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UK economy likely to be 6% smaller at Easter than previously forecast – The Guardian

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Opinion: Plant protein beckons as a key component of economic diversity – Calgary Herald

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Alberta can add value through processing to many of our crops — fractionating the plants into ingredients such as protein, starch and fibre that will then be exported or further developed locally into commercial products for food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, pet food or livestock feed.

Take peas alone: if we process 35 per cent of the average pea crop grown in Alberta, it will add an additional $1 billion annually to the provincial economy compared to just exporting the crop as a bulk commodity.

But there is growing competition globally in plant-ingredient processing and there is already disparity within the Prairie provinces.

In Western Canada, $1 billion has been invested into protein processing plants in the past few years. However, Alberta has not yet announced a single commercial facility that extracts pea protein, even though our farmers grow nearly half of the field peas in the West. Every tonne is exported.

Alberta is at risk of letting this moment pass us by while others move ahead decisively.

What needs to happen?

First, and most importantly, the provincial government must make the plant-ingredient processing sector one of its top priorities.

Developing a plan is key. Elected officials and bureaucrats at all levels need to demonstrate a depth of knowledge — publicly and in private negotiations — backed with a clear strategy and a true commitment. Premier Jason Kenney and Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen have said agriculture will drive economic recovery and have allocated funds for investing in value-added processing. Focusing on a cohesive plant-based strategy and making it a government priority will ensure we seize this realistic chance to diversify.

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Japan’s economy to recover to pre-pandemic levels in 2022, Bank of Japan’s Kuroda says – The Globe and Mail

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Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda attends a news conference at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, on July 30, 2019.

KIM KYUNG-HOON/Reuters

Japan’s economy will likely recover to levels before the coronavirus pandemic as early as March next year, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Monday, offering an upbeat view on its recovery prospect despite headwinds from COVID-19.

Kuroda also said a combination of expansionary fiscal and monetary policies have successfully stabilized Japan’s economy, signalling that the BOJ has offered sufficient stimulus for now to cushion the economic blow from the health crisis.

“Both fiscal and monetary policies have been successful in preventing corporate failures and unemployment,” Kuroda told a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

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“We expect, probably by the end of fiscal 2021 or early fiscal 2022, that Japan’s economy would recover and come back to levels before the pandemic started,” he said.

In its latest quarterly projections released last week, the BOJ expects the world’s third-largest economy to expand 3.9% in the fiscal year beginning in April, followed by a 1.8% increase in fiscal 2022.

The key challenge for policy-makers would be to prevent the pandemic from leaving a lasting scar on the economy, and to provide impetus to growth such as by promoting digitalization and a “green” economy, Kuroda said.

“Greening the economy…was important before the pandemic. But now it’s more important. It would make our economy more sustainable. At the same time, it would provide some growth impetus,” he said.

After suffering its biggest postwar slump in April-June last year, Japan’s economy has been recovering moderately from the pandemic thanks to a rebound in exports and output.

But a resurgence in infections has forced the government to declare a new state of emergency in January, threatening to cool consumption and push the economy back into recession.

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German economy to stagnate in Q1 – economist – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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BERLIN (Reuters) – The German economy will stagnate in the first quarter of the year, Ifo economist Klaus Wohlrabe said on Monday, in the latest sign of the toll being taken by lockdown on Europe’s largest economy.

“The German economy is starting the year with little confidence,” Wohlrabe said, adding that delays in COVID-19 vaccine deliveries were adding to the uncertainty.

German business morale fell by more than expected in January as a second wave of COVID-19 brought to a halt a recovery in Europe’s largest economy, a survey showed on Monday.

(Reporting by Rene Wagner; Writing by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Thomas Escritt)

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