Global Trade


  

BREXIT Update: Theresa May announces stepping down as UK PM

On 24th May 2019, Theresa May announced her decision to step down as the UK Prime Minister. This follows the inconclusive cross-party talks between Labour and the Conservative parties; and an overwhelmingly negative response to her new Brexit proposal thereafter. UK’s future political direction, particularly regarding Brexit, will now depend on who succeeds May as the Conservative leader and the next Prime Minister. If a hard-Brexiteer leader takes over, one of their first actions will be to step up preparations for no deal Brexit. Implications: Overall this entails continuation of the general environment of uncertainty for businesses for NASSCOM members in the UK. That said, core policy issues for us, e.g. immigration policy regime, data security regimes remain unchanged If a hard-Brexit ...

Brexit Update – Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Bill

On 14th May 2019, Downing Street announced that the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) will be brought for voting before UK MPs in the first week of June 2019. It looks likely that PM May will struggle to secure the requisite number of votes to pass the WAB given cross-party Brexit talks between Labour and the Tories now widely expected to fail. If the WAB were to be defeated at Second Reading it would not be able to be reintroduced in the current session of Parliament, in effect ending PM May’s hopes of securing Brexit. She would then be under intense pressure to resign, triggering a Tory leadership contest during June-September 2019. For Indian companies in the UK, this entails continuation of the general environment of uncertainty for businesses. That said, core policy issues for us...

White House Immigration Announcement – Overview and initial implications

Overview – On Thursday, May 16th 2019, President Trump delivered a Rose Garden address at the White House on his vision to modernize America’s immigration system The immigration reform proposal was developed by Jared Kushner, President’s advisor President Trump’s speech reflects the framework that was developed by Kushner: it is light on specific details and the President said he was leaving it up to Congress to develop the specific legislative language Implications – There is no actual plan yet. The President mapped out a broad blueprint and called on Congress to fill in the details and write a specific piece of legislation The blueprint focuses largely on “reforming” America’s permanent immigration system and moving away from being predominantly a family-based system to a merit-based poi...

NASSCOM signs MOU for a Strategic partnership with Business Sweden to foster Indo-Swedish Innovation for Sustainability & Global Challenges.

NASSCOM signed an MOU for a Strategic Partnership with Business Sweden to foster Indo-Swedish innovation in areas of sustainability and global challenges. The program UNNATI is a by-product of the visit of Hon’ble PM of India, Shri Narendra Modi’s to Stockholm last year, wherein he signed a ‘Joint Declaration on Innovation Partnership for a Sustainable Future’ with the Swedish PM Stefan Lofven. UNNATI has large Swedish enterprises like  Astra Zeneca Volvo, Ericsson, Ikea, ABB on board and getting them to narrow down their requirements so that the right Startup can be scouted for ( In India) through an application process. These Swedish Enterprises are either present in a big way in India or keen to expand in the Indian market. As touch points within these companies, UNNATI has (in most cas...

Key learnings from my Israel trip

I spent a few days in Israel to understand the phenomena first hand. Here are my 3 key takeaways: 1) Israelis see innovation as their most precious natural resource – it’s a mindset that gets created from school and nurtured every step of the way. They believe their survival depends on it, e.g., every entrepreneur starts their business with the knowledge that there is no domestic market in Israel. Their success depends on their ability to build for global markets. And for that they have to depend on their ability to innovate better than others. It’s built into the design of their success mantra. 2) A connected ecosystem – I have not seen any country connect every single part of its ecosystem to drive innovation and entrepreneurship as effectively as Israel does. Fro...

Israel Tech Alliance Program 2019

We are pleased to apprise you on our recently concluded Israel Tech Alliance program that was held on 5-8 March 2019. The program was a combination of awareness of the tech landscape, meeting all the relevant stakeholders, focused B2B’s for our members, exploration of potential co-creation models. The participants were a nice mix of large IT services companies, SMEs, GCCs, Product companies & Start-up’s. While the detailed update is attached herewith, few key highlights are mentioned below for your reference – Program was led by NASSCOM President and we had 22 participants from 10 companies attending the program. This was one of the most diverse set of companies we have had in recent times. We had organised an Indian pavilion during OurCrowd Summit in Jerusalem, we managed to get the e...

US Policy: H-1B Lottery Reversal and Pre-Registration System

Background and Overview of Measures – On 30th January 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Services announced the final rule on the H-1B registration system and lottery systems. The rule will be published in the Federal Register on 31st January, and will go into effect on 1st April. The electronic registration requirement is suspended for (at least) this upcoming FY 2020 H-1B cap season. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was announced by USCIS for the same, on 30th November 2018. This entails creating a pre-registration system for the H-1B visa program and change the order in which petitions are adjudicated. Per USCIS, shifting to electronic registration would reduce overall costs for petitioners and create a more efficient and cost-effective H-1B cap petition process. The proposed c...

Brexit Update: March 12th vote in UK Parliament

The UK Parliament on March 12th inflicted a defeat on PM May, rejecting her Brexit deal by 242 to 391 – a majority of 149. While this is a smaller margin of defeat than it was in January 2019, (majority against her was 230); the big question now is what, if anything, the PM can salvage from here. PM May’s immediate response was the deal on offer is the only deal available; and stressing that no deal is not in the UK’s interest. She confirmed that the next step is for UK Government to table a motion, to be voted on today (March 13th), to take the House’s view on whether it supports ‘no deal’ and that this will be a free vote. She also said that, should the House reject this there will be a vote on Thursday (March 14th) on extending Article 50. Crux of her argument remains the same: these vo...

BREXIT Vote – Overview and Implications

On 29th January 2019, the UK Parliament voted in favour of PM May’s Brexit deal if alternative arrangements are found to the Irish backstop. By a majority of 16, Parliament supported May’s deal if an alternative can be found to the current Irish backstop proposal that aims to keep open the Irish border in all circumstances. UK Parliament also voted against no deal in principle: on a separate amendment by a narrower margin – of eight votes – but this is not legally binding and is only advisory. Both amendments that would have allowed the UK Parliament to take control of Parliamentary time to vote or legislate on taking no deal off the table or on other Brexit alternatives – were defeated. This is good news for PM May, and demonstrates a reassertion of Conservative party discipline. The over...

SLUSH – A Great Way to Connect in the Nordics

Slush, is an unusual name for a tech conference. So be it! It’s very popular (20000 attendees, 3000 startups, 1500 investors and 650 journalists participated) and the one we took a delegation to was in Helsinki (Dec 4 -5). Global events like these are perfect platforms for getting people to discover your product and if you are lucky, that elusive “Aha Moment” may just be a splash away making the right kind of noise. There are just so many people, ideas being shared, networks being established that one seeks to make the loop go viral. Tech Alliance is a loosely defined term and covers a whole lot of partnerships; and, events like these provide numerous options. There are niche companies to be found which require assistance from large companies in terms of market evangelization. Both sides a...