Creating a fairer economic landscape for LDCs

July 27 2021: The draft Programme of Action begins with a call to “realize our collective ambitions of building back better from COVID-19”, (Para 3). However, as Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh has described it: “We are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis. … The LDCs are bearing their heaviest brunt. They have weak infrastructures, and a serious lack of capacity to cope with internal and external shocks”.

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Africa’s ascent on the global stage — Can the continent become a cohesive foreign policy actor?

ORF — The African continent’s social, economic, and political resilience has been severely tested in 2020. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, African leaders have been vocal and vociferous about their long-standing grievances and the region’s status in global affairs. The deplorable treatment of Africans in Guangzhou, China, and more recently in the US that culminated in the Black Lives Matter movement has been an eye opener that threw light into deep-rooted issues of systemic racial injustice.  Continue reading

RCEP to benefit poorer countries in the region

London — The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement, signed on November 15, will provide a boost for foreign investment into the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the region, officials said.

The RCEP deal includes all ten ASEAN countries, along with Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.The agrement will benefit Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, among others. Continue reading

Dealing with the economic challenges for Nepal brought about by Covid-19

  • Professor Surya P. Subedi

The pandemic of Covid-19 has brought many challenges for states of all size and shape, whether economically or politically. The hardest hit is likely to be the least-developed countries like Nepal which already suffer from other handicaps. They lack a long-term strategy to use economic diplomacy successfully to develop the economy of the country. Economic diplomacy is about knowing how to exploit the unique selling points that the country has, maximise the benefits resulting from them and putting in place policies designed to achieve such objectives. The following are some of them:

  1. Benefiting from competition among foreign actors

 

We are often led to believe that Nepal is a resource poor country, but in reality, it is a country rich in water resources and other resources such medicinal Himalayan herbs and has a huge potential for the development of the tourism and other services sectors. Since the country is endowed with such resources and there is so much potential for the services sector, Nepal is well placed to attract foreign investment to harness its natural resources and develop its services sector since the country has achieved some degree of political stability. Continue reading

OIC calls on members to share education expertise with least-developed countries

JEDDAH: In a speech at an extraordinary virtual conference of education ministers on Thursday, Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen — secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — stressed the value of sharing ways in which countries have managed their education systems during the COVID-19 pandemic, Arabnews writes.

The conference — organized by the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) — was attended by 38 education ministers and five deputy ministers, and representatives of 12 Continue reading

World Bank approves $39.5M project to help South Asia build climate resilience

Worldbank, Washington DC — The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a $39.5 million project to help South Asia build resilience to climate threats and disasters by sharing regional data and knowledge, developing regional standards and guidelines for infrastructure, and promoting climate-resilient policies and investments.

The Climate Adaptation and Resilience for South Asia (CARE) Project will help develop a public platform to inform climate planning and investments, and fund innovative and disruptive technology to support resilience in South Asia. It will also assess climate impacts in districts across Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan to support agriculturelivestock, water, and transport. Continue reading

After East Africa locust attack threatens South Asia – Daily Sabah

Daily Sabha —  Nibbling their way across a large part of Africa in the worst outbreak, locust swarms are now threatening South Asian countries with India taking extra measures to ward off a new outbreak that could ravage crops. India is buying drones and specialist equipment to monitor the movement of locusts and spray insecticides.

Earlier this year, Indian authorities were able to bring swarms of desert locusts under control, but an outbreak in neighboring Pakistan has again raised concerns about the safety of crops such as wheat and oilseeds in India. Continue reading