Garment factories in Bangladesh to stay open despite new lockdown
A rapid increase in COVID-19 cases linked to the Delta variant has prompted the Bangladesh government to call for a week-long lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. “While primarily a human tragedy, the renewed spread and resulting lockdown will also have an impact on industrial supply chains as factories will likely have to close and may suffer reduced productivity.” Said Christopher Rogers, a senior researcher at Panjiva.
The government however has given garment factories an exemption from the hard lockdown, which will allow them to stay open. But the lockdown may still decrease productivity due to public transport being limited, making it difficult for workers to arrive at factories.
Garment factories in Bangladesh and the apparel brands relying on them were hit hard over the past year as rises in COVID-19 cases linked to the Alpha variant led to prolonged lockdowns in 2020. Factories were closed for almost a month during the first lockdown, which led to significant economic damage.
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Ever Given, the ship that blocked the Suez canal, to be released after settlement agreed
The owners and insurers of the Japanese-owned Ever Given container ship, which blocked the Suez Canal in March this year, have announced that a formal settlement has been agreed in a compensation dispute, and the canal authority said the ship would be allowed to sail on July 7th.
The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has held the ship and its crew since it was dislodged on 29th March, amid a dispute over a demand for compensation by the SCA. They said the settlement contract will be signed at a ceremony and that participants will be able to watch the ship leaving.
Osama Rabie, the SCA chairman, said that “we preserved the rights of the authority in full, preserved our relationship with the company and also political relations with Japan.” The SCA had demanded $916 million in compensation to cover salvage efforts, reputational damage and lost revenue before publicly lowering the request to $550 million.
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Hyundai Motor to invest $100 million in battery startup
South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co has invested around $100 million in buying a stake in a lithium metal battery startup. “As we have been investing in various companies related to electrification, our investment in SolidEnergy is part of that.” said an official at Hyundai Motors.
Founded in 2012, SolidEnergy Systems (SES) develops anode-free lithium metal batteries. SES shareholders include General Motors Co, SK Inc and Tianqi Lithium Corp, among others. In April, Hyundai said the company had been developing solid-state batteries and planned to mass produce electric vehicles using solid-state batteries in 2030.
In March this year, General Motors announced a partnership with SES to boost its battery development, which allows for increased electric vehicle driving range in a smaller package.
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