US company plan to build F16 jet factory in India


A prominent U.S. defense contractor is in talks with India about producing an iconic American fighter jet abroad, despite President Donald Trump’s efforts to keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

Lockheed Martin told reporters Thursday that discussions with the Indian government over plans to move the production facilities for the F-16 Fighting Falcon from the U.S. to India are progressing.

The conversation at this point has progressed between governments, Randall L. Howard, Lockheed’s head of F-16 business development, told.

India’s defense ministry invited foreign manufacturers to produce single-engine combat aircraft in India last year. Not only is India determined to replace its fleet of outdated Soviet-era fighters, but it also aspires to develop its industries and reduce imports to advance the country’s “Made in India” initiative.

The F-16 is being phased out in the U.S. for newer programs, such as the F-35 Lighting II joint strike fighter. Abroad, the F-16 remains one of the most widely used fighter jets in the world today.

Other competitors considering moving their production facilities to India include Sweden’s Saab, which has offered to produce the Gripen in India.

SMEs Optimistic About Economy


The future is looking good to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), both in the U.S. and globally, according to the American Express Global SME Pulse report.

SMEs are optimistic about the economy and confident about their future business performance.The new survey of senior executives and decision makers from SMEs across 15 countries reveals these businesses in the U.S. are even more optimistic about the global economy than their foreign counterparts. More than half of U.S. executives (54%, vs. 39% overall) are positive about the global economic outlook over the next 12 months. When asked to consider the local economic environment, they are even more upbeat, as nearly six in ten are positive (59% vs. 45% overall).

Executives are also confident in their ability to deliver increased revenues and profitability. More than two thirds of the U.S. SMEs surveyed (69%, vs. 58% overall) expect significant revenue growth of at least 4% over the next 12 months.

Forty two percent anticipate revenue growth of at least 8% over the same period, double that of SMEs worldwide (21%).

In terms of profitability, U.S. SMEs are also upbeat, with 35% forecasting a net profit of at least 8% per year over the next three years. U.S.

SMEs say their most important strategy to grow domestic revenue is more effective marketing and sales to domestic customers (48%), followed closely by understanding changing customer demands (46%).

Global Exhibition on Services 2017


President of India, Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the Global Exhibition on Services to be held here from April 17-20, which will provide India's services sector a platform to explore market expansion opportunities.

Pranab Mukherjee, has agreed to address the 3rd Global Exhibition on Services (GES 2017) to be held on April 17-20, 2017, the events co-organiser CII said.

The services sector is the key driver of India's economic growth. The sector has grown rapidly over the past decade and has accounted for more than 66.1% of country's Gross Value Added growth in 2015-16. The sector is also an important net foreign exchange earner and the most attractive sector for foreign direct investment inflows.

There has been a significant growth in foreign direct inflow in general and to the services sector in particular. The services sector covers almost 50 per cent of the global GDP. GES 2017 is a broad and continuing effort to improve various aspects of the industry especially for exports, said Anup Wadhawan, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

Odisha MSME Dept. Organises Interactive Meet with Startups

Startups need to chart out their own journey and there is no standard script to it, said the CEO of T-Hub, Hyderabad Shri Jay Krishnan during an "interactive meet with startups" organised by MSME Department of the state, where more than 125 Startups, incubators and mentors participated.


He added that the startups should dream big and should not worry about the availability of capital. Capital is not an end but a means to achieve the end. If the startup venture is related to the requirement of the market, there are enough agencies to fund the project. He lauded that role of the government which is quite supportive of the startup eco-system. Startups should not be worried about failures; rather these failures should become the source of their learning. It is for the first time, such an interactive session with startups in Odisha was held and was marked by tremendous enthusiasm amongst the startups attending the session today at IDCO Conference Hall, Bhubaneswar.

Shri L.N. Gupta, IAS, Principal Secretary, MSME, who chaired the interactive session, stated that currently more than 200 startups are working in the state in various incubators as well as outside. The state also has more than 20 incubators at present. He added that under the Odisha Startup Policy, 2016, we have the vision to create an enabling environment and supporting eco-system that would facilitate 1000 startups in the state in the next five years. The state government is committed to develop the best startup eco-system in the state. Shri Sanjay K. Singh, IAS, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, SD&TE Department & MD, IDCO also attended and participated in the session. 

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NatWest to launch speedy SME digital #LendingPlatform

NatWest is launching a new digital platform to accelerate the lending process for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).


The new platform, codenamed Esme, has been designed to give fast decision to customers about their loan application. The loans can be obtained, potentially within an hour, if the application is approved. The bank also stated that customers can benefit from no early repayment charges.

According to the bank, the scheme took shape as a means to simplify and speed up lending process and has been developed in response to direct and P2P lending platforms.

The lending platform also offers a maximum period of five years to repay the loan amount. This new loan scheme can be availed by UK SME customers who may or may not have an account with NatWest.

The new scheme is said to have taken birth at the bank’s ’innovation cell’, working with Fintech Ezbob. It has been developed in response to the emergence of innovative direct and P2P lending platforms, with aim to simplify and speed up lending process.

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56% Merchants Still Do Not Accept Digital Payments


As many as  56 percent of the merchants still do not accept digital payments because of the risks and cost of handling cash along with a fear of income loss after adopting digital payment solutions, highlights a Survey.

According to a Survey conducted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Deloitte India, "More than half 56 percent of the surveyed merchants still do not accept digital payments. Fear of an income loss can be a key determinant for merchants to adopt digital payment solutions. Reduced time, risks and costs of handling cash is another reason."

The study was titled 'Demonetisation for Merchants - The Promise, Potential and Practicalities'. It was conducted to gain an understanding of changes after demonetisation and focussed on two modes of digital payments cards (debit and credit card) and mobile wallets.


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