Sunday, November 16, 2014
The BRICS give me hope for the restoration of sanity to our planet. Instead of advocating for wars, these countries are busy creating opportunities to uplift the citizens of their respective countries. I know, I know .... haters of Russia and China will say that these two are the world's main suppliers of weaponry,etc.etc. To them I say ... it's business... if there's a demand for their goods, why shouldn't they make more to meet the demand?
Russia signs deal to build 2 nuclear reactors in Iran, another 6 may follow
Russia signed a contract Tuesday to build two more nuclear reactors in Iran to be possibly followed by another six, a move intended to cement closer ties between the two nations.
The deal comes less than two weeks ahead of the Nov. 24 deadline for Tehran to sign an agreement on its nuclear program with six world powers. Tuesday's contract has no immediate relation to the talks that involve Russia and the United States, but it reflects Moscow's intention to deepen its co-operation with Tehran ahead of possible softening of Western sanctions against Iran.
Nuclear officials from the two countries signed a contract Tuesday for building two reactors at Iran's first Russia-built nuclear plant in Bushehr........
President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have signed a memorandum of understanding on the so-called “western” gas supplies route to China. The agreement paves the way for a contract that would make China the biggest consumer of Russian gas.
Russia’s so-called “western” or "Altay" route would supply 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year to China.
The new supply line comes in addition to the “eastern” route, through the “Power of Siberia” pipeline, which will annually deliver 38 bcm of gas to China. Work on that pipeline route has already begun after a $400 billion deal was clinched in May.
“After we have launched supplies via the “western route,” the volume of gas deliveries to China can exceed the current volumes of export to Europe,” Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller told reporters, commenting on the deal.
Speaking to journalists on the eve of his visit to Beijing, Putin was optimistic about prospects for the new gas deal with China......
BRICS discuss ratification of new Bank, $100 bn CRA Leaders of the five BRICS nations have met in Brisbane on Saturday ahead of the annual G20 Summit, aimed at boosting trade and economic ties between the group.
The leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, South African President Jacob Zuma and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff discussed ratifying the newly formed $100 billion BRICS Bank and the $100 billion Contingency Reserve Arrangement (CRA) by parliaments in the five countries.
“They [the BRICS leaders] asked their Finance Ministers to designate the President and the Vice-Presidents of the NDB well in advance of the next BRICS Summit in Russia. The Leaders also announced the setting up of an Interim Board of Directors that will lead the next phase establishing NDB,” said a joint statement issued after the meet.
The BRICS leaders also discussed the $100 billion Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA).
“The Leaders asked their Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to ensure that, by the next BRICS Summit, the CRA Working Group concludes the procedural rules and operational guidelines of the Governing Council and the Standing Committee of the CRA,” the statement added.
In Brisbane, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff urged BRICS to “focus on strengthening their domestic markets, in an effort to rebuild their economies”, said a Brazilian government statement......
Brazil Builds Its Own Fiber-Optic Network To Avoid The NSA
This past week Brazil announced that it will be building a 3,500-mile fiber-optic cable to Portugal in order to avoid the grip of the NSA.
What’s more, they announced that not a penny of the $185 million expected to be spent on the project will go to American firms, simply because they don’t want to take any chances that the US government will tap the system.
It’s incredible how far now individuals, corporations, and even governments are willing to go to protect themselves from the government of the Land of the Free.
The German government, especially upset by the discovery of US spying within its borders, has come up with a range of unique methods to block out prying ears.
They have even gone so far as to play classical music loudly over official meetings so as to obfuscate the conversation for any outside listeners.
They’ve also seriously contemplated the idea of returning back to typewriters to eliminate the possibilities of computer surveillance.
More practically, the government of Brazil has banned the use of Microsoft technologies in all government offices, something that was also done in China earlier this year.
The Red, White, and Blue Scare has now replaced the Red Scare of the Cold War era. And it comes at serious cost.
From Brazil’s rejection of American IT products alone, it is estimated that American firms will lose out on over $35 billion in revenue over the next two years.......
Prominent film production firms of India and China on Wednesday announced their first joint venture to make a new co-production, working title “Kungfu Yoga”, which could feature top Hollywood stars such as Jackie Chan. Chinese and Indian film markets are set to expand massively in the coming years, with more theater screens and more major companies entering the fray.
This is the first project to be initiated after both governments signed an agreement on film co-production in New Delhi during President Xi Jinping’s visit to India last month. Global consultancy IHS Technology estimates the Chinese cinema market will be worth $4.6 billion in 2014.
The agreement between Indian firm Viacom-18 and Chinese firms Taihe and Shine World was inked on the sidelines of the Indian film festival in Xi’an, capital of north-west China’s Shaanxi province, which began on Tuesday as part of ‘Glimpses of India’ festival...........
China pledges 40 bln US dollars for Silk Road Fund
In his address to the Host’s Partners Dialogue in Beijing Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said, “Asia-Pacific economies are counting on enhanced regional connectivity to boost growth and competitive edge.”
He also said, "Asian economies must expand strategic trust through more opening up and connectivity.”
China will provide financial support of US$40 billion to establish the Silk Road Fund, another concrete measure to put the connectivity pledge into action.
Xi presided over the Host’s Partners Dialogue on Saturday, a meeting with seven Asian leaders, who are not APEC economic leaders. Also at the talks was the secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
The key message was "Enhancing Connectivity Through Partnerships."..........
Brics GDP bigger than G7 in purchasing power: Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said Moscow wants to work with other countries to “remove the imbalances in the global economy”.
In Vladivostok on Friday, Putin said the GDP of the BRICS countries calculated at the purchasing power parity is greater than that of the G7, the Group of major industrialized nations.
“As far as I know, the GDP of BRICS is $37.4 trillion, while that of the G7 is $34.5 trillion. And if we go and say: ‘No, thank you, we are going to do this and that here on our own, and you can do it the way you want it,’ this will only add to the imbalances. If we are really set to resolve some issues, we should do that together,” he told Russian agency Itar Tass.......
Jumping on to the Make in India bandwagon, old ally Russia has put forward a series of joint manufacturing projects to New Delhi, proposing to manufacture helicopters, airliners and satellite navigation systems, besides setting up a multi-billion dollar start up fund to promote nano technology.
A slew of projects have been discussed at the top level during the recent visit of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, all aimed at going beyond the tradition supplier-buyer relationship that made Moscow the largest supplier of defence equipment to India for the past few decades. It has recently been replaced by the US in the past three years.
Sources said that Russia expressed its keenness in participating in the Make in India initiative and a few projects could be concretised during President V Putin's to New Delhi next month. One proposal that will be studied by interest in India is to set up a joint USD 3 billion dollar fund to promote joint start-up companies in the nanotechnology field with applications from defence to aerospace and manufacturing.....
Russia’s Central Bank to create alternative to SWIFT bank transaction system by mid-2015
The idea of creating a Russian alternative to the SWIFT transaction system was put forward by Russia’s Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the Rossiya banking association in September
Russia’s Central Bank plans to create a domestic alternative to the SWIFT international bank transaction system by May 2015, a Central Bank official said on Tuesday.
The Central Bank of Russia wants the national payment card system to operate along with the financial message system. The regulator also intends to create a SWFT message processing center, Deputy Director of the Central Bank’s National Payment System Department Ramilya Kanafina said.
The idea of creating a Russian alternative to the SWIFT international bank message system was put forward by Russia’s Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the Rossiya banking association in September.
Russia’s Finance Ministry published a bill at that time proposing regulation for the SWIFT system, as well as for the Bloomberg and Reuters financial market data terminals in the country.
In late August 2014, media reports said the UK had proposed banning Russia from the SWIFT network as part of an upcoming new round of sanctions against Moscow over its stance on developments in neighboring Ukraine. However, this proposal was not supported by the EU countries at the time......
South Africa has, in many ways, demonstrated continental leadership in mitigating the effects of climate change. From policy introductions to alternative energy, the southernmost country in Africa has achieved a significant level of success in combating the phenomenon that may affect developing regions the most; sustainable energy.
The country’s Environmental Affairs Minister, Edna Molewa, listed a few of these initiatives. Renewable Energy Independent Power Purchase Programme (REIPPP), the most popular, is aimed at supplementing the country’s energy supply with renewable energy.
“Today there is rapid uptake of large-scale renewable energy technologies through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Purchase Programme (REIPPP). So far under the REIPPP programme, 3,933 MW have already been procured,” she said.
There is also the National Green Fund through which South Africa is “greening” its cities. This can be seen in a number of actions including reducing energy loads in buildings, creating a recycling economy and restoring wetlands to protect water resources, according to the minister.....
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies and the Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu today addressed the Cape Agulhas Business Summit in Bredasdorp, Western Cape. The Business Summit focussed on how to strengthen Small Medium Micro Enterprises to contribute towards the local economy in rural municipalities.
Minister Davies said that government together with business, labour and civil society have begun on plans to unlock the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans through operation Phakisa. He said that this will assist the country to realise the largely untapped potential of the marine space, aquaculture and boat building
“In 2010, the ocean contributed approximately R54 billion to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and accounted for approximately 316 000 jobs. South Africa’s oceans have the potential to contribute R177 billion to the country’s GDP while creating 1 million new jobs by 2030. The government is now developing a blue economy strategy to help realise the full potential of its marine resources”, he said.
Minister Davies added that the aquaculture sector that currently contributes R1billion to the GDP and employs about 4000 people has the potential to contribute towards job-creation and poverty alleviation.
“The sector can achieve significant growth with a GDP of R3 billion and 20 000 new irect jobs........