Basics explained: What exactly is FDI?

What is FDI?

Foreign direct investment is relevant when a company makes an investment by buying another company or diversifies business in a nation other than in which it is based. The investment made through FDI becomes a source of external finance which could strengthen the economy.

How do companies benefit?

Some of the advantages for companies who choose to invest in other countries are tax exemptions, lower cost of working capital, access to foreign markets and expansion of business.

What is the difference between a franchise (eg: Dominos, Pizza Hut) and an FDI module?

Many companies have established their franchised business in India so how is the FDI module different?

In a franchising arrangement, the franchisor usually does not make any contribution to the business in terms of equity. According to Franchise India, the franchisors contribution is in terms of grant of rights for the use of their intellectual property and business method. The equity is contributed by the Indian franchisee and the economic interest of the franchisor is limited to the franchisee fees that he receives from the franchisee. Whereas an FDI occurs when an investor, based in one country (the home country), acquires some asset in another country (the host country) with intent to manage the asset.

Some arguments in favour of FDI:
  • FDI will generate employment in the country it invests
  • It could benefit farmers by eliminating middlemen
  • FDI gives consumers a wide variety of products to choose from at reasonable prices
  • It can improve food distribution systems
  • FDI can bring in better quality and standard products
  • FDI can increase the standard of living through its goods and services
  • It could raise the bar among other domestic companies in the same sector
  • It contributes to the health of the economy
Some arguments against FDI:
  • Allowing foreign players could destroy the livelihoods of millions of small store owners
  • Market prices could be manipulated by foreign retail giants
  • Local jobs could be at threat since the foreign players could purchase many products from abroad
  • There is no established correlation between advent of FDI and improvement of a country’s infrastructure

Now, send free texts from Facebook to cellphones

Social networking website Facebook has launched a new application that will enable users to send messages to anyone on their phone contact list in India — for free. This will help cut SMS cost for those with an internet connection on their phones. Facebook has partnered with major telecom operators and device manufacturers for the service, which will help more than 60 million users in India.

Facebook’s offering comes after Google introduced a free messaging service in India in October. Given the social networking website’s popularity in the country, the move may boost demand for internet data plans among youth.

“Users can sign up for a messenger account with their name and phone number, and send messages to their phone contacts instantly,” Facebook said in a statement.

The recipients need not necessarily have the app on their mobiles, but if they reply via SMS, standard rates will apply.
Source - hindustantimes

Bihar village bans mobile phone use by women

A girl speaks on a mobile phone in Jammu August 24, 2007. REUTERS/Amit Gupta/Files

PATNA, India - (Reuters) - A village council in Bihar has banned the use of mobile phones by women, saying the phones were "debasing the social atmosphere" by leading to elopements - a move that set off outraged protests from activists.

In addition to the ban, the Sunderbari village council in a Muslim-dominated area some 385 kilometers east of Bihar capital Patna has also imposed a fine of 10,000 rupees if a girl is caught using a mobile phone on the streets.

Married women would have to pay 2,000 rupees. "It always gives us a lot of embarrassment when someone asks who has eloped this time," said Manuwar Alam, who heads a newly-formed committee tasked with enforcing the ban, referring to queries from neighbouring villages.

He said the number of elopements and extramarital love affairs had risen in the past few months, with at least six girls and women fleeing their homes.

"Even married women were deserting their husbands to elope with lovers. That was shameful for us," Alam said. "So, we decided to tackle it firmly. Mobile phones are debasing the social atmosphere".

Local officials have begun investigations, saying that such bans cannot be allowed in a healthy society, while women's rights activists called it an assault on freedom that could potentially end up harming women by stripping them of one source of protection from trouble, such as unwanted advances by men.

Girls and women are capable enough to protect themselves," said activist Suman Lal during a debate on local television. "Technology is meant to be used, not to be banned...The order is nauseating."

Fellow activist Mohammad Islam said it was "disappointing" that the village council ignored the many advantages of mobile phones before placing a ban on them for one reason.

"I want every girl to be given a mobile phone so that she could call up family members if she has a problem", he said.
Source - (Reporting by New Delhi newsroom, editing by Elaine Lies)

Windows 8 is fourth most popular OS on Stream

Windows 8 is the fourth-ranked operating system (OS) on the latest Steam hardware and software survey. The results for November showed that 4.25 percent of Steam users were running the 64-bit version of Windows 8.

This puts the OS, which was officially available from October 26, marginally behind the 64-bit version of Windows Vista. Gamers are known to be early adopters, so it's probably not too surprising that a good number of users have upgraded to Windows 8. This figure also surpasses all versions of Mac OS, while Windows 7 remains the most popular operating system on 72 percent of systems.

Trying to decipher the actual impact of Windows 8 can be as difficult as reading tea leaves. While Microsoft recently disclosed that it has sold 40 million licenses, there are no further details on the breakdown between enterprise and consumer sales. Analysts, however, have appeared less than optimistic about Windows 8 sales.

One has to wonder if Windows 8's Steam statistics would have been greater had Steam boss Gabe Newell not been so vocal about his opposition to the OS. His opinion could be colored by the fact that the integrated app store on Windows 8 is a possible competitor to Steam.

Valve has recently moved to expand its online marketplace to selling non-gaming software. It also plans to launch a Linux version of Steam. The company today officially launched a new TV-friendly interface for Steam--Big Picture--which would bring the platform into the living room. The launch is accompanied by a sale of games designed to work with controllers, as they would be perfect when played in Big Picture mode.
Source - CNET

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