VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 12th November, 2018
IMF questions revenue, power sector losses: Dawn
November 13, 2018

With primary focus on containing fiscal deficit, Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday began policy discussions on economic and fiscal adjustments required to ensure a fresh fund programme worth around $6 billion. A senior government official said a draft Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) had been prepared by the Ministry of Finance in consultation with other economic ministries that was now the centre of discussion with the IMF. Click here to read...

Envoy: Russia plays Afghanistan broker due to US ‘failure’: Tolo
November 13, 2018

A senior Russian diplomat said Monday that Moscow is trying to be an Afghan peace broker because it considers the US has failed in Afghanistan. Russia’s presidential envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said a Moscow conference on Afghanistan Friday that brought together representatives of the Afghan authorities and the Taliban marked an attempt to “take a modest first step toward full-fledged peace talks.” Kabulov said Monday that Russia’s efforts to help an Afghan peace settlement have been driven not by a desire to undercut the US efforts, but by legitimate security concerns. He emphasized that the continuing fighting in Afghanistan threatens the interests of Russia and its allies in Central Asia. Click here to read...

Sri Lanka crisis: Supreme Court to decide snap poll legality today: Times Now
November 13, 2018

Sri Lanka's Supreme Court will deliver its verdict on the legality of the January 5, 2019 snap polls announced by President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday, after 13 fundamental rights petitions were filed against the dissolution of the Parliament. The decision came after the court adjourned hearing on the 13 fundamental rights petitions filed by several political parties including the United National Party (UNP), Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Tamil National Alliance (TNA), All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), civil organization Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), former MP Mano Ganesan and Attorney Aruna Laksiri on November 12. Click here to read...

Xi urges HK, Macao to embrace nation's reform, opening-up for greater development: Xinhuanet
November 13, 2018

President Xi Jinping on Monday voiced the hope that Hong Kong and Macao will further develop themselves by embracing the nation's cause of reform and opening-up.

Compatriots in Hong Kong and Macao are expected to continue participating in the country's reform and opening-up with sincere patriotism and pioneering spirit, attain the greater development of the two special administrative regions (SARs) by promoting the development of the country, and jointly work for the national rejuvenation, Xi said when meeting with a delegation from the two SARs. Click here to read...

China, Singapore upgrade FTA, eye closer connectivity cooperation: Xinhuanet
November 13, 2018

China and Singapore agreed on Monday to upgrade their free trade agreement (FTA) and make more joint efforts to facilitate connectivity.
The consensus, along with agreements on boosting bilateral cooperation in innovation and other areas, was reached in talks here between visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Click here to read...

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