Nissan Motor (7201.T) announced on Sunday (December 17) its plans to globally distribute electric vehicles (EVs) developed in China, following a strategic agreement with a top Chinese university to bolster research and development efforts in electrification. Masashi Matsuyama,
Vice President of Nissan Motor and President of Nissan China, disclosed in Beijing that the company is contemplating exporting its range of existing internal combustion engine vehicles, as well as forthcoming pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars manufactured and developed in China, to international markets, targeting the same markets as Chinese rivals like BYD.
In a bid to tap into China’s lower manufacturing costs, Nissan joins other global brands such as Tesla (TSLA.O), BMW (BMWG.DE), and Ford (F.N) in expanding exports of cars manufactured in China. The move comes as China constituted just over a fifth of Nissan’s global sales of approximately 2.8 million vehicles in the first ten months of the year, a notable decrease from over a third during the same period last year. This shift is reflective of the challenges faced by Japanese automakers in China’s thriving auto market, marked by the popularity of domestic brands and fierce price competition amid a rapid transition to EVs.
To further its commitment to electric mobility, Nissan is set to establish a joint research center with China’s renowned Tsinghua University in the coming year. The center will focus on research and development related to EVs, encompassing charging infrastructure and battery recycling. Nissan President and Chief Executive Makoto Uchida expressed optimism about the collaboration, stating, “We hope that this collaboration will help us gain a deeper understanding of the Chinese market and develop strategies that better meet the needs of customers in China.” This initiative builds upon the joint research endeavors between Nissan and Tsinghua since 2016, with a previous focus on intelligent mobility and autonomous driving technology.
US Advocates for Palestinian Access to Al-Aqsa
On Wednesday, the United States called on Israel to permit Muslims to worship at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem during Ramadan. This plea comes in response to a proposal by a far-right minister suggesting the exclusion of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank from praying at the site.
State Department spokesman Matthew Miller addressed reporters, stating, “As it pertains to Al-Aqsa, we continue to urge Israel to facilitate access to Temple Mount for peaceful worshippers during Ramadan consistent with past practice.” The statement emphasizes the importance of maintaining historical practices that have allowed peaceful worship during the holy month of Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, also known as the Temple Mount.
Bangladesh Delegation Eyes WTO MC13 to Safeguard Developing Nations’ Interests
The 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is scheduled to take place from February 26 to 29, 2024, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Ministers from around the world will gather to assess the performance of the multilateral trading system and address the future agenda of the WTO. A delegation from Bangladesh, led by State Minister for Commerce Ahsanul Islam Titu, comprising eight members, will participate in the conference.
This edition of the ministerial conference holds particular significance for Bangladesh as the country is set to transition from a Least Developed Country (LDC) to a developing nation by 2026. Typically held every two years, the conference will focus on critical global issues, including subsidies in agriculture and fisheries, intellectual property rights, e-commerce, and global food security.
Senior Secretary of the Commerce Ministry, Tapan Kanti Ghosh, expressed Bangladesh’s commitment to safeguarding the interests of LDCs and other developing nations. While not highlighting specific issues for Bangladesh, he emphasized the country’s desire to maintain duty-free market access, intellectual property rights, and other trade facilities during the post-LDC graduation period.
Tapan highlighted Bangladesh’s advocacy for the continuation of technical facilities, such as training programs for officials and dispute settlement mechanisms, even beyond the LDC graduation. He affirmed that Bangladesh would play a robust role in these discussions. Additionally, he underscored Bangladesh’s priority on providing subsidies in the fisheries sector during the post-LDC graduation period.
Saudi Imposes Tk15 lakh Fine for Unauthorized Hajj Performances
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia has declared a fine of SR50,000 (equivalent to Tk15 lakh) for individuals, whether tourists or local residents, who perform Hajj without official permission. According to Gulf News, the ministry emphasized the illegality of undertaking Hajj without the necessary approvals. Additionally, hefty fines of up to Tk15 lakh will be imposed on those found transporting Hajj pilgrims without the required documents.
Furthermore, the ministry outlined severe consequences for foreigners involved in such violations, including a six-month imprisonment and subsequent deportation from Saudi Arabia. Those deported will also face a 10-year ban on reentering the country. This stringent announcement aims to ensure the proper implementation of the Hajj process and deter any potential breaches of laws and regulations.
The penalties will be enforced through collaboration between the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports.
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