Top Left Link Buttons
  • English
  • German

Economic development updates

Category Archives

Russian-African Network University Established at V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University

Russian-African Network University Established at V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University

Aug. 27, 2022 (EIRNS)–The V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University, which was established on the basis of the Tauride University, set up in Simferopol, Crimea by Vladimir Vernadsky in 1920, will host the Russia-African Network University (RAFU), holding classes from Aug. 29-Sept. 9. Crimean Federal University was one of the initiators in the creation of this network, so they were given the opportunity to coordinate the summer university project with the participation of African students. 

RAFU Summer University is implemented on the platforms of 10 universities located in Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Republic of Crimea, Rostov-on-Don, and Astrakhan. In total, the international educational project will bring together more than a hundred African students.

According to the press service of the university, students of the RAFU Summer University project will be trained in two additional educational programs of medical direction: reproductive medicine and laparoscopic surgery. “The endoscopic surgery program will include training on the equipment of our simulation center. The work on special simulators—endoscopic workstations—fully simulates the course of laparoscopic surgery.” They will also visit leading clinics in Crimea and will have the opportunity to visit Crimea’s sights as part of a cultural leisure program.


Successful Flight of Chinese Sub-orbital Space Rocket

Aug. 28, 2022 (EIRNS)–China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC) announced on August 26 that China’s reusable sub-orbital space carrier made its first successful repeated-use experiment flight on Friday.

The suborbital vehicle launched vertically from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert on Friday, Aug. 26 Beijing time (Aug. 25 Eastern), according to CASC, China’s main space contractor. It landed stably at an airport in Alxa Right Banner in North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region after finishing a flight in the sub-orbit as planned, according to the announcement. The short statement provided neither images of the craft nor information such as time, duration or apogee of the launch.

CASC’s statement declared the complete success of the flight test, and represents a leap in the development of China’s space transportation technology from single-use to reusable.

Song Zhongping, a space analyst and TV commentator, told the Global Times that sub-orbital carriers, which are used for sending payloads to about 100 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, could serve a variety of purposes such as ferrying satellites. The lifting-body and sub-orbital characteristics mean that the carrier has aerodynamic design and can conduct operations in sub-orbit. Such craft have more lifting power, Song explained.

Technologies required for reusable sub-orbital flights are very demanding, as the craft had experienced both the environment in space and that under the Earth’s atmospheric influence, experts said.

The latest successful repeated-use flight means that both materials and engine system of China’s domestic reusable sub-orbital vehicle can be reused, which is a great technical breakthrough and remarks a technical milestone, Song said. In a statement the CASC provided to the Global Times, the CASC said that it was working on a series of reusable space launch and transport systems, which will greatly boost the country’s space shuttle capability, lowering costs and empowering future development in this domain.


China To Increase Its Humanitarian Assistance, Engagement with Afghanistan

China To Increase Its Humanitarian Assistance, Engagement with Afghanistan

Aug. 18, 2022 (EIRNS)—China’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Wang Yu, has announced that China intends to step up its engagement with Afghanistan, “as Afghans are good neighbors, brothers and partners.” China he said, “will stand firm on the concept of community with the shared future for mankind,” ToloNEWS reported him saying today. He underscored that he was not speaking about diplomatic recognition, because there are still certain criteria Kabul must meet for that, including becoming “stable, peaceful, pursue a moderate policy and meet expectations.”

However, the ambassador said, China will “substantially enhance bilateral cooperation in all areas” guided by Xi Jinping’s Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative. One priority will be to assist with the grave humanitarian crisis, adding to China’s already substantial contributions of food and other vital necessities. China has provided $8 million in assistance to families affected by the recent earthquake in Afghanistan, in addition to 6,000 tons of rice worth $8 million, with aid provided to 34 provinces.

Ambassador Wang spared no words in addressing the devastation wrought in Afghanistan by 20 years of U.S. occupation and war. “The U.S. pursued its own interests only,” he said. The U.S.’s 20-year occupation “did not help the country realize its social development…war has destroyed its infrastructure, leading to more difficulties in its economic development and people’s livelihoods.” The U.S. military intervention has produced a “deep disaster” for the Afghan people, he added. The U.S.’s irresponsible withdrawal a year ago “has created more problems for Afghanistan,” he elaborated. And, he continued, not only did the U.S. ignore the disaster facing the Afghan people, but it also refused to return the assets belonging to them, which were illegally seized. Those funds should be returned, he said.


China’s Overview of the Program of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation

China’s Overview of the Program of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation

Aug. 18, 2022 (EIRNS)–The FOCAC (Forum on China-Africa Cooperation) Coordinators’ meeting to follow up on FOCAC program implementation, took place Aug. 18. In anticipation of the meeting, Li Zhigang, Chargé d’ Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa, wrote an overview of these programs, which appeared in the Independent Online (IOL) Aug. 17.

One project of especial interest: “The two sides have set up a China-Africa RMB [renminbi] center to explore RMB settlement for China-Africa trade, logistics, and industrial cooperation.”

The nine broad points are presented here in brief:

The medical and health program: China has provided more than 250 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Africa, covering almost all African countries, and launched joint production of COVID-19 vaccine in Egypt, Algeria and Morocco. China has made constant efforts to pair up Chinese and African hospitals for cooperation, and the African CDC headquarters project (Phase I) is expected to be completed in early 2023. China has also been helping with control of malaria, schistosomiasis and AIDS.

Poverty reduction and agricultural development program: China has provided emergency food aid and other humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa and other regions. China has offered locust control insecticides, irrigation equipment, and technical assistance. The first four “China-Africa joint centers for modern agrotechnology exchange, demonstration and training” have been set up to train professionals in the fields of tropical crops, aquaculture, biomass energy and dry farming.

Trade promotion: From January to June this year, China-Africa trade volume registered U.S. $137.38 billion, up by 16.6% year-on-year, of which China’s exports to and imports from Africa increased by 14.7% and 19.1% respectively. China has opened “green lanes” for faster export of African agricultural products to China. As a result, products such as Rwandan stevia, South African fresh pears and soybeans, and Zimbabwean citrus have gained access to the Chinese market. China has signed agreements with Togo, Eritrea, Djibouti, Guinea, Rwanda, Mozambique, Sudan, Chad and Central Africa, among other LDCs, on expanding the scope of zero-tariff treatment to 98% for products exported to China, covering 350 kinds of African products.

Investment promotion program: From January to June this year, China’s industry-wide direct investment in Africa amounted to U.S. $1.74 billion, growing by 1.5% against all the odds. The turnover of Chinese enterprises’ contracted projects in Africa amounted to U.S. $18.32 billion, an increase of 8.4% year-on-year. The two sides have set up a China-Africa RMB center to explore RMB settlement for China-Africa trade, logistics and industrial cooperation. China has continued to provide aid in the form of grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans to help African countries achieve independent and sustainable development.

Digital innovation program: To expand Silk Road e-commerce cooperation, China and Africa have jointly made a success out of the “Quality African Products Online Shopping Festival” to market African products in China. Fifteen China-Africa science and technology cooperation projects have been initiated.

Green development program: China has completed the construction of hydroelectric power stations, photo-voltaic power stations, and water supply projects. China participates in the “Great Green Wall of Africa” initiative, and strengthens cooperation with Africa in desertification control.

Capacity-building program: China provides vocational skills training for local youths where there are Chinese enterprises in Africa, and give the graduates jobs in these enterprises. China helps African students who have completed study courses in China to find jobs in Chinese enterprises in Africa.

People-to-people exchange program: The first Conference on Dialogue Between Chinese and African Civilizations and the 11th Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum were successfully held, contributing to the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future.

The African Film Festival project: It has introduced well-made African films and TV shows to the Chinese audience. The “2022 China Culture and Tourism Month” has served as a window for African friends to learn and understand more about China.

The peace and security program: At the second China-Africa Peace and Security Forum, the two sides agreed to maintain strategic communication, strengthen cooperation in equipment and technology, expand maritime exercises and training, and enhance exchanges in professional fields. Chinese peacekeeping troops to Africa have performed to satisfaction, and the 25th batch of Chinese peacekeeping troops sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo was awarded the United Nations “Peace Medal.”

The full text of Li Zhigang’s article is here.


Modi Declares India Will Be a Developed Nation In Next 25 Years

Modi Declares India Will Be a Developed Nation In Next 25 Years

Aug. 15, 2022 (EIRNS)–Speaking on the occasion of India’s 75th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a strong push for the development of his nation. “By the 100th year of Independence, we have to work with the vision of accomplishing what our freedom fighters dreamt of,” Modi declared. He called on youth in particular to devote themselves to this goal, saying “We must resolve to work towards a ‘Viksit Bharat’ (Developed India) and remove any vestiges of colonialism from any corner or in our hearts.”

“In the coming years, we have to focus on ‘Panchpran’ (5 pledges). First: to move forward with bigger resolutions and resolve of developed India; second: to erase all traces of servitude; third: be proud of our legacy; fourth: the strength of unity; and fifth: the duties of citizens that also includes the PM and CMs,” Modi noted, referring to the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers. “We will work towards the development of the entire humanity. That is the strength of India,” he added.

The Prime Minister also referenced the freedom fighters of India’s past, including Gandhi, Bose, Ambedkar, Savarkar, and others. “When the dreams are big, hard work is important. It needs to be inspired by the pledge and the determination of freedom fighters who dreamt of a free India,” Modi said.


Helga Zepp-LaRouche on CGTN’s “World Today” Show; Denounces Decoupling of Germany and Europe From China

Aug. 9, 2022 (EIRNS)—The following interview with Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche was included in CGTN’s “World Today” podcast.

The World Today host began a segment: “Decoupling of the EU and Germany from China could cost Germany almost six times as much as Brexit. This is the finding of a scenario analysis conducted by the Info Institute on behalf of the Bavarian Industry Association. The report shows that automotive industry companies producing transportation equipment and manufacturers of machinery and equipment would be hurt the most if the decoupling happens.

So, for this and more on EU-China and Germany-China relations, let’s have Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of the Schiller Institute, a Germany-based political and economic think tank. Thanks for joining us, Ms. Zepp-LaRouche.

HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Good day.

CGTN: Germany would face costs almost six times as high as Brexit if Germany and the European Union were to shut China out of their economies. What do you make of the projections?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think it’s much worse, because as you have mentioned already, there is right now an effort to push Germany and all of Europe into a decoupling from Russia and China. This, in my view, would mean economic suicide. You already have an almost total decoupling from Russia that has led to an explosion of energy prices. You have hyperinflation going on, which is not due to anything having to do with Ukraine or Russia’s war with Ukraine. It has to do with the quantitative easing and pumping of money for many years. So, you have hyperinflation; you have an energy crisis. And now on top of that, if you also would decouple from China, the most important trading partner for Germany, this would mean economic suicide. I think this is something people should review and really step back away from, because it would lead to complete social chaos in Germany and Europe, with unpredictable consequences.

CGTN: The report said the biggest loser of a trade war with China would be the automotive industry, manufacturers of transport equipment and mechanical engineering which have had strong ties with China over the years. With the domestic argument for decoupling getting louder in Germany and the European Union, do we hear any voices from those industries?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, my personal experience in talking to many of those, is that the individual firms really want to stay in China, but they are being pressured by the banks with their credit policies, the financial sector, and that is all hanging together with Wall Street and the City of London. They have geopolitical motives to push this decoupling. I think if German industry wants to survive, and I really mean survive, because it’s an existential situation which most of them are in, they have to stand up and defend their own interests. They have to fight for the jobs of the people; they have to stand up for German interests and the common good of the people.

I think we are heading into an incredible social crisis in the coming weeks and months. The question is, will Germany economically survive this assault? It’s time for Germany to define its own interests and not be the instrument of NATO.

CGTN: Speaking of that, we heard from Volkswagen’s CEO, who defended [inaud] in China in Xinjiang. What do you make of this, because there are two different opinions nowadays? On the one hand, people say their insistence is only about profit and making money. On the other hand, people believe they see a different Xinjiang in China from the ones mirrored in the Western media. What’s your take?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, we had two members of the Schiller Institute traveling to Xinjiang and visiting many locations. And many diplomats from many countries also have traveled there to investigate the situation. What all of these people report is that China has brought development into one of the previously poorest areas, and given people jobs, bringing prosperity, infrastructure. So, a lot of people who turned from the Uighurs to terrorism before now have a perspective and a future, and have stopped being terrorists. I think to overcome terrorism through development is a much better method than throwing bombs and drones and having civilian casualties you don’t care about, like it happened so many times in Afghanistan or Iraq, where the United States conducted these things. I think people should not listen to this guy Adrian Zenz, who recently came out with a study. He’s a right-wing Christian fundamentalist who has very dubious beliefs, because he thinks that God gave him a mission to destroy China. All of this anti-Xinjiang propaganda is mainly based on this extremely dubious source. People should not fall for it.

CGTN: Given what we have been talking about, if you also ask a lot of experts in Germany, they suggest that companies should find more countries to reduce dependency on China. How do you look at this suggestion? Can China, as the top trading partner of Germany, be replaced at least in the short term?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: In the short term, for sure not, because the idea to diversify and have partnerships with so-called “like-minded democracies,” if you really look at it, it’s only the U.S., the British, the countries of the Five Eyes, Japan, New Zealand. But the overwhelming majority is going with China’s BRI. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS, most countries of the Global South want to have development. There is a revival of the spirit of Bandung, which is the Non-Aligned Movement. I think it would be complete suicide for countries like Germany that are very export-dependent to cut off these markets which are the future. The only growth which occurred in the recent period was in Asia, and not in the Atlantic sector. So, Germany should really redefine its own interest.

CGTN: Thank you very much. That’s Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of the Schiller Institute, a Germany-based political and economic think tank.

Here is the link to the interview; this segment is with Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche: ④ Decoupling with China could cost Germany six times as much as Brexit, a study shows at 33:55 min.


“Government Endangers Germany As a Business Location!”

“Government Endangers Germany As a Business Location!”

Aug. 15, 2022 (EIRNS)–Germany’s MDR (Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk) TV/Radio station reports that an “incendiary letter to Chancellor Scholz” has been issued in which predominantly eastern German medium-sized companies call for a rethink on the Russia sanctions. They see the economy is at great risk.

“Mr. Scholz, stop and make a policy that we can live with and not sink.” With this urgent appeal, medium-sized companies belonging to the Zentralkonsum eG association call on the German government to “readjust the embargo policy against Russia.” The association is the umbrella organization of the East German consumer cooperatives, whose member companies employ nearly 6,300 people, according to their own figures.

In an interview with MDR, Martin Bergner, spokesman for the association’s board stated: “Stopping all gas deliveries and putting the German economy in front of price increases at which no one can produce at a profit anymore, that won’t work.”  Sufficient gas must be imported to keep the economy running, he said. He added, existing nuclear and coal-fired power plants must also guarantee security of supply.

A bakery chain, Landbäckerei Stendal, reports that they have already been told that they would have to pay four times as much for electricity and six times as much for gas. Added to this would be the increase in the minimum wage from October, and the gas levy, i.e. the additional costs that every consumer would have to pay if, instead of cheap Russian gas, a more expensive one had to be purchased, for example from the U.S.A.

The increased costs have to be added to the products, which in turn fuels inflation, whether in retail, hotels, restaurants, or industry. This is by no means about diminished profits, he says: “We are really in the red,” says Andreas Bosse, the managing director of Landbäckerei Stendal, and expects his family business to lose as much as 300,000 euros already this year.

“It undermines the existence of the companies with damage that cannot be made good,” write the authors of the appeal to Scholz: “The government wants to promote regional products and organic products. But exactly these products are the first thing buyers do without in order to save money,” adds Martin Bergner. He adds that the Chancellor himself once was active at the Central Association of German Consumer Cooperatives. He should therefore know exactly what the situation is like for cooperatively organized businesses. The signatories of the open letter, which charge the government with “being ideologically stuck,” also include prominent restaurants like Berghotel Oberhof and Dorotheenhof Weimar.


Rhine Valley Railway Tunnel Would Be Cheaper Than Previously Believed

Rhine Valley Railway Tunnel Would Be Cheaper Than Previously Believed

Aug. 15, 2022 (EIRNS)–The official feasibility study for building a railway tunnel along the Rhine Valley between Bonn and Wiesbaden, concluded that it would be cheaper to build than it had been believed in the past. The 118 kilometer tunnel dedicated to freight traffic would enable freight trains to avoid the narrow part of the Rhine valley where the infrastructure is in many places over 150 years old and creates unacceptable noise pollution for the communities along the valley. The route is one of the most important and heavily utilized railway routes in Europe and connects the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp with the Italian port of Genoa. The project has been featured in both EIR and the EIR Eurasian landbridge reports. The study, commissioned for the German States of Rhineland Palatinate and Hesse found that the project would cost 6.8 billion euros, rather than the 8 to 10 billion euros of previous estimates.

In an interview in Germany’s SWR TV on August 12 Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) said the report was a “Thumbs up” for the states of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate, and said: “It’s very gratifying that we have positive news from this feasibility study. Now the question is: How is the benefit-cost ratio to be assessed? And for that we need the traffic forecast for 2040. That’s the next step. But the first signal for the region is: thumbs up!”


South African Foreign Minister Tells Blinken: We’re Sovereign, and We’ll Do Things Our Way

Aug. 9, 2022 (EIRNS)–Americans, and others in the West, could take a lesson from African leaders, who are not taking orders from arrogant elites demanding capitulation. South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor told reporters on Monday, with Secretary of State Tony Blinken sitting next to her, that she objected to “patronizing bullying” coming from the West: “Because when we believe in freedom – as I’m saying, it’s freedom for everybody – you can’t say because Africa is doing this, you will then be punished by the United States…. One thing I definitely dislike is being told `either you choose this or else.’ When a minister speaks to me like that … I definitely will not be bullied in that way, nor would I expect any other African country worth its salt to agree to be [so] treated.”

Blinken is on a three-nation trip to Africa, a trip widely billed as aimed at countering Russian and Chinese influence in the area. Playing “Mr. Nice Guy” did not score Blinken points in South Africa. In the joint press conference given by Blinken and Pandor after holding the first U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue in nearly eight years, Pandor made three key points, in addition to her refusal to join geopolitical blocs:

On China and Africa: “Countries are free to establish relationships with different countries. African countries that wish to relate to China, let them do so, whatever the particular form of relationships would be. We can’t be made party to conflict between China and the United States of America, and I may say, it does cause instability for all of us, because it affects the global economic system. We really hope that the United States and China will arrive at a point of rapprochement, where all of us can look to economic development and growth for all our countries, because that’s extremely important for all of us. These are two great powers, the two biggest economies in the world. They’ve got to find a way of working together to allow us to grow.”

On Blinken’s push for “democracy,” one of the four U.S. priorities in the administration’s “Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy,” Pandor recommended:

“If your tactic is to approach African countries and say that, `listen, you must be democratic either and use our model, it works,’ I think it’s bound to lead to some failure.” All countries and peoples deserve the right to exercise their civil and political rights, but how that should be approached is the issue,” she said. She noted that “there has been a lot of external interference in Africa [which] has fueled conflict in many African countries, has fueled instability and supported opposition groups against liberation fighters and so on,” much of that stemming from foreign interest in “Africa’s rich mineral wealth.”

And, Pandor spoke eloquently against the war and “apartheid” in which Palestinians are forced to live, as an example of the double-standard often played by those who say they are defending the principles of the UN charter: “Just as much as the people of Ukraine deserve their territory and freedom, the people of Palestine deserve their territory and freedom. And we should be equally concerned at what is happening to the people of Palestine as we are with what is happening to the people of Ukraine.”


Sanctions Crippling the Syria that Was Once Proudly and Steadily Growing

Aug. 9, 2022 (EIRNS)—The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released a study, “Syrian Arab Republic: Access to Electricity and Humanitarian Needs,” in March 2022, documenting meticulously, respecting Syria, what Helga Zepp-LaRouche contends in her July 12, 2022 statement, “Lift Sanctions Against Russia Immediately!”: that sanctions are a “brutal form of warfare” that kill, and must be lifted everywhere they are currently enforced.

In 2011, the European Union enforced sanctions against Syria with the intent to overthrow the country’s President, Bashar al-Assad, following the Bernard Lewis Plan overthrow and eventual killing of the leaders of Iraq and Libya. Britain, the U.S., and other nations joined the sanctions regime, and the range of sectors of the Syrian economy against which they were applied was expanded. The U.S. and other nations carried out military intervention in Syria in 2011, first using proxy terrorist groups, then directly.

Syria’s electricity sector was brutally targeted. The OCHA study reports, “Two of the country’s 13 major power plants were fully destroyed: the Zeyzoun Power Plant in Idlib governate (487 MW installed capacity) and the Aleppo Thermal Power Station (1,065 MW installed capacity).” The World Bank reported that six other power plants were partially destroyed.

“As a result of this damage, the country’s electricity generation capacity fell from 5,800 MW in 2010… to 4,000 MW in 2018.”  The further tightening of sanctions caused Syria’s installed electricity generation capacity to fall to 2,000 MW in 2021, a collapse of 63%! Obtaining replacement parts and maintaining the surviving plants, due to sanctions, has become even more acute. Whereas, in 2010, “93% of the country had access to electricity,” that is sharply down today. Compared to 2010 standards, today’s Syrian population consumes 85% less electricity per capita, twelve years later. Thirty percent of Syria’s population has access to electricity for only 2 hours per day. That slashes electricity to industry, and households, and all the equipment that goes with that.

But electricity is the source for powering all other features of society. Around 2010, “access to safe drinking water in Syria was estimated at 92% in rural communities and 98% in urban centers. Seven major water systems serve the country’s eight largest cities…. However,” the study emphasizes, “by 2019 annual public water production in Syria had fallen by 40% relative to pre-crisis levels (from 1,700 Mn cubic meters in 2010 to 1,020 Mn cubic meters in 2019.” But to use water from groundwater and springs, or most rivers, requires continuous electricity to pump water and distribute it, a commodity Syria now lacks as the study highlights.

The lack of electricity (and water) also means there is sometimes insufficient power to run medical facilities and health clinics. Because of damage to infrastructure, Syria runs its schools on two shifts. In the second shift, in particular, often there is no clean water in the bathrooms, and not enough electricity to heat the schools. Some students study at home by candlelight.

The OCHA’s ReliefWeb website reported March 12, 2022, “this year, 90 percent of Syrians live below the poverty line, and more than 80 percent are food insecure. Families say they are eating less, cutting meals, and going into debt to meet their basic needs.” {Emphasis added.}

As Zepp-LaRouche says in her July 12 statement, sanctions “are a brutal form of warfare against the respective populations of the sanctioned states with the aim of making their living conditions so intolerable that they rise up against their respective leaderships, and overthrow them. But the victims are always the people.” It is past time to lift them in Russia, Syria, and everywhere.


Page 1 of 55123...Last