— This is the script of CNBC's weekly news report for China's CCTV on September 08, 2023.
First up on this week's People of the Week is Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
News about a potential change of India's official name this week has sparked discussion. In the invitation letter for the G20 summit's dinner, the Indian PM Modi changed his title from the commonly used "Prime Minister of India" to "Prime Minister of Bharat."
In Sanskrit, the term "Bharat" means "Seeker of Light," with roots in ancient Indian literature. While the word "India" was established during the British colonial era and has a much shorter history. According to the Indian Constitution, both "India" and "Bharat" are official names for the country, depending on which language the documents use. However, the inclusion of "Bharat" in an English invitation has led to speculations about an official renaming.
Analytics suggest that this is part of the efforts to promote Hinduism and nationalism in India by the Modi government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). They hope to eliminate traces of colonial history by changing the nation's official name and renovating old buildings. This move has been criticized by the opposition. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said on social media that he hopes the government will not be so "foolish" to completely abandon the name "India", as it has "incalculable brand value." According to local Indian media reports, the Modi government may propose to change the name of India to "Bharat" during a special session of parliament from September 18 to 22.
Then let's turn our sights to the Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz.
Recently, Scholz suffered a facial injury while jogging and has been wearing an eyepatch reminiscent of a pirate. And he is also experiencing a tough time at work–facing challenges on two fronts: economic difficulties and the rise of far-right forces. The Kiel Institute lowered its forecast for Germany's economy this year, predicting a 0.5% contraction. The specific reasons cited include weak industrial activity, a construction industry crisis, and slowing consumer spending.
At the same time, the support rate for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party has significantly increased, even surpassing Scholz's Social Democratic Party (SPD). Recently, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called for a "Pact for Germany," urging collaboration between the government, federal states, municipalities, and the opposition to ensure the nation's future success.
Notably, Germany's economic pillar, the automotive industry, is facing challenges due to rising costs in the context of energy transition. Scholz showed up at the IAA MOBILITY Munich 2023 this week, and expressed his support for the automotive industry, especially the EV sector. He reiterated the goal of having 15 million electric vehicles in Germany by 2030 and announced that a new policy would be introduced in a few weeks to expand the number of electric vehicle charging stations. He also said that the government would invest over 110 billion euros in industrial modernization and environmental protection next year to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.
Last but not least, let's turn our attention to American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift.
This summer, her "Eras Tour" is boosting the U.S. economy. A survey by QuestionPro shows that, Swifties have spent more than an average of $1,300 to attend the tour, factoring in the ticket sales, clothing, accommodation, etc. And 71% of concertgoers said the experience is worth it.
The Eras Tour will not only boost Taylor's wealth but also drive up tourism in the cities she visits. Crunching some numbers. Data from Billboard and QuestionPro estimates that ticket revenues in the U.S. hover around $590 million. Each city she visited sees economic impacts ranging from $46 million to $140 million, summing up to a total consumer spend of $46 billion. With such figures, if Taylor Swift's Tour was a nation, it would be the 156 biggest economy in the world based on GDP comparisons.
Recently, Taylor announced that The Eras Tour would be produced into a movie, set to be released at cinemas in North America this October. Upon this news, Taylor's fans rushed to purchase pre-sale tickets, ultimately breaking the record for single-day pre-sale ticket sales in AMC with $26 million. The influence of "Swiftonomics" continues, and even the Canadian Prime Minister has extended an invitation on social media to Taylor, hoping she adds some stops to her Eras Tour in Canada.
And that wraps up our spotlight on the People of this Week. We'll stay on top of these stories. Stay tuned!