Monthly Global Forecast |March 2020

Defence and Security

Danish Troops to Return to Al-Asad Air Base in Iraq on March 1

Denmark will send its military personnel back to the Iraqi Al-Asad base on March 1. They were pulled out last month temporarily and moved to Kuwait due to security concerns, the Danish Defence Minister Trine Bramsen said. Denmark had around 130 personnel stationed at the base as part of the international coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Erdogan Announces Syria Summit to be Held on March 5

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would hold a summit with the leaders of Russia, France and Germany on March 5, to discuss escalating violence in Syria’s last rebel enclave of Idlib. The announcement comes a day after two of the European Union heavyweights, France and Germany called for a four-party summit involving the Turkish and Russian leaders.

Qatar Armed Forces all Set to Organise Dimdex 2020 in March

The Qatar Armed Forces will organise the 7th edition of Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (Dimdex 2020) from March 16 to 18 this year, at Qatar National Convention Centre. Commenting on the sponsorship of this year’s edition, Chairman of the organising committee of Dimdex, Staff Brigadier (Sea) Abdulbaqi Saleh Al-Ansari expressed gratitude for the support the event receives from a solid and reliable network of partners, who have contributed greatly to the increased commercial and strategic importance of Dimdex over the years. Dimdex is considered today as one of the most important events on the international maritime security and defence agenda, providing unprecedented trade opportunities for decision makers from all the major sectors involved in the realm of global defence, at the level of governments and companies.

US Military Takes Coronavirus Precautions Ahead of Large-scale Cobra Gold Drills in Thailand

The United States military is sending a larger contingent this year to Cobra Gold, one of the Indo-Pacific’s largest multinational exercises, even as the new coronavirus sweeps the region, according to the United States officials. Additional medical personnel and supplies will be on hand to guard against the virus called COVID-19 when Cobra Gold 2020 begins in Thailand, officials said. The World Health Organisation reported 35 cases of infection in Thailand, according to its website. The exercise, co-sponsored by the Royal Thai and the United States armed forces, is scheduled to run until March 6, 2020, throughout Thailand. Exercise officials said safeguarding the health of participants is a priority.

NATO Cold Response 2020 Military Exercises

In early March, thousands of soldiers from NATO countries will participate in a massive mock battle with imagined invading forces from Russia. In this futuristic simulated engagement — it goes by the name of Exercise Cold Response 2020 — allied forces will “conduct multinational joint exercises with a high-intensity combat scenario in demanding winter conditions,” or so claims the Norwegian military. There’s nothing ordinary about Cold Response 2020. As a start, it’s being staged above the Arctic Circle, far from any previous traditional NATO battlefield, and it raises to a new level the possibility of a great-power conflict that might end in a nuclear exchange and mutual annihilation.

Politics and Governance

ASEAN-United States Special Summit

On 14 March, an important politico-strategic summit between the United States and Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is going to be held in Las Vegas, United States. It would chart out the future line of action and directions for both the partners. It is being considered an important summit for the US as  it is expected to get the US leverage in Asia-Pacific region in order to contain China’s economic rise and not to allow People’s Republic of China to be a hegemon in the region. Moreover, it is also significant for ASEAN countries as how they are going to give and take with regards to the United States and China as core actors of political-economic relations.

World Ocean Summit 2020

World Ocean Summit is going to be held from 9 to 10 March in Tokyo, Japan. The World Ocean Summit aims at bringing an array of global policymakers, businesspersons, investors, scientists, entrepreneurs and leaders at the platform in order to solve the ocean degradation. It is stemming out of the gravest problem of climate change to encourage and ensure climate governance. The blue economy is very important for agricultural and industrial economies. The core objective of the said summit is to create a conducive atmosphere for climate governance from individual to collective levels.

World Congress 2020

One of the largest gatherings regarding students and younger scholars is going to be held from 21 to 24 March. It is being arranged by the International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS) in Vienna, Austria. It is also known as the flagship event of the IAPSS. Its Oxford Style Debate is considered an interesting as well as thought provoking exchange of ideas and insights.  The programme is always completed by a range of social and cultural fringe events and ends with the IAPSS General Assembly, during which members discuss the future of the Association.

International Conference on International Relations and Political Science

An important international conference named International Conference on International Relations and Political Science will be held from 5 to 6 March in Barcelona, Spain. It is aiming at bringing together well-known academicians, scholars of international relations and political scientists to provide underpinnings of conceptual understanding of the issues relating to international relations and political science. It also involves peoples from policy circles and major research organisations of Europe and America.

International Conference on Foreign Policy and Globalisation

The International Conference on Foreign Policy and Globalisation (ICFPG 2020) is going to be held from 5 to 6 March, 2020 at Rome in Italy. It is a federated organisation which is aimed at bringing together researchers, scholars and political scientists to share and provide underlying conceptual understanding of the issues relating to foreign policy and globalisation. It also entails premier interdisciplinary platforms of research  and policymakers so that the changing nature of foreign policy and globalisation are understood in the best possible manner.

Social Issues

Education Ministry of Pakistan to Register Madrassahs in March

The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training will likely initiate a country-wide madrassah registration process from the first week of March 2020. According to the official sources, so far, no madrassah has been registered/affiliated with the ministry, while all necessary arrangements have been finalised in that regard.

Energy and Environment

First ever Climate Coaching Action Day to take place on 5 March

First ever Climate Coaching Action Day, bidding to inspire, inform, support and mobilise coaches for taking action against climate change, will take place on 5 March 2020. The initiative has been taken up by Coaching at Work. Organisations like The New Climate Coaching Alliance, the Academy of Executive Coaching, and Climate Change Coaches have pledged allegiance in support of the initiative.

EU States to Submit Confirmation on Provisional Agreement for Provision of Safe Water to the Environment Council Meeting in March 2020

Member states of the European Union will be submitting their confirmation on the 2019 provisional agreement for the provision of safe drinking water across EU states on 5 March 2020. Earlier, ambassadors of European Union states had met in the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee on 5 February 2020, adopting a general approach regarding the revision of the drinking water directive. The new directive includes updated standards of drinking water and minimum hygienic requirements for materials that come into contact with the drinking water.

Following Record Heavy Rainfalls in 20 years, Water Restrictions in Sydney to Ease Down in March 2020

Sydney’s water restrictions will be brought down from Level 2 to Level 1 on 1 March 2020. The relaxation comes after the catchment dams experience an increase in water levels and quality after the country receives record high rainfalls in last 20 years. Government of Sydney is taking various initiatives to ensure that the water is safe for use. Level 2 water restrictions ban watering gardens after 10am or before 4pm, hosing of hard surfaces and allows washing cars using a bucket or at a car wash.

OPEC+ to Hold Meetings Coming Month Amidst the Looming Threat of Coronavirus

Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies are set to hold meetings on March 5 and 6 regarding the threat of cronavirus. The meetings will be taking place as per the originally scheduled dates. Earlier, in February 2020 Saudi Arabia had asserted the need of convening early meetings with reference to rising threat of coronavirus to oil markets. Member states are expected to deliberate over deepening cut-downs on oil production following the economic shock by coronavirus.

Second ‘International Forum on Long Term Energy Scenarios for Clean Energy Transition’ to be Held in Germany by March End

International Renewable Energy Agency will be conducting the second ‘International Forum on Long Term Energy Scenarios for the Clean Energy Transition’ between March 25 to 27 in Berlin, Germany. The event will be a part of Berlin Energy Week. The forum will engage energy experts, representatives of states, members of academia, industrialists and individuals from around the world. The forum shall seek to develop and use long-term energy scenarios that will enable policy making for a clean energy transition.

Trade and Economics

Yuan to Experience Weak Exchange Rates

China’s yuan is expected to experience a drastic downfall against the US dollar in coming weeks in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak. However, the Yuan has dropped only 0.6 per cent so far this year which is better than the South Korean won, Singapore dollar and Euro which stand at 2%, 3% and 3.6% respectively. The hitherto stability of yuan comes from the phase one trade deal signed between Beijing and Washington last month, but the analysts are of the view that it is not going to last long. The economic activities are slowly resuming in the country, but because of containment measures and mandatory official restrictions, China is not expected to meet its growth goals for this year which will result into troubling exchange rates for the currency.

AWIEF to Mark Women’s Day with Focus on African Women Entrepreneurs

A dialogue is to be hosted in Lagos, Nigeria on 9 March under the banner of the African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF). The objective of the dialogue is to address the problems of African women entrepreneurs. This year’s theme goes as “A decade of economic emancipation of women in Africa 2020-2030,” connecting it with this year’s Women’s day’s theme – #EachforEqual, which emphasises the need for an equal world for affluency in global economic activity. Big focus of the sessions will be on how to integrate female entrepreneurs and women-owned firms for an elevated position in the “African Continental Free Trade Agreement” (AfCFTA).

Post-Brexit trade talks with EU

Brexit negotiations to secure the future relationship between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) will start on March 2. There will be 10 rounds of meetings between the EU and the UK every three weeks thereafter with a view to a Brexit deal sealed by the middle of October. The main objective outlined in the EU’s negotiating goals is to secure a deal that will guarantee a tariff-free, quota-free trading relationship between the two sides from next January, when the Brexit transition period ends. On the other hand, UK wants a tariff-free, quota-free access to the EU but with none of the conditions on EU regulations.

China to accept tariff exemption requests on nearly 700 US imports

Firms seeking exemptions on the additional tariffs on US products, imposed during the escalation of the China-US trade dispute, can submit applications from March 2. China said that it would accept applications for new tariff exemptions for 696 products imported from the United States including pork, beef, soybeans, liquefied natural gas and crude oil.

Myanmar Prepares to Let Foreigners Trade Local Stocks from March

Myanmar plans to let some foreigners trade local stocks from March, in an initial step toward expanding the country’s small bourse. Expatriates residing in the nation will be the first allowed to trade on the Yangon Stock Exchange, with permission for other foreigners coming later in stages. Allowing foreigners to buy stocks is one of the ways Myanmar hopes to bolster its otherwise moribund Myanpix equity index, which is almost four years old but has only five stocks. Critics say the long-delayed step is an example of the slow pace of regulatory change in the Southeast Asian nation.

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