Business & Economy Current Affairs 2017

India, European Union establish Investment Facilitation Mechanism

India and European Union (EU) have established Investment Facilitation Mechanism (IFM) for EU Investments in India. The mechanism will allow for a close coordination between EU and India with an aim to promote and facilitate EU investment in India.


Trade and Investment are key elements of the EU-India Strategic Partnership launched in 2004. The EU is the India’s first trade partner in goods and services and also largest foreign investor with a stock exceeding US$ 81.52 billion as of March 2017. There are more than 6,000 EU companies currently present in India, providing direct and indirect employment to over 6 million people. The IFM builds on the Joint Statement of the 13th EU-India Summit held in Brussels in March 2016, where the EU had welcomed India’s readiness to establish such a mechanism.

Key Facts

The key objective of IFM is to pave the way for identifying and solving problems faced by EU companies and investors with regard to their operations in India. It will cover both new investors as well as those already present in India. It will also serve as a common platform for discussing general suggestions from the point of view of EU investors and companies with regard to ease of doing business in India.

Invest India, the official Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India, will also be part of the mechanism. It will create a single-window entry point for EU companies that need assistance for their investments at the central/state level. The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry will also facilitate participation of other relevant ministries and authorities on a case-to-case basis.

Under it, the EU Delegation to India and DIPP will hold regular high level meetings to assess and facilitate “ease of doing business” for EU investors in India. It will also include identifying and putting in place solutions to procedural impediments faced by EU companies and investors in establishing or running their operations in India.


The establishment of the IFM is considered as a right step in the direction of strengthening the trade and investment ties between the EU and India. This initiative will help ensuring a more robust, effective and predictable business environment for the EU investors.


India to import crude oil from US for first time

India, the world’s third-largest oil importer, for the first time will import crude oil from the United States. The purchase comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US in June 2017 when President Donald Trump had assured that US looks forward to export more energy products to India.

Key Facts

Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has bought 1.6 million barrels of US Mars crude (a heavy, high-sulphur grade) and 400,000 barrels of Western Canadian Select that will be delivered onboard a Very Large Crude Carrier. The import will take place after IOC gets the carrier in October 2017 from PetroChina. The oil will be loaded off the US Gulf Coast,

The import of crude from US could become an alternative source for the Indian companies for the supply of heavy, high-sulphur grades as feedstocks, which typically sell at a lower cost relative to other oil types. Besides IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) is second Indian refiner which also has planned to buy its first ever US crude oil cargo and has issued a purchase tender.

India will be the latest Asian country to buy US crude after Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Australia, China and Taiwan as they seek to diversify oil imports from other regions after the OPEC production cuts raised prices of Middle East heavy-sour crude ( grades with a high sulphur content).