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2022: Recovery or Resurgence?

  The Covid-19 pandemic officially marks a grim second year this year. Nonetheless, there is some optimism among scientists that while the virus will become endemic, its threat to human life could reduce over time.  In the first of a three-part Spirethoughts instalment examining analysts’ predictions for the new year ahead, we look at 3 economic and social trends that are likely to affect the global economy in 2022.   Debt and inflation to grow . Global debt accelerated during the pandemic as governments continued to borrow. Twenty-five nations, including the US and China, now have total debt amounting to more than 300% of GDP, as central banks contribute to inflation by printing money, deepening the debt trap. Inflation, while on the rise, seems unlikely to hit the historic double-digit levels of the 1970s, as government spending should ease in 2022.   Industries overheat amid global warming “greenflation”.  The other continuing story with global impact will be the ever-inc
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E-Bikes are gaining ground around the world, amidst controversy

12 million electric vehicles, including over 40 million electric bikes, are expected to cover the streets of the world by 2025. While E-bikes are efficient and minimize carbon footprint, safety concerns have been raised in countries like France and Singapore. Are e-bikes the answer to congested roads? Read more:

Family cafés the answer to Finland’s aging society

Finland’s largest non-profit organization (NPO), Mannerheim League for Child Welfare (MLL) dedicated to child and family welfare, run Family café sessions for a nominal fee. Such cafés were established in Sweden in the 1970s and moved to Nordic countries in the early 2000’s. These cafes help combat loneliness and contribute towards the mental health of parents in Finland’s aging society with low fertility rates. Will family cafés promote mental health and family life in Finland’s rapidly aging society? Read more:

Spire talks about ICT strategies at ICT market Movement 2019 in Yogyakarta

On 20th January, Spire was honored to participate in the ICT Market Movement 2019, Strategic Plan 2020 in Yogyakarta. Jeffrey Bahar, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Spire Research and Consulting Group shared his insights on the outlook for the Indonesian ICT sector and the strategies needed to win. Jeffrey discussed strategies for digital transformation, which is a watch-word among most corporates in Indonesia today. Going forward, key areas for ICT players to look at include Big Data, the Internet of Things and smart payment solutions. While cyber security remains a concern, technological advancements are improving the security options and tool-kit available to companies. Read more:

Gazing into the crystal ball for 2020

A new year means hopes for better global economic growth. What lies ahead? Leon Perera, Chief Executive Officer of Spire Research and Consulting, shared his insights in Business Times – Singapore. A return of normalcy for global economic growth is foreseen despite uncertainties for Brexit and the US-China trade war. The RCEP trade agreement further promises a boost to global growth. Leon further pointed out rising tension due to US’s rigid stance against North Korea, China and Iran. Risk of political fragmentation and global trade is likely with countries set to align to either Chinese or the US spheres of influence. However, hopes of a more rational and rule-based governance remain. Read more:

Upskilling workforces for the 4th Industrial Revolution

On average, workers may need 101 days to train for their jobs by 2022. By 2028, USD11 trillion could be added to global GDP if workers are prepared for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s opportunities. But to fully realize these growth opportunities, companies need to invest in life-long employability and address workplace skills gap. How will companies reskill and upskill their workforces for the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Read more:

Asia-Pacific nations poised to sign the world’s largest multi-lateral trade agreement, RCEP, in 2020

After six years of negotiations, more than a dozen countries in the Asia-Pacific are poised to sign the world’s largest trade agreement, known as the Regional Comprehensive Partnership (RCEP), in 2020. This agreement would boost commerce among participating countries by lowering tariffs as well as standardizing customs rules and procedures. The RCEP will widen market access, especially for those countries that do not have existing many bilateral trade agreements in place. Will India pay a price for its decision to stay out of the RCEP? Read more:

Eco-tourism creates ecological and economic benefits

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, one in 10 people are employed in the travel and tourism industry world-wide, making up 10% of the global economy. Nature-based tourism has proved to be lucrative for many countries. Tourism in Africa is predicted to generate more than USD260 billion annually by 2030. Some countries protect endangered species and many acres of nature reserves through tourism. Can nature-based tourism help conserve species on the verge of extinction? Read more:

Spire Client Entertainment Night December 2019

Spire Singapore hosted its third client entertainment event of the year. Business associates, partners and clients joined the Spire team for the dinner reception followed by the movie screening of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Episode IX)”- the much awaited last movie in the Star Wars saga. The final installment in the Star Wars saga revolved around the epic battle between Jedi and Sith. The movie featured most of the key characters from the earlier Episodes 4 to 6. The highly awaited Star Wars final chapter, delectable food and even better company made for a great evening. Read more:

Ghana citizenships to boost economy

In November 2019, 126 African-Americans and Afro-Caribbean’s were granted citizenship, in a ceremony that marks 2019 as the Year of Return. 500,000 tourists are expected to visit Ghana during the Year of Return, a considerable increase from the 380,000 that visited in 2018. Visa on arrival for some and waive off of Visa charges have been introduced. The government also plans to invest in educated returnees to help boost the economy through employment. Is investment in human capital the way to boost Ghana’s economy? Read more: