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Monday 1 February:

  • United States: President Joe Biden to hold afternoon meetings at the White House with Republican Senators that are seeking to put forward their proposals for a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package. Senators attending include Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Mitt Romney of Utah, Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Todd Young of Indiana, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. GOP proposal of around USD600bn is still far short of the USD1.9trn plan put forward by Biden administration.
  • India: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the FY2021/22 Union Budget, which is intended to support the economy amidst the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Spending on healthcare more than doubled to INR2.2trn (USD30.1bn). Sitharaman also announced a series of economic forecasts, with the budget deficit forecast to come in at 9.5% of GDP for FY2020/21, well in excess of the pre-pandemic forecasts.
  • UK: International Trade Secretary Liz Truss speaks to the trade ministers of New Zealand and Japan to make an official request for the UK to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The UK is likely hoping that joining the CPTPP will open a back-door to a free trade relationship with the US should the Biden administration decide to sign the US up to the group.
  • Brazil: Parliamentarians to meet to vote on new presidents for both houses of the National Congress of Brazil; the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate. Significant political noise surrounding the event, with pro-Bolsonaro candidates Arthur Lira in the Chamber and Rodrigo Pacheco in the Senate the favourites to win. Lira has claimed his first act would be a bill allowing greater spending by regions to combat COVID-19, but with a fiscal cap in place.
  • Global: Arctic Frontiers Conference begins in Tromso, Norway. The conference brings together speakers and representatives from Arctic nations and those with a geopolitical interest in the region. The EU and other major powers such as China are seeking to play a greater role in the resource-rich but globally crucial region in the years ahead.
  • Mexico: First public holiday for Constitution Day
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