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Far and Wide | January 2024 (III)

This week’s headline features a story from Africa; UNDP launches "timbuktoo" initiative in Davos to revolutionize Africa's startup ecosystem, at the 24th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum. 
Europe: MEPs finalised a deal with the Council on new measures to beef up an EU toolkit to fight money laundering, terrorist financing and sanctions evasion. A provisional agreement on the sixth Anti-Money Laundering (AML) directive and the EU “single rulebook” regulation has been reached to agreement by the Parliament and Council Negotiators. 

North America: Wieland North America to Invest $500 Million to Modernize East Alton Facility. Company investments reinforce its long-term commitment to six facilities across the state and the future of advanced manufacturing in Illinois
South America: The $3.5 billion deepwater Chinese port, promising to turbocharge South America's trade ties with China is set to start operations late this year. The port, majority-owned by Chinese state-owned firm Cosco Shipping (1199.HK), opens a new tab and will be the first controlled by China in South America.

Asia: India and Iran have reached a final agreement on India's first foreign port project, Chabahar Port. The new 10-year long agreement will replace the original contract and is automatically extendable. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar projected the Chabahar port as a key regional transit hub, including Afghanistan, at a connectivity conference in Tashkent in 2021.

Australia: Australia will form an advisory board to minimize the risks of artificial intelligence (AI), becoming the latest country to tighten its oversight of the technology. The government stated that it would collaborate with industry associations to develop a set of rules, including pushing technology companies to label and watermark AI-generated content.

Africa: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the "timbuktoo" initiative in collaboration with African countries, in Davos. The initiative, unveiled during a special session at the 24th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, aims to be the world's largest financing facility, uniting catalytic and commercial capital to bolster Africa's startup ecosystem.

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