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China will boost investment in strategic industries

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BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Wednesday it will boost investment in strategic industries including core tech sectors such as 5G, artificial intelligence and chips.

China will accelerate development of new materials to ensure stable supply chains for aircraft, microelectronic manufacturing and deep-sea mining sectors, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said.

China will also speed development of vaccine innovation, diagnostic, testing reagents and antibody drugs, the NDRC said.

(Reporting By Ryan Woo and Lusha Zhang; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

Source:- TheChronicleHerald.ca

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Manulife Investment Management named to PRI Leaders' Group 2020 in recognition of 'Cutting Edge' Responsible Investment Practices – Canada NewsWire

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Releases annual Sustainable and Responsible Investing Report outlining ESG initiatives across investment teams

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TORONTO and BOSTON, Oct. 19, 2020 /CNW/ – As sustainable investing continues to drive interest across the globe, Manulife Investment Management announced it was recently recognized in the Principles for Responsible Investment’s PRI Leaders’ Group  2020, a 10-year initiative honoring signatories at the cutting edge of responsible investment. This year, 36 signatories, including Manulife Investment Management, were recognized for demonstrating responsible investment excellence in climate reporting throughout their organization and portfolios.

“We are grateful to the PRI for recognizing our efforts in integrating climate data and analysis into our portfolios and pleased to detail our extensive sustainability initiatives across our investment teams in our Sustainable and Responsible Investing Report,” said Paul Lorentz, President and CEO, Manulife Investment Management. “Sustainability is a natural fit for our organization, given our traditional focus on risk management and investment research, and our history of sustainably operating real assets such as timber and farmland. Today, we offer a number of ways for investors to align their investments with their values, and our commitment to ESG investing deepens every year.”

Manulife Investment Management showcases its ongoing commitment to ESG analysis, research, and integration with its second annual Sustainable and Responsible Investing Report. Released today, the report covers activities in both public and private markets in sustainable asset management and showcases a holistic view of Manulife Investment Management’s sustainability-focused research capabilities, engagement activities, and asset ownership practices. The document also demonstrates concrete steps taken at the firm throughout 2019 to integrate sustainability considerations into investment decision-making. The Sustainable and Responsible Investing Report outlines Manulife Investment Management’s key areas of sustainability focus and metrics of success. Focus areas include strong governance, ESG integration, active and responsible ownership, and global collaboration across numerous platforms for broader industry effectiveness.

Highlights from private markets in 2019, pertaining to real estate, private equity and infrastructure, included formalizing a robust governance structure for its sustainable investing program, actively participating in industry associations such as Leading Harvest Sustainable Farmland Management Standard and improving Real Estate GRESB scores, earning a “Green Star” ranking in six submissions. In public markets, Manulife Investment Management advanced ESG integration and active engagement across its equity and fixed-income capabilities. As a result, Manulife Investment Management won the 2019 SDG Canadian Leadership Awards for large enterprise – Canada’s premier award for organizations and businesses doing exceptional work to integrate and advance the 17 Sustainable and Development Goals of the United Nations Global Compact.

“We’re proud of the progress we’ve made driving our sustainable and responsible investing at Manulife Investment Management as we strive to lead the industry in ESG integration practices,” said Christopher P. Conkey, CFA, global head of public markets, Manulife Investment Management. “For investors, focusing on sustainability is more important now than it has ever been; the world is running up against the limits of natural capital, which increases social and economic risks in virtually every corner of the capital markets. Sustainability and resilience are central to our clients’ objectives, to the broader set of stakeholders with whom we work, and to the communities whose lives are touched by our capital allocation decisions.”

“Responsible stewardship of our clients’ capital resides at the core of our business and culture,” added Stephen J. Blewitt, global head of private markets, Manulife Investment Management. “As sustainable investing continues to migrate from the margins of our industry to its mainstream, investor demand drives that shift. By doing the right things for the right reasons, we also aspire to be a partner of choice for clients who recognize that ESG considerations are often tied to economic ones.”

Inaugural TCFD report

As part of its 2019 Sustainable and Responsible Investing report, Manulife Investment Management included its inaugural TCFD report—which follows the voluntary disclosure framework developed by the Financial Stability Board’s Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). The framework sets out how businesses should disclose climate-related financial risks and opportunities within the context of their existing disclosure requirements. For Manulife Investment Management, this report offers details on the firm’s approach to climate-related sustainability governance, risk management, strategy for managing climate-related risks and opportunities, and the metrics used to manage and monitor alignment with climate-related goals.

Top Scores on PRI Assessment

Also contained in the 2019 report is Manulife Investment Management’s recently announced Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) assessment results and rationale. Scores for 2019 included:

  • A+ for strategy and governance  
  • A+ for equity integration  
  • A+ for SSA fixed-income integration (sovereign, supranational, and agency debt)   
  • A for real estate
  • A for equity active ownership
  • A for fixed income (corporate financial, corporate non-financial, and securitized)  
  • B for infrastructure (this asset class was submitted for the first time)
  • B for private equity (this asset class was submitted for the first time)

Click here for more information about the Manulife Investment Management 2019 Sustainable and Responsible Investing Report.

About Manulife Investment Management
Manulife Investment Management is the global wealth and asset management segment of Manulife Financial Corporation. We draw on more than a century of financial stewardship and the full resources of our parent company to serve individuals, institutions, and retirement plan members worldwide. Headquartered in Toronto, our leading capabilities in public and private markets are strengthened by an investment footprint that spans 17 countries and territories. We complement these capabilities by providing access to a network of unaffiliated asset managers from around the world. We’re committed to investing responsibly across our businesses. We develop innovative global frameworks for sustainable investing, collaboratively engage with companies in our securities portfolios, and maintain a high standard of stewardship where we own and operate assets, and we believe in supporting financial well-being through our workplace retirement plans. Today, plan sponsors around the world rely on our retirement plan administration and investment expertise to help their employees plan for, save for, and live a better retirement. 

As of June 30, 2020, Manulife Investment Management had CAD$900 billion (US$660 billion) in assets under management and administration. Not all offerings are available in all jurisdictions. For additional information, please visit manulifeim.com.

SOURCE Manulife Investment Management

For further information: Media Contacts: Giovana Chichito, Manulife Investment Management Canada, 647-702-4707, [email protected]; Elizabeth Bartlett, Manulife Investment Management US and Europe, 857-210-2286, [email protected]; Carl Wong, Manulife Investment Management Asia, 852 2510 3180, [email protected]

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City of Mississauga Applauds Roche Canada Jobs Investment in Life Sciences Industry

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“At a time when Canada and the world are looking to the life sciences sector to lead in testing, treatment and post-pandemic economic recovery, I am proud that Roche Canada has decided to grow and expand their business here in Mississauga,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Not only will this investment support jobs and attract talent, but it also reinforces Mississauga’s position as a global, internationally recognized leader in life sciences. Our local economy has greatly benefitted from our thriving life sciences sector, a place where researchers can not only make medical breakthroughs but where products can be commercialized and brought to market.”

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system.

Mississauga was selected for this investment based on a strong competitive business environment, exceptional talent pool, and a government committed to fostering growth in the sector,” says Ronnie Miller, President and CEO of Roche Pharmaceuticals, Canada. “We applaud the hard work done by the Government of Ontario and the Premier’s Office to foster a business environment that can compete internationally to attract investment opportunities, and Roche’s commitment to add up to 500 specialized positions is a direct result of these positive changes. Without the support of all three levels of government, the Mississauga Board of Trade, Life Sciences Ontario, and Invest in Canada, who are all active advocates for a thriving sector, this investment would not have been possible.”

Mississauga is the second largest Life Sciences Sector in Canada by employment, with more than 470 companies employing over 25,000 people.

Mississauga is the first Canadian municipality to have a five year Life Sciences Cluster Strategy and Action Plan that focuses on establishing Mississauga as the premier Canadian destination for the commercialization of life sciences products, technologies and services,” said Bonnie Brown, Director of Economic Development. “Our commitment to growing Mississauga’s Life Sciences cluster has been instrumental in helping us achieve our economic goals and attracting new investment.”

Roche Canada states the investment will create new and exciting employment opportunities, in particular for recent graduates of Ontario’s strong science, technology, engineering and math academic institutions who will have the opportunity to impact the development of Roche’s medicines from early stages through to patient use around the world.

For more information about Mississauga’s Life Sciences Cluster, visit thefutureisunlimited.ca.

SOURCE City of Mississauga

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FCA's $1 billion investment in Canada tied to gov't help – Automotive News Europe

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Editor’s note: All dollar figures in this story have been translated from Canadian currency into U.S. dollars at current exchange rates.

Unifor leaders on Sunday urged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles workers to ratify a tentative contract that includes pay raises, changes to the new-hire pay grid and plans from the automaker to invest between $1 billion and $1.1 billion in its Windsor, Ontario, assembly plant.

The Windsor investment, which would lead to the production of a plug-in hybrid or battery-electric vehicle there by 2024, is contingent upon the ratification of the contract and government support, according to a letter from FCA Canada to Unifor detailing the investment plans that was included in a contract highlights brochure Sunday. Unifor President Jerry Dias indicated on Thursday that FCA was in conversations with the government on support.

“With that joint commitment, the company’s intention is to add the necessary assembly tooling and equipment to manufacture electrified vehicles for future models, currently planned for the 2025 model year,” the FCA letter reads.

Both the federal and Ontario governments have pledged money toward Ford Motor’s $1.4 billion investment in Oakville, Ontario. And the federal government sounds open to doing something similar for FCA.

“We are at the table and prepared to support the future of our auto sector, particularly with regards to the development of electric vehicle and battery production here in Canada,” the federal government told Automotive News Canada in an email on Oct. 15

More than 8,000 FCA workers represented by Unifor were set to vote virtually on whether to ratify the contract beginning at 10 a.m. ET Sunday through 9:59 a.m. Monday. Ratification meetings, held online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, were scheduled for Sunday morning.

‘Transformational talks’

Union leaders pitched the agreement as a historic one that helps to make Canada a “forerunner in green cars and green jobs” and contains economic provisions “as good as we have seen in decades.”

“This year’s auto talks will go down in history as a transformational moment for the Canadian auto sector,” reads a statement from Unifor’s Dias, FCA Master Bargaining Committee Chair James Stewart and National Secretary Treasurer Lana Payne.

“Years of government neglect, job loss and worker despair is quickly turning into optimism, hope and a very bright future. Canada is back in the game, in a very big way and Unifor members at FCA are a part of that.”

The plans for Windsor, which will continue to assemble FCA’s minivans, make up the vast majority of investment dollars FCA committed to under the tentative agreement. FCA’s Brampton, Ontario, assembly plant will receive about $38 million in investment over the life of the agreement, including “sustainment capital for the manufacturing operations” there and a commitment to install a tempered air system.

FCA plans to continue building the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger through the life of the agreement and said it plans to introduce three variants of the latter two models. In their statement, union leaders contrasted the situations at Windsor and Brampton.

“This is an important vote of confidence in Windsor — an important facility facing an uncertain future due to falling minivan sales,” the statement reads. “Alternatively, declining sales are not what is facing Brampton Assembly, where vehicle sales continue at near-record highs.”

‘Good news for Brampton’

The union pitched the capital upgrades in Brampton as “good news” as it continues to “chart a path forward on next-generation products.”

The Brampton plant’s future has long been the subject of speculation. While its Charger and Challenger models remain in demand and highly profitable for the automaker, they are built on one of the oldest platforms in the industry, and it is not clear what FCA’s plans for next-generation versions of those vehicles are.

Upon ratification, FCA also plans to invest $14.4 million in its Etobicoke Casting plant in Toronto. The plant would begin casting on parts for the Jeep Wrangler and a nine-speed transmission.

The three-year FCA contract follows the pattern set by the recently ratified contract between Unifor and Ford. That contract was ratified in late September with 81-percent support among voting union members.

The FCA contract includes $8,500 in bonuses, including a $5,500 lump sum payment due on Nov. 20 and two $1,500 bonuses to be paid out in December 2021 and December 2022. 

Full-time production workers at the full pay rate would also receive a 4 percent lump sum bonus in 2021, as well as a 2.5 percent raises in 2020 and 2022. Workers would also receive a 13-cent per-hour wage increase that “reestablishes parity” between FCA and Ford assembly workers, according to the union. Additionally, the plan calls for the 20 percent wage differential between skilled-trades workers and production workers to be reinstated by 2023.

Like the Ford contract, the tentative FCA deal would shorten the wage grow-in period for new hires to eight years. Base pay percentages were also increased for each year under the contract. For instance, a new hire would earn 65 percent of the full base rate, up from 61.25 percent under the current agreement.

Retirement help

According to Unifor, FCA plans to offer a $30,300  lump-sum retirement package for up to 350 workers in early 2021, 275 of which are set aside for the Brampton plant. Allocation of the remaining packages will be discussed between the company and union at a later date, Unifor said.

FCA plans to hire up to 75 apprentices split between its two assembly plants and Etobicoke Casting. The company also confirmed plans to reverse a decision to outsource its transportation division in Windsor, according to the union.

The FCA contract also includes various changes to health-care benefits, including increased coverage reimbursement levels for vision care, higher maximums for dental care and a new annual limit of $380 for medical cannabis prescribed by a physician.

Under the agreement, Unifor and FCA’s annual business review meetings would become quarterly. The meetings would focus on “company product plans and business forecasts, including on electric, autonomous, connected vehicle and component parts development,” according to the highlights sheet. 

Should workers ratify the agreement, Unifor would begin negotiations with General Motors later this week. GM-Unifor talks will cover the automaker’s St. Catharines, Ontario, engine and transmission plant and the new aftermarket parts operation at its former Oshawa, Ontario, assembly plant.

FCA ratification results were expected to be known on Monday.

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