Trump allegedly wants to impose new tariffs on China

United States President Donald Trump wants to continue with the plan to impose tariffs on US$200 billion in Chinese imports. According to Bloomberg the tariffs are to be imposed as soon as the public comment period concludes, next week.

Members of the public and companies have until next week, 6 September to summit their comments on the proposed duties.  The duties cover everything from selfie-sticks to semiconductors. The US President plans to impose tariffs as soon as the comment period is over, according to six people who are familiar with the matter (anonymous) – Bloomberg.

Stocks dropped as soon as it was announced, the offshore Yuan dropped while the dollar and the Yen gained aimed flight to safety.

According to Bloomberg the US has so far imposed levies on US$50 billion in Chinese goods, with China retaliating.



Source: Bloomberg

India still has a lot of black money to uncover

The national program India initiated to clamp down on black money (money which income and other taxes have not been paid). According Forbes the program seems unsuccessful. India banned high-value notes in order to uncover people hiding undeclared wealth and therefore outstanding tax revenue.

New reports have shown that nearly all of the banned currency has been returned to the Central Bank of India making the program pointless. The banning of black money was done with the purpose of making it harder for people to hide undisclosed funds and replace it with legal tender at banks.

India was hoping at least 20% of the cash would not be return to the central bank, remove its value and hit to the holder of black money. The long term goal for India was to move the economy from cash to a cashless, but now India will have to rethink its method as the progress is delayed.


Source: Forbes

China builds base that links to Afghanistan

China has started building a military base on a small strip of territory that connects Afghanistan to China. The military base dubbed Wakhan Corridor, intends to contain the People’s Liberation Army and will also be used as a training base for Afghan troops.

According to Afghan officials, China will be helping the Afghanistan government build a mountain brigade that will contribute in there efforts of counter terrorism. The Afghan government has also mentioned that no Chinese military officers will step on Afghan territory.

The Wakhan Corridor is looked at as an opportunity for china to strength its cooperation and interest with Afghanistan, and will also contribute to china’s global outreach plans as well.

Source: national interest


RUSSIA-US RELATIONS: The art of balancing

Russia-US relations over the next six years will be characterised by a type of balancing act as each country attempts to consolidate its interests in Eurasia

Why six years? Six years from now will mark the completion of President Vladimir Putin’s fourth and final term in office – and the final term of President Donald Trump, should he be reelected to office. Ties between the US and Russia will, to a large extent, determine the future of Eurasia’s stability.

Acquiring a deeper understanding of the two countries and their interaction is key. What is each aiming to achieve in Eurasia, and is it possible to forecast certain outcomes of their engagements with each other? Two important developments have recently occurred: the re-election of Putin to his final term in office, and Trump’s perceived “taming” of

the State Department through the appointment of his new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. The first development was easily predicable, but the second came as a surprise for many.

Taken together, they will help determine the course of Russia-US relations over the next few years. The Kraken and The Balancer In order to better understand RussiaUS relations, it’s necessary to first have a general understanding of Trump and Putin’s worldviews.

This will enable us to see where the two leaders’ interests converge and diverge. Trump is fondly described by his supporters as “The Kraken” – a mythological Norse sea monster known for causing problems.

To them, and the Balancer are all too evident in three conflict situations, playing out in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Syria, respectively. The situation in the Eastern European country is currently frozen, while the one in the southcentral Asian state is heating up.

Each case, on the surface, appears to be totally disconnected from the other. However, the future of both Ukraine and Afghanistan may be intertwined with the outcome of the conflict in Syria. On this, Russia and the US are curiously at the closest they’ve ever been to reaching an agreement.

Find the full article in BRICS Journal’s 6th Issue 

India explore ways of improving relations with Nigeria

India says it is looking into ways of improving relations with Nigeria, 2018 marks 60 years of bilateral relation between the countries says India’s high commissioner to Nigeria.  Reddy said this on the side line on discussions of India-Nigeria relations in Abuja on Thursday.

The High Commissioner said that “relations between both countries would be defined by a progressive agenda that is guided by the 10 principles on India-Africa relations recently announced by his government”.

The trade between the countries was in favour of the African state with a volume of $12 billion, said Reddy.

Reddy said “in this context, the priorities which we will like to set out of these 10 guiding principles are agriculture, in this how to address climate change, how to collectively fight the scourge of terrorism, create employment and enhance investments.

“The focus will also be to engage the two countries so that the priorities of the countries are considered and we have also talked about how Indian markets will be open for more goods coming from Africa.”

Reddy said, “at the cusp of 60 years of engagement between India and Nigeria, we have developed a unique connect in diverse areas: diversity, democratic, demographic, development, defense, trade, energy, business, agriculture, medical, education and people-to-people connect.”


Source: The eagle online

S&P rates Brics New Development Bank AA+

Financial services company, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has ascribed an ‘AA+’ long-term and ‘A-1+’ short-term issuer credit ratings on the New Development Bank (NDB).

S&P released a statement saying that the ratings mirror the agency’s opinion. The BRICS bank will establish itself “as a catalyst in reducing the infrastructure deficits faced by its BRICS members,” said Standard and Poor’s.

The NDB has been assessed by the rating agency as having a “extremely strong” financial profile. The agency took in consideration the dependable support from the NBD shareholders.

“Today marks a momentous step for NDB towards establishing itself as a premier multilateral development finance institutions” K.V Kamath, President of NDB, on rating announcement.The NDB president said: “Given the scale of our future ambitions, AA+ rating from S&P and Fitch, put the Bank in an exceptional position to mobilise financial resources at competitive rates thereby greatly enhancing our leading capacity to our members”.

The BRICS bank also received the highest AAA rating from Chinese rating agencies – Chengxin international credit rating and China Lianhe Credit rating.



Source: Tass

Brazil and China talk trade and investments for 2018 & 2019

A Chinese delegation from the government visited Brazil’s Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (MDIC) in Brazil on Monday. The delegation discussed issues relating to the two countries’ bilateral trade and investment agenda for 2018 & 2019.
The delegation met to discuss Brazil’s industry 4.0 agenda, investments and scheduling meetings for 2019, when Brazil will chair the BRICS bloc.

Industry 4.0 according to Macauhub is a term relating to technologies and concepts for organisation of the value chain. “Within the intelligent and modular manufacturing factories of industry 4.0 cyber physical systems (CPS) monitor processes, create a virtual copy of reality and make decentralized decision” says Macauhub.

Brazil in 2017 exported approximately US$47 billion to China and imported goods worth US$27 billion from China’s market, which resulted in a surplus of more than US$20 billion for Brazil.

Source: Macauhub

BRICS role in KZN tourism

China’s President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, Brazil’s President Michel Temer and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin pose for a group picture at the BRICS summit meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The BRICS countries could play a strong role in the development of KwaZulu-Natal’s (KZN) tourism industry, with China having over 140 million global travelers and India contributing 22 million people to global tourism.  

The KZN government is targeting these countries’ tourists as a potential opportunity for growth in the tourism industry, as these countries are currently booming economically and with BRICS cooperation agreements in place, it only makes sense for the KZN government to seize the moment.

The increase in direct international flights to Durban has also helped in the creating of a tourism campaign for the province. Durban in July hosted a BRICS business council meeting, where it was able to showcase itself a major tourist destination, KZN tourism official believe that they can not only attract BRICS tourist but also tourist from the rest of the world.

There is also a strong push for the involvement of small to medium and micro enterprises, black female entrepreneurship in the KZN tourism industry, in efforts to make sure equal development of the sector as well contribute to the grass roots of the local economy.



China-Africa cooperation across all areas

Rwandan Ambassador to China, Charles Kayonga has stated that Africa and China are enjoying cooperation “across all areas”, and that the mutual work should continue.

Kayonga said in addition to political exchanges that China-Africa cooperation is also vigorous in fields including infrastructure, industry and agriculture.

There are successful projects carried out under the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

He cited two Chinese-built railways, including one linking Djibouti and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as well as “hundreds of Special Economic Zones across the continent, that bring many benefits to both sides”.

The ambassador told China Dailythat “we have had financing for a number of roads, and we have seen direct investment by Chinese companies in a number of businesses rise.”

Kayonga added that Africa is in need of infrastructure, among other things, to achieve sustainable economic transformation.

According to Kayango, the cooperation with China will help finance the infrastructure projects to spur the continent’s industrial development, which will in turn favour China in its vision of going global.

He has confirmed that Rwandan President Paul Kagame, also chairman of the African Union, will attend the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation taking place in October.

The Summit is expected to better align the Belt and Road Initiative with development strategies of African countries.

The Belt and Road Initiative, along with its related infrastructure projects on the continent, “will bring Rwanda and other landlocked countries in Africa out of isolation while facilitating integration of the continental economy into the global economy”, Kayonga said.

For Kayonga, by building such a community, China and Africa will be able to better complement each other.

“The concept of a shared future for China and Africa refers to strategies by both sides to ensure that they apply their respective advantages and opportunities for mutually beneficial ends,” he said.


Source: China Daily


China Installs surface to air missiles in Zimbabwe

In preparation for defending its economic interests in the country, China has placed its new generation surface-to-air missiles (SAM) in Zimbabwe.

The goal is to hedge against competing countries battling over Zimbabwe’s resources and the newly elected government there. The Zimbabwean military are all for the move as it helps them regain some military influence in the region.

The new weapon system installed in Zimbabwe is very similar to the one China has placed in the South China Sea. Zimbabwe is becoming a key country for China as they are not only investing in defense, but also building a new parliament, a supercomputer centre, helping the power infrastructure and medical sector.

The newly-elected Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa is also set to travel to Beijing for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), where defense will be one of the key discussions to take place. China has already hosted 50 African defense leaders in June and this is an opportunity for talks to continue.