First Official Quad Meet
Leaders of the US, India, Australia and Japan will take part in the first-ever summit of “Quad” nations today. The grouping brings together ‘four-like minded countries’ that support an open Indo-Pacific region, even as China aggressively expands the region.
The four countries had in 2017 given shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the “Quad” or the Quadrilateral coalition to counter China’s aggressive behavior in the Indo-Pacific region.
Maritime security, economic cooperation, supply chain resilience, the covid-19 pandemic, post pandemic world order and climate change are expected to be the key agenda of the leaders’ meet today. Apart from this, an announcement regarding financing agreements to boost vaccine manufacturing capacity in India is also on the table. This will reduce delays and speed up vaccination across the globe.
The virtual Quad summit will take place even as India and Chinese troops continue to work on their disengagement in the icy Himalayas after their worst military face-off since the 1962 war. Quad is basically grouping of countries who are interested in strengthening a rule-based order in the Indo-Pacific region
M&M Plans Electric Variants Of All Its SUVs
Mahindra and Mahindra looks to introduce battery-powered variants of its sports utility vehicle line-up as the company prepares for a future with electric mobility.
M&M has a two-pronged strategy to strengthen its position in the EV market. For this, M&M will be setting up two new verticals, which are last-mile mobility & electric vehicle tech centre.
The last-mile mobility vertical will focus on the electric three-wheelers and quadricycles, and also make powertrains for the global markets. The second vertical will look at converting Mahindra’s existing SUV line-up into electric vehicles as the tech centre will focus on software development for the entire EV portfolio, embedded system capacity, charging solutions and product planning.
M&M is readying itself for a world where EVs will evolve through different adoption curves with different trajectories across segments. The company continues to identify pillars of growth, which can leverage the core strength of the group and accelerate growth over the medium term.
$1.9 Trillion Stimulus Package
US President Biden signed off on the $1.9 trillion stimulus package. The administration said, $1400 checks are likely to be distributed this weekend. The bulk of these checks will be sent towards the end of March and early April.
The stimulus package supports a wave of new spending, an extension of jobless benefits, another round of direct household payments. It also supports money for state and local governments expansion of vaccinations & virus-testing programs, including a national vaccine distribution program for all residents regardless of immigration status.
A liquidity gush (FII inflows) is likely to continue into the stocks as the $1.9 trillion covid relief bill in the US received final approval. Stronger economic growth in the US will also boost overseas demand for goods and services, benefiting Indian exports.