Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 301

Archive for 27 aprile 2014

New World Bank Project to Increase Regional Transport Connectivity in Central Asia

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 27 aprile 2014

washingtonWASHINGTON. The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today approved an allocation of US$45 million equivalent to finance the first phase of the transformative Central Asia Roads Links Program, to be implemented in the Kyrgyz Republic in 2014-2019. The Central Asia Road Links (CARs) program is a collaborative regional, multi-phase program initiated by governments of Central Asia. The objective of this program is to increase transport connectivity between neighboring countries in Central Asia while supporting improvements in road operations and maintenance practices. The first phase of the Central Asia Road Links Program (CARs-1) will rehabilitate cross-border road links between Osh and Batken oblasts in the Kyrgyz Republic and Sugd oblast in the Republic of Tajikistan. “Road transport in the Kyrgyz Republic carries 95 percent of all passenger movements and 60 percent of all freight traffic, so improving the road links to neighboring countries will greatly improve local peoples’ and business’ access to markets for goods and services,” said Alexander Kremer, World Bank Country Manager in the Kyrgyz Republic. “We are pleased that the Kyrgyz Government is taking advantage of opportunities to invest in multi-country programs.” CARs-1 in the Kyrgyz Republic will focus on the rehabilitation of about 56 kilometers of road sections in Batken oblast along and within close vicinity of the Osh-Batken-Isfana road corridor. Specifically, those road sections include: Isfana – Kairagach/Madaniyat border crossing (36 kilometers), Batken- Tortkul (14 kilometers), and Batken – Kyzyl Bel/Guliston border crossing (6 kilometers). Another important goal of the CARS-1 project will be the improvement of road operations and maintenance by the Osh-Batken-Isfana Roads Department, which will be responsible for routine maintenance and emergency works for the entire Osh-Batken-Isfana corridor. The project will support the Department and its local maintenance units through a set of equipment worth US$1 million as well as training covering best international road maintenance practices. In addition, the project will help the Kyrgyz Ministry of Transport and Communication to review regional norms and standards on vehicle weight, axle load limits and tariffication, as well as develop a strategic plan for the institutional arrangements for transport control. It is estimated that the project will directly benefit about 680,000 residents of Batken and Osh oblasts who are expected to be regular road users travelling along the road sections. Indirectly, the improved connectivity will benefit more than three million residents of the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan. “The CARS-1 project is designed as part of a sequence of projects with multiple countries. Not all participating countries would need to start at the same time, but rather each would begin when ready,” said Cordula Rastogi, World Bank’s Senior Transport Economist and Task Team Leader for the CARs project. “The proposed second phase in this program involving Tajikistan is currently under preparation. Kazakhstan has expressed its interest to consider its participation in the program in the future; discussions are currently ongoing between the Kyrgyz and Kazakh governments with a view to increase transport connectivity between Issyk-Kul oblast (Kyrgyz Republic) and the bordering Almaty oblast of Kazakhstan.” The CARs-1 project will be implemented over five years by the Kyrgyz Ministry of Transport and Communication. The World Bank’s total contribution of US$45 million equivalent consists of US$36.8 million equivalent provided as a highly concessional credit, and US$8.2 million equivalent as a grant. The Kyrgyz Republic’s own contribution will be US$9 million. It is worth noting that the World Bank provides additional resources to the countries who undertake projects in cooperation with other countries in the region. This year the Kyrgyz Republic received a bonus top-up of US $ 54.5 million equivalent from the World Bank to invest in CARs-1 and CASA-1000 projects. The World Bank’s overall mission in the Kyrgyz Republic is to reduce poverty, promote economic growth and shared prosperity. 45 percent of the World Bank’s assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic is in the form of grants. The other 55 percent is in highly concessional credits – no interest, and only a 0.75 percent service charge. Credits are repayable in 40 years, including a 10-year grace period, while grants require no repayment. The financial assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic since 1992 amounts to over US$1 billion.

 

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WJC President Lauder condemns Palestinian unity accord

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 27 aprile 2014

palestinaNEW YORK – World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder today condemned the reconciliation deal announced by Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, which could lead to a unity government between the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, which is led by Mahmoud Abbas, and the Hamas government in Gaza. “After many months of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, we finally see the PA’s true colors: Mahmoud Abbas has decided that he would rather reconcile with the terrorist organization Hamas than make peace with Israel,” Lauder said. “All of the time and political capital expended by Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama, all of the terrorist murderers released by Israel, all of this has been wasted on what was essentially a subterfuge. Abbas has now shown the world that he never seriously considered a two-state solution nor the acceptance of Israel as a Jewish State.”Lauder continued: “Instead of a peace treaty and the possibility of advancing his people out of the squalor they have lived in for more than 60 years, we have unity of Fatah and Hamas – two Palestinian entities that would rather destroy Israel and kill Jews than live in peace. This is one more dark chapter in an  old book that is filled with blood, terror, poverty and very little hope. And in the end, it’s hardly just Israel that will suffer, but the Palestinian people as well.”

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Broad Street Capital Group Announces ExportBoost(TM)

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 27 aprile 2014

new-yorkNew York, NY (http://www.myprgenie.com) — ExportBoost(TM) – a new service guaranteed to help small and mid-size companies to at least double their present exports in 18 months – is being unveiled today by the Broad Street Capital Group (“BSCG”) at the Annual Conference of the Export – Import Bank of the United States (“US ExIm Bank”).  Specifically developed for US manufacturers and distributors with revenues of between $5 and $750 million and for providers of professional services, ExportBoost(TM) uses proprietary export building methodology and tools  such as: Fi3E(TM) Export Indices, XPORTINSURE(TM), FinanceABLE(TM) and EZShip(TM) that were developed by BSCG’s subsidiaries  Fluent In Foreign Academy(TM), Amex Import Export and Broad Street Capital  to greatly simplify export operations and mitigate international business risks. “There are enormous opportunities for companies both large and small, to sell goods and services overseas,” said Alexander Gordin, Managing Director of The Broad Street Capital Group and Author of the book Fluent In Foreign Business. ” Expanded exports represent amazing possibilities not only to help companies grow their profits and shareholder returns, but also to benefit our nation’s economy by creating new jobs and generating additional tax revenues. President Obama’s National Export Initiative has served as a catalyst to spur job growth and led to a resurgence of manufacturing activity. More needs to be done, and companies should focus on exports as a fundamental part of their business activities rather than an afterthought. Thus ExportBoost(TM) was designed to help small and medium companies who are either experienced exporters, or just looking to start their international expansion to significantly grow their exports. ExportBoost service has two tiers – one  where the exporter is guided by the Broad Street Capital’s professionals and implements the program internally and the second where Broad Street Capital Group implements ExportBoost(TM) on its client’s behalf.  In either case, the clients are offered a unique guarantee, should they follow the program and their exports do not at least double in 18months, Broad Street Capital Group will refund all the fees paid by the clients for the ExportBoost(TM) service. ExportBoost(TM) is the first product of the very ambitious project being developed by the Broad Street Capital Group and its partners to greatly streamline international trading operations. The project codenamed “Barbell” is scheduled to be unveiled at the Broad Street’s annual conference later this year.
Based in the heart of New York City’s financial district and serving business community since 1988, Broad Street Capital Group is a private merchant bank providing strategic international business development, cross-border financing, risk mitigation and export management services. The firm’s professionals have extensive expertise in working with all trade and development agencies of the US government, in developing and financing complex export transactions and projects.  Utilizing unique Develop, Finance Supply and Insure(TM) approach to international business Broad Street Capital provides coverage in 180 countries earning it a moniker of the “Merchant Bankers to the World. For more information, please visit http://www.broadstreetcap.com or http://www.fluentinforeignacademy.com

 

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Fashion and utility retailers join forces to debate sustainable shopping

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 27 aprile 2014

fashion2•First meeting of fashion and utility retailers to debate how to encourage customers to shop in a sustainable way
•Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton cited as a role model for re-wearing outfits
•Event spearheaded by University of Sheffield psychologists and management experts with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of FashionFashion and utility retailers will meet for the first time today (Friday 25 April 2014) as part of a unique collaboration to debate how best to encourage customers to shop in a sustainable way.The discussion at Westfield Shopping Centre, London, builds upon a growing recognition and requirement within both retail sectors of the need to encourage more conscientious consumption of their products in order to reduce the environmental impact of their activities.While utility companies are governed by legislation that requires they encourage people to use less energy and water, the fashion industry currently has no set regulations.However, fashion retailers are increasingly aware of the need to reduce their environmental impact and are keen to work with experienced retailers from other sectors to identify the best means of promoting more conscientious consumption of clothing while staying in business.The unlikely coupling of retail sectors has been spearheaded by psychologists and management experts at the University of Sheffield and fashion experts at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion in a multidisciplinary, knowledge exchange project called TRANSFER, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).Dr Natalie McCreesh, TRANSFER Research Associate at the University of Sheffield, said the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, was a “great role model” for dressing and shopping in a more sustainable way.“She often re-wears the same items and shows how you can make the same dress look like a new outfit just by changing accessories. She even borrows clothes from her mum and sister, buys from outlet stores and consignment shops”All these things might not immediately seem environmentally friendly but they add up to make a huge difference. It’s about looking after what you already have and getting more use of what you do buy,” she added.The academic team is confident that TRANSFER can make a positive impact on sustainability in both the fashion and utility retail sectors and will extend their findings to consult members of the public later in the year.Dr Christopher Jones, TRANSFER lead investigator at the University of Sheffield, added: “We have brought together a diverse group of retailers to the table at today’s event. However, this diversity masks a number of common challenges and opportunities for those involved.“We hope the TRANSFER project will help to ensure that UK Plc develops in a more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable way.”Confirmed partners include ASOS, DED Associates, E.ON UK, Ecotricity, LUSH Cosmetics, Marks and Spencer, Meadowhall Sheffield, MK Things Happen PR, National Grid Plc, Neals Yard Remedies, Retail Centric, Reve en Vert, ReWardrobe, Susie Stone Ltd, Thames Water, UK Data Service, United Utilities, Westfield London and WRAP, as well as Sunday Times journalist Jessica Brinton and journalist and ethical consultant Marion Hume.

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WTTC presses Travel & Tourism industry to ensure its standards of ethics and sustainability are of the highest order

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 27 aprile 2014

Aerial photo shoot for Kenai Fjords Tours 8-19-2010, near Seward, Alaska.The global Travel & Tourism industry must operate to the highest standards to prove that it is a force for good and not a force for destruction. That is according to the President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), David Scowsill, in his closing speech at the WTTC Global Summit in Hainan, China (24-25 April 2014).Mr Scowsill is calling on the sector to demonstrate leadership and accountability; “The Travel & Tourism industry needs to report and communicate the benefits and value it brings and ensure that it genuinely embraces a Tourism for Tomorrow. Standards of ethics and sustainability must be of the highest order. We need to work in true partnership with governments – when they listen – and with our local communities and stakeholders.  We must also engage with our staff, our customers and our consumers”.Subjects discussed at the WTTC Global Summit have included volatility and unpredictability, climate change and disaster recovery, infrastructure planning and sustainability, growth and jobs, peace and prosperity, collaboration and co-operation and culture and understanding. Mr Scowsill continues; “We have a responsibility for the one billion travellers each year on our planet and another billion soon; for the plight of those affected by disasters, whether through natural disaster or man-made conflict and for the careful preservation of resources and protection of the planet. And we also have the responsibility to provide millions of quality jobs to people, who are seeking fulfilment and quality of life through employment, training, opportunities and careers. And we must not forget that we have to satisfy the markets and investors, who quite properly and responsibly seek returns for the huge investment that will be needed. If we can take care of all these responsibilities, then we will become the greatest industry on earth and a true Force for Good”.Mr Scowsill says, however, that there is currently a vacuum in global leadership and the Industry needs to play its part; “National governments and global institutions are increasingly struggling to tackle many of the issues, which we’ve been discussing over the last two days. Governments do not always recognise our contribution at the table.  As an industry, we need to become more vocal and more sophisticated in our co-ordination and articulation of our agenda going forward, if we are to succeed. The enormous infrastructure that the massive growth in travel will require will only happen through consensus, collaboration and co-operation. WTTC commits to representing our industry in these capacities to make change happen”.

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World Jewish Congress president highlights key role of two popes in bringing Catholics, Jews closer together

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 27 aprile 2014

DSCN0210NEW YORK/ROME – “If today Jews and Catholics live in a framework of fraternity, friendship and cooperation, following two milllennia of tensions and confrontation, it is to a large extent due to the impulse Popes John XXIII and John Paul II gave to improving relations and to overcoming anti-Semitism in the church,” World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder declared ahead of Sunday’s canonization in Rome of the two late Catholic pontiffs.John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council, which ended with the groundbreaking declaration Nostra Aetate of 1965, and John Paul II deepened and extended Catholic-Jewish dialogue and established diplomatic relations with Israel. “For that reason, even though the canonization of these two men is an internal church matter and has nothing to do with interfaith dialogue, we rejoice with the millions of Catholics in Rome and around the world who celebrate this event,” Lauder added. Claudio Epelman, the World Jewish Congress official in charge of dialogue with the Catholic Church, is one of the Jewish representatives present in Rome for Sunday’s ceremonies at the invitation of the Vatican. Epelman said that five decades of dialogue with the Catholic Church had triggered real, positive change for both communities.“The sometimes controversial debates with Rome which we witnessed during early papacy of Pope John Paul II are long behind us, and he and his successors, Benedict XVI and Francis, have taken the relationship with what the successive popes have called their ‘elder brothers’ to the next level. We Jews know that we have a warm friend in Pope Francis, and we look forward to more opportunities to demonstrate and solidify those bonds,” said Epelman, who has already met with the Argentinean-born pontiff a number of times since the latter’s election as Catholic pontiff last year.

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The World Jewish Concgress

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 27 aprile 2014

kansas_cityNew York – The World Jewish Concgress, United States (WJC-US) on Monday expressed shock and outrage at the heinous attack on the two Jewish community centers in Kansas City that took place on Sunday, 13 April 2014. WJC-US remains in contact with members of the Kansas City Jewish community to keep updated on events and on the police investigation of this tragic incident. As in the past, we remind Jewish institutions that security measures must be checked constantly, especially around holiday time, as a vital precaution. Instructions for this review can be found on line at the Secure Community Network, http://www.scnus.org. Rabbi Joel Meyers, Chair, WJC US, said,” We extend  our deepest condolences to the victims, families and entire Jewish community in  Kansas City.  We will remain in contact with authorities regarding this vicious attack as regards developments for further reports  and stand in solidarity with the community.”

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Approval of Payment Accounts Directive is huge step in fight against financial exclusion

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 27 aprile 2014

parlamento europeoToday’s vote in the European Parliament is the final step in the process which will guarantee access to a basic bank account for everybody legally resident in the EU. MEPs overwhelmingly voted to pass the proposal into law with 603 votes for and 21 against.  EU citizens will have binding right of access to a basic bank account, not only in their own member state but in other member states where they may need such an account. This is very good news for up to 30 million EU residents who want an account but do not have one, in particular marginalised groups and vulnerable consumers.  Some are refused because they are not considered profitable by banks (e.g. some students, elderly, and migrants); others might not be able to meet the administrative requirements to open a payment account (e.g. migrants, exchange students, trainees, seasonal workers and workers in other Member States). Holders of a basic account will be able to lodge and withdraw money at bank branches and ATMs, transfer money and make payments online free or at reasonable (low) cost.   Overdrafts may be an optional extra and the costs and penalties, if any, must be reasonable.  Member states must designate a range of payment institutions to ensure full access everywhere to basic payment accounts. There will be appeal procedures, of which consumers must be informed, if a basic payment account is refused. The directive also provides for better information for all account holders. Consumer choice will be enhanced by making it easier for consumers to switch to another bank. EUFFI president Jim Murray warmly welcomed the vote and said “For most people a payment account is a gateway to other services and an essential element for full participation in modern society. This directive will help the excluded and those who are ‘living the single market’ by studying, working or living cross-border.   Member states should implement the directive as speedily and effectively as possible, designating national competent authorities, monitoring coverage and costs and intervening as needed. There should also be a positive “reach out” to the unbanked, together with support for those working with the financially excluded. The directive prohibits discrimination against basic account holders as compared to holders of non-basic accounts. Access to a wide network of ATMs is particularly important: holders of basic accounts should have access to the same range to ATMs as holders of non-basic accounts.”

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