Daily Archives: November 2, 2017

Global Win-Win Cooperation – “B&R” Digital ...

JINAN, China, Nov. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — With “Global Win-Win Cooperation” as the theme, the “B&R” Digital Economy Strategic Alliance Conference was held on November 2 at the Inspur Jinan Science and Technology Park, Jinan, China. Attendees include enterprise representatives Peter Sun, Chairman and CEO of Inspur Group; Owen Chan, Senior Vice President of Cisco Systems, Inc., Chairman of Cisco Greater China and Co-Chairman of Cisco China Board; Charles Kiang, General Manager of Technology Partnership of IBM Great China Group; Stefan Merz, SVP Corporate Strategy & Development of Diebold Nixdorf; and Angel Ruiz, Head of Ericsson Media. Three Chinese national financial institutions, namely the Export-Import Bank of China, China Development Bank, and China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation also attended the event wtih diplomatic envoys from five countries, including Winnie Natala Chibesakunda, Ambassador of Zambia to China, and more than 200 representatives of companies from other countries to witness the establishment of “B&R” Digital Economy Strategic Alliance.

The “B&R” Digital Economy Strategic Alliance was officially established

In the keynote speech “Global Win-Win Cooperation”, Peter Sun said, “As the initiator of the ‘B&R’ Digital Economy Strategic Alliance, Inspur hopes to partner with top technology companies in the world and Chinese national financial institutions, help countries along the Belt and Road to solve their insufficient funding and technical problems in informatization construction, and bring the benefits of digital economy development to people there.”

As China’s first Belt and Road integrated platform started by companies, the alliance adopts the cooperation mode of “1+4+3”, which means an alliance of Inspur and four global technology giants, Cisco, IBM, Diebold Nixdorf and Ericsson, with support from three of Chinese policy-based financial institutions, the Export-Import Bank of China, China Development Bank and China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation. The platform provides brand new technology and funding solutions of datacenters + cloud services, smart finance, smart home, smart taxation and smart cities for countries along the Belt and Road.

Owen Chan, Charles Kiang, Stefan Merz and Angel Ruiz affirmed the achievements of their cooperations. They said, the alliance will bring out their strengths in technologies, products and markets. They will work with Inspur to provide countries along the Belt and Road with advanced technology solutions and to realize the global win-win cooperation. The three financial institutions also promised to provide sufficient financial support for the alliance to promote the digital silk road.

Photo – http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/595899/img_1.jpg

Global Win-Win Cooperation – “B&R” Digital ...

JINAN, China, Nov. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — With “Global Win-Win Cooperation” as the theme, the “B&R” Digital Economy Strategic Alliance Conference was held on November 2 at the Inspur Jinan Science and Technology Park, Jinan, China. Attendees include enterprise representatives Peter Sun, Chairman and CEO of Inspur Group; Owen Chan, Senior Vice President of Cisco Systems, Inc., Chairman of Cisco Greater China and Co-Chairman of Cisco China Board; Charles Kiang, General Manager of Technology Partnership of IBM Great China Group; Stefan Merz, SVP Corporate Strategy & Development of Diebold Nixdorf; and Angel Ruiz, Head of Ericsson Media. Three Chinese national financial institutions, namely the Export-Import Bank of China, China Development Bank, and China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation also attended the event wtih diplomatic envoys from five countries, including Winnie Natala Chibesakunda, Ambassador of Zambia to China, and more than 200 representatives of companies from other countries to witness the establishment of “B&R” Digital Economy Strategic Alliance.

The “B&R” Digital Economy Strategic Alliance was officially established

In the keynote speech “Global Win-Win Cooperation”, Peter Sun said, “As the initiator of the ‘B&R’ Digital Economy Strategic Alliance, Inspur hopes to partner with top technology companies in the world and Chinese national financial institutions, help countries along the Belt and Road to solve their insufficient funding and technical problems in informatization construction, and bring the benefits of digital economy development to people there.”

As China’s first Belt and Road integrated platform started by companies, the alliance adopts the cooperation mode of “1+4+3”, which means an alliance of Inspur and four global technology giants, Cisco, IBM, Diebold Nixdorf and Ericsson, with support from three of Chinese policy-based financial institutions, the Export-Import Bank of China, China Development Bank and China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation. The platform provides brand new technology and funding solutions of datacenters + cloud services, smart finance, smart home, smart taxation and smart cities for countries along the Belt and Road.

Owen Chan, Charles Kiang, Stefan Merz and Angel Ruiz affirmed the achievements of their cooperations. They said, the alliance will bring out their strengths in technologies, products and markets. They will work with Inspur to provide countries along the Belt and Road with advanced technology solutions and to realize the global win-win cooperation. The three financial institutions also promised to provide sufficient financial support for the alliance to promote the digital silk road.

Photo – http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/595899/img_1.jpg

Inspur Launches the “B&R” Digital Economy Strategic ...

JINAN, China, Nov. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — On November 2, the “B&R” Digital Economy Strategic Alliance, initialized by Inspur and co-founded by Cisco, IBM, Diebold Nixdorf and Ericsson, was established in Jinan, China. The Alliance will integrate the world-class IT products, technologies and solutions of its members to accelerate the construction of digital silk road together with three Chinese national financial institutions, namely the Export-Import Bank of China, China Development Bank and China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation.

The launch of the “B&R” Digital Economy Strategic Alliance is the exploration and practice for Inspur to fulfill China’s Belt and Road Initiative and develop the digital silk road, as well as the first Belt and Road integrated platform founded by global technology giants. The alliance not only provides a new wide platform to promote the construction of digital silk road and to deepen cooperations among its members, but also allows the cooperations in China among top technology companies to go global.

The alliance adopts the cooperation mode of “1+4+3”, which means that as the initiator, Inspur establishes the alliance together with four global technology giants, Cisco, IBM, Diebold Nixdorf and Ericsson, with support from three Chinese national policy-based financial institutions, the Export-Import Bank of China, China Development Bank and China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation. The alliance will provide the world-class new datacenters, cloud services, smart finance, smart home, smart taxation, smart cities and other total technology solutions, and complete funding solutions for countries along the Belt and Road. The Alliance will firstly carry out projects in South Asian and African countries including Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Kenya, build a series of sample projects, and then promote them in countries along the route.

In the future, the alliance will attract more companies with top informatization products and technologies from all over the world, provide the most complete and advanced informatization total solutions for countries along the Belt and Road together with many financial institutions, and allow more people from those countries to enjoy benefits of the digital economy development.

Opposition MPs Walk Out on South Africa’s Zuma Over Corruption

CAPE TOWN Jacob Zuma told South Africa’s parliament on Thursday he had received no payments from private companies or individuals during his time as president, as opposition lawmakers walked out in protest over the cost to the state of his legal fees.

Allegations by government and opposition politicians that the wealthy Gupta family of businessmen used a friendship with Zuma to control state businesses and influence appointments are among many scandals that have dogged his presidency.

The Guptas and Zuma have denied any wrongdoing and say they are victims of a politically motivated witch-hunt.

“My government is committed to fighting corruption,” Zuma said in response to a question.

He also said he would establish a judicial commission to investigate allegations made in a 2016 report by South Africa’s corruption-fighting Public Protector.

“I did not receive any payments from private individuals or companies during my tenure as president of the Republic of South Africa, other than those disclosed or reported to the necessary authorities,” he said in answer to another question.

The main opposition party then walked out of the session, saying Zuma was refusing to answer questions on how much the state had spent on legal fees to fight corruption allegations against him.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane had asked how much had been spent since May 1, 2009, to defend 783 corruption charges against Zuma that were dropped by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) before he ran for the presidency.

“He is going to jail. The president is going to jail,” Maimane shouted before leading the walkout.

South Africa’s High Court reinstated the charges last year and the Supreme Court upheld that decision in October, rejecting an appeal by Zuma. The 75-year-old president is still trying to prevent the NPA from filing the charges.

The “State of Capture” report by the Public Protector, whose job is to uphold standards in public life, recommended a judicial probe into allegations of systemic corruption by Zuma, some of his ministers and heads of state-owned companies.

But the president filed an application asking the High Court to set aside the report, saying he would instead set up a judicial commission of inquiry into the allegations. The court is expected to rule on that case soon.

Zuma told parliament the judicial commission would investigate those corruption allegations and any others brought to its attention.

“After the [High Court] judgment, I will establish it immediately. We will prove the lies and the truths,” Zuma said. “The truth will be found.”

The report focused on allegations that Zuma’s friends, the businessmen and brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta, had influenced the appointment of ministers, which Zuma and the Guptas have denied.

Source: Voice of America

Cabinet pleased with progress of exams

Cabinet says it is satisfied that the end-of-year examinations currently taking place at schools and other learning institutions are going ahead unhindered.

Briefing media in Cape Town on Thursday following a Cabinet meeting that was held on Wednesday, Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Nubane said education is one of the key drivers towards a better future for all in the country.

Parents and guardians are urged to continue to give the necessary support to learners during this period, she said.

The Minister said the Department of Basic Education’s catch-up programmes and other initiatives have assisted learners affected by protests during the year and a positive outcome is expected.

National School Nutrition Programme

Cabinet has also approved the publication of the Report on the Evaluation of the National School Nutrition Programme.

This is a government programme with an annual budget of R5.5 billion resulting in nine million children from poor communities receiving a daily nutritious meal at school.

The report provides areas of effective implementation and some areas that need improvement. Minister Kubayi-Ngubane said the report will be made available on the website of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.

University fees

She said Cabinet was briefed on the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training in South Africa.

The Presidential Fiscal Committee will sit soon to interrogate financial implications. The Department of Higher Education and Training will have to review relevant policies and legislation, where necessary.

The Minister said President Jacob Zuma will release the report to the public soon and the President’s spokesperson, Dr Bongani Ngqulunga, will make an announcement regarding this matter.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Programmes, incentives in place to promote localisation

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says there are government mechanisms in place to encourage state institutions and the private sector to procure local products.

He said this when he fielded questions in the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday.

The National Development Plan and the Industrial Action Policy Plan, the Deputy President said, both placed a significant emphasis on leveraging public procurement to grow the domestic manufacturing sector and to create decent jobs.

He said that because the state is a large consumer of a wide range and variety of products, public procurement is a very strong policy instrument that can be utilised to support local manufacturers and also can be used as an instrument to engender transformation.

The Department of Trade and Industry works closely with the National Treasury to support localisation and Industrial Development through policy instruments for designated products.

The Preferential Procurement Regulations requires that all organs of state should procure and purchase only locally produced products at a prescribed level of local content.

This policy lever has been used with considerable positive results to raise aggregate demand for local manufacturers and to improve the competitiveness with these manufacturers, he said.

He said further work is needed to maximise the impact of this programme.

This includes ensuring that there is compliance across all public sector procurement and that government builds a requisite capacity across all organs of state for local procurement and supplier development.

The localisation and supplier development processes that are embedded in the competitive supplier development programme, which is the responsibility of the Department of Public Enterprises, has met with considerable success across the energy and rail value chain, including localisation empowerment, support for new market entrants, technology transfer and absorption as well as job creation.

He said, however, that South Africa is constrained by its commitments as a signatory to the World Trade Organisation in prescribing local procurement requirements to the domestic private sector. Despite this, government is working with business and labour through the Proudly South Africa to promote the buy local campaign.

Our social partners understand that there are massive economic benefits from buying local.

If, for example, large corporates in just the retail, the construction, the health, tourism and mining sectors could clearly commit to local procurement and supplier development, this would raise aggregate domestic demand, supporting transformation and supporting new entrants into key value chains.

He said government deploys a range of incentive programmes to companies that produce value added goods locally with a range of conditions.

This includes the Manufacturing Competitive Enhancement Programme, the Special Economic Zones and the Black Industrialist Programme, amongst others.

South Africa has a number of critical initiatives to promote local procurement because we have realise that it is when we promote local procurement and encourage role players to buy local, that we will be able to create more jobs and we found that a number of countries in fact are precisely doing this.

I know of Uganda for instance where they are preaching more and more product substitution by saying [instead of importing], make your own product so that you make more products available to your citizens.

So through import substitution and a number of programmes, we should be able to localise more and more so we need to expand and intensify these initiatives as part of our strategy to significantly grow our manufacturing sector and encourage the development of SOEs and if we were to focus on this in a very strong and focussed way. I have no doubt that we would be able to see an improvement, particularly in our manufacturing sector because that is the real engine that can ensure that the engine of our economy begins to employ more and more people.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Pair nabbed for possession of abalone worth R5-million

CAPE TOWN � A joint intelligence driven operation on Tuesday by members of the Hawks’ Marine group, Department of Agriculture Forest and Fisheries (DAFF) and Dog unit resulted in the arrest of two suspects aged 39 and 42 for running an illegal abalone processing facility.

The team followed up on information about a suspicious vehicle allegedly transporting abalone near Brackenfell. The pursuit led them to an address along River Road, where an abalone processing facility was discovered, resulting in the arrest of the pair, and the subsequent seizure of over 40 000 units of abalone, weighing about 2233.5kg, which comprised of wet, dried and cooked units valued at just over R 5-million.

The pair is expected appear before the Kuilsriver Magistrate’s Court on November, 02, to face charges related to dealing in abalone.

Source: South African Police Service

Donor club set to snub Britain on Caribbean “aid”

A British demand to use aid money to repair hurricane damage to its semi-autonomous territories in the Caribbean looks set to be blocked. Donor countries meeting today in Paris to hammer out new rules on international aid will not agree the proposals, but may consider them later, according to multiple sources.

The British want spending to help Anguilla, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the British Virgin Islands to come from its aid budget. This could then count towards the 0.7 percent of gross national income target set by UK law. Britain’s International Development Secretary Priti Patel argued that hurricanes Maria and Irmajustified a waiver: this unprecedented event shows the need to consider how the impact of a natural disaster on a territory should lead to a change in how that territory [is] defined in ODA terms.

Britain needs other major donor countries to agree by consensus any change to what counts as aid, or Official Development Assistance (ODA). Britain uses definitions agreed at the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and cannot change them unilaterally. Spending in middle- and low-income countries can count as ODA. However, the three Caribbean territories Patel mentioned fall in the high-income category, so any assistance sent to them cannot be accounted for as part of the global $146 billion annual ODA spend. The details get thrashed out in the OECD’s 30-member Development Assistance Committee (DAC), whose annual high-level meeting opened today.

London faces large bills in repairing damage from the hurricanes and already deployed relief and military clean-up teams. The shock to the islands might in time drive them temporarily into middle-income status, but the statistics will take years to show the change, so the British argue that getting them back on their feet should count as ODA. Some high-income small island states such as Barbados also support an ODA rule change due to their vulnerability.

The measure was never likely to pass immediately, given the slow pace of decision-making at the OECD, and the UK’s failure to pick up support in the key donor club before this week’s meeting, several sources said. DAC members may feel “uncomfortable”, and that it’s “premature” to “improvise” ODA eligibility rules at such short notice, according to Julie Seghers, OECD advocacy officer with Oxfam. Another analyst, speaking on condition of anonymity, said pressure from the British populist press drove Patel’s ill-judged negotiating strategy.

Observers say the proposal is now likely to be rolled into a broader discussion (and possibly return to the agenda at next year’s meeting) about how disasters and economic shocks can cause setbacks to higher-income countries that are ineligible for aid.

Aid diluted

It’s a “difficult time for the defenders of aid, said Seghers, alluding to the pressure donor agencies are under, for example to use aid budgets to meet political priorities about migration and security.

Amy Dodd, director of the lobby group UK Aid Network, told IRIN the DAC has a key role to hold the line on “what you count and how you count it” and to ensure a level playing field amongst donors. The DAC is “fundamentally an accounting exercise”, she said, describing it as “inherently political but quite technical”.

Overall, there’s a “risk of ODA being diluted” away from core poverty reduction and sustainable development, Seghers warned, adding that DAC members ought to be the “custodians” of a principled approach, of keeping “clear boundaries” on what should and should not count as aid.

Even before dealing with the British waiver concept, DAC members were at least “keen to move ahead” with “clearer rules” on other outstanding issues, Seghers said. However, sources told IRIN that despite two years of discussion, agreement is also elusive in two important areas:

In-country refugee costs

Receiving new refugees in a developed economy can get expensive � it takes a range of processing, welfare, and integration programmes. Donors are allowed to count one year of these costs as part of their official aid, even though it’s all spent at home. As IRIN reported earlier this year, this provision has been jumped on by many European donors, some say excessively, and now accounts for $15.4 billion a year � astonishingly, more than the total of emergency aid sent abroad (about $14.4 billion). In Paris this week, these rules will be clarified. IRIN understands from those close to the process that security-related costs (police, border security, deportations, and detention) are out. However, there’s a last sticking point: how to treat the processing of asylum-seekers who don’t qualify as refugees. Should that be allowed, the rule (or loophole, depending on your point of view) will have been significantly widened.

Private sector instruments

If a donor guarantees a loan for a company working in a poor and risky country, or a development bank buys shares in a garment factory in sub-Saharan Africa, which part of that can be called ODA? Oxfam and other NGOs have listed concerns about private sector proposals that “blur the lines on commercial interests”, lack human rights and environmental safeguards, and are “way too generous” to donors, according to Seghers. Technical debates on these issue will not conclude this week, sources told IRIN.

The inclusion of two NGO representatives in the DAC talks this week � UK Aid Group’s Dodd and Tony Tujan of Filipino NGO IBON Foundation � is seen as a welcome but modest improvement in transparency. But Seghers called for greater scrutiny still of the DAC’s work: “We need more public debate about what aid is actually meant for.

Source: IRIN