The UK sets out its net-zero strategy in advance of hosting COP26 climate talks

Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, outlined his plans for a green revolution on Tuesday in order to force Western economies to end their dependency on fossil fuels. Later this month, Britain is set to host the COP26 United Nations climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland. The meet aims to strengthen global action on global warming.

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “with the major climate summit COP26 just around the corner, our strategy sets the example for other countries to build back greener, too, as we lead the charge towards global net-zero”. Earlier, Mr. Johnson was a little skeptical regarding climate change, had now presented his 368-page net-zero strategy. The document will put Britain at the vanguard of green economies. He further added that nations like Russia and China are following their lead with their own net-zero targets after prices tumble and green tech became the global norm.

Britain took part in the year 2019, to become the first Group of seven members to set a net-zero emission target for 2050. It aims to make drastic changes in the way Britons travel, heat their homes, and consume electricity.

Global supply chain risks threaten Asia’s growth forecast, IMF says

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund ripped this year’s economic growth forecast for Asia. The IMF warned Asia about risks by a fresh wave of COVID-19 infections, supply chain disruption, and inflation.

According to the reports, this year China’s economy will see a growth of 8% and 5.6% in 2022. However, the recovery will remain “unbalanced” as fiscal tightening and repeated outbreaks of the coronavirus weigh on consumption. In its report, the IMF stated that any “untimely policy normalization or misconstrued communication from the United States Federal Reserve could lead to higher borrowing costs and significant capital outflows from Asian emerging economies.

A cut of 6.5% in this year’s economic growth for Asia was forecasted by the regional outlook report. It is 1.1% down from April’s projection due to a spike in Delta variant cases hit consumption and factory output. For 2022, IMF raised the growth forecast to 5.7% from 5.3% of April’s estimate in response to vaccination drives.

A growth of 9.5% is expected to be seen for India while economies like Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, and Taiwan benefit from the high-tech and commodity boom.

China’s Third Quarter Economic Growth Slows Below expectations

On Monday, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement that gross domestic product grew 4.9% in the third quarter from a year ago. It has missed the expectations of 5.2% expansion, according to analysts polled by a news agency. Despite a less-than-expected rise in industrial activity in September, China’s third-quarter GDP grew by only 4.9%.

In September, industrial production rose by 3.1% below the 4.5% expected. On Monday, in a press conference in Mandarin, the spokesperson for the National Bureau of Statistics Fu Linghui said, “Since entering the third quarter, domestic and overseas risks and challenges have increased”. He added that the power shortage had a “certain impact” on the basic manufacturing but the economic impact “is controllable”.

In the latter half of September, a rise in the price of coal and a shortage of electricity prompted local authorities to unexpectedly cut off the power. Since then the central government has emphasized that they will boost the coal supply and ensure the availability of electricity. The data which was released showed the businesses were not much interested to put money into future projects.

Bruce Pang of China Renaissance said, “China’s once leading growth recovery is losing momentum going into the fourth quarter”.

Myanmar’s Economic Woes Mount with Plunging Currency

Myanmar is combatting a low-hanging local currency amid an unprecedented dollar shortage that drove up the cost of imports. It has aggravated the economy’s struggle with dual challenges of the pandemic and post-coup financial isolation.

Myanmar’s national currency kyat has tumbled nearly 60% since the military seized power this February. It triggered a freeze on the key sources of foreign currency supplies of Myanmar’s foreign reserves held in the US, and suspension of multilateral aids. The safety of money in banks is fueling worries as the restriction on cash withdrawals is seen in the country.

The money chargers have pulled down their shutters after the shortage of dollars was seen. As pressure mounted on the exchange rate, the Central Bank of Myanmar abandoned its attempts to fix the kyat at 0.8% on either side of its benchmark rate against the dollar.

According to the World Bank, it predicts Myanmar’s economy to witness a slump of a further 18% this year majorly due to the pandemic. This could lead to the biggest contraction in employment in the nation and the number of poor in the country would rise.

A senior executive at a Myanmar bank said, ”the worse the political situation is, the worse the currency rate will be.”

UAE And Syria Agrees to Enhance Economic Cooperation

On Sunday, the UAE’s Economy Minister Abdulla bin Touq Al-Marri announced the agreement that The United Arab Emirates and Syria have agreed to expand their economic cooperation and explore new opportunities.

According to the ministry’s data, the value of non-oil trade between the two countries in 2021’s first half was one billion dirhams ($272 million). The decision came after the economy minister of UAE met with his Syrian counterpart. In an informal meeting outside Dubai Expo 2020, UAE’s economy minister and Syria’s counterpart discussed ways to expand their relationship, according to a news agency.

The UAE reopened its mission to Damascus in late 2018 as a means of countering the influence of non-Arab actors such as Iran and the Turkish government, both of which support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Despite UAE’s support, the Syrian army recaptured most of the territory from the opposition, the UAE and other Arab nations made openings in favor of President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

As per UAE, the US sanctions imposed on war-torn country Syria earlier this year made it more challenging for them to return to the Arab league. The US attempted to prevent any reconstruction efforts or trade deals from being made without first enacting human rights reforms.

Mr. Modi to Inaugurate ‘Azadi@75- New Urban India’ Conference and Expo

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi will launch the “Azadi@75- New Urban India: Transforming Urban Landscape” conference-cum-expo. The conference and Expo will be held in Lucknow that will showcase and launch many development projects.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement where they said that Mr. Modi will interact with everyone virtually. He is scheduled to hand over the keys of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Urban (PMAY-U) houses, virtually to 75,000 beneficiaries in 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh. Mr. Modi will lay the foundation stone and launch 75 urban development projects of the state under Smart Cities Mission and AMRUT.

The project will include; the flag of 75 buses under FAME-II for seven cities; Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Gorakhpur, Jhansi, and Ghaziabad. It will release a coffee table book encompassing 75 projects. The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs will publish a coffee table book encompassing 75 projects implemented as part of its flagship missions.

The expo will be organized between October 5-7 as a part of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” which will be themed on transforming the urban landscape with a definite aim on the transformative changes brought about in UP.

Booming firms in Australia are being asked to repay the COVID-19 handout

Last year, when the pandemic took hold and threatened to destroy the economy, Australia came up with the solution of an innovative A$90 billion (S$88 billion) scheme. The scheme gave the money to the employers to keep their staff employed.

A stunning success at first glance at least, the scheme was called JobKeeper. According to the data, the scheme has saved 7,00,000 jobs and avoided a surge in unemployment. Nearly 3.8 million workers benefited along with one million businesses. In July last year, lockdown caused unemployment to increase to a peak of 7.4%. However, the jobless rate has fallen to 4.5%. This was lower than the pre-pandemic level of 5.1%.

According to the latest survey, it was found that 71% of Australians support companies being forced to refund the JobKeeper grant if they did not need it. It also found that 68% of Australians asked for the government to reveal the top 10,000 companies that received public funding and the amount they received, compared to 8% who objected and the remainder who did not make a commitment.

It has been labeled as one of the largest wastes of taxpayer money in Australian history by the opposition Labor party.

Indian Government Dissolves OFB, Transfer Employees and Assets to 7 PSUs

The Indian government’s defense ministry has dissolved the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) with effect from October 1. According to an official, the ministry has transferred its assets, employees, and management to the 7 public sector units (PSUs).

On May 16, last year the Central Government had announced that it will provide autonomy, accountability, and efficiency in ordnance supplies by the corporatization of the OFB, as part of the “Atmanirbhar Bharat”. The order came on September 28 where the defense minister said that the Government of India has decided to transfer the management, control, operation, and maintenance of these 41 production units and identified non-production units to the 7 wholly-owned government companies of India from October 1, 2021.

The 7 PSUs also called as DPSUs are Munition India Limited, Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited, Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited, Troop Comforts Limited, Yatra India Limited, India Optel Limited, and Gliders India Limited.

Currently, the OFB is an entity within the defense ministry that supplies essential arms and ammunition to the government’s three armed forces and paramilitaries. Within a period of two years, all the PSUs should seek an option for a fixed acceptance for the employees on deemed deputation to that respective PSU.

Malaysian PM to Unveil 12th biggest five-year Malaysia Plan

On Monday, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakon unveils Malaysia’s 12th biggest five-year development Malaysian Plan. In the Parliament, this first major policy that was introduced by the administration can prove as a litmus test for the bipartisan cooperation between Yakob’s government and the opposition.

This is the largest five-year road map with RM 400 billion (S$129 Billion) allocated for the new and existing projects. This project is 54% bigger than the 11th Malaysia’s plan that was unveiled in 2016 that had RM260 billion.

The new plan that aims to turn Malaysia into a high-income economy by 2025, has been delayed for more than a year due to the COVID-19 crisis. It focuses on eradicating poverty and increasing the contribution of small businesses to the total economic output.

The new plan will have nine main areas of focus with the theme “Prosperous, Inclusive and Sustainable Malaysia”. It also focuses on closing the income gap and development in some of Malaysia’s least-developed states like Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo.

Mr. Ismail said, ”The average annual Growth Domestic Product (GDP) under the 11th Malaysia Plan was 2.7%, lower than what was targeted, due to the contraction in 2020”.

Malaysia and Singapore to Discuss Borders Reopening

Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Saifuddin bin Abdullah said Malaysia and Singapore are discussing the possibility of reopening their borders soon. After the plight of several people, the minister assured the lawmakers in Dewan Rakyat.

He commented that he is aware of the issue as it is not only about the COVID-19 but also about those who have been separated from their loved ones even before the start of the pandemic. He is trying his best to find the solution to overcome this situation together. Abdullah also confirmed the news of a telephonic conversation between the Health Minister and his Singaporean counterpart. The discussion was regarding the procedure on how the borders can be reopened between the two nations.

On Thursday, Foreign Affairs mentioned that the matter has been brought to the attention of the head of the committee to manage the COVID-19 pandemic in the country Mr. Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

The opening of the borders would pave the way for the country to open through the air routes with other countries like Thailand. The issue was raised by Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Ind-Muar) who received numerous pleas from Malaysians who are eager to see their loved ones.