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South Korea expands container shipping links to Russia

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South Korea has again widened container shipping links with Russia, the port of Donghae starting a container liner service linking it with far-eastern ports.

Feeder operator Dong Young Shipping will extend its shuttle service between Busan and Vladivostok to include a call at Donghae, on the eastern part of the Korean peninsula.

The revamped service will start at the end of June, and officials at Donghae say they hope it will revitalise the port and regional development through the growing trade in the northern economic bloc.

South Korea’s primary exports to Russia are used cars, automobile parts, electronics and cosmetics, while coming from Russia are wood pellets, roughage and marine products.

A subsidiary of long-established feeder operator Namsung Shipping, Dong Young launched its Busan-Vladivostok service in June 2021. Currently, it is served by the chartered 650 teu Xiang Ren, but more vessels could be added if response to the extended loop is good.

Meanwhile, Sinotrans Container Lines, part of China’s state-owned China Merchants group, is to launch a container service, the RS1, on 23 May, calling at Shanghai, Busan and Vladivostok with two 700 teu ships, SCO Shanghai and SCO Qingdao.

Tempted by healthy trade between Asia, India and Russia, and unfazed by sanctions, several intra-Asia carriers and start-ups have launched services connecting these regions.

Xeneta’s chief analyst Peter Sand told The Loadstar: “Sanctions against Russia are almost exclusively western and most of Asia has benefited from this by increasing trade with Russia.”

Linerlytica’s latest report says that, as of 15 May, 102 ships, for 107,583 teu, are active in the Russia Far East trade, up from 98 a month ago.

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New Report Identifies Top Barriers and Potential Solutions in Global Crypto-Asset Regulation

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From fragmented monitoring and enforcement to differing classifications of crypto assets, many barriers hinder global coordination on crypto-asset regulation efforts. A new study from the World Economic Forum identifies the importance of a global approach to crypto-asset regulations and provides potential solutions to these barriers.

The report, Pathways to Crypto-Asset Regulation: A Global Approach, emphasizes that while full global coordination for crypto regulation would be ideal, varying ecosystem maturity in different jurisdictions, evolving use cases, capacity of regulators and other factors make it difficult to achieve.

As such, regulators and industry players should explore alternative regulatory pathways to collaborate and regulate the crypto-asset ecosystem through a principle-based, agile approach that takes local context into consideration. Along with the existing efforts on global coordination, these additional regulatory solutions can be leveraged to attain the desired outcome.

“The evolving crypto-asset ecosystem and recent market events have underscored the pressing need for collaboration and the building of robust guardrails,” said Matthew Blake, Head, Centre for Financial and Monetary Systems, World Economic Forum. “While jurisdictions may take a different approaches to regulating crypto-assets, it is important to foster partnerships between international organizations, national authorities, and industry stakeholders, to ensure a baseline level of consumer protection and market integrity.”

Global crypto regulation trends

Over the past few years, various international standard-setting bodies and organizations have made considerable efforts to produce evidence-based research as well as high-level frameworks. As countries have started regulating the ecosystem, some common trends have begun to emerge.

Numerous countries and regions have implemented the following regulations:

Image: World Economic Forum

These trends can already help to provide a baseline that the global crypto-asset ecosystem can build on to move towards coordinated, harmonized regulation on a global scale.

Regulation recommendations

Global coordination is ideal but is difficult to achieve. However, regulatory pathways already exist that international organizations, regional bodies and industry players can implement.

International organizations

International organizations should promote harmonized understanding of taxonomy and classification of crypto assets and related activities, setting out baseline regulatory standards, as well as encourage passportability and data-sharing that enable interoperability.

These measures can foster convergence in different jurisdictions, provide clarity for business, protect users and discourage illicit activities.

Regional and national authorities

Regional and national authorities play a key role in providing certainty for innovators and empowering consumers. As such, the report suggests they should focus on coordinating among domestic departments to address cross-sector risks, develop guidelines and best practice frameworks to proportionately regulate the ecosystem. They should also leverage technology and analytics services for automated regulatory compliance/reporting, real-time risk alerts and tracking regulatory change.

These bodies can also implement learnings from regulations in other sectors for best practices. Data-sharing regulations in the crypto industry could leverage learnings from, for example, supervisory colleges that oversee information sharing in the broader financial sector.

Industry leaders

Industry leaders should continue work on interoperable technical standards and focus on establishing and disseminating best practices. Additionally, they should engage with policy-makers and regulators in an effort to innovate responsibly and align on educational efforts.

Crypto industry players have a vital role to ensure that the ecosystem evolves in a responsible manner and can learn from more mature industries to fulfil this role. For example, the crypto ecosystem can look years of experience in evolving data security standards for credit cards or global principles of good practice in the foreign exchange market (Global FX Code) to ensure consumer interests are protected.

Ultimately, international organizations, regional and national regulators and industry leaders will need to collaborate to ensure consistency and clarity. While acknowledging the challenges in achieving coordination, the new report recommends multiple prioritized pathways that various stakeholders can employ to achieve the desired outcome.

To regulate this dynamic sector effectively requires the utilization of diverse regulatory tools, including legislative frameworks, voluntary codes of conduct and educational initiatives. Furthermore, given the inherent transparency of these new technologies, it becomes conceivable to envision even more effective regulatory tools to address cross-border concerns.

Expert Thoughts

“As a global company, Circle has prioritized regulatory engagement and policy harmonization, which the critical work carried out by the World Economic Forum and the Digital Currency Governance Consortium continues to advance. We welcome this work and encourage nations, companies, investors and people to promote a race to the top when it comes to responsible financial services innovations powered by digital currencies and constantly upgradable financial infrastructure,” said Jeremy Allaire, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Circle

“The crypto-asset movement was created out of the 2008 financial crisis with the belief that the financial system should be better. They have the potential to do just that — revolutionize the global economy. The World Economic Forum’s report on the regulation of crypto-assets is a significant step towards fostering a balanced and informed approach to governing this transformative industry,” said Michael Gronager, Cofounder and CEO, Chainalysis.

“2022 has been a transformative year for virtual assets, and to enable a sustainable future, regulatory clarity and certainty are foundational anchors. Equally, given the increasingly borderless reality of the new economy, it is our collective responsibility to harmonize rules that allow for consistent interpretation, and uniform enforcement – ultimately driving towards a trusted, progressive, and safe global market for virtual assets,” said Deepa Raja Carbon, Managing Director and Vice Chair, Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority, UAE

“The coordinated efforts of all jurisdictions to regulate cryptocurrencies are extremely important. Even if you have the best tools and officers to trace cryptocurrency, all your efforts will be in vain once you bump into some non-regulated exchange that simply doesn’t provide information to law enforcement,” said Oleksiy Feshchenko, Advisor, Global Program against Cybercrime, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

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McCarthy rebrands looming debt ceiling breach: ‘Biden default’

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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy meeting on the debt limit at the White House with President Biden and the other Congressional leaders. image source: Fox News

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is setting up to pin a looming possible financial crisis on President Biden, the Republican leader indicated on Wednesday, declaring that it would be the “Biden default” if an agreement is not reached in time on raising the debt limit, Fox News informs.

“Our debt is larger than our economy, by more than 20%. If we do nothing, we will pay more in interest in the next ten years than we paid in the last 83,” the speaker said at a press conference. “If we do nothing, and you follow along… God forbid you get a Biden default because he ignores the problem just as he ignored the border.”

Biden had his second meeting on the debt limit with McCarthy and other Congressional leaders, just before jetting off to Japan for the Group of 7 summit.

Talks have so far resulted in little movement, with Democrats maintaining their position and Republicans demanding spending cuts drawn out in their Limit, Save, Grow Act be paired with any increase of the debt ceiling. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer appeared to change his tune after the sit-down, telling reporters, “Hopefully we can come to an agreement…Having a bipartisan bill in both chambers is the only way we’re going to avoid default.”

However, despite the seemingly modest progress, Republicans have signaled that they still have knives out for Biden if a deal is not made by June 1, around when the U.S. is expected to run out of cash to pay all of its obligations.

McCarthy referenced the “Biden default” at another point in the press conference, declaring, “This is a moment in time to make that stand. The only question is whether we have a Biden default or not.”

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6 Tips for Women Who Want to Start a Business

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Starting a business can be one of the most empowering decisions for women. It can turn your passions into a profitable venture and give you the flexibility that traditional nine to five jobs may not offer. The road to entrepreneurship is challenging, as many aspiring women entrepreneurs face unique challenges, including gender biases, lack of funding opportunities and support, and competing family obligations. However, with the right strategies and mindset, any woman can excel.

1.      Develop a Strong Business Plan

A good business plan should include your company’s mission statement, goals and objectives, financial projections, target market, competitive analysis, marketing strategies, pricing strategies, and operational plans. The plan should also examine potential risks and opportunities that might arise during the life cycle of your business. When developing your plan, research current trends in your field of choice, as well as projected growth in the next five or ten years.

2.      Build a Network

Joining a business organization or professional networking group tailored towards women entrepreneurs can help you meet like-minded individuals and form meaningful connections. Connecting with other business owners can provide valuable insight into financing options, legal matters, marketing techniques, and best customer service practices.

You can start networking by attending industry or local business events or joining relevant professional associations. Don’t forget about leveraging social media; platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram are great tools for connecting with potential partners or customers.

3.      Secure Funding Opportunities

For many women entrepreneurs in San Antonio, securing funding is the biggest obstacle to starting their businesses. Fortunately, various financing options are available to those who qualify. Research programs funded by government agencies like the Small Business Administration (SBA) or private foundations such as The Amber Grant Foundation and Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence.

Look into angel investors and venture capitalists willing to invest in startups founded by women. It’s also worth exploring online crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe and Kickstarter that allow people to donate money towards specific causes or projects. You can also get San Antonio loans from lenders that specialize in personal and business loans. Compare the interest rates and other fees associated with each loan.

4.      Hire a Mentor

To better navigate the potential challenges, search for mentors with experience in the industry you plan to enter. You can find mentors through professional networking organizations or online communities dedicated to women entrepreneurs. Many universities and colleges also offer mentorship programs tailored toward female business owners.

5.      Utilize Available Resources

Many organizations exist to help women in business, including government and private programs designed to provide resources and training. Take advantage of these resources by attending workshops on creating a strategic plan or learning to use marketing tools like web design or search engine optimization. Organizations like The National Women’s Business Council also offer webinars and other services to help aspiring business owners develop their skill set.

6.      Take Care of Yourself

While balancing family, work, and personal obligations can be challenging, taking time for yourself shouldn’t be overlooked. Invest in activities that bring you joy or relaxation, such as yoga, reading, or volunteering at a local charity. Taking care of yourself will help you stay focused on your business goals while managing the inevitable stress associated with entrepreneurship to avoid burnout.

Starting your own business is a great method to achieve financial independence and establish a fulfilling career. You can be a successful female entrepreneur by utilizing available resources, networking with other business owners, building a support system, and managing stress. Remember to remain resilient and care for yourself during this journey to ensure ongoing success.

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