15 Asia Pacific countries sign the world’s largest trade deal

Fifteen Asia Pacific countries signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) during a virtual summit last 15 November 2020.The biggest trade bloc estimated to be worth US$26.2 trillion or almost 30% of the world’s GDP was made between the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) state members, East Asian economic giants China, Japan, and South Korea, and Oceania’s Australia and New Zealand. It is considered bigger than both the United States-Mexico-Canada Agr [...]

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World Bank recommends adapting disaster risk management for public health emergencies in Asia-Pacific

As the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to plague the region, the World Bank suggested that Asia-Pacific nations identify the intersections between COVID-19 epidemiological models and risk models of natural hazards to enhance preparedness.Countries in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean are already among the most vulnerable to disaster emergencies such as typhoons, storm surges, floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunami as it lies on the most active tropical cyclone basin on [...]

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release of korean government report on "how korea responded to a pandemic using ict: flattening the curve on covid-19"

Front cover of How Korea Responded to a Pandemic using ICT: Flattening the Curve on COVID-19. (Click on the image to download the report.) The Korean government just released another report on "Korea's response to the COVID-19 using ICT" to share with the global society. It hopes this will help everyone  fight aginst the Coronavirus (COVID-19)Click on the image on the right for a copy of the PDF File of the report. Credits to the Local Government Officials Development Institu [...]

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Hong Kong sar's controversial extradition bill explained

More than a million people in Hong Kong SAR marched on Sunday against a controversial extradition bill that they fear will erode freedom in the semi-autonomous territory.Hong Kong, a British colony until 1997, was handed over to China under the concept of 'one country, two systems,’ which accorded political and legal autonomy to the city.Critics fear the bill will undermine the independence of Hong Kong SAR's legal system and put its citizens and foreign nationals at risk by allowing suspe [...]

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Opportunities for Growth: Indonesia’s Gulf Connections

The Arab world’s long ties to Indonesia began with the first traders initially reaching the island in the fifth century. In the centuries since, the Arab world has provided maritime trade and financial services.When Islam finally made its way to Indonesia, the two cultures already exhibited a strong financial and cultural bond thanks to Arab trade and migration. The routes that were initially used for trade have helped the ties between Indonesia and the Arab world flourish as Islam’s [...]

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India elections 2019: Final round of voting under way in 59 seats

Indians are voting in the seventh and final phase of national elections, wrapping up a six-week-long campaign season with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seeking re-election for another five years.Nearly a 100 million people are eligible to vote on Sunday in 59 constituencies across seven states - including the politically-critical Uttar Pradesh in the north and West Bengal in the east.Sunday's voting also covers Modi's constituency of Varanasi, a te [...]

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Asia Will No Longer Tolerate Being a Plastic Waste Dump

Over the last three decades, the top plastic waste exporters, including the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom, sent abroad plastic waste weighting about 168 million tonnes, most of it to China. In 2018, China said “enough is enough,” and announced a ban on imports of plastic waste, setting off a crisis in the global waste system. The majority of this plastic was then redirected into Southeast Asia, with Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia being flooded with waste, a [...]

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In Kazakhstan, Regional Inequalities Undercut Overall Educational Progress

By the fall of 2016, Kazakhstan appeared to have gained momentum in the international educational arena. For the first time, the country’s students earned an international top-10 by performance in math and science, according to the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Kazakh eighth-graders demonstrated ability and knowledge comparable to their peers from countries like Russia, Canada, and Ireland, ranking higher than England, the United States, and Australia, with the latter ve [...]

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Singapore Plans to Move Facilities Underground to Free Space for Housing

The garden city of Singapore wants to be even more green. It also wants more homes in its central business district, and plans to move facilities underground to free up living space.As part of the plan to rejuvenate Singapore’s central area, a variety of homes and amenities in areas such as downtown, Marina South and Rochor will be planned so more people can live near workplaces, the city-state’s Urban Redevelopment Authority unveiled in a draft master plan Wednesday. There will also [...]

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India elections 2019: Final round of voting under way in 59 seats

Indians are voting in the seventh and final phase of national elections, wrapping up a six-week-long campaign season with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seeking re-election for another five years.Nearly a 100 million people are eligible to vote on Sunday in 59 constituencies across seven states - including the politically-critical Uttar Pradesh in the north and West Bengal in the east.Sunday's voting also covers Modi's constituency of Varanasi, a te [...]

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Asia Will No Longer Tolerate Being a Plastic Waste Dump

Over the last three decades, the top plastic waste exporters, including the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom, sent abroad plastic waste weighting about 168 million tonnes, most of it to China. In 2018, China said “enough is enough,” and announced a ban on imports of plastic waste, setting off a crisis in the global waste system. The majority of this plastic was then redirected into Southeast Asia, with Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia being flooded with waste, a [...]

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In Kazakhstan, Regional Inequalities Undercut Overall Educational Progress

By the fall of 2016, Kazakhstan appeared to have gained momentum in the international educational arena. For the first time, the country’s students earned an international top-10 by performance in math and science, according to the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Kazakh eighth-graders demonstrated ability and knowledge comparable to their peers from countries like Russia, Canada, and Ireland, ranking higher than England, the United States, and Australia, with the latter ve [...]

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Singapore Plans to Move Facilities Underground to Free Space for Housing

The garden city of Singapore wants to be even more green. It also wants more homes in its central business district, and plans to move facilities underground to free up living space.As part of the plan to rejuvenate Singapore’s central area, a variety of homes and amenities in areas such as downtown, Marina South and Rochor will be planned so more people can live near workplaces, the city-state’s Urban Redevelopment Authority unveiled in a draft master plan Wednesday. There will also [...]

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Singapore passes new law to police fake news despite concerns

After an intense debate, Singapore's parliament has passed a sweeping "anti-fake news" bill despite concerns raised by journalists, academics and global technology companies over free speech and abuse of power.​Legislators in the island-nation on Wednesday voted to grant government ministers broad powers such as the ability to demand corrections, order the removal of content, or block websites deemed to be propagating falsehoods contrary to the public interest. Penalties for not complying [...]

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Singapore passes new law to police fake news despite concerns

After an intense debate, Singapore's parliament has passed a sweeping "anti-fake news" bill despite concerns raised by journalists, academics and global technology companies over free speech and abuse of power.​Legislators in the island-nation on Wednesday voted to grant government ministers broad powers such as the ability to demand corrections, order the removal of content, or block websites deemed to be propagating falsehoods contrary to the public interest. Penalties for not complying [...]

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Leaders Discuss Role of Tourism in Asia and Pacific's Development Future

Tourism has significant potential to contribute to Asia and the Pacific’s long-term growth prospects through infrastructure development and job creation. But governments should work to ensure the industry grows in a socially and environmentally sustainable way, according to participants at a high-level Asian Development Bank (ADB) seminar. READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE [...]

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Sink or Sync’: Experts Discuss the Urgency of Managing Natural Resources and Vulnerability in Asia and Pacific

Climate change is not a distant or imaginary threat, but an undeniable reality. This is particularly true in Asia and the Pacific. At the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Governors in Fiji, a panel of experts organized by the ADB Independent Evaluation Department discussed the urgency to manage natural resources and mitigate vulnerabilities as the only way to achieve sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific. READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE [...]

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Leaders Discuss Role of Tourism in Asia and Pacific's Development Future

Tourism has significant potential to contribute to Asia and the Pacific’s long-term growth prospects through infrastructure development and job creation. But governments should work to ensure the industry grows in a socially and environmentally sustainable way, according to participants at a high-level Asian Development Bank (ADB) seminar. READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE [...]

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Reforms in a Few Countries Drive a Decline in Average OECD Labour Taxes

Income tax and social security contributions declined slightly for the average worker across the OECD in 2018, driven by major reforms in a handful of countries, according to a new OECD report.​Taxing Wages 2019 shows that the “tax wedge” – total taxes on labour costs paid by employees and employers, minus family benefits, as a percentage of the labour cost to the employer – was 36.1% in 2018. This represents a fall of 0.16 percentage points from 2017, and is t [...]

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Development Aid Drops in 2018, Especially to Neediest Countries

Foreign aid from official donors in 2018 fell 2.7% from 2017, with a declining share going to the neediest countries, according to preliminary data collected by the OECD. The drop was largely due to less aid being spent on hosting refugees as arrivals slowed and rules were tightened on which refugee costs can come out of official aid budgets. READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE [...]

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India: ECI Takes Innovation Route to Help Citizens Choose Wisely

To help voters make an informed decision during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has once again underscored the significance of technology and innovation.Coming up with a number of initiatives like cVIGIL, PwD, Suvidha apps and Voter Helpline-1950, among others, the poll panel has been continuously innovating to empower citizens in order to ensure free and fair polls in India. READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE [...]

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