It was certainly a surprise when the Russian parliament’s lower chamber approved the bill allowing the introduction of the Islamic banking system. The trial will start on 1st September and last for two years, but with the possibility of an extension depending on the results. Russia’s engagement in developing Islamic banks is a sign of its ambitions to seize new economic possibilities and improve connections with nations with a Muslim majority.
The favorable climate and rich soil of Pakistan create an ideal environment for cotton cultivation. In FY2018-19, it was noted that the cotton market accounted for 0.8% of the country’s GDP. Fizza Batool explores the various factors that contribute to Pakistan’s competitive advantage while also pointing to strong competitors that have appeared such as Bangladesh.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the greatest infrastructure project in the world, has a component called the Digital Silk Road that intends to increase digital connectivity and collaboration among the participating countries. Established in 2015, it spans a variety of industries including satellite navigation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, e-commerce, and telecommunications, stretching Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. The Digital Silk Road is motivated by China’s desire to open new markets as well as to shift the global digital order away from the United States.
The Arctic region is witnessing a surge in geostrategic competition. It has attracted the attention of several key players, each with their own interests and motivations. Russia, for example, sees the Arctic as a strategic area for resource extraction and military dominance. Meanwhile, the United States is concerned about maintaining its influence in the region in the midst of China’s increasing economic and strategic involvement. The competing interests of these nations are shaping the geostrategic competition in the Arctic and have the potential to impact global dynamics.
As a result of the police shooting of a 17-year-old boy, hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the streets across France to protest the situation. Fizza Batool notes that France’s predicament is complicated and multidimensional since it encompasses law and order, public safety, human rights, social justice, and national identity.