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Weekly Wrap - 13th Match

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Cutting down on carbon emissions, South East Asia is pushing for electric vehicles. Meanwhile, the price war started, oil prices plummeted, and is currently around its lowest in four years

Sri Lanka labour laws are often criticised for being archaic and cumbersome. At a time when employment is moving towards informal work, largely due to the influence of technology, traditional legal measures may not be wide ranging enough to preserve the relationship between employer and employee, and accommodate new types of jobs being created. Sri Lanka’s Labour Department has said it is working to upgrade and expand existing laws to accommodate these developments.   Protecting labour in a gig economy without hindering growth will be a major challenge for countries in the future. What sort of strategies can you take to shape the world of work in Sri Lanka?

 

We know that Sri Lanka produced its first ever electric car — did you know that South East Asia is revving up the electric vehicle push as well? Thailand will promote electric car use by government organisations and put more e-buses and motorcycles on roads, as the country unveiled ambitions to become Southeast Asia's green vehicle hub. By 2030, it aims to makes 750,000 electric vehicles annually, or 30% of its total car production capacity. This comes after Singapore recently unveiled incentives to get drivers to switch to electric vehicles and phase out vehicles with internal combustion engines over the next 20 years. Asia has some of the most air-polluted skies, presenting opportunity for the region's growing EV market.

 

The price war has started, and oil crashed 30%. Asian stocks shed severe losses on Monday morning after oil prices plummeted 30% as markets reacted to an aggressive price war that erupted between producers. Brent crude recorded one of its biggest one-day drops in history after Saudi slashed its prices and was reportedly said to be planning a production hike. Saudi’s move came after Russia refused a proposal by OPEC to introduce further output cuts in response to weaker demand caused by the Covid-19 spread. Crude oil is around its lowest in four years.

 

Asia’s women have progressed up the corporate ladder in recent times. The ratio of Southeast Asian women in senior management has risen to 35% from 28% a year earlier, though Singapore slipped; and in mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore, one quarter of portfolio managers are women – versus just one in 10 in the US.

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce

Aisha Nazim

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