International Current Affairs - 2019

Latest International Current Affairs 2019 with news summaries and current events in International developments, geopolitical, organizations, groupings and fora related updates for India and world with all important national news updates and events for the year 2019.

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St Petersburg International Economic Forum 2019

Russia’s annual Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) is being held from 6-8 June 2019. It is an annual international forum that discusses key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets and world at large stage. The Saint Petersburg is Russia’s former imperial capital.

Key Highlights of SPIEF

  • Background: The first SPIEF was held in 1997. Now over past two decades, it has become one of leading global platforms for communication between business representatives and discussion of crucial global economic issues. Since 2006 it has been held under auspices and participation for Russian President Vladimir Putin. The SPIEF 2018 edition brought together around 17,000 participants from more than 140 countries. At the event Russia tries to boost its appeal to international businesses and investors.
  • St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2019: brought together high-profile politicians, leaders from participating countries, leaders of International organisation, representatives of major international companies and organisations as well as experts from various fields. In 2019 session delegations from nearly all European Union (EU) countries, including Hungary, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Austria, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Greece, Belgium among others and also senior officials from Cambodia, Vietnam, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Central African Republic (CAR) are taking part in various business sessions of forum. Chinese President Jinping will also attend SPIEF 2019 edition.
  • Theme for SPIEF 2019: Creating a Sustainable Development Agenda

Key Features-

  • Following Rusian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and role in pro-Russian uprising in Ukraine, the country has been hit by five years of international sanctions on its economy. It is also not immune to effects of U.S-China trade war which is putting brakes on global growth. The Western sanction over Russia is now followed by Russia’s pivot to the east with gradual dependence on China.
  • The Chinese President Xi Jinping visit to SPIEF 2019 marks a new era of friendship between China and Russia and reinforcement of economic ties that had benefitted from Moscow’s isolation from West. This visit holds milestone significance in development of bilateral relations.
  • Both countries show strong political mutual trust such as politically they seem consistently aligned and often vote in unison as permanent members of UN Security Council (UNSC). They also support each other firmly on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns.

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Russia launches 1st Arctic train service

Russia has launched first Arctic train service running from St. Petersburg station headed to Norway. The inaugural trial journey of first tourist train traveling through Russia’s Arctic region and on to Norway will be a 11-day trip with 91 passengers aboard.

Key Highlights

  • Journey: The train is named ‘Zarengold’ (means ‘The Tsar’s gold’ in German). It is complete with two restaurant cars will travel along route from Saint Petersburg through Petrozavodsk (historic town of Kem) and Murmansk.
  • The tourists will get off the train at Murmansk (largest city north of Arctic Circle) and will continue by bus to Kirkenes in Norway before ending their journey with a boat trip to Oslo (Norway’s capital) or by air to island of Spitsbergen, the largest and only permanently populated island of Svalbard archipelago located in northern Norway.
  • Time: The whole trip will take 11 days in total and allow passengers to discover areas in Arctic region which are difficult to access by other means.
  • Aboard: The inaugural test journey is being undertaken by tourist belonging to seven countries including the United States, Germany, Norway and Russia.

Way Forward

  • The train is expected to run twice by 2020 and four times in 2021.
  • As global warming is breaking up the glaciers in Arctic region, Russia tries to foresee new trading routes and opportunities in it. With this new advancement in connectivity Russia hopes to become top economic and military power in Arctic region.

 

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