Indonesian President Joko Widodo met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Taj Diplomatic Enclave Hotel in New Delhi, India, on Thursday (25/01). During the meeting Widodo - often nicknamed Jokowi - expressed the importance of enhancing economic cooperation between Indonesia and India, two big emerging market forces in the world.
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During his state visit to India, Indonesian President Joko Widodo signed three memoranda of understanding. Widodo is on a three-day visit to India (12-13 December) and Iran (14 December) to meet political and corporate leaders and to enhance business and trade relations with the two countries. Indonesia's seventh president is accompanied by Darmin Nasution (Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs), Pratikno (State Secretary), and Thomas Lembong (Chairman of the Investment Coordinating Board, or BKPM).
Trouble for Indonesian coal miners will not end soon as India - one of the world's leading coal consumers - is eager to boost domestic production of coal thus reducing the need for coal imports. This has given additional downward pressure on global coal prices. Over the past 11 months Indonesia's benchmark thermal coal price (Harga Batubara Acuan, or HBA), a monthly reference price set by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, has been on a streak of continuously falling prices. The February 2016 rate was set at USD $50.92 per ton, a far cry from USD $111.58 per ton in February 2012.
The Indian rupee depreciated 0.4 percent to 58.7150 per US dollar on Monday (26/05), the most in a month on speculation that India's central bank intervened to deliberately weaken the currency after it had gained 2.8 percent against the US dollar this month (becoming the best performing Asian currency). The rupee gained due to optimism about the new government's ability to boost the economy (which has slowed down considerably in recent years). However, the central bank expects that a too strong rupee will hurt the country's exports.
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Prestigious Hong Kong-based HSBC Bank claims that a new commodity boom may appear if India will boost investments in infrastructure and housing. Chances of increased spending in India have grown considerably after reform-minded Narendra Modi posted a victory in the May 2014 election. Economists at the HSBC Bank say that this may give rise to a new prolonged commodities boom as had occurred in the 2000s which - to a large extent - was triggered by accelerated economic growth in emerging economies, particularly China.
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