Jan 16
Regional & International Economy
Muhith stresses need for more foreign assistance PDF Print E-mail

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday told parliament that foreign assistance still can play a vital role in Bangladesh's socioeconomic development.

“We have no intention to reduce foreign assistance. Rather, we want to go for big projects by taking foreign assistance. But, we are not a foreign assistance-dependent country,” he said.

The percentage of foreign assistance at present is insignificant: it is 1.5 percent of the total gross domestic product, according to the finance minister.

Bangladesh mainly takes Official Development Assistance from multilateral organisations or countries, which are soft loans or grants.

And to ensure that the foreign loans do not put pressure on the economy, the government looks to get soft foreign assistance, keeping aside the loans with tough conditions, he said.

Last Updated on Monday, 13 June 2016 13:01
Pakistan grants 4G licence to Norway's Telenor for $395m PDF Print E-mail

Pakistan has awarded a $395 million 4G licence to Norwegian telecom giant Telenor, as it seeks to capitalise on a booming domestic mobile market some two years since broadband internet arrived in the country.

In 2014, Pakistan auctioned its first 4G broadband licence to China's Zong for $210 million, along with 3G licenses to Zong, the UAE's Warid, and Pakistan's domestic Mobilink. The total raised in the auction was $1.2 billion.

In the first quarter of 2015 smartphone shipments to the country soared by 123 percent, according to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority's annual report, one of the fastest growth rates in the developing world.

Brexit could mean benefit cuts for poor families: economists PDF Print E-mail

More than a million people in the UK live in destitution. Photo: BBC NewBBC NewsLow income families could receive hundreds of pounds less in benefit payments if the UK leaves the EU, according to an economic think tank.

In its central forecast, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said some households could lose up to £2,771 a year.

Falling national income might result in cuts to the welfare budget by 2020, the NIESR study said.

The Vote Leave campaign said the report was based on "dodgy" assumptions.

Using existing forecasts, NIESR assumed that national income will fall by up to 6 percent by 2020 if the UK leaves the EU, compared to what it otherwise would have been.

It also assumed that the government would stick to its promise to balance the books by 2019/20.

In that case, it said, the government would need to save £44 billion by the end of the decade, a large proportion of which could come from the welfare budget.

Japan may seek WTO help to resolve India steel tariff dispute PDF Print E-mail

Japan may seek WTO help to resolve India steel tariff dispute

A worker stacks steel pipes in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. Photo: Reuters

Japan said it may ask the World Trade Organization (WTO) to help resolve a dispute related to India's "safeguard" tariffs on the import of hot-rolled steel.

Prompted by massive steel exports from the China, the world's top producer, countries including the United States and Australia as well as the European Union have imposed duties on steel imports. As the second-largest global steel producer, Japan's own exports are potentially under pressure because of these protectionist stances.

India has extended its safeguard import taxes on some steel products until March 2018, in a bid to stop cheap overseas purchases from flooding its market and bolster the domestic steel sector.

Japan will make repeated requests to the Indian authorities to ensure the consistency of their measures with the WTO agreements, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said in its annual report on unfair trade on Wednesday.

India cotton exports drop on thin supply pushing prices higher PDF Print E-mail

Cotton exports from India, the world's biggest producer, have nearly halted as local prices have rallied due to tight supplies because of drought, forcing key importers like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Vietnam to turn to other suppliers.

The freeze in Indian export will prompt Brazil, Australia and United States to raise shipments and has pushed global prices to near their highest since August.

The price rise could subsequently push up fabric and clothing prices and put pressure on the margins of garment makers.


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