Also promises to forgive debt owed by countries in greatest need
By Thomson Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Saturday that Beijing will establish an assistance fund with an initial pledge of $2 billion to help developing countries implement a global sustainable development agenda over the next 15 years.
“China will continue to increase investment in the least developed countries, aiming to increase its total to $12 billion by 2030,” Xi told a sustainable development summit of world leaders at the United Nations.
“China will exempt the debt of the outstanding intergovernmental interest-free loans due by the end of 2015 owed by the relevant least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries,” he added.
The fund would help pay for such things as health care, education and economic development.
News courtesy: CBC
Read more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/china-fund-poorest-countries-1.3245286
By: Tara Beteille, co-authors: Kalpana Kochhar
In our blog post last November, we discussed Pakistan’s decision to grant India most favored nation (MFN) status. We were hopeful about the gains from easier trade between the two, but noted the many stumbling blocks in between. In the past 20 weeks, both countries have made serious efforts to address these blocks. Things are looking good. Here is an update.
Both countries mean business
In addition to the goodwill gesture of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari visiting India this April and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh considering visiting Pakistan, important issues addressed include:
- Pakistan issued an order in March 2012 to move from a positive list of 2,000 items for India to a negative list of 1,209 banned items. Pakistan intends to phase out the negative list altogether and formally give India MFN status by the end of 2012.
- India, which formally granted Pakistan MFN status in 1996 (but maintained barriers) has agreed to reduce its sensitive list of 865 items by 30% within four months. India has also agreed in principle to allow Pakistani foreign direct investment in the country.
- Both countries recently agreed to allow yearlong multiple-entry visas for business visitors, with visitors allowed to enter and exit through different cities.
- The two countries have agreed to allow each other’s central banks – the Reserve Bank of India and the State Bank of Pakistan – to open bank branches across borders to facilitate financial transactions and ensure smooth trade.
- A second checkpost gate was inaugurated this March at the Attari-Wagah border to ease road traffic between the two countries. The checkpost, with elaborate security features and capable of accommodating 600 trucks at a time, will provide upgraded infrastructure, including new storage go-downs, wide roads, and a luxurious passenger terminal.
Opportunities and gains
Making borders irrelevant can have far-reaching effects for economic prosperity across sectors in Pakistan and India. Consider a key driver of growth: electricity. South Asia’s recent More and Better Jobs flagship report estimated that industrial load shedding in Pakistan has resulted in the loss of 400,000 jobs. Trade between energy surplus and deficit regions could counter such losses — indeed, Pakistan is already in negotiations with India to import up to 500 MW of electricity.
Continue reading India-Pakistan Trade: Making Borders Irrelevant
Courtesy: Black Agenda Report, Wed, 09/30/2009
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
“Most people favor a public option that is a lot more “robust” than anything the Congress is offering.”
Despite the infamous Max Baucus Senate committee’s long-anticipated rejection of even a fig leaf of a public health care “option,” public opinion remains remarkably firm in support of allowing everyone access to a comprehensive government health plan. A New York Times/CBS News survey last week provided the best polling evidence in recent months that most people favor a public option that is a lot more “robust” than anything the Congress is offering, aside from straight-up single payer.
Continue reading Poll Shows Public Wants Medicare for All
Obama’s bold budget dicards Bush ideology in bid to lift economy
U.S. President Barack Obama blamed current economic woes on “an era of profound irresponsiblity.”
– ANDREW TAYLOR
WASHINGTON- U.S. President Barack Obama charted a dramatic course for the United States with a bold but contenttious budge proposing higher taxes for the wealthy and the first steps toward guaranted health care for all Americans.
The budget was accompained by an astonishing $1.75 trillion federal deficit that would be nearly four times the highest in history. In a veiled jibe at George W. Bush’s eight- year presidency, Obama attributed the current economic maelstrom to “an era of profound irresponsibilty that engulfed both private and public institutions from some of our largest companies’ executive suites to the seats of power in Washington, D.C.”
Denouncing what he called the “dishonest accounting” of recent federal budgets, Obama unveiled his own $ 36 trillion blueprint for next year, a proposal tha would transfer walth from rich taxpayers to the middle class and the poor….