Indian Farmers Protest Against the Parliament’s Encroaching Bills
The new agricultural reforms in India aim to permit farmers to offer their produce to private purchasers beyond a state-run discount or wholesale markets, where farmers are guaranteed a minimum cost for their yields.
However, the farmers state that the laws would undermine their livelihoods and will solely be profitable to large companies, leaving producers helpless under the heel of a free market. Such patters can be gauged from the Modi government’s corporation-oriented policies. For instance, the current corporate tax rate – 30 percent – has been considerably reduced: 22 percent for existing companies and 15 percent for those established after 1st October, 2019.
Farmers regard these bills with suspicion, for they feel threatened by the corporatization of their agricultural domain and the dismissal of the MSP regime. Introduced in 1966-67, the MSP regime promises the sale of specific crops at a fixed price thus assuring the farmers of a regular income in spite of escalating input costs and unstable prices.
Primary leaders of farmers’ associations have called for protests, even willing to observe fasts during the protest in order to challenge the new farmer laws. With almost 250 million protesters, to protest is being called the largest protest in human history.
This is the second time in the previous two weeks that the farmers have called for country-wide protests, requesting all the people to organize sit-ins outside the district organizations across the state. The protests are being led by a large number of farmers sitting outside the capital, New Delhi, obstructing main highways heading towards the city.
Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, and his party ‘Aam Aadmi Party’ have supported the sit-ins by fasting with them. Kejriwal encouraged his party workers and members to join the campaign and asked Modi’s Bharatiya Janta Party to set aside arrogance and fulfill the demands of the farmers.
The agriculture sector contributes almost fifteen percent to India’s $2.9 trillion economy and enrolls the greater part of the nation’s 1.4 billion individuals. In recent years, this sector has been facing setbacks and driving a huge number of indebted farmers to take their lives.
Modi said the enactment was required to support the agricultural sector, and that the new laws would profit the farmers and “free” them from the oppression of middlemen. Farmers, generally from Haryana and Punjab and considered the “grain bowl” of India, have denounced the laws as “hostile to farmers”.
The farmers have demanded revocation of the new laws and assurance of the Minimum Support Price for their yields.“It’s been months now since the farmers began protesting. We have sent a few written messages to the Prime Minister, Agricultural Minister is demonstrating our hatred to the hostile laws but the BJP government is careless on this issue,” said the farmers’ leader.
One elderly woman, aged 75, said that “unless and until Narendra Modi withdraws these laws, we will not go back. This government should know about the strength and determination of the Punjabi people.”
The Indian Supreme Court has received many petitions regarding a ban on the protest, but the top court has declined such calls and ordered the government and unions to form a committee in which the experts would mediate between the concerned parties.
On the birth anniversary of Sikh leader, Guru Nanak, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a Zoom meeting that Canada would always defend the right of peaceful protest.
Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry termed Indian behavior with farmers as “shameful”. He stated that the Indian government’s policies were the biggest threat to regional peace. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on the Indian government to allow protests, asserting the right to raise a voice and show opposition to the government.
The vociferous calls have certainly proven to be a feather in the farmers’ cap, as India’s Supreme Court has recently ordered for the suspension of these farming bills.
Impact of technological advancements on International Trade and Finance
Technological advancements have had a significant impact on international trade and finance in recent years. These advancements have facilitated cross-border transactions, reduced transaction costs, and improved the speed and efficiency of financial transactions.
One major impact of technology on international trade is the emergence of e-commerce, which has revolutionized the way businesses conduct their operations. E-commerce has made it easier for companies to reach customers in foreign markets, allowing them to expand their customer base and increase sales. Additionally, advances in logistics and transportation technology have made it easier and faster to ship goods across borders, reducing shipping times and costs.
In terms of finance, technology has enabled the development of innovative financial instruments and platforms that facilitate cross-border transactions. For example, blockchain technology has the potential to transform international finance by enabling faster and more secure transactions, reducing the need for intermediaries, and lowering transaction costs. Additionally, fintech companies have emerged, providing new financial services and products to consumers and businesses around the world.
However, technological advancements have also raised concerns about the impact on jobs and income inequality. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to replace human labor in certain industries, leading to job losses and potential social unrest. Furthermore, the benefits of technological advancements may not be evenly distributed, leading to greater income inequality between countries and individuals.
Technological advancements and international trade:
The development of technology has had a significant impact on international trade in recent decades. Advances in communication technologies, such as the internet and mobile phones, have made it easier for businesses to connect with each other across borders. This has led to an increase in trade by reducing the costs and time associated with communication and travel.
Similarly, advances in transportation technologies, such as cargo ships and airplanes, have made it easier to move goods around the world. This has allowed businesses to source inputs and sell products in global markets, increasing their opportunities for growth and profitability. Additionally, advances in logistics and supply chain management technologies have enabled businesses to streamline their operations, reduce costs, and improve efficiency, further driving international trade.
However, technology has also had some negative impacts on international trade. For example, automation and robotics have led to the displacement of workers in certain industries, particularly in manufacturing. This has resulted in job losses and reduced demand for certain types of goods.
Furthermore, technology has also facilitated the growth of online marketplaces and digital platforms, which have disrupted traditional business models and created new challenges for regulators and policymakers. These platforms often operate across multiple jurisdictions, making it difficult to enforce rules and regulations.
Overall, the impact of technology on international trade has been largely positive, enabling businesses to expand their reach and tap into new markets. However, it has also presented new challenges and risks, requiring policymakers and businesses to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.
Technology has played a crucial role in promoting international trade by facilitating communication, reducing transaction costs, and increasing the speed of transactions. With the advent of the internet, businesses can now connect with potential customers and suppliers from all over the world, regardless of their physical location. E-commerce platforms and online marketplaces have made it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises to reach a global audience and tap into new markets. Additionally, technology has made it easier to track shipments and manage supply chains, improving efficiency and reducing costs. The use of electronic payment systems and digital currencies has also made it easier to conduct cross-border transactions, reducing the need for intermediaries and further lowering costs. Overall, technology has made it easier for businesses to engage in international trade, and its role is only expected to grow in the future.
Technological advancements and international finance:
Technology has had a significant impact on international finance by transforming the way financial transactions are conducted and information is disseminated. The emergence of new technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics has enabled financial institutions to operate more efficiently, reduce costs, and enhance their ability to manage risks. Here are some of the ways technology has impacted international finance:
- Improved efficiency: Technology has made financial transactions faster, cheaper, and more secure. The use of online banking, mobile payments, and electronic transfers has made it possible to transfer money across borders in real-time, reducing the time and cost associated with traditional methods.
- Increased transparency: Technology has made it easier for investors to access information about financial markets and companies. With the advent of big data analytics, investors can now analyze large volumes of financial data and identify trends and patterns that were previously difficult to detect.
- Enhanced risk management: The use of technology has enabled financial institutions to better manage risk by improving their ability to assess creditworthiness, monitor transactions, and detect fraudulent activities.
- Facilitated cross-border transactions: Technology has made it easier for businesses to conduct cross-border transactions by providing secure and efficient payment systems. For example, the use of blockchain technology has enabled businesses to conduct transactions without the need for intermediaries, reducing costs and increasing speed.
- Improved financial inclusion: Technology has played a significant role in promoting financial inclusion by making it possible for people who were previously excluded from the formal financial system to access banking services. For example, mobile banking has enabled people in remote areas to access banking services and conduct financial transactions.
Challenges of regulating and supervising the use of technology in international finance:
Regulating and supervising the use of technology in international finance presents several challenges. Firstly, technology moves at a rapid pace, making it difficult for regulatory bodies to keep up with new developments and their potential impact on the financial sector. This can lead to regulatory frameworks becoming outdated or insufficient, creating loopholes that can be exploited by financial institutions and cybercriminals alike.
Secondly, the global nature of international finance means that regulatory bodies must coordinate their efforts across borders and jurisdictions. This can be difficult due to differences in legal systems, cultural norms, and technological infrastructure. Some countries may have more advanced regulatory frameworks and capabilities than others, making it challenging to establish a level playing field for all market participants.
Thirdly, financial institutions and other market participants may resist regulation and attempt to circumvent it through the use of offshore entities or other tactics. This can create a regulatory “race to the bottom” as countries compete to attract business by offering lax regulatory environments.
Case study 1: Impact of technology on the global supply chain
The impact of technology on the global supply chain has been profound and far-reaching, transforming the way businesses operate and the way goods are produced, distributed, and consumed.
One major impact of technology on the global supply chain is the increased efficiency and speed of communication and data sharing. Technologies such as the Internet, cloud computing, and real-time tracking systems have made it possible for businesses to communicate and collaborate more effectively with their suppliers, manufacturers, and customers, enabling them to respond quickly to changing market conditions and customer demands.
Another important impact of technology on the global supply chain is the rise of automation and robotics in manufacturing and distribution. Advanced robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are increasingly being used to streamline and optimize manufacturing processes, reduce labor costs, and improve the quality and consistency of finished products. This has also led to the creation of “smart” factories, which are highly automated and connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) to optimize production and supply chain processes.
Technology has also enabled the development of new supply chain models, such as “just-in-time” and “lean” manufacturing, which are designed to minimize waste, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. These models rely on real-time data and advanced analytics to optimize inventory levels, improve logistics planning, and reduce the time and cost of delivery.
Finally, technology has enabled businesses to track and monitor every aspect of the supply chain, from raw materials to finished products, enabling them to identify and address issues such as delays, quality problems, and bottlenecks in real-time. This has helped businesses to improve the transparency and traceability of their supply chains, which is becoming increasingly important to consumers and regulators concerned about issues such as sustainability, ethical sourcing, and product safety.
Case study 2: The impact of fintech on international finance
Fintech has revolutionized the world of international finance, offering innovative solutions to longstanding problems in the industry. One of the most significant impacts of fintech on international finance is its ability to facilitate cross-border transactions. With the use of block chain technology and digital currencies, fintech has made it possible for individuals and businesses to conduct international transactions quickly, securely, and at a lower cost than traditional methods. Fintech has also led to the development of new financial products and services, such as peer-to-peer lending and mobile payment solutions, which have increased access to financial services for people around the world. However, fintech also presents new challenges in terms of regulation and cyber security, and it remains to be seen how these issues will be addressed as the industry continues to grow and evolve.
Case study 3: The impact of block chain technology on international trade and finance
Block chain technology has the potential to significantly impact international trade and finance. By enabling secure, transparent and tamper-proof transactions, block chain can improve trust and efficiency in global trade. Smart contracts on a block chain network can automate many aspects of trade finance, such as verifying documents and tracking shipments, reducing processing time and costs. Additionally, block chain can enable new forms of financing, such as peer-to-peer lending and crowd funding, which can benefit smaller businesses that may struggle to obtain traditional financing. The use of block chain can also reduce the risk of fraud and errors in international trade, which can result in substantial savings for businesses. As block chain technology continues to mature and gain widespread adoption, it has the potential to revolutionize the way international trade and finance are conducted, providing greater security, transparency, and efficiency.
Future prospects and challenges:
The future of technology in international trade and finance appears bright, with numerous opportunities to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase transparency. Emerging technologies such as block chain, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things are already being used to enhance supply chain management, streamline payment systems, and improve risk management.
However, with these opportunities come challenges and risks. One challenge is the need to ensure interoperability between different technologies and systems used in different countries, which requires international standards and cooperation. Another challenge is the potential for disruption to existing industries and business models, which could lead to job losses and economic inequality.
In addition, technological advancements also bring risks such as cyber security threats, fraud, and the potential for manipulation and abuse of data. There is a need to develop robust regulatory frameworks that balance innovation with protection of consumers and investors.
Furthermore, there are concerns over the digital divide between developed and developing countries, with the latter potentially being left behind in the race to adopt new technologies. Therefore, it is crucial to promote technology transfer and capacity-building initiatives to bridge this gap.
Technological advancements have had a significant impact on international trade and finance, facilitating faster and more efficient cross-border transactions, enabling the emergence of new business models and trade patterns, and expanding access to global markets. However, these advancements have also brought challenges and risks that policymakers must address to ensure a fair, transparent, and stable international trade and finance system.
One of the main challenges posed by technological advancements is the potential for increased inequality and exclusion, as some countries and firms may be better equipped to take advantage of these advancements than others. This could lead to a concentration of power and wealth, creating a more uneven playing field in international trade and finance.
Another challenge is the risk of cyber threats and security breaches, which could undermine the integrity and stability of the international financial system. This risk is particularly acute given the growing reliance on digital technologies and platforms for conducting financial transactions.
In addition, there is the need to address issues related to data privacy, intellectual property rights, and regulatory harmonization, which could affect the competitiveness of firms in different countries and regions.
To address these challenges and risks, policymakers must take a proactive approach that balances the benefits of technological advancements with the need to mitigate their potential negative effects. This could involve developing international standards and regulations to ensure the fair and secure use of digital technologies in international trade and finance, investing in digital infrastructure and skills development in less advanced countries, and promoting greater collaboration and information-sharing among stakeholders in the global financial system.
Overall, technological advancements have the potential to drive greater prosperity and inclusion in international trade and finance, but policymakers must remain vigilant to ensure that these advancements are harnessed for the benefit of all.
Price hike in Pakistan: the worst of all worries
The most serious issue Pakistan’s economy is currently dealing with is price increases or inflation. Life has become miserable for the average person as a result of the ongoing increase in the cost of necessities like food, fuel, and medicine. The general public’s standard of living is not the only thing this phenomenon is affecting; it is also fueling social unrest across the nation.
There are numerous factors contributing to the price increase. The rise in the price of oil on the global market comes first. Pakistan relies heavily on imported oil, and when the price of crude oil increases globally, it has a negative impact on the regional economy. The issue has also been exacerbated by Pakistan’s struggling economy, high-interest rates, and currency devaluation.
However, several causes can be identified for Pakistan’s dollar exchange rate’s ongoing rise. One of the main causes is the nation’s substantial import bill, which raises the demand for dollars. Energy and other necessities must be imported into Pakistan, and the pressure on its foreign exchange reserves is increased by the high demand for dollars to pay for these imports. Further weakening Pakistan’s currency is the fact that its exports have not been able to keep up with its imports, resulting in a trade deficit. Due to investors’ reluctance to invest in a nation with an unstable economy, political unrest, and economic ambiguity have also boosted the dollar rate.
Similarly, the debt incurred by Pakistan is a sizable additional factor in raising the dollar rate in that country. Pakistan has one of the highest debt-to-GDP ratios in the world and has borrowed a significant amount of money from international financial institutions to meet its financial needs. The pressure from this borrowing has reduced the nation’s foreign exchange reserves and devalued its currency. The country’s economy has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, necessitating a significant fiscal stimulus on the part of the government. This has further aggravated the situation. In Pakistan, the dollar rate has been rising steadily as a result of all these factors working together.
Simultaneously, inflation and price increases affect Pakistan’s politics as well as its economy. The opposition parties are using the government’s inability to control the price increase as a major issue to attack it and win over the public. The opposition parties are protesting and demonstrating against the government, accusing it of being responsible for the price increase. They contend that the general populace is suffering because the government’s policies have failed to control inflation. The price increase controversy is being manipulated by the opposition to advance their own political goals and turn the public against the ruling party.
The government, on the other hand, is making an effort to address the issue by implementing a variety of measures, including raising subsidies for necessities and lowering import taxes. However, the opposition parties are utilizing this failure to their advantage because these measures have failed to contain inflation. Similarly, the price increase has important political repercussions. Public support for the opposition parties is growing, while support for the government is eroding. If the government is unable to control the price increase, it may trigger more political unrest, demonstrations, and even violence.
Therefore, a price increase has far-reaching effects. The groups with lower incomes are most negatively impacted because they cannot afford the necessities of life. They are compelled to reduce their food intake as well as their health and education spending. The middle class is also suffering. After all, they must second-guess any major purchases because their purchasing power has significantly dropped.
In addition to economic issues, the price increase is also creating social ones. As they struggle to meet their basic needs, people are growing agitated and desperate. Riots, demonstrations, and protests against the government are being sparked by this annoyance. As people struggle more to make ends meet, inflation also causes a rise in the crime rate.
The government must act swiftly and effectively to stop the price increase. Controlling the hoarding and smuggling of essential commodities is the first step. Second, to lessen their reliance on imports, they must make investments in regional industries. Additionally, the government should prioritize economic expansion because it can result in more job opportunities and, ultimately, greater purchasing power for the average citizen.
The government needs to pay attention to it right away and take action. The stability of the nation’s social and economic systems is in jeopardy, and if the issue is not quickly resolved, it might fuel more unrest and instability. This issue requires both political and economic solutions. The public must see that the government is acting practically to control inflation by effectively communicating its policies to them. Furthermore, the opposition parties should cooperate with the government to find a solution rather than use the price increase issue for political purposes.
To address the issue, the government must take a comprehensive approach that includes both immediate and long-term actions. The private sector and civil society can both be crucial players in finding solutions to the issue. The only way the nation can hope to overcome the problem of price increases and guarantee a higher standard of living for its citizens is through collective effort.
The opposition parties should work with the government to find a solution to this issue, as the government must act quickly and effectively to control inflation. The common people’s lives are being impacted by the price increase, and resolving it will require a collaborative effort from all parties involved. The federal government ought to prioritize long-term economic plans that can boost employment opportunities, reduce reliance on imports, and promote sustainable economic growth. To encourage trade and commerce, the government ought to work on enhancing the infrastructure, such as the roads and communication systems.
Additionally, the government needs to take strict action against anyone hoarding, smuggling, or profiting from the situation in order to make extra money. In order to boost production and lessen reliance on imports, the government should also support local industries by offering incentives and support.
Vietnam’s macroeconomic policy and post COVID recovery
As per the latest IMF reports real Gross Domestic Product(GDP) of Vietnam in 2023 is estimated at 6.2 percent. This clearly shows that Vietnam has been avoiding the usual recessionary trends across the Asian markets and is showing better than average growth .With inflation rate being less than 4 per cent, it clearly shows that Vietnam is likely to emerge as a promising economy in Asia. According to the regional economic outlook which has been released by the IMF , it clearly projects that there are high expectations of uncharacteristic slow down in China benefitting competitors such as Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia .
Asian Development Bank(ADB) has forecasted that Vietnam’s GDP was expected to grow by 6.5% in 2022 and nearly 6.7% forecasted for the year 2023. If one looks into the comparative forecast for countries in Southeast Asia it is stated that Philippines will grow by 6.3 per cent ,Cambodia 6.2 per cent ,Indonesia 5 per cent, Thailand 4.2 per cent , Laos 3.5 per cent ,and so on. If one looks into the core fundamentals of Vietnam following the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been clearly stated that Vietnam’s annual economic growth rate hovered between 6.3 per cent to 6.5 per cent for the decade preceding the current one.
One of the major aspects of this better than average economic growth was high foreign direct investment, increased domestic consumption, sizeable increase in the middle class, and Vietnam’s focus on promoting its manufacturing to be export oriented. In terms of other critical aspects Vietnam has been securing loans from many other international agencies over the past few years. With funding and grants from different international economic agencies ,Vietnam has been able to upgrade its road, rail transport and border connectivity infrastructure along with promoting social economic growth of nearly 243,000 people across the provinces.
One of the mainstays of Vietnam economy has been small and medium enterprises along with active participation of women.These enterprises have been getting bank credit and technical assistance through different initiatives such as public private partnerships, promotion of private sector development, and extensive reforms in state owned enterprises. Vietnam has been preparing well for facing the severity of climate change and also undertaking pilot projects for post disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation. It has institutional arrangements with World bank and Netherlands to develop resilience for the coastal areas particularly Mekong delta to undertake comprehensive efforts in mitigating the climate change effects.
Over a period of time Vietnam has been making serious efforts in emerging as a knowledge network society. This includes improving policy applications, enhancing capacities of stakeholders and providing information to the communities on a regular basis. Vietnam has also received more than USD $ 2 million grant for climate resilient inclusive infrastructure through high technology fund from ADB. In terms of meeting UN sustainable development goals, Vietnam has successfully provided electricity to its cent percent population.
It has been stated that Vietnam is one of the economies which is going to benefit from Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership(RCEP) given the reduction in tariffs during the period 2020 to 2035 and because of these reductions the export of electrical equipment and machinery from Vietnam is going to grow to the level of 12.1% while the main stay of its exports primarily textiles and apparels are going to grow by nearly 10%. Given the fact that RCEP would facilitate Vietnam’s entry into high end markets such as Japan, Australia and New Zealand might translate into better trade revenues.
In fact better integration with regional economies would promote its sectors such as tourism, entertainment, education, agriculture, automobile telecommunication, and IT. Two different aspects have gained international attention because of Vietnam ranked 70th out of 190 countries in terms of ease of doing business, and its major strength has been the young population as nearly 70 per cent of its population is aged between 15 to 64. This large working population reduces social security liabilities to the aging population. Major work which has been done by the current Vietnamese government is its national strategy for Environmental Protection 2030 with a comprehensive plan under Vision 2050.
It is expected that Vietnam’s construction sector is going to grow because of increase spending on infrastructure projects along with improvement in regional connectivity through rail, road, and air transport infrastructure. There are high expectations that Vietnam tourism sector will post impressive recovery, and last year the country witnessed an increase of tourist arrivals by more than 185 per cent in the first four months of 2022. The tourism sector is going to increase further given the fact that Vietnam has signed a comprehensive agreement in boosting sustainable tourism and post COVID recovery at the national level. During the period 2022 to 2025 it is expected that the cumulative average growth rate of tourism would be 13.5% average each year .
As per the global data set and the General Statistical Office of Vietnam, the industrial production is also going to increase substantially and export orders as well as internal domestic demand is going to bring about remarkable improvement in production as well as exports. Last year, the G7 countries have agreed to grant a loan of US $5.5 billion for helping Vietnam transition from coal to other sources for power generation. This was based on the promise that Vietnam should make plans for shifting to nearly 50 per cent of its power requirements from renewable energy by the year 2030. It is also expected that foreign direct investment in Vietnam is going to be steady with high tech industries, knowledge based service industries, and education gaining the maximum investments. The real estate and construction sector are other sectors which are going to gain international attention.
This year it is expected that public investment would be helpful in post pandemic recovery and under the Socio Economic Recovery and Development Programme nearly US $15.4 billion has been approved for accelerating the economic growth. Furthermore, commodity exports is likely to see a remarkable two digit jump and the FTAs that Vietnam has signed with various partners will help in building the capacities of Vietnamese manufacturing sector in product transformation, exploring diversified markets, better restructuring, and skill development at different levels. The transformation is also happening in terms of fiscal and monetary prudence as well as undertaking reforms within banking system and financial governance. The anti corruption drive that the Vietnam has undertaken in the last few years have built the investor confidence and it is expected that Vietnam will reap the dividends of better business environment, market connectivity, and relatively comparative advantage among other competitors in Southeast Asia. As expected the fundamentals are getting stronger, and therefore Vietnam can witness a stronger economic growth and better macroeconomic stability in the year 2023.
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