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We curate a collection of insightful readings to deepen your knowledge on the sectors you are passionate about.
COVID-19 and the future of work in Africa: Emerging trends in digital technology adoption
April 2021 | Africa's Pulse by World Bank Group
Globally, COVID-19 continues to spread, but vaccination campaigns have made substantial progress in some countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the economic impact of the COVID-19 shock is severe. However, countries in the region are weathering the storm so far. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic sharply affected economic activity, including employment, in Sub-Saharan Africa. The digital economy has been of paramount importance in ensuring the continuity of activities across governments, businesses, and society in the region during times of social distancing and containment measures.
Tagged: Economic Development
Jokowi doubles Indonesia's wealth fund goal to
Apr 8, 2021 | By The Business Times
President Joko Widodo has set a US$200 billion goal for Indonesia's new wealth fund in the next two to three years, aiming to fund his push for the resource- driven economy to rise up the value chain.
The Evolution and State of Singapore's Start-up Ecosystem
March 2021 | By World Bank Group
This report identifies key characteristics that both distinguish the Singapore start-up ecosystem, as well as provide policymakers from other countries with a glimpse of specific measures they can pursue – identifying both its successes as well as lingering challenges - and to distill the lessons learned to inform policymaking in emerging markets that seek to emulate Singapore’s success to date.
Tagged: Global Capital, FDI
African Cities in Times of COVID-19: Resilience against all Odds
Feb 15, 2021 | By Paola Maniga & Yassine Moustanjidi
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed new vulnerabilities in social, infrastructure, and governance systems. Despite the structural and chronic challenges that African cities face, including informality, poverty, and weak infrastructure, African cities have been able to defy these predictions and have avoided the exponential death and contamination rates observed in other parts of the world.
Tagged: Infrastructure, Cities
Batam: Indonesia's underrated investment hotspot?
Nov 20, 2020 | By UOB
Batam is a free trade zone that is part of the BBK (Batam, Bintan and Karimun) Special Economic Zone. It houses factories producing goods from computer chips to precast concrete and is host to companies from a wide range of sectors. Companies in Batam benet from having market access to Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia, while enjoying its proximity to Singapore, a well-connected regional hub that is a strategic node in global supply chains.
Public wealth funds: Supporting economic recovery and sustainable growth
Nov 16, 2020 | By UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose
Experiences with public wealth funds are limited. However, some countries like Singapore and Finland have demonstrated success through combined arm's length independence from everyday politics with active and capable commercial management. This report covers the five types of public wealth funds to assist in recovery and growth of an economy namely national wealth fund, public venture capital funds, public climate fund, regional development funds and urban wealth funds.
How Government Equity Investments Can Help Boost the Recovery
Nov 16, 2020 | By Public Financial Management
With the second wave of the pandemic hitting Europe, firms are unable to generate revenues to repay the corporate debt. As such, governments should look into other methods, instead of loans, to ensure that viable firms persist.
Tagged: Investment Promotion
The Case for an EU Development Bank
Nov 9, 2020 | By Project Syndicate
Europe should start engaging in issues such as promoting trade and human rights to dampening diseases and climate change. Global powers such as the United States and China have established their own development bank. It is high time that the EU set up their own so that there is an instant, substantial and resource-efficient impact and therefore, send a powerful signal that Europe is prepared to play its role in the world.
Recent FDI Trends in Infrastructure and Outlook
Oct 27, 2020 | By Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
Due to COVID-19, there was a significant drop from January to March this year compared to a year ago for both greenfield investment project announcements and cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A). In comparison, the brownfield FDI remained resilient for the first nine months.
Despite such difficult times, there are chances to accelerate emerging trends. M&A can offer a chance to diversify supply chains and mitigate risks associated with greenfield investments while brownfield FDI plays a crucial role to match capital to infrastructure assets that require extra funding or refinancing. Nevertheless, these adjustments should not replace the preceding method of needing structural preconditions - the key to attracting FDIs in the long run.
“Harnessing the Power of Finance for a Sustainable Future”
Oct 13, 2020 | By Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS, spoke on the opportunity to build a more resilient and sustainable world emerging from COVID-19, and provided an update on Singapore’s Green Finance Action Plan to facilitate Asia’s transition to a sustainable future at the Financial Times Investing for Good Asia Digital Conference.
Tagged: SWF, Sustainability
GIC Insights LIVE 2020
Sep, 2020 | By GIC
The whole world has been facing an unrest due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as an economic and financial crisis. Such circumstances have brought underlying vulnerabilities to be realised and this has led to accelerated changes that could determine long-term changes to the global investment landscape.
The Future Of discussed relevant issues that could be tackled with the help of thought leaders from around the world. These leaders shared their perspectives and at the same time, forged new relationships, as a way to learn from one another. The issues include sustainability and how it is done in practice, biopharma supply chains, tech-enabled healthcare as well as communications.
Temasek sees S$7 billion asset fall as Covid bites
Sep 8, 2020 | By AsianInvestor
In the 12 months to March 31, Singaporean state investment company Temasek revealed a 2.28% loss on shareholder returns and a S$7 billion drop in assets. This is its first since the 2015-2016 financial year as the asset owner suffered from the impact of value drops on assets in its portfolio amid the nadir of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on markets.
Going forward, Temasek plans to target technology and sustainability in its plans. It has identified innovative and disruptive technology companies and China assets as areas of opportunity. It has also increasingly placed an emphasis on more sustainable investing.
In the more immediate term, Temasek will need to navigate both the impact of Covid-19 and the ongoing rivalry between China and the US.
Global SWF Sept '20 Newsletter
Sep, 2020 | By The Global SWF
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the global economic activity, testing the resilience of global investors and the way they view investment strategies and portfolio theory. The pandemic caused the investment temperature to remain low in September 2020. Through the Covid-19 tracker, the Global SWF provides an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of how Covid-19 has impacted the global sovereign wealth funds.
Additionally, The Global SWF observes Angola Inc.’s latest developments and elaborates on the latest trends on talent poaching and satellite offices. Furthermore, The Global SWF highlights the strong links between Human Capital and ESG at SWFs and PPFs, specifically analysing the impacts and costs of hiring Nicolai Tangen as the CEO of the world’s largest SWF.
Source : The Global SWF https://globalswf.com/
Global SWF is a financial advisory boutique with presence in New York, London and Singapore. Since 2018, Global SWF has assisted organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations with their work and in-roads into the institutional investment industry. Their ultimate mission is to promote a better understanding and connectivity into and between sovereign wealth funds and public pension funds.
Tianjin Daily: Eco-city promotes solid waste reduction at source, and will achieve 9 "no waste" scenarios
July 18, 2020 | By China-Singapore Eco-City
In order to actively promote the construction of a “wasteless city”, the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City, in accordance with the requirements of the “Implementation Plan for the Construction of “Wasteless City” Pilot Work”, strives to build a comprehensive management system for domestic waste, supporting intelligent waste sorting facilities and pneumatic transportation systems.
The Wave of Covid Bonds
June 23, 2020 | By Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
Developing and developed countries alike are in a tough spot due to COVID-19. Some economists predict a quick V-shaped recovery, while others expect an L-shaped one. Still others anticipate an uneven W-shaped recovery. There is nevertheless agreement that governments need to do whatever it takes to address the crisis, and that trillions of fiscal firepower is needed to weather and recover from the crisis, such as through stimulus packages worth an unprecedented USD9 trillion globally.1
Tagged: Global Capital
Singapore secured S$13b in investment commitments in Jan-Apr 2020; exceeds EDB projection
May 30, 2020 | By Janice Heng, The Business Times
SINGAPORE secured S$13 billion in investment commitments from January to April this year, already exceeding the Singapore Economic Development Board's (EDB) full-year projection of S$8 billion to S$10 billion, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said in a media interview on Saturday.
The investments, in areas such as electronics and infocomm media, are expected to generate a few thousand jobs in the coming years, said Mr Chan.
Tagged: Investment Promotion
Agriculture in Africa 2019: Special Report
27 Jun, 2019 | By Oxford Business Group
Africa’s share in global agricultural production continues to stay low despite holding more than 60% of the world’s arable land. This results from the lack of attention in investments and governance in this sector and hence, hindering the growth of the region’s economy. Furthermore, a moderate yield result was due to the impact of climate change as well as lack of innovative methods.
However, there are measures taken to mitigate those issues. One method is through the use of innovative technologies and improved inputs. This will support the development and application of smart and precise farming techniques, hence increasing productivity. According to the “Agriculture Outlook 2018-27” report, the sector will experience a robust growth, with crop production in sub-Saharan Africa projected to rise 30% between 2018 and 2028.
Despite implementations to increase agriculture supply, it will still not be enough to provide for the domestic demand in the long-run, especially when Africa’s population is anticipated to double in 30 years. As such, the African governments will still have to take action by increasing investments in this sector as well as providing assistance to agri-businesses in support of their growth.
Article available in French.
Tagged: Agriculture, Food, Sustainability
The Little-Known Nut that Gave Coca-Cola Its Name
23 Sep, 2016 | By BBC
The kola nut has been prevalent in West Africa for the longest time. Only until the 16th century, when the Portugese ships arrived at the coast of current-day Sierra Leone with these nuts, did Europeans find out. By the late 19th century, both the Europeans and Americans used kola nuts to produce tonic medicines, together with coca leaves. Their label declared ““allays hunger and prolongs the power of endurance” and used for mentally or physically straining activities. Soon, kola-extract sodas replaced the transgressed cocaine.
When the Coca-Cola concoction was made, the drink was only served an average of nine servings a day across Atlanta in the first year. Today, 1.9 billion Coca-Cola drinks are sold daily.
Their recipe has been kept confidential. However, with the development of Coca-Cola, it does not contain the kola nut extract anymore. Instead, artificial limitations are used to achieve the flavour.
Even so, this nut did have an effect on people. Despite being masked from mixing with other ingredients, the caffeine caused by the kola nut will definitely be felt.
Tagged: Agriculture, Food, Sustainability
Insurance and Guarantees for Successful Infrastructure Risk Mitigation in Asia
By Infrastructure Asia
Infrastructure projects have been crucial in Asia’s development journey, spurring growth, tackling poverty, and increasing connectivity. The demand for infrastructure will not let up; the Asian Development Bank estimates that Asia requires an investment of US$1.7 trillion every year until 2030. To help plug this gap and better manage project risks, the private sector must take on a larger role - but project structures need to first demonstrate good risk allocation principles, measures, and support arrangements. How can projects capture interest from investors with the right insurance and guarantees strategies?
Reopening and reimagining Africa: How the COVID-19 crisis can catalyze change across the continent.
By McKinsey & Company
COVID-19 poses a grave threat to lives across Africa, with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating that the continent could see up to 190,000 deaths over the next year if the pandemic is not controlled. In the face of this challenge, governments have acted fast, both to strengthen the capacity of health systems and to contain the spread of the virus: as of May 19, about half of Africa’s population lives in countries imposing some type of lockdown. But despite accelerating case numbers and still-low testing rates in many countries (Exhibit 1), as well as recent reports of a worsening health crisis in hotspots on the continent, some governments have started to ease restrictions with caution as economic pain becomes more acute for households.
Singapore pension system scores mid-ranking in global study of 70 pension plans
By Genevieve Cua, The Business Times
Ludovic Subran, Allianz chief economist, said: "Demographics and pensions have been eclipsed by other policies in recent years, first and foremost by climate change and today the fight against Covid-19. But you ignore demographics at your own peril. Demographic change will soon be back with a vengeance. Defusing the looming pension crisis and preserving generational justness and equality are key for building inclusive and resilient societies."
Tagged: Funds (Pension)
Allianz Global Pension Report 2020: The Silver Swan
By Allianz SE
The Allianz Global Pension Report takes the pulse of pension systems around the world with our proprietary pension indicator, the Allianz Pension Index (API). The index follows a simple logic: It starts the analysis with the demographic and fiscal prerequisites and then continues to examine pension systems along their two decisive dimensions: sustainability and adequacy. Hence, it is based on three sub-indices and takes all in all 30 parameters into account, which are rated on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being the best grade. By adding up all weighted subtotals, the API assigns each of the analyzed 70 countries a grade between 1 and 7, thus providing a comprehensive view of the respective pension system.
Tagged: Funds (Pension)
Africa Current Issues: China's Post-Corona Future in Africa
By NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies & Nanyang Centre for Emerging Markets
Global geopolitical tensions are rising amid the mounting human and economics toil of COVID-19, most notably between the world's two largest economies, the United States (US) and China. Friction between the two countries was on the rise well before the outbreak, due to a trade war. The virus's Chinese origin and the country's opaque management of its spread stoked even greater distrust between the two powers. US President Donald Trump and Germany's Bild newspaper even proposed that China pay restitution to affected countries.
Tagged: FDI & Investment Promotion
Special Economic Zones in Africa
By Thomas Farole, World Bank
Special economic zones (SEZs) are spatially delimited areas within an economy that function with administrative, regulatory, and often fiscal regimes that are different (typically more liberal) than those of the domestic economy. Operating through a variety of different forms—such as export processing zones, economic processing zones, free zones, and foreign trade zones—SEZs aim to overcome barriers that hinder investment in the wider economy, including restrictive policies, poor governance, inadequate infrastructure, and problematic access to land.
Tagged: Special Economic Zone
Extended Metropolitan Development in Southeast Asia: From Primate Cities to Territorial Urban Diffusion
By Goldblum, Charles & Wong TC., (pp. 359-383). Chapter In Rozenblat, C; Pumain, D. & Velasquesz, E. International and Transnational Perspectives on Urban Systems
Abstract Primate cities in Southeast Asia, primarily a Western colonization product, have evolved from port cities to metropolitan development since World War II. Their growth was mainly attributable to high postwar population growth rates, massive rural-urban migration, and export-led industrialization and agglomeration effects accelerated by global linkages.
Social housing in France: A Permanent and Multifaceted Challenge for Public Policies
By Wong TC & Goldblum, Charles
This paper examines the dynamics of social housing in France where housing subsidies are overwhelmingly broad to cover all citizens according to their needs. Such a generous policy has met with perpetual implementation problems when it comes to deal with housing shortage and poor quality issues of the target low-income groups. From the 1980s, fund availability was further affected by economic globalization causing falling business profitability and high unemployment rates. Upcoming social crisis has been met with public response via a series of remedial acts to promote social integration in housing and by identifying social ills and polarization in sensitive and problematic quarters.
Population Mobility, Urban Planning and Management in China
By Wong TC., Han, Shun Sheng & Zhang, Hongmei (pp. 1-13)
Pre-reform and post-reform are two distinct periods symbolizing a sea change in China’s urban landscape. Over the last three decades, this great nation has witnessed massive population mobility, dramatic urban expansion and high rates but also highly inflationary economic growth. This dynamic process has mobilized a great diversity of development strategies, urban planning skills, and management expertise to respond to economic reforms and to make modernization work.
Eco-city Planning: Policies, Practices and Design
By Wong TC & Yuen, Belinda (pp. 317)
From the Kyoto Protocol, Copenhagen Accord to the current Cancun Conference in Mexico, international concern has been expressed on how best to combat global warming effects to achieve a more sustainable environmental development. Despite differences in commitments and responsibilities from participating countries, the common goal is to protect our mother Earth and our common future.
Asian Cities, Migrant Labour and Contested Spaces
By Wong TC & Rigg, Jonathan (pp. 304)
This volume explores how migration is playing a central role in the renewing and reworking of urban spaces in the fast growing and rapidly changing cities of Asia. Migration trends in Asia entered a new phase in the 1990s following the end of the Cold War which marked the advent of a renewed phase of globalization. Cities have become centrally implicated in globalization processes and, therefore, have become objects and sites of intense study.
Spatial Planning for a Sustainable Singapore
By Wong TC., Yuen, Belinda & Goldlum, Charles (pp. 232)
In the last four decades, Singapore's urban development has gradually received an international reputation. From a city of just under two million people in 1960, we replaced squatters and slums with mostly high-rise, high-density public housing as well as industrial estates, commercial centres and parks and gardens. We demonstrated to our earlier well-meaning critics that a high-rise housing programme need not be automatically doomed to failure.
Financer L'Afrique Densifier les systèmes financiers locaux
By Cédric MBENG MEZUI
Le financement du développement est sans aucun doute une priorité pour l’Afrique.
Cela a été clairement approuvé par la communauté mondiale dans le Plan d’action d’Addis-Abeba en 2016. Pourtant, il y a une pénurie de connaissances pratiques sur cette question importante. Dans cet ouvrage, Cedric Mbeng Mezui comble cette lacune et jette un éclairage sur les développements récents et les tendances sur le continent. Le livre est un must pour les décideurs, les universitaires et les autres parties prenantes qui cherchent des solutions pour financer le développement de l’Afrique.