Places in News Current Affairs - 2020

Government signs $76 Million loan deal with JICA to Upgrade Alang-Sosiya Shipyards

The Union Government signed $76 million loan deal with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for starting upgradation project related to environment management plan at Alang-Sosiya ship recycling shipyards in Gujarat.

The project will be executed by Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) and is likely to be completed by 2022. The total cost of project is $111 million out of which $76 million will be provided by JICA as soft loan. Out of remaining amount, $25 million will be borne by Gujarat Government as taxes and fees and balance $10 million will be shared by Ministry of Shipping.

Benefits of the project

This project will help Alang-Sosia ship-recycling yards to comply with international safety & environmental regulations. This will attract more business at recycling facilities at Alang, thereby further consolidate India’s share in global ship-recycling industry.

It will also help in safeguarding marine and coastal environment. The use of advanced decontamination technology will rule out possibility of fire accidents in oil and chemical tankers, thereby ensuring workers safety.  The project is expected to increase in direct employment from 50,000 to 92,000 people and in-direct employment from 1.5 lakhs to 3 lakh people.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

The JICA is governmental agency that coordinates official development assistance (ODA) for government of Japan. Its mandate is assisting economic and social growth in developing countries, and promotion of international cooperation.

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London tops in 2017 Global Financial Centres Index

London has topped in the 2017 Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) among 92 financial centres released by the Z/Yen and China Development Institute. India’s financial capital Mumbai was ranked at 60th position, up by three positions compared to previous edition.

Global Financial Centres Index

The index is ranking of the competitiveness of financial centres based on aggregate of indices from five key areas: business environment, financial sector development, infrastructure factors, human capital, reputation and general factors. It is published twice a year. It is widely quoted as a source for ranking financial centres.

Key Facts

There is little change in top five positions compared to previous year. London and New York remain in first and second places. Hong Kong has moved just ahead of Singapore. Tokyo remains in fifth. New York was 24 points behind London, biggest gap between the two since survey started in 2007 presumably due to fears over US trade.

The index shows that London is globe’s most attractive financial centre despite Britain’s looming departure from the European Union. Earlier it was believed that due to Brexit, London will lose its pre-eminent status as a financial centre, but there are very few signs of that happening yet.

There is overall drop in confidence amongst leading centres. Of the top 25 centres, 23 fell in ratings and only two rose. At lower end of table, 20 of 25 lowest rated centres actually rose in the GFCI ratings.

Western European financial centres are still volatile. Frankfurt, Dublin, Paris and Amsterdam all rose in rankings, but Geneva, Zurich and Luxembourg fell in rankings. European centres continued to fluctuate as people speculate about which centres might benefit from London leaving U. Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Vienna all showing strong rises.

The leading financial centres in Asia/Pacific region fell in ratings. All of top ten centres in region fell in ratings with Singapore, Tokyo, and Osaka all showing fall in ratings. These are reverses of strong gains made in the year 2015-16.

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