s while China’s population exceeds India’s by just 28%. Chinese now enjoy an annual income which is more than twice that of the Indians while just three decades ago the Chinese were poorer.

Contrast Nepal with Switzerland. Both countries are landlocked, but, the similarity ends there. Again trade provides an indication of why Nepal lags behind. Nepal’s imports and exports don’t add upto even three billion dollars. Switzerland’s figure is 326 billion dollars.

On a per person basis, the comparison is even more stark. Each person in Switzerland trades 400 times more than a Nepali. Switzerland’s per capita annual income at US$ 35,000 is one of the world’s highest.

Trade is not the only reason for Switzerland’s wealth. Their banking laws which guarantee anonymity to the depositor also have a lot to do with the Swiss being rich. However, trade plays a significant role.

Why are Singaporeans and the Swiss such good traders, achieving a prodigious percentage of the world’s trade, while the Indians and Nepalese are bit players and do not count? High taxes and stifling controls pursued by Nepal and India compared to the free market, low tax policies (average import duty is below one percent) of Singapore and Switzerland is the reason.

India, upto 1990, was ‘protected’ by the world’s highest tariff rates, import bans on all consumer products, and an inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy bent upon controlling trade.

The results of this ‘protection’ were obvious. Indians who would buy from a Scot and sell to Jew and still make a profit had no opportunity to do so in the world markets.

Post 1990, India began to see sense, but only after its policies had brought the economy to a shuddering halt. It had no foreign currency left and had to pawn its gold reserves. India liberalized and very soon its trade took off and dollar reserves started accumulating.

Within 15 years India achieved what it could not do in the earlier five decades. Its share of world trade has increased to 0.8% and foreign exchange reserves have crossed the 140 billion dollar mark starting from almost nothing.

If this was achieved with only a modest reduction of controls and import duties, consider what can be attained by the abolition of all controls and taxes on trade.

The good news for Nepal is that it can rewrite its laws tomorrow. There is nothing stopping this country from emulating Singapore and eliminating its trade barriers.

The government has to do just this and then watch the people of this country take to trade as a child takes to candy. Nepal will have shopping malls no less full of merchandise than Singapore. Goods will be cheaper too as both labour and real estate are priced lower.

Further Nepal will get as many tourists as it can handle. Why should people from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan go to Singapore, Hong Kong or Dubai when they can come to Nepal with its warm, hospitable people, majestic mountains, and, yes, cheaper perfumes too.

The Himalyan Times

Trade, Tourism and Gambling

Posted by: on Nov 27, 2004 | No Comments

After a gap of a few years I again visited Las Vegas in the US to attend a gambling conference and exhibition. Hotel rooms continue to be added at a break-neck pace to the already existing stock of over 1,25,000 rooms in the city. The latest two billion-dollar casino cum hotel almost ready is the ‘Wynn’.

Even more than being a gambler’s Mecca, Las Vegas has become a destination of choice for the world’s biggest conferences. And why not? Las Vegas has the accommodation – dozens of hotels with 5,000 rooms each – mega shopping malls, entertainment, and the world’s biggest conference infrastructure.

How did this happen? What made Las Vegas in the middle of the desert state of Nevada, the fastest growing city in whole of the US? Las Vegas shows the power of enlightened laws. It shows what can be achieved by lawmakers when they act in accordance with our basic instincts to be free to do what we want to with our money including gambling it away.

Las Vegas is in a perpetual boom because it has legitimate gambling, is liberal in issuing casino licenses, and has no state income tax. Realizing that gambling cannot be eliminated by merely declaring it illegal, the lawmakers of Nevada did away with hypocrisy which characterizes politicians, faced upto the truth, and said, ‘lets make Nevada the world’s gambling capital’. I cannot think of any other advantageous factor that sets Nevada apart from other states in the US.

In fact, whatever other facts come to mind about Las Vegas and Nevada are negative. Nevada is landlocked having no access to the seas like California has. And yet it is Las Vegas which is thriving while California has been in an economic decline for more than a decade. People of California finally rebelled against their governor, threw him out of office, and brought in Arnold Schwarzenegger who promptly reduced taxes on cars by 66% – one of his most popular actions so far.

Nevada has an arid landscape and an inhospitable climate. California’s coastline makes its cities like San Francisco have perhaps the best weather in the whole of US – whatever may be the time of the year, it is neither too hot nor too cold. However, all this is scant comfort to businessmen who prefer lower taxes in Nevada. Many move out of California and migrate to Nevada to take advantage of its liberal business environment.

This shows yet again the importance which businessmen attach to low taxes and low regulation. A desert blossoms while an oasis shrivels – all depending on what the policies instituted by the state are.

At the conference, I noticed that there were exhibitors showing their wares from all over the world. There were roulette wheels from England, horse-racing simulators from South Korea, computerized gaming devices from Slovakia, and slot machines from Australia. There was hardly a continent which was not represented.

What amazed me was the number of products they had moved from their countries to the Las Vegas exhibition center; the exhibition covered over 200,000 sq. fts. I asked some of the exhibitors whether they faced any regulatory problems in bringing their goods for showcasing in the US? They said, ‘No’.

Contrast this with what would happen in Nepal; a company from Bangladesh wanting to bring its goods to exhibit in Kathmandu, would have to obtain multiple government approvals. Customs here would presume that the foreign exhibitor is going to sell his goods in Nepal, and would, therefore require it to make a deposit equivalent to the duty payable on importing that particular good. In the US, no such deposits have to be made. The conference organizers have special approvals which make showcased products duty exempt.

It is enlightened practices like this which result in a massive influx of conference tourists to the US. Everything is linked. Lower regulation helps tourism which in turn gives a boost to trade as well.

Nepal can do better than the US, why not convert this nation into a duty free one? Watch it boom as people come for shopping, gambling, and yes for conferences too.

The Himalyan Times