India to be VC of WCO’s Asia Pacific region

India has become the Vice-Chair of the Asia Pacific Region of World Customs Organisation (WCO) for a period of two years, from July 2018 to June 2020. A ceremony will be organized in New Delhi on 16 June. The Theme of the Inaugural Ceremony is “Customs – Fostering Trade Facilitation”. WCO represents 182 Customs administrations across the globe that process approx 98% of world trade.

MF transactions through Facebook messenger

HDFC securities announced the launch of Mutual Funds (MF) transactional capabilities on Facebook Messenger through their virtual assistant, Arya. This makes the company the first broker in the Asia Pacific region for initiating a social media platform for trading mutual funds. This particular feature facilitates a quick overview of total portfolio holdings.

Connaught Place: 9th most costly location

According to the report of property consultant CBRE, New Delhi’s Connaught Place is the 9th most expensive office location in the world with an annual rent of $153 per sq ft. The ranking was topped by Hong Kong at the 1st position followed by London. The survey highlighted that prime office occupancy cost growth was consistent across all regions in the past 12 months.

ADB approves USD 503 mln lining project

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 503-million lining project of the Son canal in Shahabad-Bhojpur region of Bihar. This project will bring immense benefits to the agriculture sector of Shahabad Bhojpur region of Bihar. The estimated cost of this project is USD 503 million out of which USD 352 million is being provided by ADB.

Reduction of tariffs on Chinese imports

India and China have reached an agreement on reduction of tariffs on Chinese imports of Indian medicines, particularly cancer drugs. Both India and China slashed import tariffs of a range of products starting July 1, following the 4th round of negotiations under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement. The agreement will also usher in great opportunities for India and other countries in the region.

Water level of major reservoir went up 20%

The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country has gone to 20% of their total capacity which was reported 18% in last week. 37 Reservoirs out of these 91 have hydropower benefit with an installed capacity of more than 60 MW. The storage during the current year is less than last year in Northern, Western and Central regions.

Asia’s first patent arbitration centre

1 : Asia’s 1st arbitration centre specialised in intellectual property will open in Tokyo to resolve growing number of disputes in the region. International Arbitration Centre in Tokyo is set to have around a dozen arbitrators from around the world, who would try to resolve disputes within a period of 1 year. IACT is due to handle disputes between non-Japanese companies, if both parties agree.

UNESCO adds 8 pre-Islamic Iranian sites

UNESCO has added 8 pre-Islamic Iranian archeological sites to its World Heritage List. The sites collectively appear on the worldwide list as the “Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars region (Islamic Republic of Iran)”. With the latest addition, Iran now has 24 sites on the heritage list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Sindhu Darshan Festival begins in Ladakh

The 3-day annual 22nd Sindhu Darshan Festival will be celebrated on the bank of Indus River in Ladakh region of J&K. The Festival organised by Sindhu Darshan Yatra Samiti & will be inaugurated by RSS General Secretary Bhaiya Ji. The programme is focused on national integration, communal harmony, and national pride. It was started by the former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani in 1997.

Inter-governmental meeting on anti-doping

The 15th annual Asia and Oceania region inter-governmental meeting on Anti-doping begins in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The 2 day meeting would be based on how to ensure compliance with world anti-doping code, support capacity building & also conduct research to prevent athletes falling victims to doping. World Anti – Doping Agency (WADA) is the governing body with its president Sir Craig Reedie.