Bangladesh’s economy to rebound after national elections
The Economy of the country will see a positive upturn following the upcoming national elections, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) Chairman Professor Shibli Rubayat Ul Islam said.
Speaking at a programme at Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), the BSEC chief said the country’s capital market was held back for over two decades.
He said the capital market is very technical and many people could not understand its importance.
“Currently the market is moving forward. The market scope has increased a lot. New products are being launched. However, this market needs further development if the pace of economic development is to be sustained,” he said.
The BSEC chairman said institutional investors and mutual funds are essential for a dynamic capital market and its stability. He said it will play an important role in meeting the needs of the economy after the national elections.
“If everyone works together, it will definitely be possible to take the mutual fund sector and the capital market a long way,” Prof Islam said.
The Opening transaction and ringing the bell ceremony of the Capitec Grameen Bank Growth Fund at the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) on Tuesday.
China invested $1 trillion to gain global influence
China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, founded the Belt and Road Initiative a decade ago to use the country’s economic might to enlarge its geopolitical heft and counter the influence of the United States and other industrialized democracies.
China has since disbursed close to $1 trillion to mostly developing countries, largely in loans, to build power plants, roads, airports, telecommunications networks and other infrastructure. Mr. Xi has used China’s cash and infrastructure expertise to tie together countries across Asia, Africa, Latin America and parts of Eastern and Southern Europe.
Belt and Road has established for China a role in global development rivaling that of the United States and the World Bank. But for all the influence it has brought Beijing, the initiative has contributed to unaffordable levels of debt for dozens of poor countries. China also directed contracts to its own companies and in some cases built expensive, subpar projects that have not spurred economic growth.
Now, as representatives from many of the nearly 150 Belt and Road countries assemble in Beijing this week for a summit, the initiative is changing shape. China’s role has shifted from being the world’s largest bilateral lender to also its largest debt collector.
India’s expanding economy fails to pull women into the workplace
After working for 12 years, Isha Khanna quit her job at a bank when she had twins about four years ago. She loved her work but balancing her role as a mother with her demanding career would have been a challenge.
“In the bank we had to reach by nine and attend to customers till six. After that it took almost two hours to finish all the other work,” said Khanna. And reaching home at eight o’clock with the kids would have been very difficult for me.”
Her case is common in India where no matter what their economic class or age group, millions of women either drop out of the workforce or do not work at all. For some like Khanna, rising household incomes make it possible to give up their jobs.
However, many women from lower-income groups struggle to join the workforce due to lack of suitable childcare.
After getting married, Leela Devi came to Delhi with her husband, determined to work and save enough money to have a house in their home village. But she had two children within five years, putting an end to her hopes.
Indonesia’s ‘losers’ reshape policy
TikTok’s abrupt suspension of its online retail business in Indonesia last week, in order to comply with the government’s social media e-commerce ban, dealt a heavy blow to its rapidly expanding e-commerce operation. This situation is not one of governments picking losers, but rather of losers shaping policy, as declining businesses often seek to protect their remaining profits.
Just one week before the ban was announced, Tanah Abang, Jakarta’s colossal wholesale market, came under the government’s scrutiny. Local sellers told government officials that they were hemorrhaging profits, with losses surging past 50 percent, due to the significantly lower-priced imported products readily available online.
Justice minister counting on skilled foreign workers
Japan should act aggressively to accept foreign workers in areas requiring expertise and skills as the economy has become more global, Justice Minister Ryuji Koizumi said in a recent interview.
Accepting foreign workers with expertise and skills “helps boost Japan’s economy and society,” said Koizumi, who was appointed justice minister last month as part of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet reshuffle.
Koizumi emphasized the importance of reviewing the country’s internship program for foreign technical trainees, saying, “It’s important to pay consideration to human rights.”
Critics say the program is advertised as part of Japanese efforts to contribute to the international community but that, in reality, it is used to secure labor. There is a need to eliminate the gap between the concept and the reality, the minister said.
The Government intends to change the program into “something that can be accepted by Japanese people so that an inclusive society with foreign nationals can be realized,” he said.
Regarding same-sex marriage, the justice minister said that a national consensus is needed on whether such marriage should be written into law because it involves the basic concept of family.
The Government will closely monitor opinions among various levels of society, parliamentary debates, developments in lawsuits and the operation of municipal partnership programs that give same-sex relations status similar to marriage, he said.
Record budget to boost economy | thousands rally in support of Palestinians
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced measures to address his government’s financial woes last Friday, introducing new taxes and slashing subsidies in Budget 2024.
This will be the country’s biggest spending plan so far, as Datuk Seri Anwar, who is also finance minister, seeks to boost the economy amid global headwinds that are expected to continue next year.
Nonetheless, some of these fiscal reforms have drawn brickbats for being vague, with analysts and industry players saying the lack of details could sow uncertainty in several sectors including logistics and small businesses.
One Budget measure that may have a direct impact on Singapore residents is the plan to lift price ceilings for chicken and eggs, which cost the government nearly RM4 billion (S$1.1 billion) in subsidies last year and caused a supply crunch. The government hopes leaving prices to the open market will improve supply stability in the long run, and prevent a return of last year’s export bans which squeezed supply of fresh chicken to Singapore.
China got a big contract. Nepal got debt and a pricey airport
On a sweltering June morning, the new international terminal at the airport in Pokhara, Nepal’s second-biggest city, roared to life with the arrival of a Sichuan Airlines flight from China.
A water cannon showered the plane, an Airbus A319, the first international flight to land at the airport since it had opened six months earlier. A throng of people gathered in the arrival area to greet the passengers, wishing them a “hearty welcome” to “the Land of Everest” with their signs.
These maiden arrivals were athletes and Chinese officials who had come for a good-will dragon boat race. Their flight had been chartered and funded by Beijing. Like almost every other facet of the airport, even the first batch of international passengers had relied on China’s favor.
The Celebration masked an unsettling reality: The expensive airport, built largely by Chinese companies and financed by Beijing, was a diplomatic victory for China and a windfall for its state-owned firms. For Nepal, it was already an economic albatross, saddling the country with debt to Chinese creditors for years to come.
Nepal had sought to build an international airport in Pokhara since the late 1970s, hoping that it would catapult the city into a global tourist destination. But the project had stalled for decades, mired in political turmoil, bureaucracy and money problems, until China stepped in.
Israel-Hamas war has ‘hardly any’ impact on Philippine economy
The War between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza has “hardly any” impact on the Philippine economy, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said on Friday.
The Conflict could only negatively affect the Philippines if it leads to a wider conflagration in the Middle East and chokes the supply chain, NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.
“So far, there is hardly any impact,” Balisacan told Palace reporters. “There have been no major disruptions in the supply chain. Oil has increase a bit, but we don’t know if that is just an initial reaction.”
“If it gets into the supply chain, affects global movements of trade… the effects can be even more. But as of this date, we don’t see any major impact in the economy,” he told Palace reporters.
The Philippines has had “very little exposure to both Israel and Palestine” in terms of labor employment, trade, and investment, Balisacan said.
Singapore’s economy in a geopolitical squeezebox
After narrowly avoiding a technical recession earlier this year, recent data shows better-than-expected but still sluggish growth in Singapore. But the city-state’s trade-reliant economy could decelerate for the remainder of this year and even into 2024 if the United States and Chinese economies underperform baseline forecasts, say analysts.
Gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.7 percent year-on-year in the July to September quarter according to according to advance estimates recently published by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the economy expanded by 1 percent, ahead of economists’ forecasts and faster than the tepid 0.1 percent growth in the preceding quarter.
In a policy statement on October 13, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the city-state’s central bank, cited “muted” growth prospects in the near term and expectations of full-year growth to come in “at the lower half” of the official forecast range of 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent. It added that growth in Singapore’s major trading partners should gradually pick up by the second half of next year.
Colombo reaches debt deal with China
Sri Lanka has confirmed that it has reached a deal with China, to restructure $4.2bn (£3.4bn) of debt.
It has been trying to reach similar deals with a number of creditors to unlock the next tranche of a bailout.
Sri Lanka defaulted on its foreign debt in May 2022 amid its worst financial crisis in decades.
Soaring prices and shortages of essential goods sparked nationwide protests last year.
“We thank China Exim bank (Export and Import bank) for the support in resolving our country’s debt situation,” Sri Lanka’s Finance Ministry said in a statement.
“This Agreement constitutes a key milestone in Sri Lanka’s ongoing efforts to foster its economic recovery.”
The Ministry gave no further details on the terms of the agreement.
Sri Lanka has a total foreign debt of $46.9bn, 52 percent of which is owed to China, its largest lender.
Reaching a deal with all of its creditors will allow Sri Lanka to keep accessing funds from a $3bn bailout programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Next tranche – worth $330m – has been on hold since last month after Sri Lanka and the IMF failed to agree on the terms for its disbursement.