CONTACT: GEORGE McCRORY
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Iowa City IA 52242
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UI economics professor advises India's commodities markets
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa economics professor William Albrecht
recently traveled to India to give advice on modernizing its commodities
markets for spices, coffee and other agricultural products.
India's Forward Markets Commission asked Albrecht to attend a workshop
of 200 Indian government officials, bankers, and commodity market participants
to discuss modernization of its commodities futures markets at a workshop
Sept. 17-18 in New Delhi. The commission invited Albrecht because of his
experience as former chairman of the U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading
The World Bank approved a grant towards modernizing the markets, and
the Forward Markets Commission is charged with regulating these re-emerging
markets. Several exchanges will be set up for pepper and other spices,
cotton, coffee, wheat and other agricultural products.
"The government has a great deal of interest in these markets,
but there is much work to be done," Albrecht said. "In particular
they need to establish clearing houses and address the question of how
many exchanges there should be. My main advice to the government was that
while the goals of regulation are pretty much the same around the world,
each country has its own way of achieving these goals."
India's commodity futures exchanges began operation more than a century
ago, but they were closed by the government in the 1960s. Some have recently
begun operating again but most of them are places where people meet to
work out private trades. The exchanges do not guarantee the trades as
they do in U.S. exchanges.
To bring these markets to worldwide standards, India will need to upgrade
its telecommunications infrastructure, Albrecht said. "I was very
encouraged by the high level of interest from the private sector and by
the commitment of the Indian government to this project," he added.
Albrecht has been at the forefront of international business programs
at the UI, including an internship program for MBA students in Argentina.
As a UI Global Scholar, he is doing research in the development of futures
and options exchanges in Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand.
Albrecht can be reached for further comment at (319) 335-3125.