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India ranked 123rd in Economy freedom score

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Economy of India

Washington: India ranked 123rd in 2016 Index of Economic Freedom by conservative US think tank Heritage Foundation on Monday, with an improvement of 1.6 points in its overall score.

Though still rated as “mostly unfree”, India with a score of 56.2 out of 100 was among 32 countries which achieved their highest economic freedom scores ever in the 2016 Index.

India scored its best scores on government spending (78.1), fiscal freedom (77.1), monetary freedom (72.8) and trade freedom (71.0).

But on freedom from corruption India scored 38, while it was rated 40 on financial freedom, 35 on investment freedom and 55 on property rights.

With the exception of India, progress among the other BRICS nations Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa has stalled, according to the index which analyzes economic policy developments related to economic freedom in 186 economies.

Russia plunged 10 places in the rankings to 153rd, with its score deteriorating by 1.5 points. The rankings of South Africa, Brazil, and China declined to 80th, 122nd, and 144th, respectively.

According to the Index which rates countries as “free” (scores above 80), “mostly free” (70-80), “moderately free” (60-70), “mostly unfree” (50-60) and “repressed” (below 50), global economic freedom has advanced for the fourth year in a row.

The US continues to be mired in the ranks of the “mostly free,” the second-tier economic freedom category into which the US dropped in 2010.

Worse, with scores in labour freedom, business freedom, and fiscal freedom notably declining, the economic freedom of the US plunged 0.8 point to 75.4, matching its lowest score ever

As many as 97 countries, the majority of which are less developed, gained greater economic freedom over the past year.

The global average economic freedom score of 60.7 is the highest recorded in the 22-year history of the Index.

Of the 178 economies ranked in the 2016 Index, only five (Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Australia) earned the designation of “free” with scores above 80.

Others in the top ten but rated “mostly free” were Canada, Chile, Ireland, Estonia and United Kingdom.

As many as 97 countries, the majority of which are less developed, gained greater economic freedom over the past year.

Declining economic freedom was reported in 74 countries, including 19 advanced economies such as the United States, Japan, and Sweden.(IANS)

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Sony Mobile Exit India Market Owing to Hyper- Competition

Sony Mobile would continue to monitor the market situations and business feasibility in the country

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Sony Mobile, India
the pressure from Chinese brands and Samsung in the major price segment resulted in continuous decline of sales for Sony. Pixabay

Facing stiff competition from Chinese and South Korean players, Japanese conglomerate Sony Corporation has announced to quit the Indian smartphone market.

Sony had less that 0.01 per cent of the total Indian smartphone market share in the first quarter of 2019, according to Counterpoint Research.

Sony Mobile, however, said that it would continue to monitor the market situations and business feasibility in the country.

“Our focus markets are Japan, Europe, Hong Kong and Taiwan to drive profitability and future prospects in the 5G era,” Sony Mobile said in a statement on Wednesday.

Sony Mobile, India, Market
Sony Corporation has announced to quit the Indian smartphone market. Pixabay

“We have ceased sales in Central and South America, the Middle East, South Asia, Oceania, etc. in FY 18,” it added.

The company assured that it would continue its customer support operations including after sales support and software updates for existing customers in India.

The India smartphone market is currently dominated by Chinese players like Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo and OnePlus among others, besides South Korean tech giant Samsung.

According to Shobhit Srivastava, Research Analyst, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems, Counterpoint Research, the pressure from Chinese brands and Samsung in the major price segment resulted in continuous decline of sales for Sony.

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“With declining sales in India and other markets, Sony took the right decision to focus on the high ASP (average selling price) markets such as Japan,” Srivastava told IANS.

Sony India in July last year brought its flagship “Xperia XZ2” smartphone for Rs 72,990 to India that turned out to be its last launch.

“In a cut-throat market like India where Chinese smartphone brands rule the roost with industry-leading specs and having over 60 per cent market share, it’s tough for other brands to garner a meaningful revenue share. Sony has had a very miniscule market share in India,” Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, told IANS.

For Sony, the performance of its mobile business has lacked the sheen, and has been a clear outlier compared to its other divisions.

Sony Mobile, India, Market
Sony had less that 0.01 per cent of the total Indian smartphone market share in the first quarter of 2019. Wikimedia Commons

“It makes sense for it to cut its losses and refocus on other verticals,” Ram added. (IANS)