This month, the Jakarta administration covered an eyesore of a river with a giant nylon net ahead of the 18th Asian Games in August. The Sentiong River, nicknamed the black river by locals, is murky and smelly because, according to a city official, wastewater from houses and a tofu factory is dumped untreated there. The Sentiong River is not the only heavily polluted river in Jakarta. In fact, all 13 rivers in Jakarta and their dozens of tributaries are highly polluted. How polluted? The Jakarta Water Resources Council stated that the rivers in Jakarta could only supply 2.2 percent of the total demand for clean water, all of which came from the Krukut River, as the other rivers were too dirty to process. City workers clean the Sentiong River under a giant nylon net in Central Jakarta on July 21. The city administration covered the river in an attempt to ward off the smell ahead of the 18th Asian Games in August. (Antara/Rivan Awal Lingga) In addition to the more visible solid trash … [Read more...] about What makes Jakarta’s rivers ugly and smelly?
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A new International Monetary Fund research paper predicts “massive” investment inflows into the Central Asia-Caucusus (CCA) from China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) over the next decade, while citing a long list of banking and capital market, fiscal and monetary policy, and trade and business environment changes needed to handle the influx. External sovereign bond performance from the eight countries surveyed, including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Tajikistan, was sluggish in the first half as investors soured on illiquid frontier market plays with higher global interest rates, and recognized the area’s continued currency, commodity, remittance and debt shocks. The IMF noted strides since 2014 in economic diversification and integration, exchange rate flexibility and private sector-led growth, but called for greater tariff and non-tariff “opening up” beyond World Trade Organization membership and capital account liberalization. It urged … [Read more...] about Cash infusion for Central Asia-Caucusus region
WASHINGTON: Argentina Economy Minister Nicolas Dujovne is due to meet on Thursday with IMF chief Christine Lagarde to request a financing package to help shore up the struggling economy, officials said on Wednesday (May 9).Dujovne will also meet with a senior US Treasury official in a key step in the talks with the IMF, which are likely to last six weeks, his spokesman said in a statement.The talks come 17 years after the country defaulted on its debt and 12 years after it cut ties with the IMF, amid a bout of market turbulence rocking Latin America's third-largest economy.Argentine President Mauricio Macri announced on Tuesday that he was going to the IMF for help as a "preventative" measure after the nation's currency plummeted amid high inflation and rising US interest rates.Officials have declined to say how big a line of credit Argentina is seeking."Argentina will ask for a 'stand by' financing arrangement with exceptional access," the spokesman said, referring to a level above … [Read more...] about Argentina minister to meet IMF’s Lagarde to request loan
The eyes of the world will be fixed on the Korean demilitarized zone on Friday when when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un crosses the border in the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom for a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. With the Kim-Moon summit preceding an upcoming Kim-Donald Trump summit – location as yet unknown – in May or early June, there are hopeful expectations for a possible strategic gearshift on the flashpoint peninsula: Nearly 3,000 reporters will cover Friday’s summit. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox But while the Koreas talk, and while White House strategists mull their upcoming pow wow, regional players China, Japan and Russia will be watching keenly from the sidelines. All have differing postures toward the Koreas; all possess differing degrees of leverage. For China: A rare ally, a strategic buffer Viewed from Beijing, China’s northeast has always been perilous strategic … [Read more...] about On summit sidelines, China, Japan and Russia mull Korean chessboard
WASHINGTON: "Robust" business borrowing, rising consumer spending, and tight labor markets indicate the U.S. economy remains on track for continued growth, the Federal Reserve reported on Wednesday, with the risks of a global trade war the one big outlier.In its periodic "Beige Book" summary of contacts with businesses in its 12 regional districts, the Fed said the overall outlook among businesses "remained positive," but that many were worried about the Trump administration's use of tariffs."Contacts in various sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, and transportation expressed concern about the newly imposed and/or proposed tariffs," the central bank said in its report, which covered the period from March to early April.In fact, the word "tariffs" appeared 36 times in Wednesday's report after not appearing at all in the previous Beige Book published March 7. It was referenced as a factor affecting prices or as a potential concern for the outlook in 10 of the 12 regional banks' … [Read more...] about US economic growth on track despite tariff concerns: Fed report