On the Record
We're in a world of power blocs and of trade blocs. And it makes more sense for the U.K. to be part of that power bloc called the European Union and part of that trade bloc called the European Union.
John Bercow, former speaker of the British House of Commons, in an interview with AP
What We're Tracking
Nov. 10-12: Xi in Greece. Just days after Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis returned home from a visit to China, Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive in Athens as part of an effort to solidify the relationship with a key piece to China's Belt and Road Initiative. Despite initial misgivings earlier this year about China's expanded investment plans in a port project in Piraeus, Greece's desire to draw as much foreign investment into the country as possible provide Beijing extended access into the Mediterranean nation. Xi's visit will focus heavily on trade and investments between the two countries as Beijing seeks to cement closer cooperation with Athens to diffuse European Union criticism against China.
Nov. 10: Spanish Elections. Spain will hold a general election, the fourth in as many years, and the winner will be ... fragmentation. Polls suggest that no party will be able to govern alone, and long coalition talks will follow the election. This happens at a time when the Spanish economy, which showed notable resiliency to the political paralysis in recent years, is starting to slow down. The new government will also have to deal with Catalonia's ongoing push for secession.
Nov. 13: Turkey's Erdogan Set to Visit Washington. Amid a backdrop of U.S.-Turkey tensions, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump will try to soothe relations when Erdogan visits the White House. They have plenty to talk about, from sanctions to Syria. Yet whatever they agree to may well be moot, as the U.S. Congress, still putting together its own sanctions package, appears poised to penalize Turkey regardless of what Trump promises.
Nov. 13-14: BRICS Leaders to Meet. The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will hold a summit meeting in Brasilia, where they are expected to focus on strengthening economic cooperation between the five countries, known by their acronym BRICS, with a particular emphasis on technology, innovation and the digital economy. It will be important to track the concrete business deals that emerge from the summit.
Nov. 15: Opposition Protests Target Modi's Economic Record. The opposition Indian National Congress plans to hold a major rally in New Delhi protesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's handling of the economy. Modi's incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party was reelected to power in May, but a persistent slowdown over five quarters points to a key challenge for Modi in the months ahead as the Congress tries to dent his appeal.
Facing Sanctions, Turkey's Defense Industry Goes to Plan B
Turkey's increasingly acrimonious relationship with its NATO allies and the European Union hit a new low after its military incursion into northeastern Syria. Outraged, several Western countries suspended their arms exports to Turkey. While the embargoes will hurt its defense sector, Turkey will compensate by turning to alternative defense partners such as Russia while relying more on its own growing defense industry.
Russia's Arctic Dreams Remain on Ice
The melting Arctic has opened opportunities for Russia to tap the vast resources in its slice of the polar region, but its window to exploit the abundant oil and natural gas deposits there is narrow. The expense of building infrastructure to support energy production in the remote and difficult environment has deterred private companies from investing in Arctic operations, which Moscow is counting on to shore up its long-term petroleum output.
Uzbekistan Comes in From the Cold
Uzbekistan is abandoning its traditional isolationism and becoming an increasingly attractive partner for Russia, China and the United States as they compete for influence in Central Asia. Uzbekistan's opening will help foster greater cooperation within Central Asia, yet the changes will test how much Uzbekistan is truly willing to come in from the cold and the competition among the great powers could pull the country in directions it doesn't want to go.
Coalition Politics Will Hinder Indonesian Economic Reforms
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo brought an ambitious economic reform agenda with him when he first took office in 2014. But just as entrenched interests among his coalition partners and political allies forced Jokowi to scale back his reforms in his first term, his second and final term in office will require him to compromise even more. This time, his coalition is all the more diverse, and his window of opportunity all the more limited.
In the latest episode of the Stratfor podcast, Stratfor analyst Emily Hawthorne talks with Sinan Ciddi, assistant professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, the director of the Institute of Turkish Studies and a frequent contributor to Stratfor Worldview, about Turkey's current situation and its political future.
Visit our podcasts page for more conversations on geopolitics and world affairs with Stratfor's analysts, editors and contributors.