VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: April 4, 2019
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PAKISTAN
US move not conducive to peace in South Asia: China: Dawn
April 4, 2019

The United States vowed on Wednesday to utilise “all available avenues” to ensure Masood Azhar was held accountable but China warned Washington that this attitude could complicate an already tense situation in South Asia. “We can confirm that we circulated a draft UNSC resolution with UK and French support,” said a US State Department spokesperson when asked how the United States planned to deal with this issue. On March 27, the United States circulated a draft resolution to the 15-nation UN Security Council (UNSC) to blacklist Azhar and subject him to a travel ban, an assets freeze and an arms embargo. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
ADB Predicts Afghan Economic Growth 2.5% This Year: Tolo News
April 3, 2019

A new report released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) shows that Afghanistan’s economic growth will be around 2.5 percent during the current year. The ADB report shows that Afghanistan’s economic growth will be three percent in 2020. “Our outlook for 2019 is that economic growth will grow from 2.2 in 2018 to 2.5 percent. We expect the improved economic performance because we expect improved performance in the agriculture sector,” said ADB Country Director Samuel Tumiwa. Uncertainty in the political sphere and the presidential elections have been hindering the country’s economic growth, says the ADB report. Click here to read...

NEPAL
Bumper crops, higher spending likely to push growth to 6.2 percent: Kathmandu Post
April 4, 2019

Nepal’s economy is expected to grow at the rate of 6.2 percent in the current fiscal year ending mid-July due to strong performance of the agriculture sector and stepped up government spending, according to the latest Asian Development Bank Nepal Macroeconomic Update. The multilateral financial institution said that the country’s economy was expected to achieve 6.3 percent growth in the next fiscal year. The Asian Development Bank’s growth forecast is slightly lower that the growth rate of 6.5 percent projected by the International Monetary Fund. Meanwhile, an optimistic government expects to achieve an economic growth rate of over 7 percent. Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada had forecasted a growth rate of 8 percent when he presented the budget statement for the current fiscal year to Parliament. Click here to read...

CHINA
Strong economic indicators outperform world expectations: People's Daily
April 4, 2019

It was not long ago when many predicted a pessimistic year for the Chinese economy in 2019. They seemed well reasoned. After all, the world's second largest economy was under tremendous pressure from a trade war and internal structural issues. So when a slew of recent indicators painted a more upbeat picture, it caught many off guard. Click here to read...

Dragon-elephant tango: Indian Express
April 4, 2019

The Imperial Hotel in New Delhi is much favoured by the Chinese because of its close bond to the People’s Republic of China. After the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and India on April 1, 1950, the hotel was rented as a temporary chancery for Chinese diplomats for three years. The first batch of Chinese diplomats started their mission from scratch and made a great contribution to laying the foundation of China-India relations. As a Chinese saying goes, “A man seldom reaches the age of 70 years in ancient times.” Click here to read...

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