Issues such as oil production, price cap, Ukraine-Russia conflict, and new global financial challenges drive G20 members away from consensus, as another meeting ends without a joint communique.
The G20 has closed talks in Washington without issuing a joint communique, as a growing US-Saudi feud created new tensions in a group already divided over Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 major economies met during the IMF and World Bank annual meetings that have focused on the conflict, soaring inflation and the climate crisis.
“We could do a communique that doesn’t mention the war in Ukraine, but we don’t want a communique that sweeps things under the rug,” a source familiar with the discussions told the AFP news agency.
Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, whose country chairs the G20 this year said at a news conference, “All member countries underlined that it is very important to continue to preserve this G20 as the premier economic forum for cooperation.”
She acknowledged that the group faces “many challenges” and “differences in view”, with “escalating geopolitical conflicts, a war in Ukraine which exacerbated and worsened the economic situation.”
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said before the meeting that it was “better to have a forum to speak in than none.”
Washington and Riyadh have locked horns over a decision by the OPEC+ group of oil exporters, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, to sharply cut production — a move that could send energy prices soaring higher.
The source close to the G20 discussions said Western nations explained at the meeting that they were “disappointed” and that the cuts went against Saudi interests “because the risk for them is that they cause a recession.”
President Joe Biden has threatened “consequences” for Saudi Arabia.
The OPEC+ cut comes as the Group of Seven wealth democracies is seeking to impose a price cap on Russia’s crude exports, a move aimed at stripping the country of a major source of funding for its war machine.
While Western nations have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia, other countries have maintained economic ties with Moscow, with India and China stepping up their purchases of Russian oil.
Despite the lack of a joint communique, Indonesia’s Indrawati said the G20 made progress on a number of issues, including sustainable finance and efforts to impose a global minimum tax on major corporations.
IASL is seeks A contractor to refurbish the Maafaru airport terminal
BY: FATHIMATH LAUZA.
Island Aviation Services Limited (IASL) is looking for a contractor to refurbish the Maafaru International Airport terminal. IASL has asked interested Maldivian enterprises to submit proposals by February 12.
According to General Manager Mumthaz Ali, the goal of the terminal upgrade is to expand the airport’s capacity, add additional Maldives Immigration counters, and develop commercial and VVIP lounges.
He stated that the terminal will be a two-story structure, with the first level housing the VVIP lounge and the second housing the commercial lounge and offices.
Furthermore, the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) is planning to rebuild and enlarge the runway at Maafaru International Airport. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has provided a USD27 million grant to the project (ADFD). The expansion of the runway and terminal is projected to greatly boost the airport’s capacity.
The renovation and extension are part of Maafaru International Airport’s second phase of development. MTCC is in charge of extending the runway by 650 meters, enlarging the strip, recovering land, and constructing coastline protection buildings. Other activities include improving the runway pavement, enlarging the taxiway, and modernizing the AGL and power systems.
State reserve at USD 827.7M by end of last year, a significant improvement
Statistics publicized Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) show that the state reserve stood at USD 827.7 million at the end of last year.
The ‘Economic Update’ publicized by MMA on Thursday showed that the gross international reserve, or in other words, the foreign currency reserve of the central bank, increased to USD 827.7 million by the end of last December.
This marks a three percent increase compared to the previous year. At the end of 2021, the state reserve stood at USD 805.8 million.
The reserve significantly improved in December 2022 compared to November 2022 with an addition of USD 223.5 million – marking a 37 percent increase. At the end of November 2022, the reserve stood at USD 604.2 million.
Tourism sector performed significantly well in the last quarter of last year. Statistics by Tourism Ministry showed that Maldives recorded 184,051 tourist arrivals in December alone, marking a 12 percent increase compared to December 2021.
As per MMA, the number of fisheries exports from the Maldives also significantly increased during December 2022. The central bank said that number of total exports had also significantly increased last year.
Economic experts cite the increased tourist arrivals to the Maldives and increased exports from the Maldives as a positive impact on the Maldivian economy.
While statistics from MMA shows Maldivian economy making steady improvements – Finance Ministry had recently announced measures to cut down state expenditure which is currently in force.
OPEC+ committee recommends staying course on oil output policy
VIENNA, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) — Leading oil officials on Wednesday recommended to maintain the current oil output policy of OPEC+, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, amid an uncertain global economic outlook.
The OPEC+ agreed in October 2022 to cut production by 2 million barrels per day from the following month until the end of 2023. The cut equals to about 2 percent of the annual global oil demand.
Members of the OPEC+ Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) “reaffirmed their commitment” to the current output plan at a virtual meeting on Wednesday and “urged all participating countries to achieve full conformity and adhere to the compensation mechanism,” according to an OPEC statement.
The JMMC comprises oil ministers from the OPEC+ countries. It has no decision-making power but provides policy recommendations for the OPEC+ ministerial meeting, the group’s decision-making body. It has also the authority to request additional OPEC+ ministerial meetings “at any time to address market developments,” according to OPEC.
The JMMC has reviewed the oil production data for November and December last year and “noted the overall conformity” for the OPEC+ countries, OPEC added.
The next JMMC meeting is scheduled for April 3. The next OPEC+ ministerial meeting, where the group will formally decide its output policy, is set for June 4.
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