EUROPEAN UNION: EU Pledges 53 million USD in Aid to Palestine 

On 31 January, the European Union agreed to pledge 53 million USD to Palestine, largely in response to the United States cutting their own aid to Palestine by 65 million USD on 16 January. The aid money will provide general aid to energy and economic resources and aid to programs that promote Palestinian culture in Jerusalem and support youth education. The EU also called on the US to take a more active role in negotiating a two-state solution

[Zach Coffee]

CHINA: Central Bank Shifts to Tackle Poverty 

On 15 January, a statement from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced a shift in policy to provide greater financial support in poverty stricken regions. This shift requires financial institutions to increase credit support for impoverished individuals through re-lending. In addition, institutions will be expected to broaden channels of direct finance. The PBOC projects this initiative will be fully implemented by the end of 2020.  
[Andrew Ruffini]

UNITED KINGDOM: Considers New Economic Sanctions on Syria and Russia

On 16 October, British officials announced the possibility of new economic sanctions, in conjunction with the United States, on Syria and Russia. Officials claimed the sanctions are due to the two government’s conduct in Aleppo. US Secretary of State John Kerry stated there were daily crimes against humanity in Syria. Officials expressed hope to resolve the conflict diplomatically, but also willingness to increase pressure.

[Madison Landry,]

CANADA: Federal Mortgage Rules in Effect

On 17 October, Canada implemented new federal mortgage rules. The new rules include a stress test. The test is conducted in order to determine whether an individual requesting a loan would be able manage it if the individual’s finances change or the interest rates change. Previously, the tests were not required on mortgages that were fixed-rate or lasted longer than five years. Government officials hope the new mortgage rules would stabilize the housing market.

[Madison Landry,]

HAITI: UN Appeals for Millions in Aid

On 10 October, the United National humanitarian agency requested 120 million USD for Haitian aid. UN officials stated that in the next three months, nearly one million people in southwest Haiti will need support. Hurricane Matthew has affected approximately two million people across Haiti. UN officials are also concerned about a possible increase in cholera cases.

[Madison Landry,]

CANADA: Prime Minister Denies Increase of Federal Minimum Wage

On 7 October, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his administration does not plan on increasing the federal minimum wage. Provinces including Alberta and Ontario plan to increase minimum wage. Trudeau announced his government will not follow suit, stating conditions rather than money will aid the economy. Majority of minimum wage requirements areunder provincial jurisdiction. A rise in the federal minimum wage would impact approximately six percent of the employed population nationwide.

[Madison Landry,]

UNITED KINGDOM: Pound Reaches New Low

On 7 October, FactSet announced the British pound fell six percent. The pound went from $1.2600 to $1.1789, an all-time low in the last three decades. Since the announce of the British exit from the European Union, the pound has fell a total of 17 percent. UKForex analyst Alex Edwards predicted the pound would continue to fall as EU-exit negotiations near.

[Madison Landry,]

INDONESIA: Third Economic Package Expected

On 3 October, the government announced plans for a third economic relief package to take effect next week. This new package is intended to work through the Indonesian Export Financing Agency to provide cheaper financial rates than private banks until the economy stabilizes. While this new package may provide incentives to continue exporting for Indonesian firms, it may also create future issues, as companies rely on the subsidized loans and less on private banks.

[Drew Coughlin,]

JORDAN: Fuel Price Changes

On 30 September, the Jordanian government announced the price reduction of unleaded 90-octane and 95-octane gasoline and the increase in the price of diesel and kerosene per liter. The pricing committee came to the aforementioned decision after adhering to changes in the international oil market. In the domestic market, oil derivative prices are expected to increase.

[Bethany Davis]

CUBA: Cuba-Vietnam Trade Agreement Signed

On 30 September, officials from the Vietnamese-Cuban Forum I in Havana signed six agreements for commercial and economic exchange, allowing Vietnam greater investment opportunities in Cuba. Cuban Vice President of the Council of Ministers, Ricardo Cabrises, highlighted the benefits of a bio-pharmaceutical investment in China and Vietnam. After the agreements, Vietnam ratified themselves as the second Asian trade partner of Cuba after China.

[Shannon Mcgirk]

INDONESIA: Second Economic Relief Package Announced

On 29 September, the Indonesian Government announced its second economic package after the first package, announced on the 9th, failed to prevent mass layoffs and a devaluation of the Rupiah. The policy includes a stimulus package in the hopes of speeding up industrial investment and tax reductions for investments. Should this policy fail to head off Indonesia’s economic downturn, the government will most likely take stronger measures to ensure stability that could have regional economic impact.

[Drew Coughlin,]

VIETNAM: Government Prepares to Implement Free Trade Policies

On 23 September, the Vietnamese government announced it expects to lose nearly $77 million USD in annual tax revenue starting in 2016 as new trade agreements are implemented and import tariffs are lowered. With the potential for an influx of cheap, foreign goods into the economy, the government is proposing new anti-dumping and anti-subsidy laws to protect local industry. Should these laws not be passed, many local industries may find difficulty adjusting to the much larger, foreign competition.

[Drew Coughlin,]

VIETNAM: 6.5% Growth Predicted for GDP

On 23 September, the Asian Development Bank announced that Vietnam’s GDP is expected to grow by 6.5% in 2015 and eventually 6.6% in 2016. Direct foreign investment, rising consumer spending, and “pro-growth” monetary and fiscal policies were three factors cited as the cause of the growth. Should this trend continue, Vietnam may rapidly find itself a regional economic powerhouse capable of exerting more influence within Southeast Asia.

[Drew Coughlin,]

CHINA: Shandong Company Celebrates Project in U.S

On 22 September, the Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Co, a private Chinese company, held a groundbreaking ceremony of a $1.5 billion USD methanol project to be completed in 2018 in St. James Parish, Louisiana. The project may improve U.S.-Chinese relations should it create jobs within the U.S. and decrease the trade imbalance between the two nations, as the company exports its product back to China.

 [Eagle Eye Editors,]

VIETNAM: National Railway Modernization Plan Unveiled

On 18 September, the Vietnam Railway Authority presented plans to modernize the national North-South railway line by 2030, at a total cost of $5.1 billion USD. Should this plan be adopted, commerce within the country may expand as travel times become shorter, along with an increase in international tourism as destinations become more accessible.

[Eagle Eye Editors,]