Japan sponsors ship to bring young leaders together

The Ship for World Youth Program will host global youth leaders. (Supplied)
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Updated 14 January 2020

Japan sponsors ship to bring young leaders together

DUBAI: Traveling the world and exploring new cultures is an ambition of today’s youth, and the Japanese government has made doing it possible in 40 days.

The Ship for World Youth (SWY) Program, sponsored by Japan’s Cabinet Office, will let young leaders from all over the globe travel aboard a ship for six weeks to discuss common issues.

According to the SWY program’s website, a group of around 200 participants aged 18-30 from around the world will board the ship in Japan and spend their time building leadership and cultivating cultural awareness.

Members of the program will be divided into seven thematic groups, each consisting of one facilitator and 40 participants. Each course session helps candidates deepen their understanding of their home country as well as others represented on board the ship.

SWY will embark on its 32nd journey since 1989 and include applicants from Arab countries such as Bahrain and Egypt, along with Japan, Peru, France, Brazil, and the UK.

The ship will depart from Tokyo on Jan. 20, calling at Honolulu, Hawaii, and Ensenada, Mexico, arriving back in Tokyo on Feb. 24.

Budoor Kamel will participate as the national leader for the Bahrain delegation.

Kamel said she previously attended the program in 2011, but this year, she added, she would be responsible for the preparation and facilitation of course discussions.

“When I heard of the program in 2010, I knew it was something that I always dreamt of, to be in a multi-culture environment learning from others, sharing and giving back as a Bahraini citizen to the global community,” she said.

Other Arab countries have contributed to the program over the years. The UAE has taken part 14 times, sending 931 delegates, according to UAE national Hamad Al-Zaabi, a participant in 2010.

“I learned a lot in my time aboard. Rather than having to travel to 12 different countries over years, the ... program allows you to do it in just 40 days,” he said.

“They would update us on current affairs, then we would have in-depth discussions.” 

At the end of each day, members would have “a national presentation, an hour-long talk about different countries.”

Extra-curricular activities are also available on the ship, as volunteers can offer to provide other candidates with new learning opportunities, he said.

“For example, the Arabs started an Arabic language course, while the Japanese members started a calligraphy course,” he explained.


$8bn blow to Erdogan as investors flee Turkey

Updated 09 July 2020

$8bn blow to Erdogan as investors flee Turkey

  • Overseas holdings in Istanbul stock exchange are at lowest in 16 years

ANKARA: Foreign capital is flooding out of Turkey in a massive vote of no confidence in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s economic competence.
Overseas investors have withdrawn nearly $8 billion from Turkish stocks since January, according to Central Bank statistics, reducing foreign investment in the Istanbul stock exchange from $32.3 billion to $24.4 billion.
As recently as 2013, the figure was $82 billion, and foreign investors now own less than 50 percent of stocks for the first time in 16 years.
“Foreign investment has left Turkey for several reasons, both internal and external,” Win Thin, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, told Arab News.
“Externally, investors fled riskier assets like emerging markets during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Some of those flows are returning, but investors are being much more discerning and Turkey does not seem so attractive.”
In terms of internal factors, Thin said that Turkish policymakers had made it hard for foreign investors to transact in Turkey. “This includes real money clients, not just speculative.
“By implementing ad hoc measures to try and limit speculative activity, Turkey has made it hard for real money as well. Besides these problems, Turkey’s fundamentals remain poor compared to much of the emerging markets.”
Erdogan allies claim international players are manipulating the Istanbul stock exchange through automated trading, and have demanded action to make it difficult for them to trade in Turkish assets.
Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Credit Suisse were banned this month from short-selling stocks for up to three months, and this year local lenders were briefly banned by the banking regulator from trading in Turkish lira with Citigroup, BNP Paribas and UBS
JPMorgan was investigated by Turkish authorities last year after the bank published a report that advised its clients to short sell the Turkish lira.
MSCI, the provider of research-based indexes and analytics, warned last month that it may relegate Turkey from emerging market status to frontier-market status because of bans on short selling and stock lending.
With the market becoming less transparent, overseas fund managers, especially with short-term portfolios, are unenthusiastic about the Turkish market and are becoming more concerned about any forthcoming introduction of other liquidity restrictions.
The exodus of foreign capital is likely to undermine Turkey’s drive for economic growth, especially during the coronavirus pandemic when employment and investment levels have gone down, with the Turkish lira facing serious volatility.