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Global business leaders: China will continue to be a key contributor to global economic growth

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Global business leaders praised China’s decision to pursue high-quality development and expressed confidence in China’s economic potential, saying China will continue to be a key contributor to global economic growth.

They made the remarks at the China Development Forum 2024 in Beijing on Sunday, during which international scholars, entrepreneurs, government officials and representatives from international organizations discussed key issues concerning the development of China and the world.

In her speech, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that China is transforming its economy from high rates to high quality of growth and that high-quality development ultimately depends on reforms.

She projects over 3 percent growth for 2024 and the following year for the global economy and urged deep structural reforms for all countries to enhance the conditions for entrepreneurship, innovation and economic performance as the world is facing low productivity, high debt levels and geopolitical tensions.

The IMF head called for China to implement “a comprehensive package of pro-market reforms,” saying China could grow considerably faster with reforms starting with sound macroeconomic fundamentals, and the additional growth would add $3.5 trillion to the Chinese economy.

World Bank President Ajay Banga also mentioned the global challenges, saying they intensified global inequality. He noted that developing countries faced an “unimaginable” gap with 1.1 billion young people expected to enter the workforce in the next decade while the expected jobs being created would only be 325 million. However, he also cautioned that it’s just a prediction, not an actual destiny, adding that China’s “remarkable journey” in the past five decades was a testament to what is possible.

Like Georgieva, Banga also emphasized the importance of reforms. He said that since China’s reform and opening up in 1978, it has lifted 770 million rural residents out of poverty, and due to reform, China fundamentally changed its development trajectory, with more than 8 million jobs created every year for over three decades, sharply reducing global poverty from 44 percent to 9 percent. Once a major World Bank borrower, China is now one of the bank’s biggest donors, Banga added.

The IMF head presented opportunities to boost productivity and improve living standards citing digital and green transformations. She acknowledged China’s leading position in artificial intelligence, saying China’s well-developed digital infrastructure provides a head start.

In terms of advancing the green economy, she described China as a global leader in deploying renewable energy with enormous potential, adding that China was making rapid progress in green mobility.

She also highlighted China’s contributions to assist the IMF in providing affordable long-term financing to low-income countries and states undertaking reforms to reduce risks to prospective balance of payments stability, including those related to climate change and pandemic preparedness, and capacity-development initiatives.

“China’s remarkable development success has delivered tremendous benefits to hundreds of millions of people,” she said and expressed her confidence that China and the world can tackle the current challenges and create a more prosperous future for all through cooperation.

Apple’s Tim Cook also attended Sunday’s forum. The CEO of the U.S.’ largest smartphone empire was in Shanghai to open a new Apple store this week, and he met with China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao on Friday.

“I think China is really opening up, and I’m so happy to be here,” Cook told a reporter from CGTN at the forum on Sunday.

He also told the China Media Group that Apple would keep increasing its investment in research and development in China, adding that Apple’s flagship mixed-reality headset, the Vision Pro, would hit shelves in China by the end of this year.

Source(s): CGTN

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Maldives signs with Chinese firm for Laamu Integrated Maritime Hub Project

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Agreements pertaining to the Laamu Integrated Maritime Hub Project have been signed with a Chinese company, aiming to accomplish the commitments made by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu. The contract laying groundworks for this transformative endeavor was signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) Mohamed Wajeeh and the General Manager of CAMC Engineering Li Wei Wei.

Outlined within the agreement are details of six subprojects:

  • Launching offshore bunkering services
  • Developing a cruise terminal
  • Establishing a super yacht marina
  • Developing Gaadhoo as an Eco-resort
  • Establishing a facility to store regionally produced food items
  • Building a transshipment port

Providing insight into the developmental project, CEO Wajeeh underscored MPL’s ongoing efforts to secure a relevant market. He envisioned attracting international shipping lines to the transshipment port, anticipating a significant economic boost from even a single shipping line. Discussions are also underway with cruise operators to initiate cruise terminal operations.

MPL disclosed proposals from two companies to assist in providing bunkering services. While Vitol Bunkering, currently involved in developing bunkering facilities in Haa Alif Atoll, is one of them, the second company expressing interest hails from Dubai.

The establishment of a commercial port and a harbor including logistics is a commitment outlined in the governments’ manifesto.

Source(s): PsmNews

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India approves highest-ever export quotas for essential commodities to Maldives

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India has approved highest-ever export quotas for essential commodities to Maldives for the year 2024-25, including eggs, wheat flour and onions, as well as river sand and stone aggregates.

In a statement on Friday, the Indian High Commission said the quota for export of essential commodities was renewed at the request of the Maldivian government.

“The approved quantities are the highest since this arrangement came into effect in 1981,” reads the statement.

The quota for river sand and stone aggregates, crucial items for the booming construction industry in the Maldives, have been increased by 1,000,000 MT. There has also been an increase of 5 percent in the quotas for eggs, potatoes, onions, sugar, rice, wheat flour and dal (pulses).

The export quota approved for 2024-25:

  • Eggs: 427,536,904.20
  • Potatoes: 21,513.08 MT
  • Onions: 35,749.13 MT
  • Rice: 124,218.36 MT
  • Wheat flour: 109,162.96 MT
  • Sugar: 64,494.33 MT
  • Dal: 224.48 MT
  • Stone aggregate: 1,000,000 MT
  • River sand: 1,000,000 MT

Despite global restrictions on the export of rice, sugar, and onions from India last year, New Delhi continued to provide these crucial commodities to the Maldives.

The high commission said the move underlines India’s strong committed to supporting human centric development in the Maldives, as part of its ‘Neighborhood First’ policy.

Maldivian Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer on early Saturday said India’s gesture to renew the quota to allow the export of certain quantities of essential commodities signifies the longstanding bilateral friendship, and the commitment to further expand trade and commerce.

“I sincerely thank EAM @DrSJaishankar and the Government of #India for the renewal of the quota to enable #Maldives to import essential commodities from India during the years 2024 and 2025. The newly approved quantities of essentials have been increased under the unique bilateral mechanism between the two countries, even as ties between Male and New Delhi remained tense in recent months,” Zameer said in a post on X.

His Indian counterpart, Dr. S. Jaishankar, responded that “India stands firmly committed to its Neighborhood First and SAGAR policies.”

Source(s): sun.mv

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Government to boost tourism promotion budget, expands global outreach

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Minister of Tourism Ibrahim Faisal has announced plans to strengthen the nation’s tourism promotion budget, with a focus on expanding outreach across various global regions.

Speaking to PSM News, Minister Faisal emphasised his dedication to amplifying tourist arrivals to the Maldives. Stressing the pivotal role of intensified marketing endeavors, he highlighted efforts to increase financial provisions for the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) from the state budget.

Additionally, Minister Faisal unveiled strategies to spotlight individual atolls in the Maldives for targeted tourism promotion. He outlined intentions to explore new tourist markets, with a particular focus on nations demonstrating substantial investment in this field. He also underscored plans to differentiate promotional campaigns for guesthouses and resorts, anticipating a significant increase in tourism figures over the next five years.

The government’s efforts to elevate the tourism sector are yielding promising outcomes, evidenced by a historic increase in tourist arrivals during the initial quarter of this year. Recent statistics reveal that over 600,000 tourists have visited the Maldives within this timeframe, signaling a noteworthy milestone in the nation’s tourism sector.

Source(s): PsmNews

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