Pakistan Current Affairs
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The World Bank has released the Global Economic Prospects report 2019 titled “Darkening Skies”. The key findings of the report are:
- Growth among advanced economies is expected to drop to 2 per cent this year.
- Slowing external demand, rising borrowing costs and persistent policy uncertainties may weigh on the outlook for Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDE). As result growth rates of this group are anticipated to hold steady at a weaker-than-expected 4.2 per cent this year.
- South Asia is expected to grow at 7.1 per cent in 2019 driven by strengthening investment and robust consumption. Much of the contribution would come from India.
- The growth rate of Pakistan is anticipated to slow to 3.7 per cent in 2018-19 as financial conditions tighten in the face of rising inflation and external vulnerabilities.
- Bangladesh is expected to register a growth of 7 per cent in 2018-19, Sri Lanka is expected to speed up slightly to 4 per cent in 2019, and Nepal’s growth is expected to slow to 5.9 per cent in FY 2018-19.
- The report warns that if a trade war between the US and China leads to a global slowdown, the spillover effects on the emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) could be profound.
- The report underlines the importance of “rebuild policy buffers” for EMDEs while underscoring the need of laying a stronger foundation for future growth by boosting human capital, promoting trade integration, and addressing the challenges associated with informality.
- The global growth rates are moderating as the recovery in trade and manufacturing activity loses steam.
- Trade tensions among major economies combined with concerns about softening global growth prospects, have weighed on investor sentiment and contributed to declines in global equity prices.
- The report states that Growth in the US will continue to be supported by fiscal stimulus. As a result, there would be larger and more persistent fiscal deficits.
- Even though the probability of a recession in the United States is still low and the slowdown in China is projected to be gradual, markedly weaker-than-expected activity in the world’s two largest economies will have a severe impact on global economic prospects.
- The report warns that sharper-than-expected tightening of global financing conditions, or a renewed rapid appreciation of the US dollar, could exert further downward pressure on activity in EMDEs, due to large current account deficits financed by portfolio and bank flows.
- The report estimates that if all tariffs under consideration were implemented, they would affect about 5% of global trade flows and could dampen growth in the economies involved, leading to negative global spillovers.
The World Bank has warned that the projected gradual deceleration of global economic activity over the forecast horizon could be more severe than expected because of the predominance of substantial downside risks.
The Henley Passport Index measures the access each country’s travel document affords. The Index is based on the data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.
Ranking of the Jurisdictions
The Rankings of the jurisdictions based on the rankings in the Henley Passport Index are:
- Japan retained its top spot as the world’s most travel-friendly passport due to the document’s access to 190 jurisdictions.
- South Korea and Singapore are at joint second position offering access to 189 jurisdictions.
- China has jumped almost 20 places in just two years, from 85th in 2017 to 69th this year.
- India jumped two positions from 81st in 2018 to 79th this year.
- European Union member states along with Norway and the US occupy the places behind the top three nations in the rankings.
- The rankings of the USA and UK have continued to drop.
- The top 5 positions are held by Japan (190 countries), Singapore, South Korea (189), France, Germany (188), Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden (187), and Luxembourg, Spain (186)
- The bottom 5 positions are held by Eritrea (38), Yemen (37), Pakistan (33), Somalia, Syria (32)and Afghanistan, Iraq (30).
Christian Kalin, Chairman of the Henley & Partners’ Group who is also the creator of the index notes that the ranking is a bright spot in an increasingly isolationist world.
Open-door policies have the potential to contribute billions to the global economy, as well as create significant employment opportunities around the world. The ascent in the rankings of South Korea and the United Arab Emirates are examples of what happens when countries take a proactive foreign affairs approach, an attitude which significantly benefits their citizens as well as the international community.
Tags: Afghanistan • China • Denmark • Eritrea • Finland • France • Germany • Henley Passport Index • Iraq • Italy • Japan • Luxembourg • Pakistan • Singapore • Somalia • South Korea • Spain • Sweden • Syria • UK • USA • Yemen