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$1.2 Billion to Help Finance Second Phase Upgrade of Bangladesh International Road Corridor

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The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved $1.2 billion in finance for the second phase upgrade of the Dhaka-Northwest international trade corridor in Bangladesh.

“Bangladesh has good prospects of becoming a regional trade hub, if the country’s transport infrastructure can be improved to bring down transport costs and make the sector more competitive,” said Dong Kyu Lee, Unit Head of Project Administration in ADB’s South Asia Department. “To further these aims, the project is expected to significantly boost trade and prosperity along the trade corridor route, the second busiest artery in the country.”

Transport infrastructure is the centerpiece of the ADB-supported South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program, which promotes regional prosperity. Since 2001, SASEC members have invested more than $9.17 billion in projects with a regional dimension, including 31 transport projects worth $7.3 billion. SASEC transport investments in Bangladesh focus on developing highway corridors. Road travel accounts for 70% of all passenger traffic and 60% of freight in Bangladesh, where traffic has been growing at a rate of 8% a year.

ADB has been a partner of the government in improving the Dhaka-Northwest corridor since 1994, when the landmark Jamuna Bridge Project was approved. A first ADB loan of $198 million was approved in 2012 for what is now considered phase 1 of the international corridor project. This increased road capacity on 70 kilometers (km) of the Joydeypur-Elenga section of the road. It also improved operational efficiency of two of the land ports—Burimari and Benapole—that provide gateways to Bhutan and India, respectively.

Phase 2 continues ADB’s support to the corridor by improving the 190-km section from Elenga through Hatikurul to Rangpur. Road operation and management in the Roads and Highway Department will also be strengthened. There will be further work on issues such as road safety and gender responsive features to make the highway user friendly to women. Studies have shown that women particularly use the route on foot or slow-moving vehicles such as rickshaws, so the project will include footbridges, footpaths, and lanes for slow moving traffic to make their travel safer.

The total cost of the project is $1.67 billion, of which the government will meet $472.6 million. ADB’s financial assistance will be delivered through a multitranche financing facility, with the first tranche comprising a regular loan of $250 million and a concessional loan of $50 million. Work will be carried out over 10 years to August 2027, with funding from three more tranches from the facility at intervals.

Accompanying the assistance package is an ADB technical assistance (TA) grant of $2 million to support the government in updating its Road Master Plan, and enhancing planning and monitoring activities associated with roads. The TA is to be carried out from January 2018 to December 2023.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.

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UNIDO to support Albania’s post-disaster reconstruction

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Photo: UNIDO

A delegation from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has taken part in the international donors’ conference “Together for Albania”. The event, hosted by the European Commission, was convened to support reconstruction efforts in Albania after one of the strongest earthquakes in the country’s history struck on 26 November 2019. A Post-Disaster Needs Assessment, launched jointly by the European Union, the United Nations and the World Bank, concluded that the total recovery needs of the country exceed EUR 1 billion across all sectors in the 11 affected municipalities of Tirana and Durrës – a financial challenge that cannot be addressed by the country single-handedly.

Delivering welcoming remarks, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, and President of the European Council, Charles Michel, called on all donors and partners to support the joint effort and extend a helping hand to Albania and its population.

During his meeting with the Albanian delegation, UNIDO’s Deputy to the Director General, Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, expressed condolences and deep solidarity with the Government and all the people of Albania, especially the communities most affected by the earthquake. 

“I share the deep sense of distress at the loss of life, the devastation and the suffering caused by the deadly earthquake and welcome the efforts to coordinate the response of donors and international partners – both to raise resources and contribute expertise to support Albania,” said Kuniyoshi

A total of 714 businesses suffered damage, with the result that 438 employees from 56 manufacturing businesses and 79 employees from 124 trading companies lost their jobs.

UNIDO offered to contribute with its technical expertise to support the rehabilitation of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) which are key to socio-economic recovery and sustainable progress. Additional support could be provided in the areas of business development services, market linkages, micro-finance schemes and business promotion.

To support the reconstruction country’s efforts, UNIDO stands ready to initiate concrete technical cooperation projects under its five-year Country Programme with the Government of Albania. The programme, focusing on such domains as sustainable tourism and its linkages with related industries, including food and handicraft, can help create jobs and stimulate economic growth – both in cities and rural areas. With Durrës being Albania’s largest tourism destination, such initiatives have the potential to deliver concrete results for economic recovery after the earthquake and enhance inclusive and sustainable industrial development in the region. 

To determine concrete follow-up steps, UNIDO’s Kuniyoshi held bilateral meetings with National Post-Disaster Needs Assessment Coordinator, Milva Ekonomi, and Managing Director of the European External Action Service Responsible for Human Rights, Global and Multilateral Issues, Lotte Knudsen. The counterparts noted that intergovernmental organizations – including the EU and the UN – are well-placed to change global development dynamics. The European Union is UNIDO’s largest donor of voluntary contribution from governmental sources.

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Investing In Stocks

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A share of stock, sometimes known as equity or security, is a form of legal ownership in a company. Corporations normally issue stock to raise money and they issue stock in two varieties mainly common stock and preferred stock.

Common stock also ordinary shares are shares that entitle the holder to dividends that vary in amount and at times these dividends are not issued and this depends on the company’s fortunes. Preferred stock on the other hand is stock that entitles the holder to a fixed dividend whose payment is prioritized over ordinary shares.

When it comes to investing in stocks there are top stocks to buy. Identifying a portfolio can be as easy as looking at trends in the top companies and identify those that you are likely to gain from. For instance, Tesla shares were going for $420before announcing their cyber truck. After the announcement the shares rose to $680 so this was a good investment opportunity.

Professional tips for stock market investing

Set long-term goals

When investing in the stock market you ought to have long term goals. By this I mean you need to establish your purpose definitively and the exact time in future you will need your investment. If the period of time until the first investment matures is long, consider making another.

You can calculate the amount to invest and the return on investment needed to produce the desired result. It is crucial to note that the growth of a portfolio is dependent on three factors:  the capital invested, the net amount of annual earnings on the capital, and the period of your investment.

Comprehend your risk tolerance

Tolerance of risk is a psychological trait majorly influenced by wealth, income and knowledge. Old risk tolerance is on the downward trend, but wealthier an individual, the more their risk tolerance will increase because of the sense of security that wealth imparts.

Perception is very important in investing. As one acquires more knowledge on investing example how to buy and sell stocks and how to practically liquidate an investment it makes you consider stocks to have less risk than you thought at the time of purchase. As a result, anxiety about investing drops.

Diversify your investment portfolio

Diversifying your investment portfolio is the most common way to manage risk. Shrewd investors own shares in various organizations and in different sectors and at times even in different states. Doing this comes with the expectation that a single bad event such as an economic recession will not negatively impact all their holdings.

Diversification of a portfolio allows a person to negate the loss of his/her total investment whereby some of the investments are doing well and the rest are performing badly. Even if the entire value of the portfolio drops it is better than losing everything.

Control your emotions

In stock trading individuals lose money due to not making logical decisions which is spurred by inability to control emotions. An organization’s share prices on the short term reflect integrated emotions of the entire investment faction.

Individuals who approach the market with a negative perspective are termed as bears whereas those who approach with a positive perspective are bulls. During market hours the disparity between bears and bulls is portrayed by the constant change in price of stocks. Short term movements are spurred by emotions rather than logic

Keep away from leverage

Leveraging is the use of borrowed finances to enact ones stock market strategy. Possession of a marginal account can prompt brokerage firms and banks alike to loan you money to invest in stocks. Normally, they afford you up to 50% of the total value of your portfolio.

That said if stock price plummets, rather than doubling your investment assuming if it shoots up, you will lose 100% of the original stake plus the interest to the broker.

Conclusion

Finally investing in stocks has a good shot at accumulating an enormous asset value for those willing to be steady savers. The earlier one begins their investment venture, the greater the possible outcome will be.

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ABAC Release: Achieving Integration and Inclusion in the Age of Disruption

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Business leaders from around the Asia-Pacific met in Sydney, Australia, last week to discuss the year ahead, including engaging with APEC senior officials on how best to advance shared goals around integration, innovation and inclusion in the region.

“We are seeing disruption and volatility in the geopolitical situation, in trade and markets, in economic inequality, in the digital economy and even in our physical environment,” commented ABAC Chair Dato Rohana Tan Sri Mahmood. “One thing is clear: to overcome these challenges, we need more regional cooperation, not less. This was our key message to senior officials in our annual dialogue this week,” Dato Rohana added.

The chair said that ABAC would be looking to find durable solutions to those issues as part of the post-2020 vision for the region, which is due to be finalized by APEC this year. ABAC would be seeking a seamless, dynamic, resilient, inclusive and sustainable Asia-Pacific economic community, underpinned by a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific, and with people at its heart.

In the meantime, ABAC members reiterated their strong support for the World Trade Organization (WTO). “The mid-year WTO Ministerial Conference represents a crucial opportunity to make progress on reforming WTO rules and resolving the impasse on dispute settlement. As we see our small businesses and developing economies exporting more, this is critical. This will mean that the multilateral rules-based system remains relevant to and effective for all in our modern economies,” added Dato Rohana.

Chair Dato Rohana also emphasized the importance of business leadership to mitigate climate change impacts and spearhead the transition to a low-emissions economy. “Business has an important role to play in helping shape the path ahead here. As businesspeople, we are adept at simplifying complex issues and finding innovative solutions,” said Dato Rohana. “We have a real contribution to make here.”

On the digital economy, the chair said that ABAC remained convinced that fostering an innovation-friendly, resilient and cyber-secure digital ecosystem was the best way to help unlock growth for underserved groups including women, indigenous communities and micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the region. “As we face the emergence of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, we need to equip APEC economies to create an environment for successful development and ethical uptake of AI,” added Dato Rohana.

Underpinning these efforts was a need for ongoing structural reform to increase the resilience of all APEC economies

“In Sydney we set out an ambitious forward agenda and work program which will lead us through the year to the APEC Summit in Kuala Lumpur in November, where we will present our advice directly to APEC Economic Leaders,” concluded Dato Rohana.

For more information on the APEC Business Advisory Council, click here.

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