Lack of diversification of the export basket
Large-scale manufacturing (LSM) growth resumed in 2020-21 from the previous year affected by Covid. However, the monthly manufacturing quantum index has been declining since the peak in January 2021 and is lower than the pre-Covid period in 2019. As part of the LSM change, other than textiles which are largely export oriented , strong growth has occurred in the domestic market. sectors such as automotive and cement. Since the January 2020 study, the Covid pandemic has affected global trade. The Pakistani government’s astute crisis management has allowed the industry to reopen faster than Bangladesh and India. Opportunistically, our textile product exports, compared to the previous year, increased 23% to $ 15.4 billion, contributing 75% to the overall growth of $ 4 billion in exports. Compared to the pre-Covid 2018-19 period, the $ 2.2 billion growth in 2021 in textiles also accounted for 91% of the $ 2.4 billion increase in total exports. As a result, Pakistan’s dependence on textiles has increased, despite some positive developments in the growth of other sectors.
(Adapted from “Contours of a National Charter for Exports”, published by the Pakistan Business Council in 2021)
Can the dead convince anti-vaccines?
One in 542 Americans has died from Covid-19. After more than 18 months of the pandemic, a significant part of the population continues to assert its own individual freedoms for the common good. This great division – spreading through workplaces, schools, supermarkets and voting booths – has divided the nation at a historic time when partisan factionalism and social media are already achieving similar goals. It is a phenomenon that puzzles sociologists, jurists, public health experts and philosophers, leading them to ask: when should individual rights give way to the public interest? If the coronavirus kills 1 in 100, will that be enough to change your mind? Or 1 in 10? Today, millions of US residents are avoiding vaccines that have been shown to be very effective and resist masks that prevent infection, fiercely opposing government restrictions. Others are calling for regulation, arguing that those who fail to take precautions violate their rights – threatening the freedom to live of anyone they expose. No matter where you are, it gives a new twist to the famous phrase uttered at the founding of America by Patrick Henry: “Give me freedom or give me death”.
(Adapted from an article published by USA Today by Dennis Wagner on August 3, 2021)
Run away from the vaccine, vote for Trump
All other things being equal, supporters of Donald Trump are 18 percentage points more likely to avoid Covid-19 vaccines. A fourth wave of covid-19 infections is sweeping America. It is strongest in the central and southern states: cases per 100,000 population are highest in Louisiana, Florida, and Arkansas; Missouri has the highest number of hospitalizations. But the rapidly spreading Delta variant also threatens other places. Since vaccinations have stopped at around 155 million adults, or 60% of the population aged 18 or older, few or no regions of the country have achieved herd immunity. The new wave is in danger of crashing everywhere. Identifying the causes of vaccine reluctance can help decision makers decide where to target their efforts. The Economist worked with YouGov, a pollster, to collect weekly surveys on Americans’ intention to get vaccinated against covid-19. Using the demographic profiles of some 24,000 Americans, we built a statistical model to estimate the likelihood that each respondent will report having received or will get their jab and to reveal the main causes of hesitation.
(Adapted from “Which Americans Are Against the Jab?” Published by The Economist on July 30, 2021)
Playing with Barbie dolls
The New Barbie Class of 2021. The latest reincarnation of the toy doll will appear in the inspiring form of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine co-creator, Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert. The scientist admitted to finding the gesture “very strange” at first, but said she hoped it would inspire girls to study and work in science, technology, engineering and math. “I am passionate about the idea of inspiring the next generation of girls into Stem careers and I hope the children who see my Barbie realize how vital science careers are in helping the world around us,” said Ms. Gilbert said. The new team also includes American healthcare workers Amy O’Sullivan and Dr Audrey Cruz, Canadian doctor and activist Dr Chika Stacy Oriuwa and Brazilian biomedical researcher Dr Jaqueline Goés de Jesus.
(Adapted from “Covid Jab Scientist Barbie Doll Is An Antidote To Stereotypes,” by Lucy Bannerman, published August 4, 2021 by The Times)
Posted in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, August 9, 2021