Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : IMF Board Approves Argentina Payout of Almost $800 Mn

Argentina's president Javier Milei has vowed to get inflation back down - AFP
Argentina's president Javier Milei has vowed to get inflation back down - AFP
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IMF Board Approves Argentina Payout of Almost $800 Mn

Argentina's president Javier Milei has vowed to get inflation back down - AFP
Argentina's president Javier Milei has vowed to get inflation back down - AFP

The IMF executive board voted to approve a payout of almost $800 million for Argentina as it continues a program of drastic economic reforms under its libertarian president, Javier Milei.

A self-declared "anarcho-capitalist," Milei has vowed to halt Argentina's economic decline and reduce the budget deficit to zero, and has embarked on a program to slash public spending and bring down inflation, which remains at an annual rate of more than 275 percent, AFP reported.

"The Executive Board assessed the program to be firmly on track, with all quantitative performance criteria through end-March 2024 met with margins," the International Monetary Fund said in a statement.

The decision by the IMF executive board to approve the eighth review of its loan program with the Latin American nation will allow for the disbursement of just over $793 million, bringing the total disbursements under the existing program to more than $41 billion.

"The Board emphasized that sustaining the strong progress requires improving the quality of fiscal adjustment, initiating steps towards an enhanced monetary and FX (foreign exchange) policy framework, and implementing the structural agenda," the IMF said.

"Continued efforts to support the vulnerable, broaden political support and ensure agile policymaking will also be necessary," it added.

"The good news continues," Milei wrote on X, sharing the IMF statement.

The payout approval follows an announcement earlier in the day that Argentine inflation came in at 4.2 percent in May, the lowest in two-and-a-half years, according to the INDEC statistics agency.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Saudi Energy and Economy Ministries Launch Carbon Capture, Utilization Challenge with UpLink

The Saudi flag. Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt
The Saudi flag. Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt
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Saudi Energy and Economy Ministries Launch Carbon Capture, Utilization Challenge with UpLink

The Saudi flag. Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt
The Saudi flag. Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Economy and Planning (MEP) and Ministry of Energy (MoEnergy), in collaboration with UpLink, have launched the Carbon Capture and Utilization Challenge which seeks innovative solutions that accelerate the circular carbon economy.

The challenge was launched during the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in a main session titled ‘SDG 13 and Interlinkages with Other SDGs – Climate Action’ held on July 10.

The challenge encourages startups to submit distinct solutions that drive carbon reductions through sustainable systems transformation, including carbon capture technologies, novel carbon utilization applications, and industrial integration.

The initiative emphasizes the importance of carbon capture and utilization (CCU), highlighting the crucial role innovation plays in driving a sustainable and economically prosperous future and the important role of carbon removal in reaching net-zero goals by mid-century.

“The climate change issue and sustainability is a global issue,” Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said. “It cannot be attended to in regional scopes or as a smaller territorial thing. It has to be global.”

He stated that the Kingdom seeks to enhance its efforts to achieve its ambitious goal of reaching net zero by 2060 through the Circular Carbon Economy Framework, which not only reduces the impact of carbon emissions, but also values carbon as a resource with real economic value, rather than pollutant.

He also indicated that the Kingdom, in line with this vision, and in order to exploit the economic value of carbon worldwide, has launched, in partnership with leading organizations, a global carbon capture and utilization challenge.

The Minister stressed that Saudi Arabia, by adopting such challenge, is leading influential changes in efforts to confront climate change, as this challenge represents an opportunity for individuals and organizations to transform tomorrow’s challenges into today’s solutions, through joint efforts and pioneering innovations.

Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal Alibrahim said: “The Kingdom is keen on a just, orderly, and pragmatic energy transition and is working towards the advancement of the circular carbon economy framework.”

“Through this challenge, related to innovation inside the circular carbon economy, we look forward to seeing new solutions that would help push innovation forward,” he said.

He encouraged all innovators and companies to come up with “out-of-the-box solutions.”

Submissions will be evaluated on factors such as scalability, commercial viability, technological readiness, and fundraising success.

Winners will be recognized as top innovators and form part of the UpLink Innovation Ecosystem, a curated program for founders, CEOs, executive directors, and other leaders. They will also share a cash award of up to CHF 300,000 and receive technical, business, and operational support to scale their ideas.