Monthly Global Forecast |march 2021
Politics and Governance
Presidential elections in Congo scheduled to take place on March 21
The presidential elections in the Republic of the Congo is scheduled to take place on March 21, 2021. The incumbent President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has led the country for over 40 years, made this known in his state of the nation address before the Congolese parliament. There have been numerous protests against Nguesso’s government in recent years, which the government has dealt with harshly by prosecuting and imprisoning all the prominent opposition leaders without hesitation. The prospects for new elections hold a new ray of hope for the people of Congo.
European Union to host Brussels V Conference on Syria on March 29 – 30
The European Union (EU) will host the fifth Syria Donor Conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region” on March 29 – 30, 2021, in Brussels. In the context of the Covid-19 situation, the conference will be held virtually. Over the years, the Brussels Conferences have become an opportunity to reaffirm the continued support of the international community to the efforts of the United Nations (UN) and the UN Special Envoy for a negotiated political solution to the Syrian conflict, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254. Through this conference, financial support meets the rising needs of Syrians and their host communities while pursuing and deepening dialogue with the civil society.
Prime Minister Modi expected to Visit Dhaka in March-end
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Bangladesh on March 26 – 27. The two countries may step towards launching talks on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) during the visit. A thorough analysis of the overall bilateral relations was carried out by the Foreign Secretaries of India and Bangladesh in January. Discussions were conducted in preparation for the Prime Minister’s visit to Dhaka in March. Before the March summit, both parties have agreed to hold the next home secretary-level talks, trade secretary-level talks and the secretary-level meeting of the Joint Rivers Committee.
Defence and Security
NATO Summit to be held from March – April
As announced by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Summit for 2021 is expected to begin in March 2021. The transatlantic relations between the parties, damaged by snubs and by Trump, will be revived with Joe Biden assuming the United States presidency. On the agenda of the summit will be the prospects of the nuclear agreement with Iran, while the numerous security issues surrounding NATO will also be discussed. Other themes that may be included in the summit are terrorism, Russian assertiveness and China’s rising power.
Virtual Maritime India’s Summit scheduled for March 2 – 4
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the second edition of the virtual Maritime India Summit (MIS) on March 2. Due to the ongoing pandemic situation, the entire summit will be held virtually. Around 20,000 delegates will participate, about 24 member nations will take part, and this second edition of the summit is set to feature more than 400 projects. MIS 2021 will have a unique forum furnishing a virtual and physical presence of influential shipping and transport ministers/dignitaries from all over the world.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence to operationalise the “E-Office” App by the end of March 2021
The Ministry of Defence in Pakistan will be implementing the “E-Office” application developed by the National Information Technology Board (NITB), which will aid different government departments in going paperless. It is aimed at improving internal efficiencies through electronic administration within the organisation. It will create a digital workplace solution replacing the existing method of manual handling of files and documents with an efficient electronic system.
Trade and Economics
Indonesia Summit to be held from March 30 – 31
The Indonesia Summit will be held from March 30 – 31 with an agenda, “Towards a Sustainable Recovery”. This virtual series of events will bring together policymakers, business leaders, and experts to examine the continuing effect of covid-19 on Indonesia’s economy and society, explore ways of rebuilding the economy, and analyse the threats and opportunities for enterprises investing in Indonesia. The conference will focus on recovering the economy and creating renewable energy alternatives to boost the Indonesian economy.
LCCI Business Moot to be held in Gwadar, Pakistan, during March
The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Business Moot is expected to be held in Gwadar in March. The moot shall aim at promoting a level playing field for business opportunities to both the local and the Chinese vendors. So far, it has been noted that many goods are imported at zero duty for the CPEC ventures, although these products are produced locally. President LCCI, Mian Tariq Misbah, claimed that local raw materials should be given priority in the CPEC projects to ensure that our industrial sector and economy benefit from the CPEC. Besides, only those raw materials that are not produced locally should be rated nil. This business moot is a step forward in this regard.
Pakistan-IMF Staff-level Agreement for $500 million Disbursement to be signed in March 2020
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board is expected to approve the staff-level agreement with Pakistan before March 31 to allow $500m to be immediately disbursed. Pakistan and the IMF have reached a $500 million staff-level disbursement deal with energy tariffs jacked up as they finalised revised “ambitious policy actions” on expenditure cuts and revenue initiatives disrupted since February 2020 to revive the $6 billion fund programme. The package strikes a suitable balance between promoting the economy, ensuring the sustainability of debt, and advancing structural reform in Pakistan.
Energy and Environment
9th World Water Forum to be held in Senegal from March 2 – 27
The 9th World Water Forum will be taking place in Sub-Saharan Africa, starting from March 2 in Dakar, Senegal. The forum, organised by the World Water Council, seeks to promote dialogue at the global level in the decision-making process on water to ensure the fair and sustainable use of this resource. The theme of the event will be ‘Water Security for Peace and Prosperity,’ and four goals will be considered: water security and sanitation; cooperation; rural development; and means tools.
Regional Climate Week 2021 Virtual Roundtables to be held from March 3 – 4
As announced by the UN Climate Change Secretariat, the Regional Climate Weeks for the year 2021 will take place on March 3 – 4 in a virtual setup. Climate Weeks are aimed at aiding a faster implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The Africa Climate Week will be hosted by Uganda. In contrast, the Asia-Pacific Climate Week and the Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week will be hosted by Japan and the Dominican Republic, respectively. Climate Weeks are expected to serve as the platforms for national and subnational representatives, governments, cities, the private sector, financial institutions, and civil society to discuss better opportunities to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
First Global Meeting of Montevideo Programme V to be held from March 23 – 25
The first Global Meeting of the National Focal Points of the Montevideo Program V will be held from March 23 – 25. The meeting is being held pursuant to the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) Resolution 4/20 that adopted the Montevideo Program. This is an intergovernmental program designed to promote the implementation of the environmental rule of law while enabling countries to contribute towards the ecological dimension of the (Sustainable Development Goals) SDGs 2030. The respective participants will provide their valuable input in the institutional implementation of the UNEA environment program while identifying the contemporary needs and priorities in the field of environmental rue of law. The meeting was initially scheduled for the year 2020 but was postponed till March 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
11th Annual International Women’s Day Forum to be held on March 5
The 11th Annual International Women’s Day Forum on “Business Powering a New Tomorrow” will be held on March 5, 2021. It is organised by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The forum will focus on highlighting how joint ventures can lead to women empowerment. It will illustrate how the private sector can close gender disparities in every area of society, redefine leadership, reconstruct workplaces, and facilitate equal opportunities for women and girls as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic by partnering with cross-sector partners.
Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development to commence from March 23
The Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) 2021 will take place from March 23 – 26 under the theme “Sustainable and resilient recovery from Covid-19 pandemic in Asia and the Pacific”. The forum will be held in a hybrid format due to the pandemic situation. It will focus on accelerating the implementation of the SDGs: poverty reduction, zero hunger, good health and well-being, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, climate change, responsible production and consumption, peace, justice and strong institutions, and partnerships for the goal. This forum will discuss opportunities to strengthen linkages between national, regional, and global follow-up and review mechanisms for effective implementation of the SDGs 2030.
The 9th World Cities Culture Summit to be held from March 10 – 12 in Milan, Italy,
The 9th World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF) will be held from March 10 – 12 in Milan, Italy. It will bring on board 38 of the world’s most global cities while focusing on the pandemic’s impact on these cities and their respective communities. Moreover, the forum will also analyse the role of culture in addressing the challenges ahead and the lessons that can be learned from them. Milan was chosen for the summit owing to its diverse population, cultural vibrancy, and role as a leading city for cultural workers.