3. The second event of note is Comac’s latest round of financing—it raised 15 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) last month in the form of a 10-year debt investment plan—combined with the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in June by Airbus and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The financing and MOU are intended to help bring about a fully developed, competitive domestic supply chain, the former through the injection of research and development money down the supply chain and the latter through the integration of Chinese suppliers in Airbus’s global supply network. The objective, as outlined in the “Made in China 2025” plan, is for Chinese suppliers to provide 80% of all parts by 2025.
6. 2014 sees the World Cup returning to South America for the first time since 1978, when a Mario Kempes inspired Argentina saw off the Netherlands, keeping up the record that only South American teams have ever won the tournament when it's been held there. So will 2014 be any different ? Will any of the big European nations, including the holders Spain, be able to do what no other team has managed in the past ? Or does any other continent have the strength to see off the challenge from a strong South American group ?