Monthly Global Forecast |October 2020
Politics and Governance
Pakistan to Face FATF Review in October 2020
Pakistan shall be presenting to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in October 2020. It is meant to review the country’s compliance with the demands put forth by the FATF regarding terror financing and anti-money-laundering related initiatives. Pakistan might be blacklisted in case the FATF plenary meeting finds it noncompliant on 13 of the 27 major action points. Those action points remained unfulfilled in the previous review. Nevertheless, the government of Pakistan has taken up several initiatives to qualify the FATF Whitelist. Most recently, the parliament of Pakistan passed three bills regarding terror financing and anti-money laundering in September 2020. The Chinese government has also expressed Pakistan’s likeliness to exit the blacklist.
Amid Continuing U.S. Opposition, U.N Sanctions on Iran to Expire in Mid-October
The United Nations’ (UN) embargo on weapons sales to Iran shall be expiring in October 2020, amid a continuing opposition to the move by the United States (US). The temporary embargo on the sale of conventional weapons was imposed on Iran by the UN in 2015. The embargo was imposed alongside the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). While the embargo is about to expire, the US has tried to keep it alive by a UN Security Council resolution, which was rejected. The government of Iran has protested the U.S. move by issuing a letter to rotating chairman of UNSC. The letter claims that the US has no right to make such a move.
Kyrgyzstan Parliamentary Elections to be Held in Early October
Parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan have been set to take place on October 4, 2020. The date of the elections was announced on July 3, by the Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov. The President signed a decree regarding the official date of the country’s next parliamentary election. In the highly unpredictable upcoming Kyrgyz Parliamentary election, 15 parties are estimated to run their candidates. The Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan has also accredited some representatives of international organizations to observe the upcoming elections.
Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to be held in October
As decided by the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, the fifth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee has been scheduled to take place in the month of October in Beijing. In the upcoming plenary session, the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau shall be presenting its work report. The attendees shall be assessing the proposals for the formulation of future targets for 2035. the next five-year plan for Social and Economic Development will also be devised.
Defence and Security
India Expected to Receive the First Batch of Russian S-400 Air Defence System in October 2020
As suggested by Indian government officials, India is expected to receive its first regimental set of Russian Almaz-Antei S-400 Triumf air defence system in October 2020. As stated by Subhash Bhamre, India’s Minister of State for Defence, the delivery is beginning in October 2020. It is expected to complete by April 2023. The deal was signed between Russia and India in October 2018 at the 19th India-Russia bilateral annual summit in New Delhi, India. The S-400 defence system is said to provide India with capable air defence coverage at vulnerable areas. Recently, a Russian defence industrialist has also claimed the delivery to begin in 2021. However, no official statement has followed from either of Indian or Russian state so far.
Second Batch of French Rafale Fighter Jets to Reach India in the coming month
The second batch of Rafale fighter jets will be arriving at the Ambala Air Force Station from France in October 2020. The upcoming batch is expected to comprise of four fighter jets. Earlier, the first batch containing five jets had landed in India in July 2020. Known as the 4.5 generation aircraft, the Rafales are understood as one of the finest fighters in the world that can take up several missions on a single flight.
Ukraine to Join the NATO Enhanced Opportunity Plan in October 2020
As suggested by the Ukrainian Defence Minister Andriy Zahorodniuk, Ukraine is expected to join the NATO Enhanced Opportunity Plan (EOP) in October 2020. The government of Ukraine envisions its entry into the EOP as a means of enhancing European security and deepening cooperation.
Sixth Annual Future Armoured Central and Eastern Europe Conference to take place virtually from October 12 to 13
The sixth annual Future Armoured Central and Eastern Europe conference has been scheduled to take place via virtual connectivity on October 12 – 13, 2020. The two-day long conference shall allow the members of Central and East-European defence community to come together. They will discuss the opportunities of integrating enhanced systems into combat platforms. The conference shall be welcoming a gathering of international senior military officers who will present their latest armoured vehicles updates.
Trade and Economics
Lahore Orange Line Metro Train to be launched by the Punjab Government in October-End
The provincial government of Punjab shall be publicly launching Orange Line Metro train project in Lahore in the last week of October. The technical work of the project has been completed. The project shall be launched after the approval is given by the provincial cabinet for the set fare of the transportation service. The operational and maintenance contract of the 25km long metro train has been accorded with the Chinese company NORINCO International.
Pakistan to Gain the Ninth and Final Vessel of its First Shipment of Imported Wheat by October 2020
Pakistan shall receive the ninth; which would be the last, vessel of its first cargo of imported grain by the second week of October 2020. The entire shipment of wheat grain comprises nine vessels. The first vessel had reached Pakistan in August 2020. The country, which exported wheat by 2019, is currently importing it in order to help the authorities in easing wheat supplies. It is also meant for checking runaway domestic prices. As stated by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, the vessels contain approximately 65,000 tons each.
UK-EU Trade Deal expected to be reached by October 15
Deadline for striking a post-Brexit free trade deal between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) is expected to be October 15, 2020. Following UK’s exit from the EU in January 2020, there has been little progress made by the two in reaching a free trade agreement. Failure in reaching a deal might result in the imposition of trade tariffs and customs controls for goods moving between the UK and EU. Reaching a free-trade agreement between the two parties around the said date is being envisioned as a rare probability.
A Drop in Saudi Crude Oil’s Official Selling Prices for Asian Buyers Expected in October 2020
It is being expected that the Official Selling Prices (OSPs) of Saudi Arabia’s crude oil flowing into Asian markets might further cut down in October 2020. That will be for a second month in a row. It has been estimated that October OSP for flagship Arab Light crude can fall by $1 a barrel. It is the biggest monthly drop since May. The Saudi Aramco, a leading Saudi oil company, has already officially announced price cuts in crude oil imports to Asian and U.S. markets for October 2020. Cut pricing for oil sales for October shipments signals that the world’s biggest exporter might be experiencing a wavering fuel demand amid the coronavirus.
British Airways to initiate direct flights from Lahore, Pakistan to U.K and Canada on October 12
UK-based airlines company British Airways, on September 15th, announced that it shall initiate direct flights from Lahore to London, Canada, and the UK. After Islamabad, Lahore is going to become Pakistan’s second city from which the airline will fly 4-times in a week. Flights shall be carried by the Boeing 787-8, and will depart from Heathrow Terminal 5. They will land at Lahore’s International Airport.
U.S.-Canada Border Closure to End on October 21
The U.S.-Canada border closure for non-essential travels destined to end on September 21 has been extended for a month. The closure shall remain in-force till October 21, 2020. The border ban was introduced in March 2020, after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. It caps the flow of non-essential travels, exempting the flow of health-care workers, truck drivers, transportation of essential goods and temporary foreign workers. While the border ban is speculated to be postponed even further, the US President has stated that border shall be re-opened soon.
Preliminary Draft plans for the E.U. Recovery funding to be submitted by October 15
As per European Commission, the preliminary drafts for EU Recovery Fund shall be submitted by EU states to the relevant authorities on October 15, 2020. The fund is primarily aimed at leading green and digital investment. The investment is meant for addressing the repercussions of the health crisis in the region in a post-pandemic environment. The programs launched under the said recovery fund shall seek to lead the EU into reforms and investments in seven different flagship areas. It will be focused on environmental sustainability, productivity, fairness and macroeconomic stability.
Energy and Environment
Companies in Bulgaria to Enter the Free Electricity Market from October 1
All non-residential electricity connected to low-voltage electricity distribution network in Bulgaria shall enter the free electricity market on October 1. Bulgaria remains one of the few countries in the EU where both regulated and free electricity markets are functioning simultaneously. A common electricity market remains the goal of EU. In this regard, the government of Bulgaria has introduced amendments that shall require all non–residential electricity customers to buy electricity from the free market since the onset of October 2020.
Fifth Qatar Sustainability Week 2020 to begin on October 31
Organised by Qatar Green Building Council, the Qatar Sustainability Week will begin on October 31. The event seeks to promote the country’s commitment to sustainability vision and engages relevant stakeholders to achieve Qatar’s sustainable development goals. The event, which will be the fifth in row, is envisioned to play a crucial role in generating awareness about the significance environmental conservation and the implementation of sustainable business practices.
OPEC Joint Technical Committee to meet on October 15, OPEC Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee to meet on October 19
The meetings of OPEC Joint Technical Committee (JTC) and Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) are scheduled to be held on October 15 and October 19, respectively. Earlier, the JTC had met in September 2020 over a video conference. It was chaired by Saudi Minister for Energy Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, and Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak. The committee had considered market prospects for the fourth quarter of 2020. It reviewed its monthly report and the developments in the global oil market since its last meeting on August 19. The committee also considered market prospects for the fourth quarter of 2020 and into 2021.