Trade & Investment

China Opens Embassy in Nicaragua for First Time since 1990 after Taiwan Ties Cut

For the first time since 1990, China has (re)opened an embassy in Managua, Nicaragua, less than a month after Nicaragua cut ties with Taiwan. The (re)opening of the embassy on January 1, 2022 comes amidst the backdrop of US-China tensions, particularly over trade and Taiwan, as well as worsening Cross-Straits relations.

Ecstasy as Zimbabwe’s Smallholder Farmers Secure European Pineapple Market

In her wildest dreams, smallholder farmer Sarudzai Sithole never imagined that her pineapples could someday stock the produce section of Europe’s finest supermarkets.

What Explains Vaccination Rates in EBRD Regions?

Officially reported deaths from Covid-19 started to rise again in autumn 2021 in a number of economies in the EBRD regions. While in advanced economies in Europe the mortality rate has remained low despite the pick-up in Covid-19 cases, in the EBRD regions the mortality and infection rates continued to move in tandem.

Africa Should Bargain Hard for COVID Vaccine Equity: Lessons from Indonesia during Avian Flu

Many countries around the world have punished most of the African continent for the scientific discovery of the Omicron variant through the imposition of travel bans.

Corporate Fear Drives Caribbean Vaccine COVID-19 Mandates

When face-to-face Cabinet meetings resumed in Jamaica following more than a year of virtual meetings due to COVID-19, Ministers lined up to have their immunisation cards inspected.

Experts call for Improved Protection of African Fisheries

With subsidies of global fisheries back on the World Trade Organisation’s agenda, experts are calling for African governments to upscale the protection of the sector long plagued by activities that continue to threaten the continent’s blue economy.

Fair Tax Plan Could Prejudice Global South

An agreement between 136 countries aimed at forcing the world’s biggest companies to pay a fair share of tax has been condemned by critics who say it will benefit richer states at the expense of the global South.

Stop Calling the Military Budget a ‘Defense’ Budget

It’s bad enough that mainstream news outlets routinely call the Pentagon budget a “defense” budget. But the fact that progressives in Congress and even many antiwar activists also do the same is an indication of how deeply the mindsets of the nation’s warfare state are embedded in the political culture of the United States.

The End of World Bank’s “Doing Business Report”: A Landmark Victory for People & Planet

The September 16, 2021 announcement from the World Bank that it had discontinued publication of the Doing Business Report (DBR) marked a major victory for people and planet.

With the World Bank’s “Doing Business” Out of Business, What Should Come Next?

Last week the World Bank announced it was “discontinuing” its “Doing Business” report, which ranks countries on the ease of opening and operating a company.

Allow Least Developed Countries to Develop

The pandemic is pushing back the world’s poorest countries with the least means to finance economic recovery and contagion containment efforts. Without international solidarity, economic gaps will grow again as COVID-19 threatens humanity for years to come.

World Bank Looks to Trains in Argentina’s Climate Battle

Argentina will receive a 347 million dollar loan from the World Bank to upgrade one of the most important suburban railway lines in the city of Buenos Aires. The operation is part of the multilateral lender’s new policy, which deepens its commitment to the fight against climate change.

African Farmers Could Benefit from More Friendly EU Agriculture Policies

Gilbert Bor manages a small farm in the western highlands of Kenya. Landscapes are hilly, village roads lined with pine trees, his cows mostly of the Friesian breed. He is up at 6:00am daily to lead his animals through the woods into the valley below.

China Struggles with Socio-environmental Standards in Latin America

In southeast Mexico, work on the Yucatan Solar Park, owned by the Chinese company Jinko Solar, has been halted since 2020 for lack of proper consultation with indigenous communities, after affected local residents filed an injunction against the project.

Stepping Up to Meet Low-Income Countries’ Pandemic Recovery Needs

Low-income countries have been hard hit by the pandemic. Their large financing needs are only likely to grow as they deal with the crisis and its economic aftermath.

Why is the UK Government Turning off the Tap During a Global Pandemic?

The UK government’s decision to reduce its Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget from 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) to 0.5% -- a cut of around £4 billion this year -- was confirmed last week by a majority of 35 votes in a House of Commons vote.

Caribbean aims to Turn Foul-smelling, Enviro Problem Sargassum Seaweed into High-Value Products

A regular visitor to the islands of the Caribbean has become a dreaded nuisance over the past ten years. The sargassum seaweed that typically washes ashore now arrives each year in overwhelming, extraordinary amounts for reasons that are not entirely clear.

Pacific Islands Making the Move to Electronic Data Collection

Between 2010 and 2020, many Pacific Islands and Territories have updated their traditional data collection processes, embracing new technologies. The island nations Kiribati and Vanuatu, among others, successfully switched to computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI), a new data management system and a survey monitoring dashboard. The innovations implemented with support from the Pacific Community helped to weather the impact of the pandemic on census activities and to become fit for the purpose of tracking the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Weaponizing Science in Global Food Policy

In July, the United Nations will convene “Science Days”, a high-profile event in preparation for the UN Food Systems Summit later this year. Over the course of two days, the world will be treated to a parade of Zoom sessions aimed at “highlighting the centrality of science, technology and innovation for food systems transformation.”

Three Million in Three Years: Jamaica’s Tree-Planting to Tackle Climate Change

By the time he is finished, Dr. Satyanarayana Parvataneni expects he will be responsible for planting over 200,000 tree seedlings in Jamaica. It is an effort driven by a desire to preserve the planet for the next generation, as well as the one of the largest contributions to date to a national effort to plant three million trees in three years.

Education Cannot Wait for Refugee Children in Crisis, says Yasmine Sherif

With financing, the number of out-of-school refugees could be reduced to zero, Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW) says, as the world commemorates World Refugee Day.

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