With a rapidly oscillating geopolitical dynamic, one underscored by escalating trade tensions between major powers, Asian leaders called for adherence to a “rules-based” order, and rejected unilateral and protectionist moves, on the closing day of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN, held in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.
“I think we need to establish rule-based international order and any unilateral challenge to the status quo; the international community needs to stand up against it,” remarked Taro Kono, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan. The “collapse of multilateralism, stemming from the trade war” between the United States and China, he reiterated, must follow the same principles and existing liberal international order.
ASEAN leaders and their counterparts from Japan, South Korea and Sri Lanka echoed concerns over rising unilateralism with regard to rising trade tensions and territorial concerns in the South China Sea, raising critical questions about the geopolitical implications of the global rebalancing.
“Looking at the geopolitics in Asia and friction between America and China, I am concerned about the rebalancing of the global order,” observed Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. “What will happen to multilateral law? What we have built up is multilateral law. Will that law be decayed, diminished or can it be strengthened?”
China’s territorial moves in the South China Sea, commented Lynn Kuok, Associate Fellow, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in Singapore, will reveal what type of regulatory environment will prevail: “I will be watching out for developments in the South China Sea. China is consolidating its control over the region and resources. This matters because it will change the balance of power in the region and whether the balance of power in the region is governed by might or right,” noted Kuok.
While there are clear regional fractures, Kang Kyung-Wha, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, pointed out that there are also moments of geopolitical alignment, such as current moves to advance denuclearization efforts on the Korean Peninsula, which look much more promising than they did a year ago.
“On US-China relations, if you look at just the trade side it does look tense, but I think these are two big players on the global stage with strategic calculations that sometimes diverge, but also at times converge. And I think on the North Korea nuclear issue, they have converged,” said Kang, ahead of a third summit on the issue scheduled to be held in Pyongyang next week.
Rejecting nationalistic and protectionist trends that are resonating across the region, Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam, turned to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the theme of the meeting, cautioning that future growth must be inclusive otherwise disparity will become a geopolitical threat. “It is undeniable that the revolution offers tremendous opportunities; but if a country cannot seize the opportunities,” he said, “They can be left behind.”
In addition to traditional geopolitical threats, such as maritime security and freedom of navigation and trade, the Japanese foreign minister said that one of his biggest geopolitical concerns is catastrophic weather changes on the back of climate change.
“The biggest concern is probably climate change, the sea water level is very high and we are getting stronger typhoons, stronger cyclones, heavier rain,” said Kono of Japan’s position, “Once-in-a-hundred-years rain turns out to be once every two years. It is not just an environmental issue, but involves water supply management and food security. We really need to be serious about taking care of this issue.”
French tech start-up wins EU’s new Industry of the Future Award with raw-materials prowess
By HORIZON STAFF
For Yohan Parsa, research director at tech start-up ROSI SAS in France, a relatively small Horizon project has made a big difference for the company and for the European Union’s economic ambitions.
ROSI, which recycles raw materials from end-of-life solar panels, has just received the EU’s first “Industry of the Future Award” for technological research supported by the EU’s Horizon programme.
With 700 000 euros from Horizon Europe, the two-year project advanced the company’s goal to become a world leader in the reuse of silicon and silver from photovoltaic (PV) waste. ROSI plans to open a recycling plant in France early next year and expand into Germany, Italy and Spain afterwards.
‘It was the transition from the lab to the factory that became possible with the EU support,’ Parsa said in Brussels on 28 September after accepting the award on behalf of ROSI. ‘We can now move to the industrial scale.’
The project, called Ramp-PV and ending this month, ticks a number of key EU policy boxes.
Amid heightened geopolitical tensions, it promises to enhance Europe’s strategic autonomy by extending the domestic availability of valuable raw materials for industries including solar, electronics and batteries.
In reducing industrial waste, the project also helps the European economy to become more sustainable, or “circular”.
In addition, Ramp-PV bolsters the European Green Deal climate goals. While solar panels produce renewable power needed to counter global warming, their silicon and silver ingredients entail energy-intensive production that is itself a source of carbon-dioxide emissions.
Furthermore, Ramp-PV contributes to European workplace-safety goals by developing low-temperature chemical processes used in recovering the raw materials embedded in solar panels. What’s more, the chemicals are mild kinds that, unlike acid for example, pose fewer hazards.
‘We need champions of change and innovation for our industry to continue bringing prosperity for all Europeans,’ Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said when announcing the award. ‘Developing new solutions that save raw materials could not come at a better time.’
Of the two runner-up projects, one focused on digital security for manufacturers, particularly in the aviation, automotive and ship industries. The other centred on robotics in manufacturing and ways to enhance human-robot collaboration.
The Industry of the Future Award recognises EU-funded projects whose results, in the words of the European Commission, ‘make European industry more resilient, sustainable and human-centric.’ To be eligible, a project needs to have started after August 2018.
ROSI, based in Grenoble, was barely in existence then. The company was founded in late 2017 and began the Ramp-PV project in November 2020. It has around 20 employees.
To date, ROSI has been developing the processes and technologies for extracting high-purity materials – copper is another – from photovoltaic waste and reintegrating them into key industries including solar.
By early 2022, the company reached the industrial-equipment test phase and announced a plan to create a factory near Grenoble.
The French plant will recycle 3 000 tonnes a year of solar panels starting in 2023, extracting 90 tonnes of silicon, 30 tonnes of copper and 2.5 tonnes of silver, according to Parsa, who said ROSI’s number of employees would roughly double at this stage.
Within two years, the plant’s recycling capacity for the panels will increase to 10 000 tonnes, he said.
ROSI will integrate recovered silicon back into solar panels while looking for other potential users for this material including semiconductors and batteries, said Parsa. Recovered copper and silver will probably go into industries other than solar, he said.
The company’s expansion plans beyond France will begin in Germany and then extend to Italy and Spain.
‘We are quite advanced in Germany, but it’s not a done deal,’ Parsa said. ‘In all three countries we are looking for partners because we need the help of local players.’
While being coy about the precise timetable for ROSI’s planned ventures outside France, he signalled those – along with the imminent French recycling activity – would have been a more distant prospect without Horizon funding for Ramp-PV.
‘If we had not had the EU support, we would not have reached this point as fast as we did,’ Parsa said. ‘Ramp-PV enabled us to conduct trials on new equipment and accelerated our whole business plan.’
This article was originally published in Horizon, the EU Research and Innovation Magazine.
Reviewing ARK Coin – Is It The Solution To Your Bitcoin Headache?
Cryptocurrency’s rise has literally posed a challenge to traditional banking systems. This is probably the reason why this entered business so fast.
Presently, more than 9.5 million people in the UK and more than 17 million people in the USA are trading on Cryptocurrencies.
However, maybe due to the volatility and other issues, Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are still questionable.
The advent of ARK coins has been observed as a landmark development so far as business development is concerned.
In this study, we would like to review the ARK count to see its potential to start as a successful solution for business.
The ARK coins came in the year 2016. This is an all-inclusive Blockchain-based technology that provides flexibility for investment.
The main thing that distinguishes itself from the rest is the platform allows the investor to design and develop its own blockchain in a decentralised way.
There is an element of flexibility that you get with this blockchain. In addition, this blockchain offers investors seamless user navigation. Therefore things look quite promising for the ARK coins.
Navigation has always been an issue with other Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies. However, with ARK coins, the investors can create their own blockchain that eases the navigability to many folds.
The coin came into existence in the year 2017. The initial response wasn’t that high. The then price of the ARK was a modest $0.03. But by the year 2018, its value was $10.91.
This turned out to be a great development. But for reasons, the ARK coins could not really carry forward with the growth and consequently plummeted. Thereafter it went through different crests and troughs.
According to the March 2022 recording, the coin stood at $1.67. Seeing the continuity, it can be said that there is some opportunity with the coin.
When most of the coins were literally on the verge of failure, AKD coins showed some considerable promise. This promise can be a good reason investors can bank on the coins in the future.
So far as the price forecast is concerned, the ARK coins, as mentioned here, hold some promise for the coin. When other coins faltered, this one did pretty well. The developer of the network is working on the enhancement.
This has indeed provided the investor with the hope that the coin will have a good future in the coming days. Hence the ark price prediction turns out to be easy due to the stability of the coin price.
The success of a Cryptocurrency depends on the predictability of value. We all know that Cryptocurrency is highly volatile.
Let us give an example. An individual purchased Bitcoin to a significant value. But the value dropped to around 80% of the initial price.
This is the kind of volatility. Now with this kind of volatility, it becomes almost important for the business community, mainly entrepreneurs, to invest in Bitcoin.
So far as ARK coins are concerned, the coin has remained more or less stable, and the price has remained predictable throughout.
For example, the market value of the coins was recorded to be around $0.470986 as of the month of July 2022. Therefore, you can trade on 138,684,917 ARK.
The value of the coins remained somewhat stable. Now, with this stability, the business community is showing faith in this Cryptocurrency.
The ARK coins undoubtedly are powered with high-end technology that has supported the coin’s good performance in the reign of volatility.
Furthermore, the coin is built with a consensus algorithm and has its own advantages.
Due to this, the Cryptocurrency investor can use the coin. They got the flexibility they have not been getting with Bitcoin. It is a fact that the makers of ARK coins have definitely kept the weakness of Bitcoins in mind while developing these coins.
It cannot be denied that Bitcoin remains the greatest Cryptocurrency to date, and it is still doing good.
Buy Bitcoins struggled with the chronic issue of volatility and other technical glitches. But ARK’s stability somehow shows light of hope for the new investors. So definitely, there is hope.
Uzbekistan and World Bank to Expand Strategic Partnership
Anna, Bjerde, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, visited Uzbekistan from September 29 to October 2, 2022, as part of a broader trip to Central Asia. Ms. Bjerde met with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, as well as senior government officials, and beneficiaries of a World Bank-funded project that is helping improve rural infrastructure in Uzbekistan.
During her meeting with President Mirziyoyev, Ms. Bjerde discussed the results of 30 years of partnership between Uzbekistan and the World Bank, an anniversary which was celebrated in September this year. President Mirziyoyev and Ms. Bjerde noted in particular the achievements of the stepped-up World Bank financial and advisory support to help Uzbekistan implement transformative economic and social reforms since 2017, and they agreed to expand strategic bilateral cooperation across several economic and social spheres.
Ms. Bjerde also held talks with senior Uzbek government officials, including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Jamshid Kuchkarov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade Jamshid Khodjaev, Minister of Finance Timur Ishmetov, Chairman of the Board of the Central Bank Mamarizo Nurmuratov, and Director General of the Agency for Strategic Reforms Shukhrat Vafaev.
In her meetings with counterparts, Ms. Bjerde discussed the implementation of the recently launched Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Uzbekistan for the next five years. The CPF supports the authorities in developing the private sector to create new jobs and reduce poverty, improving human capital, building a green and sustainable economy, closing gender gaps, and creating conditions for wider citizen engagement. The CPF is aligned with the Development Strategy of the New Uzbekistan for 2022-26 and will help the authorities achieve the country’s ambitious development goals.
Ms. Bjerde and counterparts also discussed the progress of the Government’s reforms and World Bank support to reforming and privatizing state-owned enterprises and banks, modernizing agriculture, energy, financial and other strategic sectors, improving education, healthcare, and social protection services, developing transport connectivity, improving rural and urban infrastructure, empowering women, and improving the business and investment climate. Discussions were also held around the upcoming Country Climate and Development Report that the World Bank is preparing for Uzbekistan.
“We welcome that, despite the ongoing global shocks and crises, Uzbekistan’s path for reforms and development impact for its citizens through an inclusive and sustainable market economy transition remains the top priority for the Government,” said Anna Bjerde. “As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the partnership with Uzbekistan, the World Bank looks forward to supporting the authorities reach their ambitious development goals through implementing the Country Partnership Framework which outlines our financial and advisory support for the reform agenda and priority development projects in the years to come.”
During her stay in Uzbekistan, Ms. Bjerde also visited Saroy village, located in the Jizzakh Region, and met with local residents, students, parents, and teachers. Saroy is one of 306 remote villages in five regions of the country benefiting from a rural infrastructure development project, which is being implemented by the Government with financial support from the World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
The project directly involves local communities through a participatory process to identify their infrastructure needs. In over 175 villages, residents have already produced community development plans, which will receive funding to implement sub-projects, such as the upgrading or construction of drinking water, gas, and electricity supply systems, roads, schools, and other basic infrastructure and services.
The residents of Saroy village voted for the rehabilitation of the local school that had been built decades ago and did not meet public building codes and standards. During their meeting with Ms. Bjerde, they presented the community’s experience in developing and supervising the implementation of a sub-project that completely rebuilt and expanded the school’s facilities. The school is now able to accommodate more students from Saroy and neighboring villages and is better equipped to ensure student learning.
The World Bank’s country program in Uzbekistan is among the top three largest in the Europe and Central Asia region. As of October 1, 2022, it consisted of 27 projects, with net commitments totaling around $4.76 billion.
These projects provide support in critical areas, such as macroeconomic reforms and the modernization of agriculture, water resource management, water supply and sanitation, energy, transport, health, education, social protection, urban and rural infrastructure, national innovation, tax administration, statistical and financial systems, etc. They also help in the mitigation of the health, social, and economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as build resilience from the impacts of climate change.
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