Brazil and Argentina are making plans for a common currency — potentially to be named the ‘sur’, the Spanish for ‘south’ — in the hopes that it will form one of the largest currency unions in the world.
An announcement from the two countries is expected this week, according to the Financial Times (FT), along with a summit in Buenos Aires to discuss how the new currency could reduce US dollar dependence and boost intra-regional trade.
This will mark the “first step on a long road”, Argentina’s economy minister Sergio Massa told the FT. The currency will initially run in parallel with the Argentinian peso and the Brazilian real. Officials hope to eventually include other South American currencies, the FT reported.
“We intend to break down the barriers to our exchanges, simplify and modernise the rules, and encourage the use of local currencies,” the Brazilian and Argentinian presidents, Lula da Silva and Alberto Fernández, write in a January 21 op-ed on Argentinian news site Perfil.
“We also decided to advance discussions on a common South American currency that can be used for both financial and trade flows, reducing operating costs and our external vulnerability.”
Telangana wins Microsoft and AWS data centres
Both Microsoft and Amazon’s cloud computing provider AWS are ramping up spending in Telengana, the southern Indian state that stands at the heart of the country’s tech community.
AWS’s investment will increase from the previously announced $2.5bn to around $4.5bn, the minister for IT, Industries, Municipal Administration & Urban Development, KT Rama Rao, said in a video posted on the ministry’s social media accounts on 20 January, one day after Microsoft committed to three new data centres to Hyderabad, Telangana’s capital, at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Investment into the state sits largely within IT and software — Telangana’s IT industry has received more than $6bn in foreign direct investment since 2014, according to fDi Markets data.
Mr Rao said in the video that his department was paying close attention to “the role that technology and cloud computing can play to catalyse government”, announcing that the regional government was itself adopting AWS in some of its governance and citizen-facing services.
Zapp opens in Thailand
The UK-based electric bike manufacturer Zapp is opening a new campus in micromobility-loving Thailand, near the Bangkok Cybertech District, to fulfil what it calls “growing demand” for two-wheeled electric rides.
The company said in a statement on January 18 the new campus would house efforts to build a new generation of e-mopeds.
“The automotive manufacturing hub of Thailand gives us access to experienced motorcycle engineering talent and supply chain expertise in one of Southeast Asia’s largest motorcycle markets,” Swin Chatsuwan, Zapp’s founder and CEO, said.