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India, Brazil finalise social security agreement    

India and Brazil have finalised text of the Social Security Agreement (SSA). It will come in force by early 2018 after it is ratified. It will be the first such agreement between the BRICS countries.

This SSA takes forward the spirit of Goa Declaration adopted at 8th BRICS Summit, outcomes of the meetings of BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers held in June 2016 in Geneva and September 2016 in New Delhi.

Key Features of the agreement
  • Detached workers of the two countries exempted from making social security contributions in either countries so long as they were making such contributions in their respective countries.
  • Rights and obligations of nationals of both countries have been established. Equal treatment will be provided to nationals.
  • Unrestricted payment of pensions will be provided to nationals even in the case of residence in the other contracting state.
  • The requirements to be entitled to a pension can be met by aggregating the periods of insurance completed in India and Brazil, whereby each country will only pay pension for the insurance periods covered by its laws.
Comment

Once SSA between Brazil and India is brought into force, it will favourably impact the profitability and competitive position of companies of both countries with foreign operations in either countries by reducing their cost of doing business abroad. It will also help promote more investment flows between the two countries.

Background

So far, India has signed and operationalized Social Security Agreements (SSAs) with 18 countries. They are Australia, Belgium, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, and South Korea.

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Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and UK to support Ease of Doing Business in India

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United Kingdom (UK) to support Ease of Doing Business in India.

The MoU was signed between both countries earlier in November 2016 during the official state visit of UK Prime Minister Theresa May to India.

Key Facts
  • The MoU will facilitate exchange Government officials from both countries to facilitate sharing of best practises, technical assistance and enhanced implementation of reforms.
  • The beneficiaries include the officials from India will include Central Government Ministries / Departments and State Governments.
  • It will facilitate various agencies of UK government to offer professional courses on capacity-building of frontline inspectors, better regulation drafting for officials, sharing of best practises, etc.
  • The collaboration is expected to expedite adoption of innovative practises by the India leading to easing of regulatory environment in country and fostering of conducive business climate in India.
Background

Currently, India is ranks 130th out of 190 economies in Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) as per Doing Business Report, 2017. On the other hand UK has achieved phenomenal improvement in EoDB rankings in recent years.

MoU for Cooperation in the Field of Intellectual Property

The Union Cabinet also approved to the MoU between India and UK for Cooperation in the Field of Intellectual Property (IP) signed in November 2016.  The MoU seeks to facilitate establishment of wide-ranging and flexible mechanisms for cooperation in the development of automation, new documentation and information systems in the field of IP.  It provides an opportunity for collaboration in training programmes, exchange of experts and technical exchanges and outreach activities. Its implementation will enhance capacity of the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trademarks (CGPDTM) to examine patent applications, which in turn will impact innovation positively.

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India, UK ink two MoUs

India and the United Kingdom have signed two memorandum of understanding (MoUs) to boost relations between the two nations.

These MoUs were signed during the official three days state visit of UK Prime Minister Theresa May to India. It was her first bilateral visit outside Europe after becoming PM and after UK’s decision to exit from European Union.

Signed MoUs are

MoU on Ease of Doing Business

  • Under it, expertise from UK Government will be made available to relevant departments and agencies of the Indian Government for the ease of doing business drive.
  • It includes sharing of best practices and technical assistance, exchange between the officials to India for effective implementation of the initiatives in order improve its ranking in the ease of doing business.
  • Important areas of cooperation include tax administration, regulatory regimes, support to businesses and startups, competition economics, etc.

MoU for cooperation in the field of intellectual property

It was signed between the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of UK.

  • It envisages establishing a mechanism for furthering cooperation between the IP Offices of India and UK in the field of IP and related information technology (IT) services.
  • It includes exchange of experience, best practices and knowledge of IP awareness among the public, businesses, industry, R&D organizations and educational institutions.
  • It also includes exchange of processes for disposal of applications for trademarks, patents, industrial designs and geographical indications.

Both countries also agreed to establish new Joint Working Group (JWG) to discuss and resolve trade related issues. It will focus on goods trade and also on services, including through greater mobility for skilled professionals.

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