UN: Arab economies to shrink by 5.7%

A report by United Nation’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia has predicted that COVID 19 can shrink Arab economies by 5.7% in 2020, a development that they expect can impact 14.3 million people.

The report anticipates an overall loss of $152 billion for the Arab economies. As covid cases quickly spread across the world, Arab countries responded swiftly and enforced strict lockdown measures.

Residents were asked to stay home and travel was constricted. Arab countries have recorded an infection rate of 1.9 for ever 1,000 people and date count of 17.6 death for every 1,000 cases which is far below the global average of 42.6 deaths.

The lockdown measures however lead to fall in oil prices and impacted tourism and air travel sector and have further pushed war torn nations such Yemen into its worst humanitarian crisis yet.

China launches its First Mars mission

After India, US, EU and Russia, China is hoping to conquer the red planet. China launched its first Mars probe from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan province.

The spacecraft which consists of an orbiter and a rover, was placed in Earth-Mars transfer orbit 36 minutes after the vehicle was launched.

The probe is called Tianwen 1 meaning Quest for Heavenly Truth 1. The probe aims to orbit Mars for comprehensive observation, landing on Mars soil and place a rover to study the surface.

China is hoping to study Mars’ environment, geology, atmosphere and water through this mission which is expected to reach Mars in seven months from now.

Flipkart has acquired Walmart India and is expected launch ‘Flipkart Wholesale’

The E-commerce major is hoping to foray into Indian retail market. This development comes a week after Flipkart raised $1.2 billion.

Flipkart Senior Vice President and Head – Flipkart Wholesale Adarsh Menon said, “This marketplace is going to effectively link sellers and manufacturers on one end and kiranas and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) on the other end.

The B2B market for finished goods is estimated to be worth USD 650 billion. To start with, we will be focusing on USD 140 billion of that USD 650 billion, which is largely the categories of fashion, grocery, general merchandise, large and small electronics”

Many are seeing this as Flipkart’s direct dare at Amazon which is also eyeing the B2B segment.

Flipkart Wholesale will be launched in August, and its operations will be helmed by Adarsh Menon, while Walmart India CEO Sameer Aggarwal will to ensure a smooth transition of operations takes place.

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