Monthly Global Forecast |September 2020

Defence and Security

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s Meeting in Russia

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) under Russia’s presidency has drawn up an expansive agenda, from a multilateral world order to counterterrorist initiatives, as the eight-member grouping prepares to hold minister-level meetings and a summit in physical format in the months ahead. Foreign ministers and national security advisors of the SCO states plan to meet in September in Moscow. The SCO agenda for 2020 will be dominated by the future of Afghanistan following the US-Taliban deal, Eurasian connectivity links, counterterrorism initiatives, a multilateral world order, 75 years of the UN and its reforms, and the joint fight against COVID-19.

Modi-Abe Virtual Summit

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe will meet for a virtual summit in September. According to Indian media reports, citing India’s Ministry of External Affairs, the two sides are expected to sign an important military logistics agreement, the Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement. While this remains an important milestone moment for New Delhi and Tokyo, it also remains key for both countries to take stock of what has been accomplished so far.

“Kavkaz 2020” Multi-nation Mmilitary Exercise

The Kavkaz 2020 exercise is being held in Astrakhan region of Southern Russia from 15-27 September 2020. The military exercise is part of a four year exercise cycle of the Russian army and the name is based on the region where these exercises are held. Some 13,000 troops will participate in the exercise.

Politics and Governance

Appeals Court Sets September 1 Hearing on Deadline for Trump’s Financial Rrecords Subpoena

A federal appeals court denied President Donald Trump’s attempt to halt the enforcement of a subpoena for his financial records but at the same time set a rapid schedule for oral arguments in the case, leaving a window of several days where prosecutors could seek to obtain the President’s tax returns. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals scheduled oral arguments on whether to grant a “stay” for September 1, raising the possibility that Trump’s financial records and tax returns could be turned over to prosecutors before the hearing. Unless the President takes the case up to the Supreme Court , Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office agrees to hold off for the appeals’ court decision.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky Signs Law on Raising Minimum Wage

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed a law to raise the minimum wage from September 1 to UAH 5,000 (US$180). Earlier, Zelensky noted that the increase in the minimum wage from September 2020 is only the first stage. As expected, the second stage will be an increase from 2021 to UAH 6 000 (US$209), and over the next year the minimum wage will rise to UAH 6500 (US$226 ).

Social Issues

Japan May Allow in all Stranded Foreign Residents from September

Speculation is growing that Japan will soon reopen its borders to non-Japanese residents, allowing those who have left the country during the pandemic to return regardless of the purpose of their trip abroad. Citing government sources, public broadcaster NHK said that starting from September, Japan will grant permission to return to all foreign nationals with valid visas who temporarily left the country but have not yet received permission to re-enter. The report was vague on whether the planned change would apply to those who have already temporarily left the country and are still abroad, or whether it would cover those who are planning to leave.

There will be No Pension Increase for Australians in September for the First Time in 23 years

The Department of Social Services has confirmed Australia’s pensioners will not receive an automatic indexation increase this September, because inflation has gone backwards. This will be the first time since 1997 the pension has not risen with indexation. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also been quick to point out his government was not expecting this to happen and “will work through” the issues.

Energy and Environment

EU, Switzerland to Link Emissions Trading Platforms from September

A planned link-up of the EU and Swiss carbon markets will be operational from September, the European Commission said, giving companies a broader pool of potential partners with which to trade emissions permits. The EU carbon market is the bloc’s flagship policy for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, which it does by forcing power plants, factories and airlines to buy permits to cover some of the pollutions they emit. Transactions of allowances between the two markets will be possible from 21 September. Any allowances traded between the two systems will be transferred on 10 one-day windows from September-December. The first transfer window is 28 September.

Informa Markets Collaborates with Public-private Partnerships to Organise “ASEAN Sustainable Energy Week 2020”

ASEAN Sustainable Energy Week 2020 is the most comprehensive showcase of renewable energy innovation. The show comprises a hybrid exhibition under the new normal way of living, focusing on safety and health consciousness with confidence that Thailand has the potential to become an exhibition centre for the region. It will take place from 23 to 26 September at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center Bangna.

Pakistan, Russia likely to Decide Fate of 1,100km North South Gas Pipeline

Pakistan and Russia may take important decisions during September for the transportation of Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas from Karachi to Lahore by setting up a 1,100 kilometer North South Gas Pipeline (NSGP). A decisive meeting between Pakistan and officials from the Russian Federation is likely to be held during September. The meeting will take important decisions regarding the NSGP project.

Trade and Economics

UK-EU Trade Talks

The latest round of trade talks between the Britain and the European Union in late August has concluded without a breakthrough, leaving negotiators just two months to reach a deal and avoid further damage to businesses that have already been slammed by the coronavirus recession. Michel Barnier, lead negotiator for the European Union, said that discussions had even shifted into reverse on key issues including commercial fishing rights. EU officials say a deal with the United Kingdom must be reached by the middle of October to ensure ratification by the bloc’s 27 members. The two sides will meet for next round of negotiations in London in the week of September 7.

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