Wed, 03 Mar 2021

BRASILIA -- The Monetary Policy Committee (Copom) of the Central Bank of Brazil revealed on Tuesday that it has begun to consider the possibility of cutting back on the "extraordinary" monetary stimulus it put in place due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"Some members (of the committee) wondered whether it would continue to be appropriate to maintain the extraordinarily high degree of stimulus, given the normalization of the functioning of the economy seen in recent months," according to the just released minutes of Copom's meeting last week, at which members decided to maintain the benchmark interest rate at 2 percent annually. (Brazil-Monetary Stimulus)

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WASHINGTON -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday projected that China's economy will grow by 8.1 percent in 2021, 0.1 percentage point below the October forecast, according to the latest update to its World Economic Outlook (WEO).

China is one of these economies that returned back to the pre-pandemic projected level in the fourth quarter of 2020, "well ahead of" other major economies, IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said at a virtual press briefing Tuesday morning. (IMF-China-Economy-WEO)

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WELLINGTON -- The New Zealand China Council welcomed the signing of the New Zealand-China free trade agreement (FTA) upgrade as positive news for New Zealand exporters amid the ongoing global uncertainty.

Chairman of the New Zealand China Council Don McKinnon said the upgraded agreement will contribute strongly to New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 and highlighted the value of New Zealand's steady and constructive relationship with China. (New Zealand-China-FTA Upgrade)

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SUVA -- The European Union (EU) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) signed a new project worth 14.3 million Fijian dollars (about 7 million U.S. dollars) on Wednesday to enhance the trade capacity of Pacific countries.

According to a statement by the PIFS, the project titled "Strengthening Pacific Intra-Regional and International Trade (SPIRIT)" aims at boosting and increasing intra-regional and international trade by strengthening institutional and technical capacity in the region. It will facilitate the implementation of trade agreements, in particular, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Pacific Aid for Trade Strategy 2020-2025. (Fiji-EU-PIFS Agreement)

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