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2018 Is Ripe for a ‘Big Unexpected Crisis,’ Eurasia Says

This year could see a geopolitical crisis on the scale of the financial crash a decade ago, Eurasia Group warned in its annual outlook.

Describing global political challenges as “daunting,” the New York-based political risk consultancy said that “if we had to pick one year for a big unexpected crisis — the geopolitical equivalent of the 2008 financial meltdown — it feels like 2018.” The biggest uncertainty surrounds China’s move to fill a vacuum as U.S. influence continues to decline, stoking tensions between the two powers, it said. That’s likely to affect economics as well.

“We see a much greater fragmentation of the global marketplace because governments are becoming more interventionist,” Eurasia President Ian Bremmer said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Tom Keene and Francine Lacqua. “Part of that is because the Chinese have an alternative model for their investments and they’re increasingly going to be seen as the most important driver of other economies around the world who will align themselves more with Beijing than with Washington.”

Here are some of Eurasia’s biggest worries in 2018:


President Xi Jinping’s successful consolidation of authority is helping him to fill the gap created by U.S. President Donald Trump’s move away from Washington-led multilateralism. In areas such as trade and investment, technology and values, China is setting international standards with less resistance than ever before.

“For most of the West, China is not an appealing substitute,” Eurasia said. “But for most everybody else, it is a plausible alternative. And with Xi ready and willing to offer that alternative and extend China’s influence, that’s the world’s biggest risk this year.”


There are too many places where a misstep or misjudgment could provoke serious international conflict. Cyberattacks, North Korea, Syria, Russia and terrorism are some of the risks that could trigger a mistake that leads to confrontation.

“We aren’t on the brink of World War III,” Eurasia said. “But absent a global security underwriter, and with a proliferation of subnational and non-state actors capable of destabilizing action, the world is a more dangerous place.”

Technology Cold War

As rapid technological developments reshape the economic and political order, the process will be messy. Fault lines include a struggle for market dominance, fragmentation and a race for new technologies.

“As our cars, homes, factories, and public infrastructure begin to generate mountains of data, and as connectivity morphs into augmented reality, a new generation of humans will be ‘on the grid’ around the clock, with important implications for society and geopolitics,” Eurasia said. “But until we get there, it’s the world’s biggest fight over economic power.”


Relations between the U.S. and Iran in 2018 will be a source of broad geopolitical and market risk. If the nuclear deal doesn’t survive the year, the Middle East could be pushed into a real crisis.

“Trump has it in for Iran,” Eurasia said. “Rightly or wrongly, he sees the country as the root of much evil in the world.”


Protectionism will make further inroads led by populism, state capitalism and heightened geopolitical tensions. Governments are also intervening in the digital economy and innovation-intensive industries to preserve intellectual property and related technologies.

“The rise of anti-establishment movements in developed markets has forced (in some cases, enabled) policy makers to shift toward a more mercantilist approach to global economic competition and to look as if they’re doing something about lost jobs,” Eurasia said. “Walls are going up.”

2018 will be the ‘worst for humanitarian crises’ since the Second World War

Next year could herald one of the worst humanitarian crises since the end of the Second World War, the new International Development Secretary has warned.

Penny Mordaunt described 2017 as a year of “harrowing humanitarian crises”, adding that “2018 could be even bleaker”.

The warning came as Ms Mordaunt’s Department for International Development announced an additional £21 million package of support for a United Nations fund enabling agencies to respond to emergencies around the world.


From domestic growth to global economy: Key risks for markets in 2018

Of late, the rich market valuations have been drawing a lot of attention, with the market trading 23% above the long-period average. This author discusses the key risks to markets in 2018.

Sustenance of healthy macro fundamentals and liquidity has driven valuation re-rating even without concurrent improvement in micros (earnings growth), in our view.As regards the political landscape, in the first major state elections post GST implementation, the BJP, the ruling party at the center, has won Gujarat for the sixth straight term and Himachal Pradesh (HP) state elections with a comfortable majority.Winning UP and Gujarat right after big structural reforms like demonetization and GST, which have created short-term disruption, reaffirms Mr Modi’s popularity and augurs well from the reforms perspective, in our view.With the overhang behind, we expect the market to revert to fundamentals. H2FY18 should see sharp earnings recovery, led by low base of demonetization and signs of pick-up in rural consumption even as the macros have come off a bit with the rise in crude oil prices, inflation and 10-year bond yields.

Here are the key risks / events that the markets face in the next year:Domestic growth:

2018 less uncertain but still weak. Structural reforms have weakened near-term visibility on most macroeconomic parameters. While the windscreen should clear up through 2018, we believe growth could still be weak. Weak agricultural income growth may suppress broad-based consumption demand, while at the same time helping financial savings.

An unclear outlook, together with low utilization, should keep investment demand weak (new announcements lowest since 2004).

Global markets and economy: Global growth remains tepid but for the first time this decade, estimates are no longer being revised downwards. European capacity utilization is at a post-cycle high, implying pick-up in investment demand. With inflation staying low globally, the withdrawal of central bank accommodation is unlikely to be sudden. Furthermore, with China’s retreat from export markets in polluting industries, market incentives, in the form of elevated margins, would have to stay higher for longer for supply to respond. This trend could last several years.

A turn in the portfolio: As the 2019 general elections get closer, state elections are likely to get more market attention. This has limited direct economic impact, particularly after the budget is presented, but changes in market sentiment may drive volatility. We still believe that one should be invested in the market in spite of the challenges and risk in the markets.

(The author is VP -Equity Advisory, Motilal Oswal Securities)

Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal. They do not reflect the view/s of Business Standard.

G-Global Business Portal Consulting Marketplace Links Economies of Europe and Asia

Estonia announces the establishment of the consulting marketplace G-Global Business Portal. The main objective of the project is to ensure the modernization of enterprises in the real sector of the Estonian economy by attracting technologies of the 21st century. The creation of the G-Global Business Portal is an initiative of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

G-Global Business Portal is a universal platform for communication aimed at sharing knowledge and experience. The consulting marketplace unites experts from all over the world in the fields of finance, business, technology, and science.

The block chain-based G-Global Business Portal platform cooperates with the Angel Vest crypto fund and also integrates the Chrono Bank system into its work. The Chrono Bank system provides efficient human resources management. Denis Tsyro, the head of the G-Global Business Portal, is sure that the tools for modernizing the economy can be block chain technologies, robotics, and crypto currency.

President Nazarbayev noted the need to update the currency system, the emergence of a new type of currency, and a new type of relationship between different currencies. G-Global Business Portal deals with the development of such a new type of currency: cryptocurrency. G-Global Token meets the criteria for cryptocurrency defined by President Nazarbayev: it is easy to use, transparent, and democratic. According to Professor Barabaner, the basis for the formation of the G-Global Token is the use of human intellectual potential.

To implement the project in May 2018, the G-Global Business Portal will launch an ICO.

The project was approved by the Members of Parliament and the Secretary-General of the Centre Party of Estonia, Mikhail Korb, since the G-Global Business Portal corresponds with the vector of development of the Estonian economy in the IT sphere and appears to be a new financial instrument.

The global economic environment headed into 2018

The global economic environment headed into 2018 is about “as good as it gets,” says Goldman Sachs Research’s Chief Economist Jan Hatzius. He expects global growth will reach 4% next year, buoyed by synchronized expansion across developed and emerging markets.

For the first time since 2010, the world economy is outperforming most
predictions — a trend that Goldman Sachs Research economists Jan Hatzius
and Jari Stehn see not only continuing but amplifying in 2018.

Chinese traders race to become a growing force in global copper trading markets

– Chinese traders race to become a growing force in global copper trading markets

– In the last three years, analysts said increased trading activity on the Shanghai Futures Exchange has made it more and more important for global markets.

– CME is planning to launch on Nov. 20 a futures contract settled against spot copper prices in Shanghai.
China’s copper trading market is also maturing with the development of spot trading platforms.

Chinese traders on the Shanghai Futures Exchange are increasingly influencing the price for copper, rather than on the London Metal Exchange, analysts say.

“We’re seeing the center of gravity in the metals pricing shift to China,” said Dane Davis, commodities research analyst at Barclays.

China accounts for nearly half of the world’s consumption of copper, according to Reuters. While traders for years have looked at Chinese data as an indicator on future copper demand, pricing typically followed trading in copper futures contracts from the London Metal Exchange and Chicago-based CME.

In the last three years, analysts said increased trading activity on the Shanghai Futures Exchange has made it more and more important for global markets. The Shanghai market also has a timing advantage, since it begins the trading day ahead of London and Chicago.

“LME is the global benchmark, but the Shanghai center [has] increasing input in how the LME price trades,” said Colin Hamilton, managing director, commodities research at BMO Capital Markets.

Asia metals trading is growing so rapidly for CME, the world’s largest futures exchange, that it is planning to launch on Nov. 20 a futures contract settled against spot copper prices in Shanghai. CME said its contract will be the first financial settled exchange-traded futures product for hedging exposure to Chinese copper.

A rising competitor

“We believe this new contract, which will complement CME Group’s existing physically delivered benchmark COMEX copper futures, will become a reference price for copper traded in or delivered to China,” Young-Jin Chang, executive director of metals products and global head of metals at CME Group, said in a statement.

Year-on-year trading volume in CME’s copper futures contract is up 31 percent, while that of the LME is down 7 percent, Chang told CNBC.

On Thursday, open interest for copper was greatest on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, at 125,994, followed by CME’s COMEX at 96,023 and 84,215 on the LME, according to Thomson Reuters data. Copper has surged more than 22 percent this year, to a three-year high, as traders have bet on greater demand from China.

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In a sense, China already has business control of LME. In 2012, Hong Kong’s stock exchange and futures market operator HKEX acquired LME for 1.4 billion pounds ($2.2 billion at the time).

LME’s parent HKEX said trading volume comparisons between base metals exchanges “can be misleading,” since LME volumes come mostly from the physical market, while mainland Chinese volume comes mostly from retail traders and Chinese hedge funds.

Already in July, Citi analyst Tracy Xian Liao noted in a report that “Activity in Chinese commodity futures markets has exploded over the past three years, and should keep expanding over the next few years, with Beijing set on China playing a larger role in global price discovery.”

Liao noted that total open interest in local Chinese commodities futures exchanges nearly doubled from around $155 billion in 2014 to $265 billion at the end of this past June.

Some are trying to tap into the Shanghai market in order to tap into the arbitrage, or price difference, opportunities in all three markets. London-based Arion Investment Management, which launched a Raptor Commodities Fund in late October, is working to gain access to the Shanghai Futures Exchange, which will likely occur sometime in 2018, according to founder Gerardo Tarricone, formerly of Morgan Stanley.

Chasing a hot sector

“Chinese markets tend to be trend followers. When a sector is hot, funds tend to go into the asset and it runs,” Tarricone said.

Arion expects $10 million will be committed by the end of the year to the Raptor fund, which will be capped at $500 million. The fund is managed by Darius Tabatabai, who previously led metals trading at Credit Suisse and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, according to the company.

As a sign of further, gradual development of China’s copper trading market, some analysts pointed to the emergence of more spot copper trading venues.

“Copper prices are set with the fundamental supply and demand trend. I think with a more in-depth physical market in China, and an increasing number of small regional exchanges in China, the price discovery of the market could improve,” Citi’s Liao told CNBC in a phone interview.

In January 2016, seven Chinese firms, mostly asset managers and some metals companies, invested 1 billion yuan ($150.7 million) into an online spot trading platform called Dasdao. The company launched copper trading in February. A representative told CNBC during a September visit to the Xi’an, China-based company that it is still waiting for full clearance from the government, which should come next year.

HKEX is also working to establish a spot commodities trading platform in Qianhai, Shenzhen, in a new free trade zone in Mainland China near Hong Kong.

“HKEX is using the successful model of the LME to develop a credible, transparent and reliable spot commodities trading venue backed by physical delivery and a warehouse system to support the Mainland’s real economy,” an HKEX spokesman said in an email to CNBC.

“We used to just talk about Chinese fundamentals driving prices,” BMO’s Hamilton said. “In three to four years China will be driving financial markets as well.”

When it comes to investing in the future, go with renewable energy over bitcoin

The trading charts for oil and renewable-energy stocks have diverged this year in a way that should open investor eyes.

Bitcoin is going gangbusters and getting all the attention, but it’s far easier to understand the dynamics in the energy markets, and they show that renewable energy is not going backward again.

The hyper focus on bitcoin is causing investors to miss another huge winner this year that they can actually understand.

Bitcoin is just one of many cryptocurrencies, and it is hard to embrace, if impossible not to follow, as it hits $8,000. It isn’t tangible, and it certainly is difficult to comprehend. Yet all we hear about is how it’s up thousands of percent this year. So you wouldn’t be blamed to figure that you simply missed the best investment of 2017 — and possibly ever.

But there’s another rising trend that’s literally right under your nose: renewable energy. Its potential returns might not come so fast, but I am confident it is here to stay, which is more than I am willing to say about bitcoin.

It used to be that renewable-energy stocks were heavily correlated with carbon-based energy stocks. If the price per barrel of oil rose, so did alternative energy stocks, because higher fossil-fuel prices would make renewable sources of energy more competitively priced. Same thing for the reverse. But that changed this year. The iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN) is up year-to-date by as much as the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) is down, and it’s a huge divergence by any stretch.

Wall Street strategist Tom Lee raises bitcoin forecast, now predicts 40% rise

  • Fundstrat raises its mid-2018 price target for bitcoin to $11,500 from $6,000, representing nearly 40 percent upside to its current level.
  • “In our view, this move to $5,600 cleaned up weak hands and we no longer feel caution is warranted … We recommend steady buying of Bitcoin at these levels,” strategist Tom Lee writes.

After turning cautious on bitcoin earlier this month, Fundstrat’s Tom Lee told clients Wednesday to jump back into the digital currency.

“A few weeks ago, we turned short-term neutral on bitcoin as the price level then (~$7400) exceeded our estimate of fair value,” Lee wrote in the report. “Last week, Bitcoin fell to $5,600 and since then rebounded. In our view, this move to $5,600 cleaned up weak hands and we no longer feel caution is warranted … We recommend steady buying of Bitcoin at these levels.”

As a result, the strategist raised his mid-2018 price target for bitcoin to $11,500 from $6,000, representing nearly 40 percent upside to its current level.

Lee is bullish on the crypotcurrency due to his forecasts for strong growth in the number of bitcoin accounts and transaction dollar volume per account. He noted how Coinbase has more than 14 million accounts.

The price of bitcoin rose 1.3 percent to $8,200 Wednesday. It surpassed the $8,000 level for the first time Sunday, according to data from industry website CoinDesk. The digital currency is up more than 700 percent so far this year.

Big Wall Street banks are not ignoring the digital currency’s rise. Despite JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s outspoken criticism on the viability of bitcoin as an investment, the bank is looking at allowing its clients to trade bitcoin futures, according to a Wall Street Journal report Tuesday.

Apple will release a new and cheaper iPhone by July, according to a report

Apple is preparing to launch a new lower-price iPhone during the first half of 2018, China’s Economic Daily News said Wednesday.

The new iPhone SE 2 will cost about $450 and will be aimed at sales in emerging markets, according to the report, which did not cite sources.

The report suggested that the iPhone SE 2 will replace the current iPhone SE. That phone was designed to cater to fans of smaller displays and who want a less-expensive iPhone, especially consumers in emerging markets who can’t afford Apple’s more premium devices.

The iPhone SE has a 4-inch screen, much smaller than the 4.7-inch display on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8. The current model starts at $349, $200 cheaper than the next most affordable smartphone, Apple’s iPhone 7. The iPhone SE 2 will cost about $450, more expensive than the current price but still less expensive than the iPhone 7, the Daily said.

It’s likely the phone will have a more powerful processor to run Apple’s new iOS 11 operating system.

Apple was not immediately available for comment.

Read the full report by the Economic Daily News here.

India’s impact on the Global Economic Order

India’s impact on the global economic order

India’s growth is having an impact on the current global economic order, said Martin Sorrell, Group Chief Executive, WPP, in an interview. Mr Sorrell is also Co-Chair of the India Economic Summit (27-29 November).

Martin SorrellWhat value do you think the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit brings?

It communicates and reinforces the importance of India as a growing economy and a tremendous source of intellect, creativity and strength in our industries. It also demonstrates to Indians and foreigners the importance of developing businesses and operations not only in India but in the context of Asia Pacific as a whole.

The value of the World Economic Forum is that it emphasizes that message and provides a productive debate on how further improvements can be made by liberalizing trade and services even more effectively such as restrictions on media ownership. We are going to have a good attendance at the India Economic Summit which shows just how top of mind India is.

The India Economic Summit 2005 is focusing on India’s phenomenal growth and the impact this is having on its relations with the rest of the world. What is your growth scenario for India over the coming decade?

I would be very surprised if India does not continue to grow at significantly faster growth rates than we see elsewhere in the world. I certainly hope that is the case. This will depend to some extent on the continued strength of the United States economy.

Whilst I think that the Asian tigers have become less dependent and more independent vis a vis the US, they are still interdependent and therefore strong growth depends on the American economy. Maybe if we start to see a resurgence in Japanese growth, that will help growth in India and China too.

Over a third of the world’s population is concentrated in two Asian countries and both those countries are becoming very important in the context of our operations. We have a well-established business in India and strong market share in our industry. We have around 5,500 people working in our businesses and although the Indian advertising and marketing services market is not in the top 10 worldwide whereas China is, India is growing very rapidly.

Those two countries represent our strongest growth businesses. During the first six months of 2005, our business in China grew by about 22 percent, excluding acquisitions, and in India by 13 percent. And that compares with six percent growth elsewhere in the world.

There will be bumps, things can’t go upwards forever and I would say that if we did see dips in the Indian economy, we would buy on the dips to give ourselves an opportunity to expand our position. Given our business is really about investing in people, the quality of the people that we have in India is absolutely outstanding. A number of Indians have gone into management positions outside India.

From your perspective, how is India’s role changing in the world economy and how is this impacting the current global economic order?

I think India’s growth is having an impact on the current global economic order. This is not new, if we go back to 1825, we would find that India and China represented the same proportion of worldwide GDP that they are forecast to represent in 2025. And this is a 200 year economic cycle that we are seeing.

So I think that it will continue with significant success and I see no reason for it to be checked in the short-term.

Most people associate India and China with low-cost outsourcing and low-cost manufacturing. And I do not believe that it is low cost. I think it is high quality at the price that they deliver. The price-value relationship is very strong. Some research work that we had done in India which was outstanding and which was at relatively low cost, would have cost significantly more in the Western market. If you look at the importance that Indians attach to education, it’s phenomenal and not dissimilar to what we see in China.

How would you characterize the West’s response to the emergence of India and China?

Most people in the 1990s espoused the benefits of free trade and globalization. But it is a two-way street. You cannot say it’s wonderful when you benefit from it and not-so-wonderful when you suffer some of the reverse.

And we clearly have failed to adequately explain to car workers in Detroit the benefits of globalization because when they see Japanese, South Korean or Chinese competition, they view it as jobs being taken away from them rather than looking at the benefits of the expansion of the economy through globalization and free trade. What you have to do is look at this as an opportunity and try and capitalize on it rather than reject it.
“The value of the World Economic Forum is that it provides a productive debate on how further improvements can be made by liberalizing trade and services even more effectively.”
The structures and regulations in most cases have enabled us to compete effectively. There are some industries where that is not the case, but certainly entry into the Indian and Chinese markets has probably been easier than we saw in Japan and South Korea.

India currently runs one of the highest budget deficits in the world and so how badly could a downturn in the world economy hurt India’s growth?

That is a worry and the same thing is true for China. I was in Thailand recently and the rise in oil price has had an impact on the Thai economy, dampening growth prospects there. It is inevitable that there will be some cyclical response or downturn if the American economy comes under pressure to a significant degree, and the current oil price does not make these sorts of calculations or situations easy.

So far, over the last 15 years we have been very fortunate that the US economy has been very well managed and there have been cyclical shocks for example in Asia in 1997 and after the internet bust in 2001. The recoveries have been very quick and I think we were all amazed by how quickly the Argentinian economy recovered. And so I think it is a worry and it is a source of concern and we have to watch it carefully. And if that were to happen, we would use the opportunity to invest in India even more heavily.

The Media and Entertainment industry in India has received a shot in the arm following the government’s decision to open up the FM radio and newspaper segments to FDI. There is also greater availability of organized finance in cinema and a rapid expansion in TV channels. What are the opportunities emerging from the most recent policy changes?

They’re all to be welcomed. There were some concerns about it going the other way with some restrictions on commercials on television and media ownership. I read about attempts by foreign retailers like Tesco and Walmart to enter the Indian market and I think that the further opening up of the economy whether it be in retail or services or media is all to be welcomed and will stimulate investment and therefore jobs and therefore incomes. This will also help with the trickle down effect which is obviously an issue that people are concerned about.

Just How Big Is China’s Impact On The World Economy?

How big of a deal is China?

Just ask Tata Steel, Vale, Rio Tinto . The list is long of steel makers and iron ore exporters that have been crushed by Chinese oversupply.

About 15,000 British jobs are at risk if India-owned Tata Steel cannot find a buyer for its U.K. plants, including the heavily loss-making Port Talbot works in South Wales, the WSJ reported on March 31. The company said it wanted out of the U.K. after roughly 10 years of losing money there thanks to the influx of cheap China steel.

Over the last year, Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton , all iron ore suppliers to China steel companies, have watched their share values erode more than their local index averages.

In an election year like this one in the U.S., the story is — especially on Donald Trump’s campaign — that the Chinese have destroyed American manufacturing. While China becomes a bad guy every four years, its impact on global markets is more obvious now than ever. China may be hated more than it is liked, but the U.S. economy remains tightly linked to theirs.

Hedge funds, led by famous short seller George Soros, are betting on big corrections in Chinese assets, and are shorting its currency, the renmimbi. Investors are less interested today in countries dependent on Chinese demand. This has hurt Brazil’s physical economy as much as its ongoing political crisis.

When China Sneezes

The economic damage is widespread. Muted growth in Chinese demand for commodities such as copper has hit Latin America. Declines in car imports have affected Germany. Declines in computer and audio equipment demand has hurt Japan as China’s home grown equipment market replaces it.

Korea is an even more interesting example, says Andrew McCaffery, global head of alternative investing at Aberdeen Asset Management, one of the U.K.’s biggest investment firms. “The slowdown in China has hit world trade in general, as patients who breathed in the Chinese sneeze pass the germs onto other countries, which then pass it further down the line. Korea’s export market looks much less promising because of weakening sales to China,” he says.

Like other China dependent exporters, Korea will be forced to rely on its own demand. But the likelihood of success varies widely from country to country.

Korean household debt is already so high it will be hard for consumers to pick up the slack. Japan’s government is practically handing money out to consumers to get them to shop. Whether it can do so is unclear. That’s not all China’s fault. Decades of deflation-depressed consumption have Japanese rightfully thinking: why buy today, when I can buy for less tomorrow?

In Brazil, high interest rates caused by inflation have left families struggling to keep up on their loan payments. Defaults are rising. And although they are not yet at crisis levels, Brazilians are no longer feeling rich. A political crisis and a weak China has hurt the economy and the locals are less likely to spend diminishing incomes on “retail therapy”, says McCaffery, “unless they’re happy to seek debt counseling afterwards.”

China Growth No Longer Impresses

Oddly enough, even though China is growing over 6%, consensus is that it is not enough for the country to reform its economic system and keep full employment. Employment is an important part of the policy picture in China. It’s still a poor country. And a poor country with a few hundred million struggling to survive can lead to the sort of political unrest the Communist Party fears.

China bashing is popular, but China’s importance to the U.S. economy and the world’s cannot be understated. Chinese economic policy became an important driver to growth in 2009 when the U.S. and Europe were crashing. Without the trillions it spent on stimulating the economy, many countries would have found no buyer for their goods, including the U.S.

Now China is no longer willing to stimulate consumption and much of its physical economy is left to its own devices. Some welcome this more capitalist approach, on the one hand. But on the other, fear it means a greater slowdown is coming. Some say China’s real GDP is closer to 2%.

China releases first quarter GDP on Friday. Nomura Securities estimates the economy grew at a 6.2% pace year over year.

China’s influence is growing, perhaps more than even Washington lets on. Its currency will become part of the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights in October, making it the only emerging market currency in the basket. That gives big emerging market nations like Brazil and Russia another currency to hold in its central bank reserves other than the dollar and euro, the two currencies currently preferred.

World War 3 warning: Threat of North Korea-US war goes ‘UP’ if China diplomacy fails

NORTH KOREA has “accelerated” its capabilities and the likelihood of a war breaking out between Kim Jong-un’s state and the US goes “up and up”, according to a former top US military official.
North Korea has repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons and in its latest warning has told the United States to take the threat “literally”.

Michael Mullen, a retired United States Navy admiral, has warned about the consequences of the US entering a war with the North Korea, amid growing World War 3 fears.

Speaking to France 24, Mr Mullen said China needed to step in to do more to prevent North Korea from beginning a devastating war.

He said: “One of the things that has clearly happened in North Korea is that Kim Jong-un has accelerated his timeline beyond previous estimates of just about all analysts.

Pakistan more dangerous than North Korea: Ex-US Senator Larry Pressler

WASHINGTON: Pakistan is more dangerous than North Korea as it does not have a centralised control on its nuclear weapons, making them vulnerable to theft and sale, a former top American Senator warned, describing both the nations as rogue states.
Larry Pressler, who served as chairman of the US Senate’s Arms Control Subcommittee, feared that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons might be used against the US, warning the possibility of someone buying these nuclear weapons from generals or colonels.
As chairman of Senate Arms Control Subcommittee, Pressler advocated the now-famous Pressler Amendment, enforced in 1990.
Aid and military sales to Pakistan were blocked, including a consignment of F-16 fighter aircraft, changing forever the tenor of the US relationships with Pakistan and India.
“Their weapons could be transported to the US fairly simply. Just as 9/11 was a very simple operation run by 20 or 30 people,” he said.
“The Pakistani nuclear bombs are not controlled. They are subject to sale or stealing and they could be easily gotten out of Pakistan to just about anywhere in the world,” he said speaking at an event organised by The Hudson Institute, a top American think-tank.
“I consider Pakistan more dangerous than North Korea in the sense that Pakistan don’t have a centralised control of their nuclear weapons,” Pressler said while discussing his latest book ‘Neighbours in Arms: An American Senator’s Quest for Disarmament in a Nuclear Subcontinent’.
The former top American Senator, however, said he does not think that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are going to be used against India.
“I think what North Korea needs is just a lot of attention and hand-holding. Pakistan is a different thing because you don’t really have one person in charge. I think Pakistan is more dangerous to the US,” he reiterated in response to a question.
With Secretary of State Rex Tillerson having just concluded his India trip wherein he sought to elevate India-US relationship, Pressler said the US should declare Pakistan a terrorist state.
“We should declare Pakistan a terrorist state. We should put certain sanctions on Pakistan,” he said.
Pressler said in his book he has made recommendations for some reforms to treat India at a higher level.
When a Pakistani embassy official asked Pressler, if it is appropriate to categorise Pakistan and North Korea on the same page, the Senator said “Yes”.
“From a nuclear dangerous point of view, I think they are both the rogue states in my opinion. They both do not have the interests of the US in mind. Pakistan has and is harbouring terrorists. And North Korea is a threat to the US,” he said.
He said President Donald Trump may be one of the best presidents for India in terms of Indo-US relationship.
Trump, Tillerson and the secretary of defense are advocating closer relationships with India, he said.
“They are coming close to declaring Pakistan a terrorist state or at least in effect. And they are very interested in moving toward more free trade with India of course,” the former Senator from South Dakota said.

Donald Trump signs USD 36.5 billion emergency aid bill for disasters

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has signed a USD 36.5 billion emergency aid measure to refill disaster accounts, provide a cash infusion to Puerto Rico and bail out the federal flood insurance program.

The president signed the bill yesterday after the Senate sent him the measure earlier this week to help Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico after a devastating string of hurricanes. The money will also help Western states dealing with massive wildfires.
To date, Congress has approved more than USD 50 billion in disaster aid this fall, but more money will be needed. The states and Puerto Rico continue to assess the damage from an onslaught of damaging storms.

Singapore passport world’s ‘most powerful’, India ranks 75

SINGAPORE: Singapore has the world’s “most powerful” passport, according to a global ranking topped for the first time by an Asian country with India figuring at 75th position, three notches better than its previous ranking.
According to the ‘Global Passport Power Rank 2017′ by global financial advisory firm Arton Capital, Germany is ranked second, followed by Sweden and South Korea in third place.
Paraguay removed visa requirements for Singaporeans, propelling Singapore’s passport to the top of Passport Index’ most powerful ranking with a visa-free score of 159, the company statement said.
Historically, the top 10 most powerful passports in the world were mostly European, with Germany having the lead for the past two years. Since early 2017, the number one position was shared with Singapore, which was steadily going up, it said.
“For the first time ever an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world. It is a testament of Singapore’s inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy,” said Philippe May, managing director of Arton Capital’s Singapore office.
India, which was listed 78th last year, has improved its ranking, figuring at 75th position with a visa-free score of 51.
Coming in at last place on the list is Afghanistan, ranked 94 with a score of 22, followed by Pakistan and Iraq at 93 with a score of 26, Syria at 92, having a score of 29 and Somalia at 91 with a score 34.
“Visa-free global mobility has become an important factor in today’s world,” said founder and president of Arton Capital Armand Arton at the recently held Global Citizen Forum in Montenegro.
“More and more people every year invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a second passport to offer better opportunity and security for their families,” Arton added.
While Singapore quietly climbed the ranks, the US passport has fallen down since President Donald Trump took office. Most recently Turkey and the Central African Republic revoked their visa-free status to US passport holders, the statement said.

Business will remain fundamental to global economy; needs to evolve with emerging market, technology and policy innovation

Business will remain fundamental to global economy; needs to evolve with emerging market, technology and policy innovation

BANGLORE, 20th May, 2017: Trade will remain the main engine of growth for the global economy but it needs to evolve with respect to emerging market, technology, business and policy innovation. The export-led growth strategy will yield results only when the surpluses generated from such growth are deployed for public good.

This was stated by Mr. Krishna Pandey, Executive Director (Asia Pacific), Cross Border Conference on Trade and Development (CBCTD), while delivering a thought leadership lecture on ‘Globalization and its Challenges to the Trade and Development Agenda’ organized by EPCC and JAS-AAS, USA.

Mr. Pandey said that CBCTD was promoting policies to create conducive and stable ecosystem for economic growth and sustainable development. Citing examples of nations around the world, which successfully revamped their economies with export-led growth, Mr. Pandey said that some of the countries ploughed back their surpluses majorly for public good and used only a part of it to further pursue export-led growth on a sustainable basis. Nations which relied only on growth via exports were faced with challenging issues.

He said that international markets need to be open and also ensure that trade does deliver.

Without policies for sharing prosperity, trade can increase inequalities, heighten social tensions and raise the prospect of outright unrest. Without policies for protecting the planet, trade can weaken ecosystems. When world trade doesn’t work for the benefit of all, the promise of globalization is called into question.

He said that policy makers can help reverse the growing mistrust in the global trading system by ensuring that trade agreements are aligned with economic and social needs and aspirations of the people. He added that many a time trade agreements are fast-tracked by legislatures without enough debate on the potential negative effects certain provisions could have on different segments of the population.


EPCC Welcomes to Global Business Leaders

EPCC Welcomes to Global Business Leaders

Dubai, 26 September 2017: The Explore Productive Chamber of Commerce (EPCC) welcomes to the global business leaders to meeting with Industry Associations, corporate, international development agencies to discuss issues effecting industrial growth and business networking.

EPCC providing global business network through the membership of high-networth institutions. EPCC offering various Membership as per the size and investment of companies as Entrepreneur Fellow, Executive Fellow, Diplomat Fellow, and Ambassador Fellow. For details- https://epccglobal.org/join

EPCC offering opportunity of Global Franchising, B2B Meetings, Exhibitions, International Trade Promotions and Conferences on Trade and Investment in the Global Market.

Now, EPCC directly presence 12 countries and facilitating services above 150 countries.

EPCC working with the government agencies, international agencies, diplomatic missions, and big corporate to build a stronger partnership with the private sector so that the private sector once again becomes a driver of growth and a generator of employment in the global market.


Indian Surgeons separate twins joined at the Head, big achievement in healthcare

Surgeons in the Indian capital, Delhi, have separated twin boys who were conjoined at the tops of their heads.
Two-year-old Jaga and Kalia underwent 16 hours of surgery, and are now in the intensive care unit, doctors said.
A team of 30 doctors carried out the surgery – the first of its kind in India – at a state-run hospital.
The boys were born with shared blood vessels and brain tissues, a very rare condition that occurs once in about three million births.
The director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Randeep Guleria, told the Press Trust of India that the “next 18 days would be extremely critical to ascertain the success of the surgery”.
The twins, hailing from a village in eastern Orissa state, were joined at the head – a condition known as craniopagus.
Even before the operation they had defeated the odds; craniopagus occurs in one in three million births, and 50% of those affected die within 24 hours, doctors say.
“Both the children have other health issues as well. While Jaga has heart issues, Kalia has kidney problems,” neurosurgeon A K Mahapatra said.
“Though initially Jaga was healthier, now his condition has deteriorated. Kalia is better,” he added.
Doctors said the most challenging job after the separation was to “provide a skin cover on both sides of the brain for the children as the surgery had left large holes on their heads”.
“If the twins make it, the next step will be reconstructing their skulls,” plastic surgeon Maneesh Singhal said.
The first surgery was performed on 28 August when the doctors created a bypass to separate the shared veins that return blood to the heart from the brain.

For any global medical assistance – www.explorehealth.com.np, info@explorehealth.com.np

The man who ‘discovered’ 780 Indian languages

When Ganesh Devy, a former professor of English, embarked on a search for India’s languages, he expected to walk into a graveyard, littered with dead and dying mother tongues.
Instead, he says, he walked into a “dense forest of voices”, a noisy Tower of Babel in one of the world’s most populous nations.
He discovered that some 16 languages spoken in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh have 200 words for snow alone – some of them ornately descriptive like “flakes falling on water”, or “falling when the moon is up”.
He found that the nomadic communities in the desert state of Rajasthan used a large number of words to describe the barren landscape, including ones for how man and animal separately experience the sandy nothingness. And that nomads – who were once branded “criminal tribes” by British rulers and now hawk maps for a living at Delhi’s traffic crossings – spoke a “secret” language because of the stigma attached to their community.
In a dozen villages on the western coast of Maharashtra, not far from the state capital Mumbai, he discovered people speaking an “outdated” form of Portuguese. A group of residents in the far-flung eastern archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar spoke in Karen, an ethnic language of Myanmar. And some Indians living in Gujarat even spoke in Japanese. Indians, he found, spoke some 125 foreign languages as their mother tongue.
Dr Devy, an untrained linguist, is a soft-spoken and fiercely determined man. He taught English at a university in Gujarat for 16 years before moving to a remote village to start working with local tribespeople. He helped them access credit, run seed banks and healthcare projects. More importantly, he also published a journal in 11 tribal languages.
– The 1961 census counted 1,652 Indian languages
– The People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) counted 780 Indian languages in 2010
197 of these are endangered, 42 of them critically so, according to UNESCO
– Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in the northeast, Maharashtra and Gujarat in the west, Orissa and Bengal in the east, and Rajasthan in the north have the most languages
– India has 68 living scripts
– The country publishes newspapers in 35 languages
– Hindi is India’s most used language, spoken by 40% of Indians. This is followed by Bengali (8.0%), Telugu (7.1%), Marathi (6.9%), and Tamil (5.9%)
– The state-run All India Radio (AIR) broadcasts programmes in 120 languages
– Only 4% of languages are represented in India’s parliament

Sources: Census of India, 2001, 1962, UNESCO, People’s Linguistic Survey of India 2010.