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ECONOMY - page 9

nequality gap, irrepressible; the country is further divided


The inequality gap in Mexico has increased, with higher per capita income growth in the most developed entities, in contrast to those that have lagged behind. In the last 13 years, the states with the highest per capita income have recorded higher growth rates in this indicator than those that are lagging behind, which has exacerbated the regional inequalities that exist in the country.

Eurozone: the next national goal


Bulgaria’s Economic and Social Council (ESC) declared that the accession to the Exchange Rate Mechanism and the Eurozone should be among the national goals for the Bulgarian economy. The ESC wants to speed up the process in order to access Eurozone: first of all, to grant the shortest stay possible in the ERM II (the Eurozone waiting room). The positive effects of the Eurozone for Bulgaria would be the inclusion in the European Central Bank, the reduction of transaction expenses for the banking system, refinancing of banks, lower interest rates on loans, opportunities for re-financing accumulated debts.

Tunisia: urgent meeting of European ambassadors


The European Union ambassador to Tunisia, Patrice Bergamini, announced on Thursday, December 7th, 2017, to have called all the ambassadors of the member countries of the European Union in Tunis to an urgent meeting. The ambassador who spoke in an interview with Express Fm on Thursday said the meeting should be held after his meeting today with the head of the national unity government Youssef Chahed. Patrice Bergamini said that this urgent meeting should focus on measures to find a solution to remove Tunisia from the blacklist of 17 tax havens validated last Tuesday by the 28 finance ministers of the European Union. Recall that Patrice Bergamini announced Wednesday, December 06, 2017 that the EU will begin a series of negotiations with Tunisia so that it is removed from the blacklist by January 2018. According to the European leader, the EU is determined to find common ground to overcome this crisis as soon as possible.


Trade between China, Belt and Road countries was a 15-percent increase


Trade between China and countries along the Belt and Road amounted to 786 billion U.S. dollars in the first three quarters, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday. The volume was a 15-percent increase from the same period last year, MOC spokesperson Gao Feng told a press conference. From January to September, Chinese businesses directly invested 9.6 billion U.S. dollars in countries along the Belt and Road, up 29.7 percent year on year. Investments made by Belt and Road countries in China stood at 4.24 billion U.S. dollars, up 34.4 percent year on year. Chinese businesses have helped build 75 economic and trade cooperation zones in 24 countries along the Belt and Road, generating over 209,000 jobs, according to Gao. The Belt and Road is a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along – and beyond – the ancient Silk Road trade routes. The modern version comprises an overland Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Kim Jong Un’s plot: biological weapons


With the world already fretting about North Korea unleashing a nuclear war, what with its sophisticated hydrogen bombs and other nuclear weapons – another fear has now gripped the region. According to a latest report, the reclusive nation led by Kim Jong Un is now mass producing deadly batches of biological weapons that could kill tens of thousands of people. A report by the Belfer Centre of Harvard University’s Kennedy School has revealed that North Korea is “mass producing deadly batches of smallpox and the plague.” The report stated that the dictator is harvesting agents such as plague, anthrax and cholera. The report quotes the South Korean Defense Ministry as saying, “North Korea has 13 types of biological weapons agents which it can weaponize within ten days, and anthrax and smallpox are the likely agents it would deploy”. It goes on to reveal, “Agents like anthrax could cause mass casualties with a small amount: only a few kilograms of anthrax, equivalent to a few bottles of wine, released into a dense city could kill 50 percent of the population. If used on a large scale, these weapons can cause not only tens of thousands of deaths, but also create panic and paralyze societies”. On Monday, as the report was revealed, North Korea yet again took a potshot at the U.S. President Donald Trump, calling him a “hooligan” and a “lunatic with his finger over a nuclear button.”A statement by the North Korean government quoted in the KNCA said, “Dignitaries of White House, and State and Defense Departments of the U.S. are having a hard time cooling Trump overheated with a war fever, but only the South Korean puppet forces are fanning up the lunatic fingering a nuclear button. What is ridiculous is the puppet forces’ poor plight of being treated as a street girl even though they play the coquette with the U.S. and serve it with devotion”.


China will appoint Guo Shuqing, icon of liberal market, as the next governor of the central bank


China is likely to name Guo Shuqing, a key figure in China’s market reform camp as the next central bank governor. Guo, the current chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, is currently ahead of the other candidates for the post including Jiang Chaoliang, the Hubei party secretary; Yi Gang, a deputy governor at the People’s Bank of China and Liu Shiyu, the chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission said one source, who declined to be named. If the appointment of Guo, 61, who holds similar liberal views to the retiring governor Zhou Xiaochuan, is confirmed in the coming weeks, it will ensure the presence of a well-known market believer in President Xi Jinping’s economic team  a development that could help to shore up confidence that Xi is not totally sidelining market liberalisation. Guo was a deputy central bank governor and the chief of State Administration of Foreign Exchange (Safe), the agency that runs China’s capital control and foreign exchange reserves, from 2001 to 2005.

He became chairman of China Construction Bank in 2005 after his predecessor was toppled for graft. In that role he restarted the bank’s joint-stock restructuring and floated its shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai. “Both Zhou and Guo have a liberal streak in their thinking and both understand market economics very well,” John Wong, a professorial fellow at the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore, said. Guo’s experiences in different posts as a scholar, a banker, a provincial governor and a regulator had made him “politically very shrewd”, he said, another critical skill that is needed to navigate the vested interests within the government and to seek compromise and consensus. In the latest institutional move, for instance, China decided to create a financial development and stability committee that is likely to be headed by a vice-premier. The central bank will have an office to run the day-to-day affairs of the agency. “Guo is of the same vein [as Zhou in understanding what China needs],” Fraser Howie, director of Newedge Financial in Singapore, said. “The problem though is, as Zhou states, too much interference and fear from other ministries.”

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