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ADB Workshop Strengthens Pacific Bank’s Anti-Money Laundering Efforts

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ADB's Trade Finance Program held a 3-day workshop for Pacific banks in Nadi, Fiji on trade finance and AML/CFT. Photo: ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today gathered 40 representatives from 28 local commercial and international banks and government institutions from 11 countries in the Pacific region in a 3-day workshop. Experts from ADB’s Trade Finance Program (TFP) updated participants on anti-money laundering (AML) and trade-based money laundering concepts, ADB’s customer due diligence and environmental and social safeguard standards, case studies to show how trade finance is evolving in the region and globally, as well as recent trends in supply chain finance.

“TFP addresses money laundering and financing of terrorism in the financial system, while ensuring companies, particularly smaller ones in vulnerable economies such as the Pacific, have access to trade finance. Stopping crime in the financial system while prudently financing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries is a big challenge,” said Investment Specialist at ADB’s Trade Finance Program Mr. Can Sutken. “There is room to improve efforts on both fronts: stopping financial crime and closing market gaps. This two-pronged effort is at the heart of TFP’s initiatives on AML.”

To date, Guarantee and Revolving Credit Facility agreements have been executed with 4 banks in the Pacific. TFP has supported 10 SMEs through 12 transactions in Samoa with Samoa Commercial Bank Limited valued at $300,000. These are the first export finance and foreign currency-financed trade deals in Samoa. TFP has mobilized $300,000 in cofinancing in the Pacific subregion, which helps leverage ADB resources and brings more support to ADB’s developing member countries.

Backed by ADB’s AAA credit rating, TFP provides guarantees and loans to over 200 partner banks to support trade, enabling more companies throughout Asia and the Pacific to engage in import and export activities. Since 2009, ADB’s TFP has supported more than 15,000 SMEs across developing Asia—through over 21,000 transactions valued at over $36 billion—in sectors ranging from commodities and capital goods, to medical supplies and consumer goods.

In 2018, TFP grew almost 40% to support $6.2 billion in trade through 4,470 transactions.  TFP complements its financial support with knowledge products, including a study that quantifies market gaps for trade finance, initiatives to increase the role of women in banking, efforts to enhance environmental safeguards, and initiatives to fight crime through greater transparency in the global financial system. TFP also provides workshops and seminars to increase knowledge and expertise in matters related to finance, trade, risk management, and fraud prevention.

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Health & Wellness

New WHO strategy aims to strengthen rapid response to health emergencies

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Amid mounting health emergencies globally – such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate-related crises, and the war in Ukraine – the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday announced an initiative to strengthen rapid response. The Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) 2030 Strategy was launched at a meeting in Yerevan, Armenia, bringing together health workers, technical experts and international partners from 110 countries. 

EMTs are groups of health professionals, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, support workers and logisticians. They are trained and prepared to provide immediate support during an emergency. 

A stronger network 

The more than 500 people attending the meeting are part of the EMT Network, which spans WHO’s six global regions. 

The new strategy is the blueprint to continue to development of a network of effective and high-performing national, subnational and regional EMTs, in line with the agency’s classifications and standards.

“As we build a new and stronger architecture for health emergency preparedness and response, a rapidly deployable global health emergency corps will be vital, building on the experience and capacities of Emergency Medical Teams,” said the WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in his opening statement.  

“The EMT 2030 strategy envisions a world in which every country has the ability to respond rapidly and effectively to national emergencies, leveraging regional and sub-regional capacities to support vulnerable communities and others in need.” 

Learning from the pandemic 

The gathering also provides an opportunity to reflect on lessons learned from the response to multiple emergencies, such as the pandemic, now in its third year. 

The global crisis has created an especially challenging context for emergency response in many countries. 

For example, demand has increased for specialized skills on infection prevention and control, and the management of severe respiratory infection cases. 

The WHO network has deployed nearly 200 international EMTs to support response in 67 countries, highlighting how specialized care teams support both a country’s response while building national capacities.  

Value of collaboration 

The pandemic “truly revealed the importance of strengthening in-country health emergency response capacities, including a highly-trained workforce and access to essential technology and equipment,” said Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe. 

It has also underscored the benefits of collaboration between EMTs and other WHO entities, such as the Rapid Response Mobile Laboratories of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network.  This allowed EMTs to diagnose cases faster, leading to quicker treatment and care. 

“Bringing EMTs and mobile laboratories together is also proving highly successful in the context of humanitarian crises, making the health response more effective in areas where health facilities and systems have been compromised, as well as when countries are receiving significant numbers of refugees with multiple emergency health needs,” Dr. Kluge added. 

COVID-19: Report reveals mental health ‘pandemic’ 

And in another global health development, countries are failing when it comes to protecting the mental health and wellbeing of health and care workers, WHO and partners said in a new report issued on Wednesday. 

The study examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of these professionals, warning that this too is a ‘pandemic’. 

At least a quarter of those surveyed reported anxiety, depression and burnout symptoms. 

Concern for women 

The report was published by the Qatar Foundation, World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), in collaboration with WHO. 

Women, young people and parents of dependent children were found to be at greater risk of psychological distress. 

The finding is significant, the report said, as women make up 67 percent of the global health workforce and are subject to inequalities in the sector, such as unequal pay.  

The higher risk of negative mental health outcomes among younger health workers was also a concern. 

“Well into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, this report confirms that the levels of anxiety, stress and depression among health and care workers has become a ‘pandemic within a pandemic,’said Jim Campbell, WHO Director of Health Workforce. 

The report contains 10 policy actions for governments, including investing in workplace environments that prevent burnout, promote staff wellbeing, and support quality care. 

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Tech News

French tech start-up wins EU’s new Industry of the Future Award with raw-materials prowess

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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.’

Fine fit

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.

Young champion

‘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.

Growth chart

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. 

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Finance

Reviewing ARK Coin – Is It The Solution To Your Bitcoin Headache?

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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.

Ark Coins

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.

Price History Of The Ark Coins

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.

Price Forecasts

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.

Technical Analysis

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.

Fundamental Analysis

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.

Is It A Solution To Bitcoin’s Weakness?

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.

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