Top Stories

March 25, 2013

Emerging Markets

China urges businesses not to exploit Africa

China’s vice-foreign minister has warned Chinese businesses to stop “draining the pond” in Africa, telling companies to improve their self-discipline and wean themselves off “one-hammer deals” – one-off transactions with no thought of a sustained relationship. He said, “Making a massive one-off fortune is short-sighted. Draining the pond to get all the fish is even more immoral.” China’s new President, Xi Jinping, is currently visiting Tanzania; his visit comes amid rising concerns in Beijing that China’s increasingly dominant role in Africa’s economic welfare is denting its image as an honest partner. (The Times*)


UK could face EU fines for London’s pollution data

The European Commission is considering fresh legal action over the UK's pollution problem following allegations London officials "massaged" air quality data last year in order to avoid hefty fines. A number of green groups have complained to the EU about London's attempts to clean up its air quality using so-called "dust suppressant" technology to glue pollution and airborne particles known as PM10s to the roads. Campaign for Clean Air in London and the Green Party have both accused Mayor Boris Johnson of "cheating" in order to meet EU air quality standards by only using the glue near where official monitoring stations are located. (Business Green)

Millions switch off lights for the environment

Landmarks around the globe plunged into darkness to mark an event designed to raise awareness of climate change. More than 150 countries took part in Earth Hour, organised by the WWF. People across all continents switched off their lights for 60 minutes on Saturday 23 March. Buckingham Palace, the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower and the Kremlin all took part in order to draw attention to climate change. Earth Hour originated in Sydney with a simple appeal to people and businesses to turn off their lights for an hour to raise awareness of carbon pollution. Dermot O'Gorman, head of WWF-Australia said "Earth Hour shows that there are millions of people around the world who also want to do something." (Sky News, BBC)

Inclusive Business

Traders reveal ‘inclusive business’ practices

Certain trading firms in the Philippines are now incorporating inclusive business concept in their business strategies to integrate the low-income segment or the so-called base-of-the-pyramid within their value chains. According to a factsheet from the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), inclusive businesses attain commercial financial returns while addressing systemic problems of poverty reduction and inclusive growth in scale. Representatives from several firms covering the food, hotel, and export industries were invited in a recent PBSP meeting to talk on how they mix this new concept in their businesses in a way that creates shared value to suppliers, consumers, distributors and employees. (Philippine Star)

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