Visible Economic Issues – Westie Lovers http://westielovers.com/ Sat, 17 Jul 2021 08:12:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 https://westielovers.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/cropped-icon-32x32.png Visible Economic Issues – Westie Lovers http://westielovers.com/ 32 32 Festschrift in honor of Denja Abdullahi https://westielovers.com/festschrift-in-honor-of-denja-abdullahi/ https://westielovers.com/festschrift-in-honor-of-denja-abdullahi/#respond Sat, 17 Jul 2021 07:12:02 +0000 https://westielovers.com/festschrift-in-honor-of-denja-abdullahi/ When beggars die, you don’t see comets; the heavens themselves are set ablaze for the death of princes. The world is a stage and the people in it are just players. If a child washes his hands, he can eat with kings and elders. These three aphorisms popularized by William Shakespeare and Chinua Achebe recently […]]]>


When beggars die, you don’t see comets; the heavens themselves are set ablaze for the death of princes. The world is a stage and the people in it are just players. If a child washes his hands, he can eat with kings and elders.

These three aphorisms popularized by William Shakespeare and Chinua Achebe recently came to fruition with the publication of a festschrift in honor of Denja Abdullahi, an Abuja-based cultural technocrat, playwright,
literary critic and poet. The festschrift, published by Kraft Books, a publishing house based in Ibadan, Nigeria, is a collection of scholarly articles written by cultural experts and scholarly scholars and packaged for
to mark the 50th anniversary of the cultural and literary icon, Denja Abdullahi, which took place in 2019.

Entitled in iconographic mode, Of foot-soldiers and Hybrid Visions: A Festschrift in Honor of Denja Yahaya Abdullahi, and in 721 pages, it radiographs in the broadest sense of the critical questions concerning Nigerian cultural heritage
and its limitations in attempting to address national issues of business existence and unity. It also sheds light on Denja’s literary reputation and artistic works before focusing on the aesthetic and socio-political considerations that underpin his cultural and artistic productions.

The festschrift is made up of nine sections, each representing a related mode of cultural, literary and artistic discourse.

The first section, captioned “Art, Culture and the Defense of Women’s Rights” includes five essays developed by leaders of Naija culture, such as Ahmed Yerima, former director of the Lagos National Troupe and Sunday Enessi Adodo, renowned theater scholar. The section examines the contours of Nigerian literature and culture and their potentials in the development and prosperity of the country, and the insufficient efforts so far to harness or harness this potential for optimal performance and use in order to to promote the national interests of the nation. What echoes here is the deep excavation of the enormous possibilities of Nigerian arts and cultural heritage as well as a scathing and veiled accusation from Nigerian governments for not doing enough to galvanize its arts agencies and platforms. and cultural activities towards optimal achievement of results in the country’s art and culture sub-sectors.

The second section captioned “Popular Culture and Social Media” consists of three essays written by cultural experts from academic acme reflects the importance of cultural awareness and adjustment to mitigate cultural shock among Nigerians, the negative cultural attitudes that trigger conflict and violence and how to stem the tide, and also the booming stand-up comedy that I have called elsewhere Nigerian theater laff-laff from its original
stingy cradle of a lucrative industry. Many comedians have been distinguished for praise or praise for their creativity and ingenuity. Some of the essays focus on how culture and the arts can
contribute massively to the economic prosperity of Nigeria.

The success story of social figures is a good clue that the environment fostering cultural awareness can be a source of capacity building and wealth, even in a highly competitive and diverse economy.

The third section includes fifteen essays written mostly by academics and captioned “Critical Appraisal of the Works of Denja Abdullahi,” in particular his dramatic and poetic writings, Abuja Nunyi, The King’s Death and Gray Hair, A Thousand Years of Thirst and Mairogo. Essays assess works as literary texts imbued with the appropriate literary traditions. All critics come to a verdict that in Denja’s works the tendency has been to comment on cultural and social issues in terms that skillfully manipulate his sensitive material to balance the demands of social engagement and artistic objectivity. In addition, his plays and poems derive from myths, his characters are realistic and his themes based on the dispossession or abandonment of man are expressed in a broad theatrical and figurative language.

The fifth section consists of five essays on contemporary Nigerian literature covering historiography, feminist responses to the Nigerian Civil War, 1966-1970, Elechi Amadi’s contribution to Nigerian literary heritage, Ojaide’s poetic evocations on the Colonial and Post-Colonial Experiences in Nigeria, and Zainab Alkali and Timothy -Asobele’s forays into the use of literature as a means of peacebuilding and bridging the gaps resulting from ethnic plurality in northern Nigeria.

The discourse here is sufficiently dialectical and didactic to enable the reader to grasp the relationship between culture, history and literature, the state of Nigerian literature, and the importance of literature in facilitating unity in a heterogeneous society. .

The sixth section includes five essays based on the literary works of Denja Abdullahi and written by different critics. The proofreaders, themselves literary teachers and critics focus on thematic trusts as well as on stylistic, literary and linguistic resources appropriate in his creative writing.

The seventh section is made up of personal interviews during which Denja unveils the philosophy underlying her artistic and literary theory and practice. Section Eight consists of sincere creative tributes or apprehensions and expressions of gratitude and praise to Denja Abdullahi by colleagues, contemporaries and mentees.

Finally, section nine includes poems, conceived in the form of lyrical odes, and giving a zesty expression to its outlook, air, sharpness and amiable personality.

Bigots, like Marxist scholars or other sectarian and self-proclaimed literary juggernauts, who now ogle in fox-obsessed libraries or study centers, might, out of envy, ask impulsively: Does Denja Abdullahi deserve it? distinction of having
such a robust festschrift packaged in his honor, that it now settles in the foyers of the Nigerian literary high table, alongside Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, JP Clark, Ola Rotimi and other literary giants who so honor
has been granted in the past? The answer to this question is not difficult to offer. As Chinua Achebe pontified in his classic novel Things Fall Apart (1957), a child who washes his hands well can eat with elders. Denja Abdullahi has indeed washed his hands sufficiently in the field of literature, culture and the arts, and he therefore eats with kings and elders.

Born 51 years ago in Idah, Kogi State, Nigeria, Denja Abdullahi is an aspiring poet, playwright, performer, essayist and technocratic culture ”(see Festschrift 683). His journey to fame and iconography in culture and art began shortly after graduating from the University of Jos in 1993. He taught the English language at a Federal Polytechnic for five years before that. to transfer his service to the National Council for Arts and Culture in 1998, where he
achieved his current status and honored position as a director, as a result of his successful engagement in the field of culture, literature and art.

In addition to writing, acting and contributing to state policy on culture and art, he had also been active in cultural policy, which paid off when he was elected president. of the Nigerian Authors’ Association (ANA) in 2015.
In addition to positioning the ANA as a visible organization in Nigeria and even beyond, Denja is known for promoting countless literary events and workshops that have led to the discovery and education of promising young writers, to the immortalization and canonization of past and living Nigerian writers, such as Chinua Achebe, JP Clark and Ikeogu Oke, establishing a platform for the publication of works written by established and established authors.
the new members of the ANA and the construction of a writers’ village worthy of Mpape, Abuja.

Infantrymen and Hybrid Visions: A Festival in Honor of Denja Yahaya Abdullahi is therefore a well-deserved honor for a man whose name is widely considered to symbolize character, charisma and
vision required for results-oriented articulation, production and promotion of Nigerian heritage art and culture in the immediate present or in the future.

Anyone who walks through this festschrift anytime or anywhere is connected with the spiritual and enigmatic superficial aura of Denja disguised in its large pages. His works tacitly imbue him with an image reminiscent of the mythical inseparable Leandro whose romantic dares to cross Helensport in search of his true love, Hero was truncated by the jealous breeze that extinguished the candle lighting his way from Hero’s Tower.
the window through the waters and drowned. Unlike Leandro, Denja himself remains free and unfazed in his pursuit of cultural and literary programs; and he continued to float on Nigerian cultural and artistic waterways, his passion stoking the bonfires of literary and cultural arts in unquenchable flames, flickering unperturbed in a quivering heat on the canvas.

As Of Infantrymen and Hybrid Visions: A Festschrift in Honor of Denja Yahaya Abdullahi is reviewed globally by readers, it does not lack its essence as a historical document that presents Denja Abdullahi as a protean literary mind, making full use of a unique cultural, literary and linguistic arsenal.

Sunday Agollo is a consultant art researcher, literary editor
Email: dimancheagolo@gmail.com
Phone. : 07069343633

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Understanding the South African “volcano” https://westielovers.com/understanding-the-south-african-volcano/ https://westielovers.com/understanding-the-south-african-volcano/#respond Thu, 15 Jul 2021 07:16:53 +0000 https://westielovers.com/understanding-the-south-african-volcano/ The eruption of a volcano is only the visible part of a process that took place in the earth’s crust long before the eruption. It is not possible to fully understand volcanic eruptions independently of these previous processes and any attempt to do so leads to a biased and singled out account of the complexity […]]]>


The eruption of a volcano is only the visible part of a process that took place in the earth’s crust long before the eruption. It is not possible to fully understand volcanic eruptions independently of these previous processes and any attempt to do so leads to a biased and singled out account of the complexity of the processes that caused the eruption. Using the volcano as a metaphor, following the ongoing protests, riots and looting in parts of South Africa, many opinions and perspectives expressed are aimed only at these visible eruptions. However, understanding the processes leading to what is ultimately made visible and felt is an important part of a holistic account of the current wave of violence in the country.

As a researcher and lecturer in visual and cultural studies, part of my job is to make sense of visible, cultural and socio-political contexts, using existing writing and theoretical perspectives. Aside from the academic merits of this exercise, it is a core practice that helps provide nuanced perspectives to narratives that are often flattened and distorted by news and social media.

There are useful texts to provide perspective and understanding following the protests that began last week after Jacob Zuma was imprisoned. Three of them are particularly valuable, but by no means summarize the varied readings, implications and complex contexts of a tumultuous South Africa in 2021.

Slavoj Žižek on the British riots of 2011

In 2011 in the London book review Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek wrote about the violent riots in London triggered by the shooting of Mark Duggan, 29, by the city’s Metropolitan Police. Žižek notes that the conservative and liberal reactions against these disturbances are insufficient.

He argues that conservative factions have completely rejected riots and vandalism, calling for sheer discipline, hard work and responsibility to end the unrest. The flaw in this reaction was that it ignored the desperate social situation that had triggered these reactions in the first place. On the other hand, the reactions of the liberal left calling for social programs and increased social integration. The problem with this reaction was that it captured the objective causes of the riots, but ignored the subjective accounts of those who took part in the unrest.

In the context of the current violence in South Africa, an exclusive focus on either reaction would be equally inadequate. In situations like these, there is a tendency to choose sides and then diminish information about multifaceted circumstances so that that choice of two feels natural and absolute. Instead, “truth” and “reality” are plural concepts and cannot be reduced to binary positions on extremely complex situations and the contexts that triggered them.

Žižek shows that the targets of the unrest in the UK in 2011 were shopkeepers and traders in rioting quarters. He writes: “The truth is that the conflict was between two poles of underprivileged: those who managed to function within the system versus those who are too frustrated to keep trying. … The conflict is not between different parts of society; it is, in its most radical form, the conflict between society and society, between those who have everything and those who have nothing to lose.

A Nids-Cram Report 2020 published in July of last year reported on the early social and economic impact of Covid-19 and the lockdown on South African citizens. This report found that South Africans saw an 18% drop in employment between February and April 2020 – job losses were concentrated on those already disadvantaged. Additionally, 47% of those polled reported that their household was out of money to buy food as of April 2020. The report’s findings were serious, and a year that saw various lockdown milestones to tackle three waves of Covid-19 infections have only gotten worse. the gloomy social and economic situation.

Žižek argues that the riots in the UK were “a manifestation of a fiercely enforced consumerist desire when it could not come true the ‘right’ way – by shopping”. He says these actions read as an ironic protest against the materialistic consumer culture that required citizens to prove themselves by spending money, but the economic situation of the demonstrators did not allow them to comply with this rite of social passage. This may be true for a number of frustrated South Africans who for many years now have been left on the fringes of the economy and cannot afford to be part of consumer citizenship.

Žižek does not condemn or condone the British riots with this argument, but simply points it out as a valid point for understanding the full picture surrounding these events – the same can be achieved in a South African context.

Frantz Fanon on the role of violence in the postcolony (1961)

In The damned of the earth, postcolonial theorist and psychiatrist Frantz Fanon writes about the role of violence in changing a country, society and people from colonized to decolonized. Fanon is certainly not calling for arbitrary violence. He argues that without a violent overthrow and the removal of the old oppressive regimes, some of the roots of these forms of power will remain even when colonial power is no longer in official power.

In a South African context, the same can be said of the power of apartheid and its structures. Many of the current social and economic failures in South Africa are the result of corruption and constitutionally unacceptable behavior by politicians in recent years. At the same time, as Fanon would say, a strong house cannot be built on a weak foundation, and many of the current problems in South African society are the result of the roots of power and apartheid structures that fail. have never been radically suppressed.

The effects of these two continuous presences were felt hard during the time of Covid-19. In December 2020 Stats SA launched a data visualization dashboard which maps the vulnerability of South African communities to the spread of the virus, based on a variety of risk indicators and aggravating factors. According to this platform, seven of the nine South African provinces are the most vulnerable to Covid-19 due to a lack of sanitation. This means that in seven of the nine provinces, people are at risk of spreading the virus because they do not have toilets or other sanitation facilities in their homes. In two of these seven provinces, this risk factor is combined with a lack of access to running water in the home.

At the same time, the Western Cape and Gauteng, as the country’s economic hubs and home to the largest white population groupss, are indicated as being primarily vulnerable to the virus due to the age of provincial citizens. This points to a social and economic chasm, reflecting traces of the country’s past that continue to manifest in the growing unequal distribution of privileges in South Africa. This helps to account for the invisible processes leading to grievances visualized by the current wave of unrest and violence.

Alan Paton’s Cry, the beloved country (1948)

Paton classic novel, published the year the apartheid government came to formal power, provides a literary social protest against the structures that would eventually give rise to apartheid. Reading the novel in 2021 is shocking, because so many of the issues Paton draws attention to in South African society are still topical and topical (Fanon would say this is why violence has a necessary role to play ).

There is a scene in which John Kumalo is making a speech about the labor situation in South Africa and the decent pay for workers in the mining industry which is particularly significant. While the speech is addressed to Johannesburg’s gold mining industry, it can be supported by any current South African company. This writing takes on particular significance after Marikana, especially given the criticism leveled at President Cyril Ramaphosa both in the current protests and those seen in Marikana in 2012.

Kumalo says, “We only ask for the things that hardworking men fight for in every country in the world, the right to sell our labor for what it’s worth, the right to raise our families as honest men should. make. They say higher wages will lead to mine closures. So what is this mining industry worth? And why should he be kept alive, if it is only our poverty that keeps him alive? They say it makes the country rich, but what do we see of this wealth? Do we have to stay poor for others to stay rich?

If this is the fate of a working class man, the cause of the 32.6% of unemployed in South Africa perhaps much more desperate and drastic. These reactions are read in connection with calls for the nationalization of mines and resources as attempts to offer more South Africans a portion of what their work produces.

Žižek writes that “when something happens only once, it can be considered an accident, something that could have been avoided if the situation had been handled differently; but when the same event is repeated, it is a sign that a deeper historical process is taking place. The current protests in South Africa are not isolated incidents, neither locally nor globally (Cuba, Hong Kong and others protest against Covid-19 lockdown measures).

Protests sparked by a lack of service delivery, access to housing, community safety and labor compensation have escalated in South Africa over the past two years. It is undoubtedly an indication of a repeating event, a sign that a historical process is making itself visible. At a time like this, superficial attempts to keep the breakouts going will not be enough. Instead, what is needed are profound structural changes to provide lasting solutions to prevent future breakouts.



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“Most ridiculous”: Chidambaram accused by the government of high inflation during the reign of Congress | Exclusive https://westielovers.com/most-ridiculous-chidambaram-accused-by-the-government-of-high-inflation-during-the-reign-of-congress-exclusive/ https://westielovers.com/most-ridiculous-chidambaram-accused-by-the-government-of-high-inflation-during-the-reign-of-congress-exclusive/#respond Tue, 13 Jul 2021 17:17:47 +0000 https://westielovers.com/most-ridiculous-chidambaram-accused-by-the-government-of-high-inflation-during-the-reign-of-congress-exclusive/ Rajdeep Sardesai spoke with top congressional leader and former Union finance minister P Chidambaram about inflation and other pressing issues. Congressman and former Union finance minister P Chidambaram at a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday (Photo credits: PTI) India Today TV Consulting editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai spoke to top Congressman and former Union finance […]]]>


Rajdeep Sardesai spoke with top congressional leader and former Union finance minister P Chidambaram about inflation and other pressing issues.

Congressman and former Union finance minister P Chidambaram at a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday (Photo credits: PTI)

India Today TV Consulting editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai spoke to top Congressman and former Union finance minister P Chidambaram about inflation and other pressing issues. Extracts:

Q: The government says who is Congress to lecture on inflation? He says inflation was higher during the reign of Congress. Your answer?

So Congress won’t talk about it. So who will talk about it? What is that ? Ten years ago there was inflation. So, therefore, my inflation today is justified. This is the most ridiculous argument I hear from political parties. Yes, there was high inflation between 2009 and 2011, but it was brought under control in 2012 and 2013. So what? We are not currently evaluating the government from 2009 to 2012. We are evaluating the government in place today. So answer: why is inflation so high? And why don’t you take the visible and obvious steps? That’s the question. We must put an end to this hassle. And I would ask the media to end the “and why”.

Q: The government says some states in Congress have high taxes on fuel. Why don’t you cut taxes too? Why only the Center? Your answer?

No way they could get away with this. Center imposes excise duties; states also impose state taxes. No one denies it. But the taxes of the Center are more than those of the State. Suppose they cancel each other out. But what about stops? On gasoline, the cess is Rs 33 per liter; on diesel, the cess is Rs 32 per liter. A cess can only be imposed by the Center. And these transferred revenues go entirely to the Center. The Center collects Rs 4.2 lakh crore continuously. How is this justified?

Q: Do you want all the fuel constraints removed?

I am not saying that all processes should be deleted at once. Remove Rs 5 from gasoline, Rs 5 from diesel. Immediately there will be some relief for the people. And as your non-gasoline and non-diesel revenues increase — and you should look for opportunities to increase your other revenues — then cut down on the processes. Assignments are bad taxes. Cessations are generally imposed for a specific purpose, for a specific period. A cess cannot be a general tax that exists forever.

Q: The government says we are in the middle of a pandemic and it needs oil revenues to support public spending …

Public spending itself is questionable. For example, why did you give tax breaks to the corporate sector of Rs 1.45 lakh crore? Completely unnecessary. Look at the profits people made when the pandemic raged. Look at the net worth of the top 20 business houses. Look at the market capitalization. Last year you wrote off Rs 4.50 lakh crore in bank loans to the corporate sector. It is not petty cash.

Q: Do you think the time has come to make fuel GST taxable?

Not under the current exemption. There is a total rupture of trust between the Center and the States. The Center treats the GST Council with little respect. States are at war with the Center.

Click here for IndiaToday.in’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.





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Trust In Resilience: A Director’s Response to Troubled Times https://westielovers.com/trust-in-resilience-a-directors-response-to-troubled-times/ https://westielovers.com/trust-in-resilience-a-directors-response-to-troubled-times/#respond Sat, 10 Jul 2021 03:30:00 +0000 https://westielovers.com/trust-in-resilience-a-directors-response-to-troubled-times/ In recent months, business leaders have placed their most delicate bets to date. With the ongoing pandemic and the resulting lockdowns to varying degrees, businesses have been challenged to plan for the future, conserve cash to stay liquid, and avoid disruption to operations. Burdened by the uncertain global and domestic economic climate, business leaders, especially […]]]>


In recent months, business leaders have placed their most delicate bets to date. With the ongoing pandemic and the resulting lockdowns to varying degrees, businesses have been challenged to plan for the future, conserve cash to stay liquid, and avoid disruption to operations. Burdened by the uncertain global and domestic economic climate, business leaders, especially directors, face difficult questions, including what to do when the business faces inevitable distress.

Warning signs and interpretation of information

As the landscape changes, it is crucial to identify potential signs of distress early. Think of it as personal health. Early diagnosis usually gives doctors a wider range of potential treatments. Ignoring the symptoms until his condition worsens will result in more limited and possibly more drastic treatment options.

Here are some common warning signs administrators should recognize:

  • Profit not convertible into operating cash flow
  • Frequent (and unplanned) fundraising activities
  • Declining income and profits or recurring losses
  • High and increasing interest payments
  • Downgraded credit rating and high debt
  • Extended debit and credit days
  • Sharp drop in the share price
  • Sudden departure of key executives in a short period of time

But how can directors best diagnose such symptoms, especially when they are not in the company every day? For starters, they can critically review the information on company performance provided by management at each meeting. A good indicator that things are in order is to observe how information is presented and assess whether it is being communicated consistently and what trends are visible.

Administrators should determine if the information is consistent with information from other sources about the state of the industry and the business. If one or more of the above warning signs appear, the correct thing to do is to press for more details or explanation.

Directors should be firm in seeking answers while keeping in mind that management may be concerned with day-to-day operations and may not be as sensitive to systemic threats to the business. This is in line with the responsibilities of the board of directors set out in the recently published Malaysian Code of Corporate Governance 2021, which states that the board shall govern and set the strategic direction of the company while exercising oversight over The direction.

Despite their vigilance, it is important for directors to accept that distress is sometimes inevitable, especially in an economy weakened by Covid-19. It makes business sense to address distress early on, as proactive actions preserve options, gain employee and investor confidence, and provide the company with greater bargaining power from a position of strength. . In response to the distress, directors could take the route of corporate restructuring.

Restructuring as a solution

When considering a restructuring, directors should first be aware of the options available to them. A restructuring plan may involve renegotiating terms or reorganizing the nature of business financing (a financial restructuring) or changing the way a business operates (an operational restructuring), or a combination of both.

When evaluating restructuring plans, it is important for directors to understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach. Each plan is unique to the circumstances of the company being restructured. Administrators must therefore have access to all relevant information and have the right tools to analyze and interpret this information. This is crucial in helping them make informed decisions on the most appropriate restructuring plan for the business in light of their fiduciary obligations to the business and its stakeholders.

Once a restructuring plan is developed and approved, directors will need to actively monitor the implementation of the plan to ensure its success. To facilitate this complex process, it is common to have a dedicated restructuring / transformation committee with a direct link to the board of directors. Where specialized skills may not be available in-house, the board may consider engaging qualified advisors to help it develop, implement and monitor a restructuring plan.

However, restructuring plans are not foolproof. Despite the best efforts of all stakeholders involved, a restructuring exercise can fail. In the face of tight liquidity and credit, a business can be considered insolvent. What does this mean for directors?

Role of directors in insolvency

Dealing with insolvency comes with its share of challenges. The main issues that directors need to be aware of are directors’ liability in insolvency and how their fiduciary duties may change when the company is insolvent.

Very simply, when a company is insolvent, there is a shift in priority of the fiduciary duties of the directors, that is to say that the best interests of the creditors become paramount. Incurring additional debt when a business is insolvent could result in the personal liability of the debt administrators. This is called insolvent trade.

Therefore, in the pre-insolvency period, the actions of directors and the approval of transactions may be subject to scrutiny from stakeholders. Directors should be careful not to approve transactions that might be privileged for a group of stakeholders or that might be considered undervalued if they believe the company is going into insolvency. Such operations risk being canceled if a liquidator or a receiver is appointed at the head of the company.

Finally, it is the power of the liquidator to investigate the acts of the directors that led to the insolvency in order to determine whether there is a need to take legal action against the directors. Defending such claims can be time consuming and costly in addition to irreparable reputational damage.

This area is complex and potentially subject to litigation from various stakeholders who will attempt to maximize their collections. Directors would do well to seek legal and professional advice when navigating the insolvency area to ensure that they are effectively discharging their fiduciary duties.

In conclusion, directors must be vigilant to navigate these uncertain times. They need to keep an eye out for warning signs, act on them, and accept that in some cases restructuring may be appropriate. At all times, they should be aware that dealing with distress can be a complex and nuanced matter – and they should seek help when needed – before it is too late.


Lee Chui Sum is Deal Partner and Ganesh Gunaratnam is Deal Manager at PwC Malaysia



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EAM Jaishankar discusses nuclear, space and defense cooperation with his Russian counterpart https://westielovers.com/eam-jaishankar-discusses-nuclear-space-and-defense-cooperation-with-his-russian-counterpart/ https://westielovers.com/eam-jaishankar-discusses-nuclear-space-and-defense-cooperation-with-his-russian-counterpart/#respond Fri, 09 Jul 2021 14:10:00 +0000 https://westielovers.com/eam-jaishankar-discusses-nuclear-space-and-defense-cooperation-with-his-russian-counterpart/ India, he said, has always viewed its relations with Russia as a contribution to global peace, security and stability. The “tried and trusted” relationship between Moscow and India remains very strong and continues to develop, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said on Friday as he held “productive” talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei. Lavrov to intensify […]]]>


India, he said, has always viewed its relations with Russia as a contribution to global peace, security and stability.

The “tried and trusted” relationship between Moscow and India remains very strong and continues to develop, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said on Friday as he held “productive” talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei. Lavrov to intensify bilateral cooperation on space, energy and defense sectors.

Mr. Jaishankar, who is in Moscow for a three-day visit, also addressed global and regional issues such as the situation in Afghanistan, Iran and Syria.

He said the two leaders “have made good progress” in preparations for the annual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin later this year.

“I would say the talks were as always very warm, comfortable, comprehensive and productive,” Jaishankar said.

Read also: “The aspect of legitimacy” of who should rule Afghanistan should not be ignored, according to Jaishankar

He said his talks with Lavrov showed that “despite the fact that so much is changing in our world both before and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, our tried and trusted relationship is not not just in place. but remains very strong, continues to grow. Mr Jaishanakar expressed his gratitude for the support India received from Russia during the second wave of the Covid pandemic this year.

India, he said, has always viewed its relations with Russia as a contribution to global peace, security and stability.

“I think what makes our collaboration so natural and comfortable is our belief in a multipolar world order. We see this as a reflection of a very natural and inevitable process of evolution of interstate relations in the 21st century, ”he added.

He said his bilateral talks with Lavrov focused on reviewing progress in different dimensions of their far-reaching cooperation.

“We have actually made very good progress even though for the past year much of this has been done through virtual contacts and I can assure you that when the annual bilateral summit takes place this year, the development , the progress of our cooperation will be very much exposed to all of you.

“A new dimension that has been added to our relationship of course is the agreement to hold the 2 + 2 Dialogue of Foreign and Defense Ministers. We thought we should do it at some point for mutual convenience this year. Otherwise, I can say that we are very satisfied with the overall development of our relations, ”he said.

Much of our cooperation is focused on the nuclear, space, energy and defense sectors, he said.

“The Kudankulam nuclear power plant project is on track and you have heard Foreign Minister Lavrov tell you that the first concrete pour of Unit 5 has taken place. Space again has both practical and I would say symbolic importance for our relationship, ”Jaishankar said.

Russia was India’s “original and strongest partner” in the space sector, he said.

“Energy cooperation between us has grown very significantly over the past few years, reflecting both potential new investments and long-term commitments we have made in the field of oil and gas,” said Mr. Jaishankar.

“Our military-technical defense cooperation, but I would even say that industrial collaboration is now reinforced by Russian interest in the ‘Make in India’ program, which is very visible.” They also discussed greater inter-regional cooperation, in particular with the Russian Far East region.

“We discussed how we could move this forward, there are some agreements that need to be signed, I think we’ve made some progress there. We discussed connectivity, in particular the North-South Corridor … as well as the Chennai-Vladivostok Eastern Sea Corridor.

He shared with Lavrov India’s plan and ideas when the country assumes the presidency of the Security Council in August.

“We obviously appreciate the Russian participation and cooperation. … We have worked in a very cooperative and positive manner, so that the strength of our strategic partnership is expressed today when it comes to deliberations at the UN, ”he said.

The two leaders also spoke of their cooperation in the BRICS and the RIC.

India currently chairs the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) as well as the RIC (Russia, India and China).

“We are joint members of the G-20, ASEAN-led forums, SCO and CICA. We have a meeting of SCO foreign ministers coming up very soon, ”he said.

They also discussed the situation in Afghanistan, where Taliban militants have taken dozens of districts in recent weeks and are now believed to control about a third of the country, before the complete withdrawal of US and Western troops from the war-torn country.

“The situation in Afghanistan has caught our attention because it has a direct implication for regional security. We believe that the immediate need of the day is really a reduction in violence and if we are to see peace in Afghanistan and around Afghanistan, ”Jaishankar said.

“It is important that India and Russia work together and ensure that most of the progress we have seen in economic, social and democratic terms is sustained. We are both committed to an independent, sovereign, united and democratic Afghanistan, ”he added.

They also discussed the situation in Syria, the Iranian question and Libya.

“We both have long-standing interests in the region. We believe that peace and stability in such a sensitive region is very important for the global interest, ”he said.

Mr. Jaishankar also shared his perspective on the Indo-Pacific, a region that has seen aggressive behavior from China.

“Of course, due to our greater geopolitical compatibility with Russia, we consider a more active Russian presence and participation in the region to be very, very important,” he said.



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Navigate rough waters https://westielovers.com/navigate-rough-waters/ https://westielovers.com/navigate-rough-waters/#respond Sat, 03 Jul 2021 00:57:23 +0000 https://westielovers.com/navigate-rough-waters/ The writer, a Chevening Fellow, studied international journalism at the University of Sussex. As the Biden administration prepares to complete the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan, the region is changing. The post-withdrawal scenario has forced countries in the region to rush to the drawing board to draw a new assessment of the situation in […]]]>


The writer, a Chevening Fellow, studied international journalism at the University of Sussex.

As the Biden administration prepares to complete the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan, the region is changing. The post-withdrawal scenario has forced countries in the region to rush to the drawing board to draw a new assessment of the situation in Afghanistan and to think of more innovative ways to deal with the fallout.

There is a noticeable anxiety generated by the prospect of further surges of violence taking hold of the war-torn country and spreading to neighboring countries. The outgoing Americans may have suffered from war fatigue, aided as much by the ambiguity of long-drawn war objectives as by the history of Afghan conflicts involving the great powers.

The lesson that no invading power ever came out with a victory was reinforced by the latest withdrawal of the world’s most powerful army. Americans are perplexed that Afghanistan will become a breeding ground for terrorism. Therefore, all efforts to establish bases for what they call “counterterrorism operations”.

The biggest political tumble under the weight of circumstance has been India’s awareness of the Afghan Taliban, something unimaginable before President Biden’s announcement to step down given the history of disagreements between them.

Pakistan, being an immediate neighbor with legitimate interests in Afghanistan, has its work cut out for it here. On the one hand, it must prepare for the likely increase in violence perpetrated by the TTP and the arrival of more refugees in the country. On the other hand, dealing with the recalibration of ties with the United States, a euphemism for increased demands through a proverbial stick and carrot policy, presents a serious challenge.

In the face of such rough waters that will test Pakistan’s ability to tackle another challenge with implications for its security, economy as well as pressure for regional connectivity, policy clarity is the first requirement. The country’s history is replete with examples where darkness marked decision-making at pivotal times, leaving people guessing at “terms of engagement”.

Given this history, clarity as well as articulation of political goals is not precisely a Pakistani thing.

It is in this context that the recent engagement of Prime Minister Imran Khan with the foreign media must be analyzed. By carefully choosing a few television channels as well as newspapers for his interviews as well as an editorial, the Prime Minister presented Pakistan’s foreign policy position on a multitude of issues essential to peace, stability and economic development in the country. country. .

A close review of these media engagements shows how Prime Minister Khan approached issues relating to the evolving nature of our relations with Afghanistan, the United States and India in light of the latest situation on these points, in addition to define the main parameters of engagement.

Pakistan’s desire to prioritize the pursuit of geo-economy as a key factor in the country’s foreign policy has been at the heart of the positions it has taken. Only recently exposed during the Islamabad Security Dialogue, the backbone of geoeconomics is becoming more and more visible in political statements, although the exact details in terms of short, medium and long term goals remain to be defined.

On Afghanistan, Pakistan’s position represents a welcome start. He is informed by the lesson of history: to choose sides in a country bitterly divided along ethnic lines has done more harm than good for the country. In addition to being held accountable by rival factions for whatever went wrong, thereby gaining their opposition, Pakistan has been the scapegoat of the world community, primarily the United States, for the mess they made. ‘failed to clean up despite pumping out trillions of dollars and deploying the fiercest of war machines.

Prime Minister Khan’s forceful assertion that Pakistan could be “a partner of the United States in peace and never in conflict” underscores the country’s quest for a new path in the post-withdrawal regional scenario. As he has said eloquently, the cost of being part of a conflict as open as Afghanistan has been disastrous for the Pakistani economy and society with more than 70,000 dead and 150 billion dollars lost.

The Prime Minister’s unequivocal support for a political arrangement in Afghanistan that results from consensus among the Afghan parties is the right thing to do. The military takeover of Kabul will lead to a protracted civil war with unimaginable consequences not only for Afghanistan but also for Pakistan.

It is regrettable that relations between Pakistan and Ghani’s government have deteriorated at a critical time when the two sides had to work together to chart a common path forward. In a rare moment of frankness, Prime Minister Khan admitted Pakistan’s waning influence with the Taliban who stand on the cusp of a historic victory after President Biden declared his mission in Afghanistan ended.

Pakistan has already exercised its maximum influence, as evidenced by the signing of the Doha agreement which created the conditions for the United States to withdraw. To expect Islamabad to go beyond this is not only unrealistic, but also unfair to the country which has long been on the side of the recipients.

In another example of frankness, Prime Minister Khan’s criticism of how opaque game-changing decisions were made to plunge the country into the conflicts of others will certainly spark a much needed debate. For a long time, the Pakistani people suffered the consequences of the wars which were imposed on them without their knowledge, let alone consent. A reset of the decision-making process guided by the need to protect our interests is a strategic imperative.

How Pakistani-American relations will play out in the post-withdrawal period has been a controversial question, thirsty for a realistic answer. Especially since the history of bilateral relations established that the transactional approach was the guiding principle of the relationship.

Far from bureaucratic iterations, Prime Minister Khan has attempted to outline a “civilized relationship” with the United States based on “common interests”. He presented Pakistan as a country of “strategic importance” to America in terms of a huge market, youth explosion and geostrategic location with connectivity as a defining feature.

Prime Minister Khan’s political articulation to pursue a relationship with the United States and China, independently of each other, makes perfect sense for a developing country that faces enormous challenges. In what quickly emerges as a “cold war,” the Sino-US competition is poised to drag Pakistan into an unenviable position that the leaders of Islamabad would choose not to be a part of.

Relations with Washington and Beijing have immense strategic and economic value for Pakistan. At a time when President Biden continues to forge alliances, QUAD being one of them involving its Indian rival, Pakistan is to offer to be a bridge builder in a rehearsal of its role in 1971 when Islamabad came down. got the United States and China to break the deadlock.

The Prime Minister’s strong support for a relationship with China represents a multi-party consensus to advance strategic cooperation with the “Iron Brother”. This iteration also defines the lawless areas in terms of the country’s vital interests.

On India, Pakistan under Prime Minister Khan has made efforts to turn the corner with New Delhi. However, these bold peace overtures were rejected by right-wing hawks in New Delhi, and the annexation of occupied Kashmir made regional dynamics more complex, making peace a distant dream. Pakistan has clearly put options for peace and normalization on the table, provided that India can create space for the resumption of dialogue by restoring the status quo ante to the held valley.

At the time of writing, a meeting was underway in Islamabad where military and intelligence leaders briefed elected parliamentary leaders on the security challenges facing Pakistan. Only a united nation can overcome critical challenges.

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @ Amanat222



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Biden diplomacy: a values-based alliance https://westielovers.com/biden-diplomacy-a-values-based-alliance/ https://westielovers.com/biden-diplomacy-a-values-based-alliance/#respond Thu, 01 Jul 2021 09:01:50 +0000 https://westielovers.com/biden-diplomacy-a-values-based-alliance/ Joseph Biden, better known as Joe Biden, is an American Democrat Party politician who won last year’s presidential election amid scandals and accusations of fraud. In his autobiography, Biden describes himself as a leading figure in determining American policy in the Balkans and openly admits to having convinced President Bill Clinton to intervene militarily in […]]]>


Joseph Biden, better known as Joe Biden, is an American Democrat Party politician who won last year’s presidential election amid scandals and accusations of fraud. In his autobiography, Biden describes himself as a leading figure in determining American policy in the Balkans and openly admits to having convinced President Bill Clinton to intervene militarily in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to become the main architect of the NATO enlargement.

Here are some facts from his past that may shed light on the possible course of action that could be taken by the current US president.

Biden is certainly no stranger to the problems of the Balkans. In 1999, he played an important role in the administration of President Bill Clinton, when NATO bombed Yugoslavia without a UN resolution, an act of aggression that resulted in the proclamation of Kosovo as an independent state and which now houses the largest US military base in Europe – Camp Bondsteel. In 1999, the current US president was one of the most vocal supporters of the bombing of Yugoslavia, of which he was proud.

“I propose to bomb Belgrade. I propose to send American pilots and blow up all the bridges on the Drina River, ”said Biden, then a United States senator.

On September 1, 1999, Senator Joseph Biden visited Bulgaria as a representative of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, meeting with President Peter Stoyanov, Foreign Minister Nadezhda Mikhailova and local lawmakers. Biden has become a key figure in Bulgaria’s integration into the North Atlantic Alliance.

Today, after several years of calm, tensions in Ukraine are resuming. In late 2013, a series of riots broke out there, ultimately leading to the 2014 coup and the ensuing conflict in the eastern parts of the country. During the armed confrontation, the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk were established, which to this day remain at odds with Kiev. After a region-wide referendum, more than 95% of the inhabitants of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea announced their desire to reunite with Russia. Washington’s role in the violent overthrow of power in Ukraine was clearly visible. US officials have openly supported the Maidan, and Senator John McCain has met with future government officials. Victoria Nuland, then U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, has publicly stated that Washington has allocated $ 5 billion to support democracy in Ukraine. She personally distributed food to the “peaceful protesters”, many of whom later ended up on the Maidan with weapons in hand. Nuland, who served as Assistant Secretary of State to three presidents: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, retired in 2017. Today, Biden brings her back into politics, appointing her as Secretary of State. Deputy State for Political Affairs – the third largest in the State Department.

Biden visited Ukraine five times during and after the Maidan. The United States, along with Germany, Poland and France, forced the country’s President Viktor Yanukovych to make concessions to the protesters, which quickly led to the downfall of the government. Immediately after Yanukovych’s resignation in February 2014, President Barack Obama appointed Biden as his official representative in Ukraine. A little later, Biden’s son, Hunter, was appointed to the board of directors of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma.

After the coup, Americans took deep roots in Ukraine with their representatives appearing both in economic structures and in government and special services. Years later, details of their work became available to the media. Former US President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudolph Giuliani said he was successful in finding witnesses and obtaining documents demonstrating Burisma’s attempts to cover up law violations and Hunter Biden’s involvement in the laundering of millions of dollars. Giuliani unveiled a scheme whereby $ 16 million, including $ 3 million “earned” by Biden Jr., was withdrawn through a network of companies, a number of which were located in Cyprus. Other investigations initiated by the media also revealed significant flows of ‘dirty’ money flowing from Ukraine via Latvia to Cyprus and other offshore companies such as Rosemont Seneca, founded by Hunter Biden and Devon Archer. .

In April 2019, journalist John Solomon published an article in the US edition of Dakhil on how Joe Biden was helping his son with his business dealings after stepping down as vice president and bragging to foreign policy experts that as vice president he forced the prosecutor’s dismissal in chief of Ukraine. Biden recounted how in March 2016 he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that Washington would withdraw its $ 1 billion loan guarantees and bankrupt the country unless Attorney General Viktor Shokin was immediately sacked. And the sacked Shokin was accused of not being active enough in the fight against corruption. However, speaking of his victory, Biden is missing an important point. Prior to his dismissal, the attorney general launched a full-scale audit of the Burisma mining company where Hunter Biden worked. According to the US banking system, between spring 2014 and fall 2015, Hunter’s company, Rosemont Seneca, regularly received transfers from Burisma in the amount of approximately $ 166,000.

This whole story gives us an idea of ​​what kind of person Joe Biden really is and the question is how he will behave in the future.

Even before Biden’s inauguration as president, media representatives and analysts predicted a worsening of the military situation, an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and an increase in US activity in the Balkans. In the spring of 2021, these predictions were confirmed and the military rhetoric of the US administration began to heat up. In a March 17 interview with ABC TV, Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “killer.” Even during the Cold War, world leaders did not allow themselves such disrespect for one another. Similar statements by American politicians are often made against foreign leaders whom they want to overthrow or physically eliminate. A number of analysts believe that Washington’s lack of apology indicates that such a statement was not accidental, but well thought out and a further step in the information war against Russia.

The further development of events on the international scene appears more and more frightening every day. In the media and in the public statements of a number of politicians, the subject of possible military action is almost becoming “business as usual”. Therefore, the personality of the new US president and his entourage are extremely important in understanding the future and in assessing global risks in the world.

From our partner International affairs



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How will msmes stimulate economic recovery? https://westielovers.com/how-will-msmes-stimulate-economic-recovery/ https://westielovers.com/how-will-msmes-stimulate-economic-recovery/#respond Sun, 27 Jun 2021 13:17:00 +0000 https://westielovers.com/how-will-msmes-stimulate-economic-recovery/ The MSME sector is considered the backbone of the Indian economy and rightly so! Currently, it contributes over 30 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 48 percent of total exports. This sector contributes significantly to the economic and social development of the country by encouraging entrepreneurship and creating great employment opportunities at a lower […]]]>


The MSME sector is considered the backbone of the Indian economy and rightly so! Currently, it contributes over 30 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 48 percent of total exports. This sector contributes significantly to the economic and social development of the country by encouraging entrepreneurship and creating great employment opportunities at a lower investment cost, just behind agriculture. There are around 6.3 million MSMEs in India. The sector currently employs around 110 million people across the country. This sector is inextricably linked to the rural economy, with more than half of all MSMEs operating in rural India.

However, despite recent rapid growth, the MSME sector was struggling even before the pandemic hit, due to a perceived lack of creditworthiness. Regarding loans to MSMEs, while overall survey volumes grew year-on-year, balances registered a decrease of 2.3% as of September 20, indicating risk aversion. The sustainable recovery and revival of this sector depends on solving the problem of pervasive informality, as the vast majority of these businesses, especially in the large micro-segment, are not registered with the government. According to a World Bank study, only 50 percent of MSMEs have access to formal credit, indicating a huge gap waiting to be closed. Creating a resilient MSME sector requires significant structural and regulatory reforms, starting with the proper identification of companies and the empowerment of all stakeholders.

The good news is that the government has simplified the registration process for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and they will now only need to provide their PAN and Aadhaar numbers to register. In the first 10 months since its launch, the new portal recorded 30 lakhs of registrations, of which 28 lakhs were micro-units. The old UAM portal has registered 1.02 crore of units in its 5 years of operation, while the new portal has already registered 30 lakh registrations.

Another important change that can lead to a revolution in the MSME sector is digitization. The Indian government is working to promote a cashless economy and make transparent digital payments accessible to all Indian citizens in a convenient way. The Indian government has made the promotion of digital payment a top priority to bring every segment of our country into the formal fold of digital payment services. The vision is to make transparent digital payments accessible to all Indian citizens in a convenient, easy, affordable, fast and secure way. The growth of electronic payment systems, including national electronic funds transfer (NEFT), mobile banking services and the development of payment acceptance infrastructure, is likely to increase digital payment transactions from 2,153 lakh crore in FY20 at Rs 7,092 lakh crore in FY25, according to India Trend Book Report 2021 by the Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (IVCA) and Ernst & Young.

MSMEs need to prioritize technology adoption to streamline their operations and processes to prepare for business uncertainties. For a long time, the majority of small businesses in the country have not been able to progress technologically due to problems such as poor understanding and awareness, lack of capital to invest, lack of skilled workforce to operate it. , etc. and recent challenges related to COVID have occurred. Accelerating digitization in SMEs can help add $ 158-216 billion to India’s GDP by 2024.

Another important factor that can give a boost to the sector is skills development. The technology centers set up by the Ministry of MSMEs play a crucial role in the practical skills development training of more than 2 lakh of unemployed youth and industrial workforce per year. During the year 2019-2020, 18 technology centers set up across the country provided training to 2,73437 trainees, supported 43,563 units and generated revenues of 350.96 crore rupees.

What is the way forward for the sector?

Given the scale of the challenges, it is essential that the government strengthen its reforms and implement game-changing measures for the sector. The government should strive to make doing business easier, balance competition for local businesses and start-ups, expand the network of beneficiaries and increase transparency.

In terms of access to capital, pending or delayed payments to MSMEs should be accelerated. The government has taken steps to address it. Under Atma Nirbhar Bharat, a special provision was made to track late payments by CPSEs. Over 26,000 crore in contributions cleared by CPSE since the launch of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat program. However, in the future, the government may address this issue further by ensuring that payments to MSMEs through TReDS are closely monitored at the central level. The government is already encouraging MSMEs to use the TReDS platform, as it allows them to discount bills and obtain short-term loans from banks to temporarily resolve their late payment problem. To relieve the liquidity pressure on their working capital, MSMEs should be encouraged to go digital and increase all bills on the TReDS platform.

The sector will benefit if a thoughtful approach is taken and changes are implemented to make credit and capital more readily available to MSMEs. As a result, the lending ecosystem needs to be simplified and strengthened by leveraging digital technologies for a more transparent lending process and by assessing the credit risk of potential borrowers. NBFCs and digital lenders have the right degree of operational agility and technological capabilities to reach underserved MSMEs. This fact has been well identified by the government, as shown by the multiple initiatives taken to channel the capacities of NBFCs towards credit facilitation. These efforts can be streamlined further to empower NBFCs in funding MSMEs in the most efficient way. This will ensure their speedy recovery and catalyze eventual growth.

The MSME sector needs to revive for the Indian economy to fully recover. Once these challenges are met, the sector will get back on track, resulting in the revival of the Indian economy.

Shachindra Nath is Executive Chairman and Managing Director of U GRO Capital. The opinions expressed are personal.

First publication: STI



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Weapons, iron ore and electricity boost Chinese influence in Latin America – Radio Free Asia https://westielovers.com/weapons-iron-ore-and-electricity-boost-chinese-influence-in-latin-america-radio-free-asia/ https://westielovers.com/weapons-iron-ore-and-electricity-boost-chinese-influence-in-latin-america-radio-free-asia/#respond Fri, 25 Jun 2021 22:17:50 +0000 https://westielovers.com/weapons-iron-ore-and-electricity-boost-chinese-influence-in-latin-america-radio-free-asia/ Chinese companies and state-owned banks have invested in power utilities in Latin America, generating revenue for businesses and creating leverage for Beijing to advance its interests in a region sometimes referred to as “the rear.” -court of America ”. One of the most comprehensive reports on the subject was written by R. Evan Ellis, Professor […]]]>


Chinese companies and state-owned banks have invested in power utilities in Latin America, generating revenue for businesses and creating leverage for Beijing to advance its interests in a region sometimes referred to as “the rear.” -court of America ”.

One of the most comprehensive reports on the subject was written by R. Evan Ellis, Professor and Researcher in Latin American Studies at the Institute of Strategic Studies at the US Army War College.

COVID-19 has caused economic setbacks in a number of these countries, so they are more likely to accept certain Chinese projects that they would have rejected in the past, Ellis said.

Wall newspaper recently analyzed data from a number of Latin American countries that reveal a staggering number of deaths from COVID-19.

According to The newspaper, the country with the very daily death rate in the world as of June 21 was landlocked Paraguay, with 19 times more deaths than the United States per capita.

And with 50 million people, Colombia has recorded around 4,200 deaths from COVID-19 in the past week, about 50% more than Africa as a whole.

Less than one in 10 people in Latin America has been vaccinated, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Carissa F. Etienne, Director of PAHO, at the same time urged the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries to accelerate the delivery of the billion vaccines they have promised to developing countries here. the end of 2023.

Meanwhile, China has imported around 75 percent of the world’s traded iron ore and some 60 percent of its copper ore from Latin American countries for years.

Latin American countries have joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative, often referred to as BRI, which funds overseas infrastructure projects in nearly 70 countries.

Aerial view of the ancient salt gate in the southern area of ​​the Uyuni salt plain, where Bolivia plans to produce lithium for the Chinese electromotive industry, July 10, 2019. Credit: AFP

BRI recruits 18 of 31 countries

David Dollar, senior researcher at the U.S.-based Brookings Institution, says the BIS is controversial in the West due to a lack of transparency that makes it difficult to get reliable information on the initiative’s finances as well. only on specific projects. and their terms.

According to the US-based Atlantic Council, Panama in November 2017 became the first Latin American country to officially approve the BRI, five months after changing diplomatic relations from Taiwan to China.

Over the next two years, 18 of the 33 countries in the region will join the BRI, with a few notable exceptions.

Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, the region’s four largest economies, accounting for nearly 70% of its GDP, have closely followed the initiative, but have yet to sign. However, they should do so at some point.

For many governments and businesses in Latin America, the BRI offers an opportunity to expand access to China, a growing export destination and a source of external finance.

Over the past 20 years, bilateral trade has grown twenty-five times, from $ 12 billion in 1999 to $ 306 billion in 2018, making China Latin America’s second largest trading partner after the states. -United.

Since 2005, Chinese banks have granted over $ 141 billion in loan commitments to Latin America, exceeding loans from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Development Bank in several years. from Latin America reunited.

China is also becoming an increasingly important foreign direct investor in the region, notably through mergers and acquisitions.

But the BIS has yet to spur a visible increase in Chinese business activity in Latin America.

China has been less active in promoting the BRI in the Western Hemisphere than in other regions. The BRI’s six economic corridors across Eurasia continue to have global priority.

Handout photo released by the Venezuelan Presidency showing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Chinese Ambassador to Venezuela Li Baorong (L) during a meeting with representatives of Chinese companies in Caracas, November 6, 2020. Credit: AFP
Handout photo released by the Venezuelan Presidency showing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Chinese Ambassador to Venezuela Li Baorong (L) during a meeting with Chinese business representatives in Caracas, November 6, 2020. Credit: AFP

Low risk bet

There are fears that the BIS could spark confrontations with the United States, Latin America’s longtime ally in the hemisphere and most important trading partner, which has consistently warned of ” the debt ”of the BIS.

Despite the apparent lack of immediate gains associated with the BRI, most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean appear to have responded neutrally or favorably to the initiative.

On the risk side, many believe that Chinese loans alone are not enough to trigger systemic debt problems in most Latin American economies. And therefore, for many in Latin America, the BIS appears to be a low-risk bet for increased economic growth and international cooperation.

China’s high concentration of activity in Latin American agricultural sectors has meanwhile strained water supplies and increased deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, according to a 2015 study coordinated by the Global Economic Governance Institute at Boston University.

Some projects, such as hydroelectric projects, have sparked protests from indigenous groups in several Latin American countries

China appears to have its most positive and constructive relationship in Latin America with Uruguay, one of the smaller countries in the region.

Uruguay’s day-to-day relations with the PRC are shaped by two key figures: Chinese Ambassador to Uruguay Wang Gang and Uruguayan Ambassador to China Juan Fernando Lugris Rodríguez.

According to Ellis, observers generally view Wang as low-key and efficient, working quietly with Uruguayan institutions, facilitating significant Chinese support for Uruguay during the COVID-19 pandemic and showing a sensitivity to the mistrust that many people in Uruguay have. to China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attend a press statement after their bilateral meeting at Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, November 13, 2019. Credit: AFP
Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attend a press statement after their bilateral meeting at Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, November 13, 2019. Credit: AFP

Weapons for Venezuela

In recent years, China has also sold self-propelled artillery, armored vehicles, rocket launchers, helicopters and fighter jets to various countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.

As Ellis noted in Latin America and the Asian giants, a book published in 2016 on the evolution of Latin America’s ties with China and India, Venezuela offered China its first opportunity to sell sophisticated military systems to the region in 2005.

Within a few years, China then began selling weapons to Bolivia, which had previously received Chinese donations of rifles and anti-aircraft weapons, and to Ecuador – as part of a policy that seemed designed to support Venezuela and the other socialist or populist regimes of the left, which had united in an anti-American “Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas” of eight nations.

But in recent years, China’s arms sales have grown not only in these three countries, but also across the continent.

While in previous decades the United States was a major arms supplier to Latin American military regimes, China now has the advantage of offering low prices for weapons with few conditions.

The law now prohibits the United States from selling weapons to a number of Latin American countries, including Venezuela.

Investments in the electricity network

Regarding arms sales to Venezuela, Ellis told RFA that “China … has effectively supplanted the Russians over the past two years as the country’s main arms supplier.”

“And China has often beaten its Russian competitors in Peru and elsewhere,” noted Evan Ellis a few years ago.

As an article by Allan Nixon published in 2016 in The diplomat clearly, arms sales must be seen in the context of China’s long-term goal of achieving great power status and influence.

In recent years, China has regularly deployed military forces to the South American region to conduct combat exercises and humanitarian missions.

And while the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has yet to establish basic alliances or agreements in the hemisphere, its 2015 white paper on China’s defense strategy lists protecting its business interests. global organizations as an important mission for the People’s Liberation Army.

Today, China is trying to dominate “electrical connectivity” in Latin America, a topic covered by Evan Ellis and recently published in a Brief China on the US-based Jamestown Foundation website.

Ellis’ article published on May 21 shows how Chinese companies have become involved in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in the region, expanding its position in key activities for the underlying ‘connectivity’ of the region. Latin American economies.

This approach also extends to the construction and operation of ports, roads, railways, telecommunications, e-commerce and other infrastructure.

But not everything went as planned.

A China-backed transcontinental railway intended to link Brazil on the Atlantic coast to Peru on the Pacific coast has drawn criticism for ignoring environmental concerns. It would cross sensitive ecosystems in the Amazon region.

At the same time, a transcontinental highway through Brazil has been plagued by poor construction.

According to “The World Mind,” an American university website focused on relations with Latin America, the highway project, which began in 2006, was never fully completed because parts of it were not structurally sound. Some sections remain damaged or impassable.

Dan Southerland is the founding editor of RFA.



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“What is Perth” exercise needs to get back to basics and tackle anti-social behavior at street level https://westielovers.com/what-is-perth-exercise-needs-to-get-back-to-basics-and-tackle-anti-social-behavior-at-street-level/ https://westielovers.com/what-is-perth-exercise-needs-to-get-back-to-basics-and-tackle-anti-social-behavior-at-street-level/#respond Tue, 22 Jun 2021 22:54:13 +0000 https://westielovers.com/what-is-perth-exercise-needs-to-get-back-to-basics-and-tackle-anti-social-behavior-at-street-level/ “They still want to get in but they want to get in and out (of the store) as quickly as possible.” Loading He shared CCTV footage of a recent incident where a man urinated on his premises doorstep while a woman tried to protect him. He views the lack of proper public toilets in shopping […]]]>


“They still want to get in but they want to get in and out (of the store) as quickly as possible.”

Loading

He shared CCTV footage of a recent incident where a man urinated on his premises doorstep while a woman tried to protect him.

He views the lack of proper public toilets in shopping malls as a major drawback, and says he – and he suspects other retailers – would be willing to help maintain them.

There is a temptation to blame COVID and working from home for the mall retail slump, but the retailer said a recent trip to Rundle Mall in Adelaide had left him wondering what the capital of South Australia was doing so much better than Perth.

Instead of approaching two dozen empty retail stores in Hay Street Mall, Rundle Mall was buzzing with just four empty rentals by its tally and almost no visible antisocial issues.

Another retailer, whom I met in one of the arcades, lamented, “Who wants to come to town where you can’t even sit and have a coffee?

He has seen a surge in anti-social behavior since Christmas, but it’s been around long enough to see this problem come and go over the years.

This can be remedied, he says, with strong visible policing, as summer blitzes have demonstrated in the past.

The observation that the communal rangers are for the most part useless is widely established: the taxpayers do not blame the rangers but their lack of powers.

It is interesting to note that when I ask the question, “Who is responsible for the safety and convenience of the streets of Perth”, they all name the state government and the police, rather than the city of Perth.

Opinions differ on the new Lord Mayor – “I think he’s really trying,” says one – but the common theme is that they feel like he’s too busy to meet them personally.

The luxury goods retailer thinks the ‘What is Perth’ exercise is worthwhile, but won’t make a difference if the basics aren’t set.

The fashion retailer is much more cynical.

And in political circles, there’s a bit of dark humor that eight months after winning an election as a man with the plan to restart Perth’s heart, the central premise of the summit seems to be to clear up the own confusion. from the Lord Mayor on what his city stands for.

Basil Zempilas himself has exaggerated expectations for talkfast, which had an incredible string of month-long puff tracks in The West Australian newspaper touting every new guest.

The hotel operator has done the math and is calculating each participant – which includes Australian cricket coach Justin Langer, real estate titans Adrian Fini and Melissa Karlson, Indigenous leaders Richard Walley and Vanessa Kickett, and club president Italian Sal Vallelonga among the dozen, could get three or four minutes each.

There doesn’t seem to be a lack of activity.

A (another) Roe Street upgrade, announced earlier this month by Planning Minister Rita Saffioti, a redevelopment of the WACA and the relocation of Edith Cowan University to the City Link neighborhood were announced by Mr. Zempilas at the Property Council event as the start of a new ‘city boom’.

But this has been Perth’s story for 15 years. Big project after big project – Wellington Street feels like it has been in a constant state of excavation for about 15 years – however all the pieces fit together.

This was a point made by Multiplex WA boss Chris Palandri at the Property Council event.

“Where’s the hero picture we can have on the wall that says, ‘This is the overall plan for Perth? “”, did he declare.

“We don’t have that. We need this document so that … everyone can look at it and say, OK, that’s the plan.

Mr Palandri referred to the piecemeal, project by large project development pattern that has characterized the past 15 years (City Link, Elizabeth Quay, Optus Stadium on the river, plus the decentralization of government offices) that has seen the city “stretched and pulled in all directions”.

He referred to East Perth, which served as a reminder that the Waterbank project near Trinity College – which saw construction begin in 2011-12, before Lend Lease development requests were announced by Colin Barnett in 2015 , with construction due to start at the end of 2016 – is still a sand pit today.

Now there are high hopes for a redevelopment of the East Perth Power Station (the so-called $ 1 deal for Andrew Forrest and Kerry Stokes), an indigenous cultural museum promised (again) by Labor during the last election campaign, and of course the old chestnut tree from a Kings Park cable car.



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