Vol. 1 Issue 1 _____________________________________________ Reporting the Issues ____________________ Jalal, Rahmat 4, 172 B.E.
Recent Economic Developments Rattle the Kingdom
On the operating floor of one of UPKLEGS' factories.
The economic state of the UPKL is one of uncertainty at the present. One could say that opportunity is ripe for the picking with good or bad intentions. A matter of months ago government was completely reshuffled in order to make room for a developing private sector. With this reshuffling, there has also been allocation of certain industries to states’ control, while the government has relinquished certain controls.
Publishing Industry Subsidies – Previously under the control of the government, the publishing industry is largely in private hands now, but since incredibly generous subsidies flood the industry it is apparent that the government is not quite ready to let hold of their grip. Critics claim that the change from total public control to private hands has promoted more exchange of ideas, but the oversight sought by the government still leaves room for undue censorship to occur. Tis better than the lack of oversight and complete control of the government from our previous system.
On the other hand, some would argue that it is necessary for certain industries be propped up with kingdom subsidies at this turbulent time. The recent public launch of the UPKL Educational Goods & Services (EGS) stock gave the administration all the more incentive to provide a generous ‘helping hand’ for their transition to the regional market. The stock is expected to grow at a very modest rate, with a one-year target of 54 units of SLU currency, 31% more than today’s closing price at 41.06 units.
IT Development– In our effort to become a service-based economy with a few specialty exports, there is an increasing focus on the development of information technology and security services. When asked about the future of the technology sector, the Chancellor of the newly built Lama'l-'Abha Institute of Technology and Design said, "While we can not say where what our students and researchers will take us in the coming years through their study and research,
but it is certain that what comes of it will be for the better of all the citizens of the UPKL." The building of this new research university comes with the governments desire to "propel our people into the modern age and beyond". The people worry of what goes on behind closed doors, especially because of the notorious facilities that once housed the majority of the UPKL's technology sector, now the home of the Financial Counsel. Many experiment documents have leaked in recent years causing the public to become more suspicious of government activity. In some circles it is said that these documents were the catalyst for the "reprioritization" of the government in the first place. These changes have come with the promise of more transparency with the public. As a protester of the new university put, "Lest we sacrifice freedom for security."
(cont. on pg. 2)
Economic Developments Cont.
UPKL to Open Borders, Embassies to be Built, Diplomats Welcomed.
The previous institution now houses the UPKL’s Financial Counsel (left). The treasury vaults reach hundreds of meters below the surface. The Lama’l-‘Abha Institute of Technology and Design (right), a prominent new addition to the capital ‘Abha-Laia.
Beginning next week the application process for embassies in the capital city of 'Abha-Laia will open to all member nations within the SLU that qualify.
A public statement will be released with the necessary qualifications clearly stated. The regional government of the capital have already allocated space for the embassies in the administrative district of the city. The new complex dubbed Embassy Park will house most of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, offices for diplomats, and endless rooms in which alliances may be formed.
The embassies of each nation will be located on adjacent properties in which they may construct a modest embassy of their own design or simply reside within the complex's main building. There are reports that there are a limited number of lots allocated for the construction of embassies. 'Abha-Laia's administrative district is highly prized estate.
There is no word on how many allies are interested in establishing an embassy, but treaty talks are said to be already underway. None of this is confirmed, however. Public opinion has leaned toward more regional involvement for a time. After efforts of kickstarting the economy through solely domestic methods proved more daunting than previously thought. Therefore king Lamatama has called for the offices of foreign affairs to step forward with these initiatives.
The dangers of the exchange rate - Now that the Kingdom has entered into the international economic stage, another lurking situation worries and excites small and large investors alike. The possibility for international trade is upon us. This comes with a price, literally. The current exchange rate for the Petal is ȹ2.67 for every SLU unit of currency. In other words, our currency is on the lower end of of value within the region. Since our markets have just recently opened to the region, there is little data on the history on previous exchange rates. The Economics Commission (UPKEC) has been assigned the responsibility of diligently recording the fluctuations in exchange rate and the state of the economy in general. This includes initiatives from large industries, small business and farms, and everything in between. The king has requested a detailed report of activity and progress of such initiatives on a weekly basis. We will provide our own reports with any new information that is gathered. While the current exchange rate may not be favorable, there is a ripe opportunity for private investors to purchase stock of a UPKL company. Since analysts predict the equilllibrium of the exchange rate to at least be a 2:1 ratio by the end of the year, the government has agreed to a year-long insurance policy to subsidize investors to cover the difference in the exchange rate. This all sounds confusing... and who is to even know if it will work in favor of the entire populace. There are already outcrys over the incentive. This is proving to be one of the most earth-rattling times of our Kingdom. Only time will tell if our elected legislature in conjunction with our beloved king are making the right moves. Time and statistics.
Embassy Park is on the border of the central administrative district. Everything is within walking distance and the park itself has been a part of the city since it's inception long ago.
Organized Sports Getting a Big Boost in Public Funding
Editorial: The Infiltration of the Gambling Industry
It has come to the kingdom spotlight that there are not enough organized sports, at least when compared to other nations within the region. Immigrants from those nations have repeatedly sent pleas to the government to promote organized sports and their social and health benefits. Approved by the king himself, the government responded with not only a statement, but many grants to each region to construct appropriate sporting and event venues. These venues are for each of the regional Mashriqu'l-Adhkár to allocate and the local population of said allocation to vote on which purposes it will serve. It is most likely that the more populous places in each region will be the ones to receive these allocations. Most likely in the effort to bolster the roles of the more rural regional capitals, which are approximately 10,000-50,000 strong. Mind you, these are not multiplexes that one would see on the international stage. Only 'Abha-Laia and Tdahiri could produce such marvels, rather most of these grants will be used to purchase land and construct semi-permanent structures that can be recycled and replaced at a reduced cost. This is a strategy that will hopefully prove effective in respect to the changing desires of the local populace. Not to mention, the changing of seasons (which are drastic in some places) be adapted to with such a strategy. An outdoor football field may, in a matter of hours, turn into an indoor blitzball stadium. One thing is for certain with this decision. Finally, our government officially recognizes that organized sports must needs be endorsed. The cooperation, competitiveness, and tactfulness (not to mention exercise in general)that are required for such activities is unrivaled. Liberal arts are important too, though!
Inspired by the introduction of the SLU lottery, the Financial Counsel has introduced and gained approval from the legislature for the implementation of the UPKL’s own national lottery. There has been a great divide in public opinion about this legislation. Gambling of all forms has long been outlawed. Casinos have never been allowed, nor betting for organized sports. The reason being the government’s strong affinity for the state religion and the laws pertaining unto it. An institution for the government itself is producing a system that promotes gambling! What made our representatives think that they could get away with not abiding by generations of tradition. Just because these are trying times where nothing is certain does not give grounds to break the laws that were given to us by God. I will do nothing short of call the people responsible for this hypocritical. For to long have the good people of this kingdom worked to keep the ensnaring pleasures of games of chance out of our society. Let it be known that there will be petitions and proposals presented to the legislatures of every level of authority. The majority has not been represented in this decision and we do not endorse it. A lottery is lesser a chance than any other game which to gamble. If you so agree, then call your respective representatives and voice that opinion. They were elected to hear that voice.
Last Edit: Jul 1, 2015 1:41:41 GMT by Lamatama: 'Tis finished!!
With warm regards,
king Lamatama United Peoples' Kingdom of Lamatama 172 B.E.
"Show loving kindness to all who cross your path" - Baha'u'llah