December 1st, 2011
07:36 PM GMT
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London (CNN) - Sir Mervyn King’s words today are chilling. The eurozone crisis is “extraordinarily serious and threatening” the Governor of the Bank of England said, and the UK’s central bank was drawing up contingency plans in case the zone breaks up.

This is the icing on the cake that has seen more and more politicians and commentators postulate the unthinkable: a breakup of the zone and the currency. The Economist starts this week’s lead article “even as the eurozone hurtles towards a crash.”

For some weeks now I have believed that such an event was nigh on impossible - surely, I reasoned, politicians would do what is necessary. The Economist says the “consequences are so catastrophic that no sensible policy maker could stand by and let it happen." With such ringing words I think it is worth distinguishing exactly what we are talking about.
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December 1st, 2011
12:21 PM GMT
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New Delhi, India (CNN) – Traders shuttered shops and markets through India Thursday to protest the federal announcement to open the country's $450 billion retail market to foreign competition.

The move came as lawmakers opposed to the plan paralyzed the national parliament for yet another day.

"Our strike shows how angry indigenous traders are," said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which led slogan-shouting demonstrations in New Delhi.

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December 1st, 2011
10:05 AM GMT
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Editor's note: "Along the Silk Road" is a weekly segment on Global Exchange, that will explore the burgeoning trade and investment links from the Middle East to Asia. Watch Global Exchange, on CNN International, Sunday to Thursday 1100 ET, 1600 GMT and 1700 CET.

Gujarat, India (CNN) –  A prolonged economic slump in the West has prompted India to broaden its economic ties and look east - to China.

Indian exports to China jumped nearly 70% last year, according to an Indian research report. It was partly on account of a loosening of export controls to keep prices afloat, but also a sign that China is becoming an increasingly important export market.

Rajiv Kumar is secretary general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). He said: “With the sluggishness in the American and European market, I think it was bound to happen, and I can see within FICCI there is opportunity.

“When a Chinese delegation comes there is greater participation and all of this is a sign that the Indian industry is getting more interested towards the Chinese future.”

China is India's largest trading partner, but trade between the two countries is imbalanced. India's imports from China are worth roughly $40 billion, while its exports are worth around half of that.

While some Chinese imports help these street vendors in India make money, not everyone is happy.

“I'm not pleased at all. It's like someone's taking away your bread and butter,” said Vinit Dalal of Dalal Machine Tools Agency.

Dalal sells used metal forging equipment in India. Now, he says, China is selling brand new equipment in India for the same price. As a result, his sales are slowing down.

“If someone is getting a brand new manufactured machine at the same price as I am supplying a used one, of course he's going to go for the new, with a two-year warranty and everything - so that's the problem,” said Dalal.

FICCI says such imbalanced trade between India and China cannot continue.

“The way it can improve is to facilitate Chinese investment into India and to export from those firms back to China and having a lot more joint ventures in India with Chinese firms, which can create those capacities from which we can export back to China,” said Kumar.



December 1st, 2011
06:11 AM GMT
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Greece and Italy are perceived as corruption-tainted and this is hampering efforts to tackle the eurozone crisis, a new report suggests.

According to corruption watchdog Transparency International, the two countries at the center of the debt crisis scored poorly on the group’s 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index. On a scale of ten, Greece scored 3.4 and Italy 3.9, ranking 80 and 69, respectively, on the list of 183 countries. FULL POST

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