China drives global solar and coal alike

first_imgChina drives global solar and coal alike FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享South China Morning Post:Chinese equity investment in solar, wind and coal power projects in Belt and Road Initiative countries surged from 2014 to 2019, with planned capacity up more than tenfold compared with the previous five-year period, environmental group Greenpeace has said.The Belt and Road Initiative is a Beijing strategy to boost economic and trade ties in dozens of countries in Asia, Europe and beyond, mostly through investments in energy and infrastructure.According to a study published by Greenpeace on Monday, China’s wind and solar power investments in belt and road countries amounted to 12.6 gigawatts since the initiative was launched in 2014. It had invested in just 0.45GW of solar before 2014.The country has also invested in 67.9GW of new coal-fired power in belt and road countries since 2014, but Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner Liu Junyan said the increase in the share of renewables should be welcomed.More: Chinese renewable energy investment abroad soars – but coal still dominantlast_img read more

Colombia Gains Economic Freedom By Fighting Drugs, Corruption

first_img A decade of targeting drug lords and Marxist guerillas is paying off for Colombia, as the rule of law is restored and the economy is starting to flourish, according to the recently released 2011 Index of Economic Freedom by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. “The key to understanding the relationship between economic freedom and prosperity is particularly important in Latin America,” Israel Ortega, a spokesman for the Heritage Foundation, told Diálogo magazine “By improving domestic security, the governments there are bolstering economic security.” Colombia saw the 10th best global improvement in its score on the Heritage index, which ranks 187 countries according to 10 categories that examine economic openness, competitiveness, and the rule of law. Colombia was ranked at 68.0 on a 100 point scale, making it a mostly free country, and No. 45 in the world. By contrast, Hong Kong was No. 1 and the U.S. was No. 9. “Led by Colombia’s 2.5 point gain, Latin America continued to improve across the board,” the Heritage Foundation study said. President Alvaro Uribe, elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, made national security a top priority, prosecuting a war against both the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and right-wing paramilitary groups. He also waged an aggressive war on narcotics trafficking in collaboration with the U.S. “Over his tenure, peace was restored to large areas of the country and unemployment dropped significantly,” the Heritage report said. Colombia is one of the region’s longest-standing democracies. Recently elected president Juan Manuel Santos won a run-off in June 2010 with 64 percent of the vote. He’s pledged to preserve “democratic security” and advance economic growth. The legitimate Colombian economy depends heavily on exports of petroleum, coffee, and cut flowers, according to the Heritage report. The government is pursuing a policy of deregulation to further its economic growth. Colombia’s government recently eliminated a policy of setting minimum freight prices for the trucking industry. Months of rain last year damaged highways and bridges and caused an increase in transportation costs, rendering the old rules obsolete. “With today’s decision, the system of highway cargo transport goes from one of intervention on prices to one of free, but monitored prices,” said a statement from the office of President Santos. Significant improvements By Dialogo March 24, 2011 Deregulatory policies pay off center_img Overall, 25 of Latin America’s 29 countries posted gains in economic freedom last year. Just three reported a decline. Costa Rica and, surprisingly, Haiti demonstrated significant improvement in 2010. “Overall, the region continues to become more open to trade and investment and to address regulatory reform,” the Heritage report said. “But weakness in intellectual property, the courts, and the rule of law keep most countries in the region mired in or slightly below the middle of the pack.” Chile ranks as the freest economy in Latin America. Its economy is freer than countries like the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany. Last year, Chile became the first South American country to join the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). President Sebastian Piñera and his center-right Alianza coalition in Congress assumed power last March. “Chile has charted a different path than many of its neighbors,” said Ortega of the Heritage Foundation, noting that some governments in Latin America have been tempted to embrace socialism. “Chile’s healthy economic freedom comes partly from its openness to global trade and investment.” Chile benefits from a transparent and stable financial and judicial sector, and there’s little tolerance for corruption, Ortega said. Uruguay has the second-freest economy in the region, with El Salvador and Peru close behind. Mexico’s economic freedom score is 67.8, making its economy the 48th freest in the 2011 Index. Its score declined by 0.5 point, reflecting declines in freedom from corruption and fiscal freedom. The country reported $12.5 billion in foreign direct investment last year, according to the survey. “Since the election of President Carlos Salinas in 1988, successive governments have adopted limited reforms and have begun to alter Mexico’s corporatist economic model,” the Heritage report noted. President Felipe Calderon, of the National Action Party, has achieved key judicial, fiscal, pension, and electoral reforms, but proposals to further liberalize the economy, especially by opening the energy sector to foreign investment, lack legislative support. “Calderon faces a major security challenge from illegal drug cartels,” the Heritage report said. President Calderon has also committed his administration to fight against corruption at all levels of government and in 2008 launched Operación Limpieza, “investigating and imprisoning corrupt government officials in enforcement agencies.” According to the Heritage report, Brazil’s economic freedom score is 56.3, making its economy the 113th freest in the 2011, one which lags behind Chile and Mexico. The score is 0.7 point better than last year as a result of improvements in investment freedom and trade freedom. Brazil is ranked 21st out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its overall score is “below the regional and world averages,” the study said. The state’s expanding role in the economy explains its ranking, according to the study. President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, first elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, was barred from seeking a third term by the country’s constitution, created in 1988. In last fall’s presidential elections, Lula’s hand-selected successor, Dilma Rousseff, was elected Brazil’s first female president. “Ms. Rousseff is further to the left than the present administration, but she has pledged not to make a sudden change of direction,” Peter Kennedy, a spokesman for Shaw Capital Management, an investment bank with a large portfolio of investments in Brazil, told Diálogo. “The investors, and voters, believe her so far.” The efficiency and overall quality of government services remain poor despite high government spending as a percentage of GDP, the Heritage report said. Burdensome taxes, inefficient regulation, poor access to long-term financing, and a rigid labor market are barriers to new business growth. “The judicial system remains vulnerable to political influence and corruption,” the Heritage study added. The Brazilian economy has been growing because of increased demand for commodity exports, and over the past decade, economic growth there has averaged around 4 percent, accompanied by low inflation. Brazil has a large agricultural and industrial base, but a growing services sector has accounted for over 60 percent of GDP in recent years. The global financial and economic turmoil’s impact has been moderate. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Colombia was $7.2 billion last year. Compound annual growth is expected to be 4.2 percent over the next five years. Colombia’s score of 68.0 on the index reflects improved scores for business, investment, labor freedom, and government spending. Colombia is ranked 7th out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, But there is still room for considerable improvement. “Further growth in economic freedom in Colombia will require deeper institutional reforms that include better protection of property rights and a stronger judicial system,” the Heritage study said. “Corruption remains considerable in many sectors of the economy, and the relatively high marginal tax rates encourage tax evasion.” For instance, money laundering operations in Colombia involving funds from drug-trafficking amount to close to $8.7 billion dollars per year, according to Colombia’s Financial Information and Analysis Unit, based in Bogota. There were more than 42,000 suspicious operations from January 2006-December 2010, the finance ministry said. According to the Heritage study, fighting corruption and narcotics trafficking remains a significant concern, as does the influence of criminal organizations on the police, the military, and some members of the judiciary and civil service. The local chapter of Transparency International is working with Colombian authorities on a number of anti-corruption measures, including ethics and entrepreneurial programs. According to the Heritage report, corruption erodes economic freedom by introducing “insecurity and uncertainty” into economic relationships. The score for this component is derived primarily from Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2009, which measures the level of corruption in 180 countries. Other sources include the Country Commerce and Country Report of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Country Commercial Guide. But there are also major expansions of legitimate international businesses. During the first few weeks of the new year, many new foreign firms announced investments in Colombia. “We think that for the short term we will see an important dynamism in the area of tertiary services, software and information technologies, tourism of businesses and health, audio-visual production, enterprise and logistic infrastructure and different services specialties,” said Adriana Suárez, executive director of INNVEST in Bogota, an economic development agency in Colombia, told Diálogo magazine. last_img read more

Steyn out for six months after shoulder surgery

first_img(REUTERS)-South Africa’s fast bowler Dale Steyn has undergone surgery and will be out for at least six months after breaking a bone in his shoulder in the first Test in Australia earlier this month, Cricket South Africa said yesterday.The 33-year-old Steyn returned home for the operation in Cape Town, which was performed on Thursday, and had a screw inserted in his right shoulder blade.South African team manager Mohammed Moosajee said he will be out for a minimum of six months before he can even attempt to bowl again.“It is crucial to give the injury enough time to heal and to make sure that he is completely pain-free before he starts bowling again. He will begin with his rehabilitation programme once the satisfactory bone healing has taken place. This is expected to be in a few weeks,” he said.“We are positive that he will make a successful return to international cricket.”Steyn, who is just four wickets shy of Shaun Pollock, South Africa’s most successful test bowler, suffered the fracture while bowling on the second morning of the first test win over Australia in Perth.“I felt this pop or thud in my shoulder and I was in a lot of pain… and went for an MRI and I’ve got a clean fracture in the bone that is inside my shoulder. It’s not pretty,” Steyn told Australia’s Channel Nine the day after suffering the injury.I just felt something go. I did something very similar against England in December in a similar area but it wasn’t as bad. That was a stress reaction which is like a very hairline fracture, a small crack.”Steyn missed almost all of the series defeat against England after injuring himself in the first test in Durban last December.He returned to play in March’s World Twenty20 and took eight wickets in August’s test win over New Zealand. He has 417 test wickets at an average of 22.30.last_img read more

Other Sports PV Sindhu eyes to break jinx and win Japan Open title

first_imghighlights PV Sindhu upstaged Aya Ohori 11-21 21-10 21-13.PV Sindhu will be up against Chen Xiao Xin or Akane Yamaguchi.No Indian has ever won Japan Open title.  For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.center_img New Delhi: On Thursday, India’s Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu moved into the quarterfinals of Japan Open badminton tournament after registering a tough win against star Japenese sensation. The fifth seed Sindhu had to toil hard in an hour-long battle to get the better of unseeded Japanese Aya Ohori 11-21 21-10 21-13 in a second round women’s singles match. Statistically, no Indian has ever won a Japan Open title, and if Sindhu manages to win the next three games, she will become the first Indian to get hands on the coveted title. Sindhu will next face the winner of the match between China’s Chen Xiao Xin and fourth seeded Japanese Akane Yamaguchi, to whom she lost in the final of the Indonesia Open last week. Sai Praneeth will face Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto in the men’s singles last-eight round.In the match between Sindhu and Ohori, the Rio Olympics silver medallist Indian shuttler was slow to get off the blocks as the local girl came out on top in the early exchanges to race to a 5-1 and then 11-5 lead at the break.Sindhu took it easy in the first game and it worked in Ohori’s favour as the Indian committed a lot of unforced errors.An error-prone Sindhu never looked in the contest initially as she kept hitting the net or the shuttle landed outside the court, enabling Ohori to pocket the first game comfortably.In the second game too, Sindhu struggled initially before finding her bearings. Trailing 0-2, the Indian made a great comeback to draw level and then took the lead for the first time in the contest.Once she managed to take a 3-2 lead, there was no looking back for Sindhu as she kept on extending her domination to grab the second game, roaring back into the contest in style.Sindhu continued in the same vein in the decider and surged ahead 3-1 and then 8-4 before Ohori clinched four straight points to level the scores at 8 apiece. But Sindhu lifted her game and won six consecutive points to take a 14-8 lead. World No. 23 Praneeth, on the other hand, had a relatively easy outing against higher-ranked Tsuneyama (17th).There was hardly anything to differentiate the two shuttlers as they fought hard for the first 13 points before Praneeth took the game away from his opponent with superior on-court display.Praneeth carried on the confidence in the next game and raced to a 4-0 lead before the Japanese mounted a fightback to level the scores. Thereafter, it was a dog fight between the two shuttlers till 16 points before Tsuneyama lost his concentration and Praneeth took full advantage of the opportunity, pocketing five straight points to seal it in his favour.last_img read more