Category Archives: Economy

Karl Marx Was Right

By Chris Hedges

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Karl Marx exposed the peculiar dynamics of capitalism, or what he called “the bourgeois mode of production.” He foresaw that capitalism had built within it the seeds of its own destruction. He knew that reigning ideologies—think neoliberalism—were created to serve the interests of the elites and in particular the economic elites, since “the class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production” and “the ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships … the relationships which make one class the ruling one.” He saw that there would come a day when capitalism would exhaust its potential and collapse. He did not know when that day would come. Marx, as Meghnad Desai wrote, was “an astronomer of history, not an astrologer.” Marx was keenly aware of capitalism’s ability to innovate and adapt. But he also knew that capitalist expansion was not eternally sustainable. And as we witness the denouement of capitalism and the disintegration of globalism, Karl Marx is vindicated as capitalism’s most prescient and important critic.

In a preface to “The Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy” Marx wrote:

Read more » truthdig
See more » http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/karl_marx_was_right_20150531

‘Malaysia wants to be a part of this new era of economic development in Pakistan.’

Malaysian airline plans Pakistan operations

Malaysia

LAHORE: A Malaysian airline is going to start its operations in Pakistan from March, Malaysian High Commissioner to Pakistan Hasrul Sani Mujtabar disclosed on Monday, as part of increased people-to-people and business-to-business contacts between two countries.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1238240/

To protect Chinese investment, Pakistan Army leaves little to chance

Soldiers scan the contents of a truck at a checkpoint on the main highway outside Quetta
Soldiers scan the contents of a truck at a checkpoint on the main highway outside Quetta. Photo credits: Reuters

BY REUTERS

GWADAR: A heavy police presence, guarded convoys, new checkpoints and troop reinforcements have turned parts of the southern port city of Gwadar into a fortress, as Pakistan’s military seeks to protect billions of dollars of Chinese investment.

Securing the planned $46 billion economic corridor of roads, railways and pipelines from northwest China to the country’s Arabian Sea coast is a huge challenge in a country where militants and separatist gunmen are a constant menace.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1238167/

BP posts biggest ever annual loss, to cut 7,000 more jobs

jobBY KAROLIN SCHAPS AND RON BOUSSO

LONDON — Reuters:  BP slumped to its biggest annual loss last year and announced thousands more job cuts on Tuesday, showing that even one of the nimblest oil producers is struggling in the worst market downturn in over a decade.

Read more » The Globe and Mail
See more » http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/european-business/bp-posts-worst-annual-loss-in-20-years-to-cut-7000-more-jobs/article28505561/

Pakistan – Local manufacturing of mobile handsets from April

ISLAMABAD: A Chinese manufacturer will launch its mobile handset manufacturing and assembling unit in April (Pakistan’s first), a senior official at Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication said on Monday.

cell phone

The manufacturer — China’s Haier — is already operating in the country and has established a laptop manufacturing unit in Lahore.

The move would help in reducing the import bill as smartphones are in demand and also bring good investment as well as creating job opportunities, the official said.

The government had announced tax incentive package for manufacturing of mobile phones in budget 2015-16. These included income tax exemption for five years, zero per cent depreciation allowance for plants, machinery and production line equipment used for manufacturing of mobile phones certified by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in the first year.

In the wake of new government policy facilitating local manufacturing/assembling of mobile handsets, a delegation led by Haier Groups CEO, Zeeshan Qureshi met with Minister of State for IT and Telecom, Anusha Rahman.

Mr Qureshi said Haier considers Pakistan a very lucrative and flourishing market for mobile handset manufacturing/assembling particularly with uptake of 3G/4G services in the country.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1236875/

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: A boon for the economy, a bane for locals

BY ZOFEEN T. EBRAHIM

Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region is frequently in the news these days, but not necessarily for its mouth-watering cherries and dried apricots. The much touted US $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will pass through this beautiful province in the north to reach Chinese-operated Gwadar port in the country’s south. While there is hope it will transform the economy and help bridge Pakistan’s power shortfall, CPEC has also triggered concerns that the local people might be left out of the gains.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1236159/

India- Govt. ships 450 maiden made in India metro coaches to Australia

This is the first shipment of the planned 450 coaches that will be exported to Australia over two-and-a-half year period

The government on Friday said maiden consignment of six metro coaches made in India were shipped to Australia from Mumbai port.

“The maiden consignment of six metro coaches built in Baroda for export to the Australian government were shipped from Mumbai Port,” a statement from Ministry of Shipping said.

Read more » DNA India
See more » http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report-government-ships-450-maiden-made-in-india-metro-coaches-to-australia-2171566

Canada to lift Tehran sanctions, allow Bombardier to export to Iran

By Randall Palmer and Allison Lampert

OTTAWA/MONTREAL (Reuters) – Canada confirmed for the first time on Tuesday that it plans to lift its sanctions on Tehran and said that if Airbus is allowed to sell to Iran, then its aircraft maker Bombardier Inc should be allowed to export there as well.

“If Airbus is able to do it, why (will) Bombardier not be able to do it? In which way (is it) helping Canada, or the Iranian people, or Israel, or anyone, that Canada is hurting its own industry?” Dion said in an exchange with reporters.

Read more » Reuters
See more » http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0V42IL

Rogers Media to cut 200 jobs

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO — Rogers Media has told employees that the company’s workforce will be reduced by 4%, affecting 200 jobs in television, radio, publishing and administration.

The Toronto-based company says the cuts are part of efficiency efforts at Rogers Communications, one of Canada’s largest telecom companies.

A memo to Rogers Media staff says the job cuts will begin in February and will conclude as soon as possible.

Read more » Calgary Sun
See more » http://www.calgarysun.com/2016/01/25/rogers-media-to-cut-200-jobs

‘Currency instability’ now a serious concern for Canada

By John Shmuel

 

TORONTO • Canada’s economy is being threatened by “currency instability” as the loonie’s rapid decline against the U.S. dollar is hurting business and consumer confidence, economists warn.

Read more » FINANCIAL POST
See more » http://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/currency-instability-now-a-serious-concern-for-canada?__lsa=2e35-6718

America the Unfair?

America’s political and economic inequalities feed each other. The richest 1 percent in the U.S. now own substantially more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.

By 

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders don’t agree on much. Nor do the Black Lives Matter movement, the Occupy Wall Street protests and the armed ranchers who seized public lands in Oregon. But in the insurgent presidential campaigns and in social activism across the spectrum, a common thread is people angry at the way this country is no longer working for many ordinary citizens.

And they’re right: The system is often fundamentally unfair, and ordinary voices are often unheard.

Read more » The New York Times
See more » http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/21/opinion/america-the-unfair.html?smid=tw-nytopinion&smtyp=cur&_r=0

Sweden introduces six-hour work day

Employers across the country including retirement homes, hospitals and car centres, are implementing the change

 

By Hardeep Matharu

Sweden is moving to a six-hour working day in a bid to increase productivity and make people happier.

Employers across the country have already made the change, according to the Science Alert website, which said the aim was to get more done in a shorter amount of time and ensure people had the energy to enjoy their private lives.

Toyota centres in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, made the switch 13 years ago, with the company reporting happier staff, a lower turnover rate, and an increase in profits in that time.

Filimundus, an app developer based in the capital Stockholm, introduced the six-hour day last year.

“The eight-hour work day is not as effective as one would think,” Linus Feldt, the company’s CEO told Fast Company.

“To stay focused on a specific work task for eight hours is a huge challenge.  In order to cope, we mix in things and pauses to make the work day more endurable.  At the same time, we are having it hard to manage our private life outside of work.”

Read more » INDEPENDENT
See more » http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sweden-introduces-six-hour-work-day-a6674646.html

An Economy for the 1%

How privilege and power in the economy drive extreme inequality and how this can be stopped

The global inequality crisis is reaching new extremes. The richest 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world combined, and 62 billionaires own the same amount of wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people on the planet. Power and privilege is being used to skew the economic system to increase the gap between the richest and the rest.

Read more » Oxfam
See more » http://www.oxfam.ca/our-work/publications/an-economy-for-the-1

Peshawar flyover opens for traffic

Bab-i-Peshawar flyover opens for traffic

BY APP

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and senior provincial minister Inayatullah jointly inaugurated the Bab-i-Peshawar flyover on Monday. The ceremony was attended by PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirjaul Haq.

Bab-i-Peshawar flyover is the country’s second multi-level flyover — the first was built in Karachi.

The project was completed in record five-month time at a cost of Rs1.72 billion. The new flyover would regulate traffic flow on Pak-Afghan highway.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister congratulated the people of Peshawar over the inauguration of the gigantic flyover and said “we have started to revive the lost glory of the provincial capital”.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1233798/

Iran receives $400m frozen funds along with $1.3bn interest

BY ANWAR IQBAL

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama confirmed on Sunday that the United States had lifted certain nuclear-related sanctions from Iran after the Islamic Republic successfully implemented a deal signed in July last year.

At the same time he announced a settlement between the US and Iran at The Hague, in which Iran received $400 million in funds frozen since 1981 plus $1.3 billion in interest. This, he said, would save US money and time, as there was no point in dragging out this dispute and continuing to pay interest on the money.

“Now that Iran’s actions have been verified, it can begin to receive relief from certain nuclear sanctions and gain access to its own money that had been frozen,” said Mr Obama while addressing his nation from the White House.

“And perhaps most important of all, we’ve achieved this historic progress through diplomacy, without resorting to another war in the Middle East,” he said.

Read more » DAWN
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Oxfam says wealth of richest 1% equal to other 99%

The richest 1% now has as much wealth as the rest of the world combined, according to Oxfam.

It uses data from Credit Suisse from October for the report, which urges leaders meeting in Davos this week to take action on inequality.

Oxfam also calculated that the richest 62 people in the world had as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population.

It criticised the work of lobbyists and the amount of money kept in tax havens.

Oxfam predicted that the 1% would overtake the rest of the world this time last year.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35339475

China launches new AIIB development bank as power balance shifts

Walmart to close 269 stores in U.S., South America

Retail giant says it’s not planning to close any Canadian stores

Walmart is closing 269 stores, more than half of them in the U.S. and another big chunk in its challenging Brazilian market.

The stores being shuttered account for a fraction of the company’s 11,000 stores worldwide and less than one per cent of its global revenue.

Read more » CBC
See more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/walmart-closing-stores-1.3405511

Where I’d Head Now If I Was A New Expat In China: Urumqi

Op-Ed Commentary: Chris Devonshire-Ellis

Twenty years ago, as weird as it may seem today, no one wanted to be posted to China. The country, still fresh from the Tiananmen incident, was something of an international pariah, and trade was only just beginning to pick up. No one was sure which direction China would take – retreat back into a closed shell, or reform and develop. While the answer now is obvious in terms of what happened, back in 1992 much of China was still waiting to be discovered, and expats were rather thin on the ground.

Someone visiting Wuxi, for example, would be greeted as a seasoned traveler upon their return home and as someone who would take risks and seek adventure. Twenty years ago, nearly all of China was like that – mysterious, romantic, and full of the allure of the ancient orient. Today, China is full of expats and businessmen, and many have traveled around with the mantra: been there, done that. Yet growth today is not necessarily in the obvious cities. With two airports, a maglev, and miles of highways, bridges, buildings, and port facilities, Shanghai as a contemporary city is built out. All that remains in terms of business opportunities there are the service industries – selling to the city’s inhabitants. Even manufacturing is long gone, pushed out to less romantic, yet far more cost-effective destinations such as Ningbo, Hefei and Yiwu.

It’s the same story in other primary locations too. Beijing is slightly different due to its status as a national political capital, but cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen and even Wuhan and Chengdu are being finished off, nothing left to develop now except a sales market. Not that that’s a bad thing – Chinese consumerism is expected to turn sharply up, especially in the third and fourth-tier cities where the newly established middle class want to acquire Nike shoes, LV bags, iPhones, and drink coffee at Starbucks.

But the true prize, in my opinion is even larger: Central Asia. I’ve just returned from two weeks travelling across Mongolia, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang, assessing just how far these regions have come and how they are poised to develop. Mongolia as a country has just been rated one of the top investment destinations for the next 10 years by Global Finance Magazine, and of course we have already set our stall out there concerning monitoring the country through our Mongolia Briefing facility. As concerns more general investment potential though, the country is limited to expertise in mining, and remains currently a big-ticket destination for investment dollars. Central Asia is a different matter. Comprising a huge area, the region is not officially defined, yet certainly includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Add to these a looser definition of Central Asia and you include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mongolia, Tibet and Xinjiang Province. There would be some mileage in stretching the region to include Iran as well, in addition to parts of Russia’s Siberia. But the principal financial, communications and logistics hub servicing all of that? Urumqi.

Xinjiang also offers the romance that I loved about China 20 years ago

Read more » China Briefing
Learn more » http://www.china-briefing.com/news/2012/08/21/where-id-head-now-if-i-was-a-new-expat-in-china-urumqi.html

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China and the World Economy in 2016: “Sell Everything”

THATTO DUAL CARRIAGEWAY PROJECT USHER IN NEW VISTAS OF INVESTMENT

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said that Thatta-Karachi Dualway Carriage would be a mile stone in the development of the province.

He said that he is committed with people and leadership to develop Sindh and create congenial atmosphere for investment in industrial sector, particularly in Thar coal filed.

He was addressing the signing ceremony of financing agreement Thatta – Karachi Dual Carriageway Project at the CM House here on Tuesday, said a statement.

He said that building infrastructure and commitment of providing better road network, the Works and Services Department in association with Sindh Public Private Partnership Unit is going to launch Karachi- Thatta Dual Carriageway Project.

The project is most important artery in the Province from Karachi to Thatta and a larger economic benefit of this Project is linked with connecting this corridor from Thatta towards Thar for Thar coal filed, he added.

Read more » Business Recorder
See more » http://www.brecorder.com/pakistan/politics-a-policy/270302-thatta-dual-carriageway-project-usher-in-new-vistas-of-investment.html

Dutch city plans to pay citizens a ‘basic income’, and Greens say it could work in the UK

Utrecht takes step towards paying people a salary whether they work or not

 

By  in Utrecht

It’s an idea whose adherents over the centuries have ranged from socialists to libertarians to far-right mavericks. It was first proposed by Thomas Paine in his 1797 pamphlet, Agrarian Justice, as a system in which at the “age of majority” everyone would receive an equal capital grant, a “basic income” handed over by the state to each and all, no questions asked, to do with what they wanted.

It might be thought that, in these austere times, no idea could be more politically toxic: literally, a policy of the state handing over something for nothing. But in Utrecht, one of the largest cities in the Netherlands, and 19 other Dutch municipalities, a tentative step towards realising the dream of many a marginal and disappointed political theorist is being made.

The politicians, well aware of a possible backlash, are rather shy of admitting it. “We had to delete mention of basic income from all the documents to get the policy signed off by the council,” confided Lisa Westerveld, a Green councillor for the city of Nijmegen, near the Dutch-German border.

Read more » The guardian
See more » http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/26/dutch-city-utrecht-basic-income-uk-greens?CMP=fb_gu

India-Pakistan Ties: If Goods Don’t Cross Borders, Soldiers Will

By Afaq Hussain and Riya Sinha

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent meeting with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the Paris summit followed by Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Pakistan has raised hopes about the possibility of resumption of the bilateral composite dialogue. The move signals a long-awaited thaw in bilateral relationship.

International commerce is the single most effective area that can successfully alter the bilateral foreign policy of India and Pakistan and enable them to move beyond their strained political linkages. Both conventional wisdom and empirical evidence propose that increasing levels of cross-border economic flows, defined either in terms of trade or capital movements decreases the probability of conflict.

Deliberating the very notions of peace through trade or trade through peace, can be quite intriguing. Reducing conflict helps create a globally conducive atmosphere for facilitating trade and other ties between countries; at the same time, increasing trade promotes peace through communication and transnational ties, which improves mutual understanding among societies and raises the potential for cooperation. The growing internationalisation of commerce and firms makes war less likely by increasing the costs of severing economic links.

Read more » The Quint
See more » http://www.thequint.com/opinion/2015/12/18/india-pakistan-ties-if-goods-dont-cross-borders-soldiers-will

Zimbabwe to adopt Chinese yuan as legal currency after debt cancellation

In an unprecedented move that signals China’s growing global influence, Zimbabwe has announced that it will adopt the Chinese currency as legal tender.

The announcement came after China cancelled $40-million (U.S.) in Zimbabwean debt earlier this week. China is already Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner, and Beijing is often praised by the Zimbabwean government, which has adopted a “Look East” policy after years of sanctions by Western governments.

While the decision to adopt the Chinese yuan as legal tender next month is largely a political message by an anti-Western government, it also illustrates China’s economic power in Africa, where Beijing has rapidly become a major investor and the continent’s biggest trading partner.

Read more » The Globe and Mail
See more » http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/african-and-mideast-business/zimbabwe-to-adopt-chinese-yuan-as-legal-currency-after-debt-cancellation/article27914154/

China, Pakistan ink $2 billion deal to build power plant in Sindh

BEIJING: China and Pakistan today signed a $2 billion agreement to jointly build a massive coal- fired power station in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province.
See more » The Economic Times
Learn more »  http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/business/china-pakistan-ink-2-billion-deal-to-build-power-plant-in-sindh/articleshow/50273768.cms?from=mdr

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