China’s Xi Outwitting India’s Modi in Battle for Attention, Investments

The Maggi Fiasco will Haunt India for Long!

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been seeking to outwit one another in the travel stakes, giving their visits the excuse of winning new business and Foreign Direct Investments.

Tesla car

Tesla Clones in China

China is clearly winning the battle with Tesla among the latest of companies placing their big bets on the Red Giant amid a slumping economy. Tesla CEO has been reported saying that it is negotiating with the Chinese government on producing cars domestically.

Mr Modi had visited the Tesla headquarters during his visit to the U.S. last month – a visit that has satisfied his personal lust than yield good results for India.

Tesla Supercharger

Tesla Supercharger

Mr Xi had also visited the U.S. then and winning manufacturing businesses from companies such as Google even as Indians were going gaga over the latter’s decision to provide free WiFi at some train stations in the country. Ha, how easy it is to please India’s fans of Mr Modi!

Modi’s Misplaced Social Media Focus: Mr Modi had ignored large multinationals which had already made big investments in India, preferring to exercise his obsession with the social media instead and visiting companies (Facebook, Google and Tesla) which hardly had any meaningful investment in the country – nor had any big potential for it.

Mr Xi has just wrapped up his visit to the U.K. where he was accorded a royal welcome, treated with a lavish banquet and a ride to the Buckingham Palace with Queen Elizabeth in her royal carriage.

Queen Elizabeth and Xi Jinping ride down the Mall to Buckingham Palace. Photograph: Phil Robinson/Demotix/Corbis

Queen Elizabeth and Xi Jinping ride down the Mall to Buckingham Palace. Photograph: Phil Robinson/Demotix/Corbis

A toast for Mr Xi from the Duchess of Cambridge

A toast for Mr Xi from the Duchess of Cambridge

Despite all the hype from BJP’s quarters on Mr Modi’s successes with FDI, those looking at them objectively will realize the trickle is hardly a testament to the Prime Minister’s quest yielding a welcome boost.

Harassment faced by Nestle/Maggi: Having subjected Nestle to needless harassment with the ban on Maggi noodles, India can dream on about attracting big investments that will spur its economy by putting the country’s exports on the fast track to big growth.

Yesterday’s edition of some Indian newspapers had a full page advertisement from Maggi celebrating its return to the shelves after the lifting of the ban. By saying in the advertisement that “Your Maggi is Safe, has always been”, Nestle does make its message clear, rightly so!

It is to be noted that many countries (including Singapore, the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Australia)  had tested the noodles made in India and found them to be safe for consumption.

Maggi advertisement in Indian newspapers, Oct. 24, 2015

Maggi advertisement in Indian newspapers, Oct. 24, 2015

The Bombay High Court had in August this year called the ban imposed in June arbitrary, saying it “violated the principles of natural justice.” That should give us an inkling into why the BJP (and the Congress) want full control over the judiciary, including the appointment of judges.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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