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Editorial

DOING BUSINESS IN INDIA

Introduction

India is a vast country, enormously rich in natural resources and human resource capital. With a robust legal and financial system and a strong domestic consumption story (including a 300 million young, educated and affluent middle class population), India has emerged as one of the top most investment destinations and growth stories of the world.

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Recognising India’s potential to grow even faster, the Government of India (GOI) has recently introduced a series of initiatives and measures to improve the environment for doing business in India such as the ‘Make in India’ campaign along with ‘Ease of Business Policy’. The main objective of these initiatives is to make India a global manufacturing hub. The GOI has also introduced an ‘eBiz Portal’, which is intended to improve the business environment in the country by enabling fast and efficient access to Government-to-Business (“G2B”) services through a single window online platform. As a result it is very convenient and time saving to set up and operate a business in India under the new regime.

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Legal Market Overview

The Indian legal market continues to feel the impact of dynamic changes across all practice areas, and the banking, corporate, projects and infrastructure sectors have all seen significant activity in terms of deals and government initiatives over the last year.

The newly introduced Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (2016) was a key talking point among lawyers in the banking and restructuring sphere; the Code sought to consolidate existing legal frameworks by producing a single law for companies facing insolvency, a move made as part of a continued push towards the streamlining and consolidation of India’s legal structure. Prime Minister Modi’s push towards demonetisation and the move towards a cashless economy has also made a great impact, most notably in the foreign investment and taxation arena. The government’s goods and services tax (GST), which came into force in July 2017, continued the consolidation trend and replaced several central and state taxes with a single unified tax, a move which has been widely welcomed by the business economy.

Advice on infrastructure projects has been in high demand on the projects and energy side, with the renewable energy, railway and transport sectors particularly buoyant. Cross-border projects and joint ventures have also seen an uptick, with many firms handling matters spanning Nepal, Bangladesh, Dubai and Sri Lanka.

Dispute resolution activity remains prevalent across the board, both on the litigation and alternative dispute resolution sides. Arbitration is becoming an increasingly popular route for companies and individuals alike, the recent reforms to the Arbitration Act and the confidentiality of the process being major advantages.

Key players in the legal market include Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, which is well regarded for its dispute resolution practice, and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, which is a key firm on the banking and commercial side. Other names of note include Luthra & Luthra Law Offices, Kochhar & Co., Trilegal and Khaitan & Co..

The In-House Lawyer

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