UAE gives Mauritania $2 billion for development

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Mauritania's ruling party candidate Mohamed Ould Ghazouani has won the presidential election with 52 percent of the vote, the electoral commission announced on June 23, 2019, with results from all polling stations counted. (AFP)
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A man walks in front of the Saudi Mosque in central Nouakchott, February 2, 2008. (Reuters)
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Updated 03 February 2020

UAE gives Mauritania $2 billion for development

  • Mohamed Ould Ghazouani visited the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi
  • WAM said the pledge includes funding for “investment and development projects, as well as a soft loan.”

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates pledged Sunday to give $2 billion in aid to the Western African country of Mauritania, amid a visit to the Arabian Peninsula nation by Mauritania’s president.
Mohamed Ould Ghazouani visited the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi and met with its crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The state-run WAM news agency announced the pledge, describing it as including funding for “investment and development projects, as well as a soft loan.”
Mauritania, a moderate Islamic republic, has suffered five coups since independence from France in 1960. It has been led by military rulers for much of that time.
Ghazouani took the oath of office in August after winning a presidential election last year. That marked the West African nation’s first peaceful transfer of power.


Thailand finance minister: economy to recover next year with 4% growth

Updated 23 November 2020

Thailand finance minister: economy to recover next year with 4% growth

  • Economy had bottomed but recovery was not fast as the battered tourism sector hurt supply chains
  • Budget for the next fiscal year will still focus on boosting domestic activity

BANGKOK: Thailand’s economy is expected to grow 4 percent in 2021 after a slump this year and fiscal policy will support a tourism-reliant economy struggling from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the finance minister said on Monday.
Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy shrank a less than expected 6.4 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier after falling 12.1 percent in the previous three months.
The economy had bottomed but recovery was not fast as the battered tourism sector, which accounts for about 12 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), has also hurt supply chains, Finance minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said.
“Without the COVID, our economy could have expanded 3 percent this year, he said. “As we expect a 6 percent contraction this year, there is the output gap of 9 percent,” he told a business forum.
“Next year, we expect 4 percent growth, which is still not 100 percent yet,” Arkhom said, adding it could take until 2022 to return to pre-pandemic levels.
There is still fiscal policy room to help growth from this year’s fiscal budget and some from rehabilitation spending, he said.
The budget for the next fiscal year will still focus on boosting domestic activity, Arkhom said, and the current public debt of 49 percent of GDP was manageable.
Of the government’s 1 trillion baht ($33 billion) borrowing plan, 400 billion would be for economic revival, of which about 120 billion-130 billion has been approved, Arkhom said.
He wants the Bank of Thailand to take more action short term on the baht, which continued to rise on Monday, despite central bank measures announced on Friday to rein in the currency strength.
“They have done that and they have their measures... which should be introduced gradually and more intensely,” Arkhom said.