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November 03, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Pakistan, China agree to expand, accelerate CPEC
• China on November 2, 2022 assured Pakistan of its continued support to the country`s sustainable economic and strategic projects, including expansion of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Main Line-1 (ML-1) rail track besides an additional assistance package of RMB 500 million for the country`s flood-relief efforts.
• According to the Prime Minister Office (PMO), Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang made these commitments during separate meetings with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the People`s Great Hall in Beijing.
• The two sides signed and concluded a number of agreements covering bilateral cooperation in the areas of e-commerce, digital economy, export of agricultural products, financial cooperation, protection of cultural property, infrastructure, flood relief, post disaster reconstruction, GDI, animal disease control, livelihood, cultural cooperation, space, geosciences as well as law enforcement and security
2. Afghanistan registered trade surplus with Pakistan: report
• Afghanistan registered a trade surplus of $79 million with Pakistan, one of its largest trading partners, from July 2021 to June 2022, according to the latest report by an official US monitoring agency, known as SIGAR.
• The report prepared for the US Congress by the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) noted that Afghanistan`s currency, the Afghani, appreciated by 11.6 per cent against the Pakistani rupee.
• The agency noted that despite economic and political troubles, the Afghan currency remained relatively steady this quarter, appreciating by 6.1pc against the euro and 0.2pc against the Indian rupee as well.
• Data issued by Afghanistan`s central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), however, showed that between the end of June and mid September, the Afghani depreciated 0.6pc against the US dollar and 1.9pc against the Chinese yuan
3. WB okays $500m for Punjab, KP projects
• The World Bank has signed two agreements with the government to extend $500 million worth of two separate loans to Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
• The Economic Affairs Division in a statement said on November 2, 2022 that World Bank`s Country Director Najy Benhassine and Dr Kazim Niaz, Secretary EAD signed the financing agreements on behalf of the respective sides.
• The loans pertained to Punjab Resilient and Inclusive Agriculture Transformation Project worth $200 million and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Accessibility Project worth $300 million.
• The $200m Punjab project is designed to enhance equitable access to, and productivity of, agricultural water and improve the incomes of farmers, particularly small and medium landholders. The project is expected to contribute to transforming Punjab`s agriculture into a more inclusive, productive, sustainable, and market-oriented sector
4. China locks down over half a million people
• Chinese authorities imposed lockdowns on 600,000 people in the area surrounding the world`s largest iPhone factory on November 2, 2022, as workers complained of disorderly Covid controls at the facility.
• All people except Covid-prevention volunteers and essential workers `must not leave their residences except to receive Covid tests and emergency medical treatment`, officials from central China`s Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone said.
• The move comes after images emerged on Chinese social media last week showing people breaking out of the facility, which is run by Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn and makes products for Apple
5. UN peacekeeping convoy attacked in eastern Congo
• A United Nations peacekeeping convoy was attacked in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday evening, leaving two people injured, the UN mission said on Wednesday.
• The convoy was attacked when it stopped at an army checkpoint near an internally displaced persons site in Kanyarutshinya, 8km from the city of Goma.
• A crowd assembled and threw stones at the convoy, setting fire to at least one truck, the UN mission, MONUSCO, said on Twitter.
• UN peacekeepers fired warning shots into the air and finally left the zone, it said