Read this month’s update on trade and sustainability topics, with on the ground analysis from our international network.
Joyce Chau, Director of the amfori APAC Network
amfori Quality Management Initiative Holds First Meeting
The amfori Quality Management Initiative (QMI) China Pilot Project Group held its kick-off meeting on 28 August. The Project Group is made up of six key members and two partners. The group aims to contribute to the development of amfori’s services in quality management in the supply chain.
Project Group members will advise on the design of the amfori QMI service model and participate in pilot test activities in China. The results of the Project Group work, a set of standard questionnaires and qualification/assessment tools, will be made available to all amfori members and their producers. For further information, you can contact the PG Lead Joyce Chau, Director of the amfori APAC Network.
Australia and New Zealand
Antonio Pantalone, Network Representative Australia and New Zealand
Australian Government to Spend Big in Upcoming Budget
The Australian government is expected to hand down a big-spending budget on 6 October. It is expected to have an initial allocation to each state for infrastructure projects that are above and beyond what has already been announced and funded.
Further allocations of infrastructure funds will be dependant on whether the initial amount has been spent or allocated. The Morrison government is encouraging states to spend as quickly as possible on projects that will create jobs and boost productivity to drive the economic recovery from the coronavirus.
There is speculation that the initial allocation of new infrastructure funding could be as high as AUD 10 billion.
Meanwhile, Victoria has recorded their lowest coronavirus case numbers since 16 June and is on track for their restrictions to be eased in a week.
New Zealand has become the first country to make climate risk reporting mandatory for banks, asset managers and insurers. The requirement will apply to around 200 institutions and would not come into force until 2023 following parliamentary approval.
Natasha Majumdar, Network Representative Switzerland
New Guidelines for COVID-19 Unlocking
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a new set of guidelines for ‘Unlock 4.0’. The new guidelines include resumption of metro services from 7 September, demolition of e-pass to allow completely free intra-state movement of people and goods, and the return of up to 50% of teaching and non-teaching staff to schools outside containment zones from 21 September. State governments will not be allowed to impose lockdowns outside containment zones without the Centre’s permission.
Schools and colleges will remain closed while international flights remain suspended with the exception of flights approved by the MHA.
Several states have also published their own reopening guidelines for September. As Central Government has not prescribed mandatory guidelines for office attendance and reopening of hotels, guidelines for these areas vary according to state regulations.