Despite a slow down in the second quarter, Taiwan's economy is projected to post growth in both the third and fourth quarters. Photo by Thomas Tucker on Unsplash
Culture Spotlight

After successfully controlling COVID, Taiwan’s economy is projected to grow

Plus, Sri Lanka has prevented community exposure since April, Dubai’s real estate market is still positive, and more Indians are getting into biking. BY JACS T. SAMPAYAN
ANCX | Jul 26 2020

As the world remains mired in COVID-19 case counts and alarming updates, it’s hard to look past everyone’s grim newsfeeds. But opening our eyes wider to a bigger world that is, albeit slowly, starting to stand up should give us hope—or at least an easier day. ANCX will regularly gather positive developments in different corners of the globe to show that, in trying to move forward, we can confidently train our eyes upward.

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Taiwan’s economy is projected to grow this year

According to the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, Taiwan’s economy is expected to grow by 1.77 percent this year. This despite anticipating a shrinking of the global economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Taiwan’s projected growth is attributed to its successful control of the virus’ outbreak in the country as well as the stimulus programs it has instituted. Early on, the East Asian country was quick to monitor flights coming from COVID-hit nations and did extensive contact tracing. Because of these efforts, it only had 458 cases and its government did not have to restrict mobility or close schools. An increased demand for products from its tech manufacturing industry, particularly brands like ACER, also adds to its positive economic projections. This outlook is also attested by experts from such institutions as French investment bank Natixis and Moody’s.

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Biking picks up in India

India, as in other parts of the world, is experiencing a boom in bike sales as its citizens become wary of using cars, ride hailing services, and public transportation. “I’m running out of stock. There is a long waiting list for my next consignment,” says Atul Gupta, a bike shop owner in the Indian city of Chandigarh. When the government lifted its lockdown in June over the billion-strong nation, the All India Cycle Manufacturers’ Association says that sales went up by 25 percent compared to the same month the previous year. In some cities, app-based bike rental companies are also seeing a surge as many more see the benefits of using this mode of transportation. However, those who are reluctant to join in the craze bring up factors such as the summer heat and the poor condition of India’s roads.

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Pakistani centenarian recovers from COVID-19

Aziz Abdul Alim, a 103-year-old resident in the northern Pakistani district of Chitral, was released last week, having recovered from the deadly Coronavirus. He is one of the oldest survivors of the virus in the world. The odds were against the Pakistani centenarian given his advanced age and his country’s weak healthcare system. According to his family, Alim was not worried about his condition at all, saying that he has been through a lot in his life, but did express his dislike for being in isolation. Alim, a carpenter until his 70s, outlived three wives and has nine sons and daughters. He is separated from his fourth wife and is currently married to his fifth.

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Dubai real estate continues to grow

The Dubai Land Department says the emirate’s real estate market is still positive despite its overall economy slowing down. In the first half of the year, the industry has had transactions totaling 72.5 billion dirhams. Stimulus packages and government initiatives are also helping the industry along even in a tumultuous second quarter made difficult by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. ValuStrate real estate research head Haider Tuaima says that “despite the Covid-19 challenges that began its impact during the second half of March, in fact, the first quarter of 2020 was the best first quarter for ready home cash sales since 2014.”

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Sri Lanka has had no community-born case since April

Sri Lanka COVID-19 task force head Lt General Shavendra Silva says that they haven’t found a single case within the community since the end of April. Silva, who is also the Army commander, explains that new cases from April 30 onward have been contracted from expatriates, whose return was facilitated by the government. From July 14, however, they have halted repatriation efforts to make sure that quarantine facilities can accommodate the returnees. Around 20,000 Sri Lankans have been repatriated and quarantined, with another 5,000 returnees in isolation.

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