Monthly Global Forecast |January 2021
Politics and Governance
United Kingdom’s Boris Johnson shall Visit India on January 26, 2021
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to visit India on January 26, marked as his first major bilateral visit to another country. During the visit, it is expected that the premier will invite India to join the G7 summit which will be hosted by Britain alongside South Korea and Australia. The aim is to further strengthen the bilateral trade ties, investment, and cooperation in defence, security, health, and climate change. The Prime Minister is to attend India’s annual Republic Day parade as a guest of honour.
President Joe Biden’s Inauguration shall be held on January 20, 2021
As per the law, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are scheduled to take the oath on January 20, 2021. After the ceremony, Joe Biden will officially assume office and the presidential power for the next four years. Due to the rising Covid-19 infections across the United States, the inauguration is to be attended by a limited crowd. The Presidential team has strongly advised people against travelling to Washington, amid fears of the virus spread.
The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement to be Fully Operational on January 1, 2021
The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is scheduled to be fully operational under the set terms from January 1, 2021. The European Union (EU) law on the free movement of EU citizens will cease to apply to the nationals of the United Kingdom (UK) and the EU citizens, resident in the UK. However, the agreement lay down the rules to protect the right of residence of more than 4 million EU citizens in the UK and 1 million UK nationals in EU member states. The agreement also covers trade in goods and services, a level playing field, fisheries, aviation, road transport, UK participation in EU programmes, and social and internal security.
India’s Covid-19 Vaccination Drive shall begin in January 2021
The Covid-19 vaccination drive in India shall begin in the month of January 2021. Serum Institute of India is manufacturing the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine, and it is expected that the country might reach normalcy by October next year. India’s Health Ministry is planning to vaccinate 20-30% of the Indian population for reaching a critical mass. Moreover, the company is preparing to manufacture the vaccine for both the government and the private markets.
WHO-led team shall arrive in China to Probe the Covid-19 Origins in January 2021
The World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to visit China in the first week of January 2021 to probe the origins of the novel coronavirus. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has not directly commented on the upcoming visit but demonstrated its support in enhancing the cooperation with WHO in advancing the undergoing global tracing efforts that the organization is conducting. A team comprising 12 – 15 international experts is to examine evidence from Wuhan, including human and animal sample collected by Chinese researchers, and to work on their preliminary studies.
Energy and Environment
One Planet Summit to be held in Marseille, France on January 11, 2021
The One Planet Summit is scheduled to be held in Marseille, France on January 11, 2021. The movement was launched by the French President Emmanuel Macron, the Security-General of the United Nations, and the President of the World Bank. The aim is to take concrete actions favouring biodiversity initiatives and raise the bar of the international community in relation to environmental preservation and climate protection. The summit also intends to increase the relevant political engagement around the world, to find and propose innovative solutions in reversing the current environment-related trends.
Pakistan to start constructing the First Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal in January 2021
The work on Pakistan’s first merchant Liquefied Natural Gas terminal shall begin in January 2021, under the policy of the current government of providing ease to the business industry. According to the official sources, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) is to issue the construction license for finalizing the arrangements and permissions. After setting the terminal, the companies will be allowed to import and sell commodities without any government involvement except in the regulatory processes.
The OPEC and Non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting Scheduled for January 4, 2021
The Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries are scheduled to conduct a ministerial meeting on January 4, 2021. Originally, the meeting was planned to be held in December but was postponed. The objective is to increase oil production by 500,000 barrels per day in the upcoming year. The meeting will assess the market conditions and decide on further adjustments to be made in relation to oil production.
Iraq shall begin Exporting Fuel to Lebanon in January 2021
Iraq shall initiate the fuel export supplies to Lebanon in January 2021. The announcement of the agreement came after a meeting between Iraq’s Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar, and his Lebanese counterpart Raymond Ghajar. The quantities of fuel supply are to remain limited and are aimed at covering Lebanon’s need for fuel to generate power. Lebanon has been suffering from a severe lack of power in both residential and commercial establishments. Additionally, the exported fuel will be a surplus over the Iraqi refineries’ current demand.
Defence and Security
International Conference on Defence Technology and Maintenance Systems shall be held from January 18 – 19, 2021
The International Conference on Defence Technology and Maintenance Systems is to be held from 18 – 19 January 2021. The aim is to bring together the leading academic scientists, researchers and scholars to exchange and share their insight and findings regarding the latest defence and maintenance technologies. It will also provide a premier interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners, and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, concerns, practical challenges encountered, and solutions adopted in the Defence Technology and Maintenance Systems.
European Union set to launch a Defence Research and Development Programme in January 2021
The European Union (EU) is set to launch a new defence research and development programme amounting for €7.9 billion in January 2021, to reduce its reliance on the United States’ military technology. The estimated defence fund is a chunk of a more comprehensive EU strategy in broadening its geopolitical influence while overcoming the existing gaps in its defence system. It aims to provide the member states with compatible defence technologies that align with the states’ capabilities. The programme will also consider the states’ priorities in pursuing joint projects with other regional and international organizations, especially the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Trade and Economics
Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement shall be finalized by the end of January 2021
The transit trade agreement between Afghanistan and Pakistan is to be finalized by the end of January next year. In the recent bilateral dialogue, investment-related matters were discussed. Extensive rounds of negotiations are currently underway to enhance the bilateral trade between the two countries, including engineering, pharmaceutical, cement, building materials, fruits, vegetables, informal cross-border trade and markets. Advisor to the Prime Minister for Commerce and Investment stated that all the stakeholders should engage robustly in aiding the trade liberalization.