Bilateral Current Affairs
January 3rd Week 2015 Current Affairs
Category : Bilateral Current Affairs
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1) India, South Africa ink Mou

The National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), a public sector enterprise, on 19th January signed a memorandum of cooperation with Black Business Council (BBC) of South Africa for developing youth-owned enterprises in South Africa.
The MoU also focuses on BBC’s efforts to economically empower the marginalised groups in South Africa, under which it plans to establish five such centres there in cooperation with NSIC.

2) EU lifts ban on Indian mangoes

The seven-month ban on Indian mangoes, imposed last year by the European Union, has been lifted well in advance of the deadline set for the ban, which was originally till December 2015.
This came after an audit by the EU last September showed “significant improvements in the phytosanitary export certification system,” says an EC release. Shipments of mangoes from India, including the premium Alphonso mangoes, had been stopped last year after inspections found some consignments infested with fruit flies.The EU accounts for more than 50 per cent of total exports of fruits and vegetables from India.
3) US, India to sign 3 MoUs for smart cities
The Centre’s flagship smart cities scheme is set to receive a boost with US President Barack Obama’s visit to New Delhi next week with pacts being signed for Allahabad, Ajmer, and Visakhapatnam. The pacts will be to assist the cities in project planning, infrastructure development, feasibility studies and capacity building.
  • The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Urban Development to assist the Government with knowledge exchange and sharing of best practices for water and sanitation services, with likely spends of about $2 million per year.
  • The Government plans to develop 100 smart cities for which an amount of Rs. 7,060 crore was proposed in the Union Budget for 2014.
4) CII, Alibaba to provide global platform to Indian SMEs
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and have signed an agreement for building greater engagement of India-China small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The agreement between and CII is a step forward in forging greater partnerships, engagement between Indian and global business especially amongst Small and Medium Enterprises, Madhav Sharma, Chief Representative (China), the CII said.
  •, headed by Jack Ma, is the leading platform for global wholesale trade serving millions of buyers and suppliers around the world. Through, small businesses can sell their products to companies in other countries.
  • He further added that with the expertise of in the digital space, especially on the business-to-business area, and CII through its network of 64 offices in India, with 8000 direct members and more than 100,000 indirect members is confident that it will be able to achieve the objectives of building greater India-China SME engagement. 
  • This, in turn, should also help in not only strengthening trade and economic relations between India and China but may also help in addressing to some extent the trade imbalance that exists, he said. 
  • and CII will collaborate and develop various trade opportunities and online promotions to facilitate greater economic engagement between Indian and Chinese SMEs. 
  • The CII and will also work jointly towards providing SME trainings, promoting Industry clusters for SMEs in some key business sectors. Alibaba will also work with CII to run their e-certificates programmes in India. 
5) Netherlands, Thailand inked MoU with Sikkim
State government of Sikkim on 20 January 2015 inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with governments of the Netherlands and Thailand for development of floriculture in the state. This deal will help the state to reach out to the international market. Governments of the Netherland and Thailand will provide expertise and technology to develop hybrid Sikkim’s Cymbidium and other orchids and also cut flowers. They will help the state in marketing and transportation of flowers.