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SnapshotsSep 22, 2020 | 22:24 GMT
Reading the Fine Print of Angola’s Debt Restructuring
The International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s recently announced $1 billion disbursement to Angola is based partly on China indicating a willingness to defer 2020 debts. But Beijing's creditor role may be complicated by possible efforts to take an equity stake in some of the Southern African country's oil fields. And while the funds will help fill some of Angola's financing gaps, there is clearly a market view that the country may require more comprehensive debt restructuring, even if it doesn't happen until 2021 or later. 
AssessmentsJan 28, 2020 | 17:36 GMT
Environmentalists stage a protest against a World Economic Forum briefing meeting in Brussels on Jan. 27, 2020.
For the Global Economy, a Sluggish 2020 Awaits
For the global economy in the year ahead, challenges won’t be far away, with uncertainty from unpredictable policymaking on trade and investment, coupled with potential geopolitical disruptions and financial vulnerabilities, leading the way. And if these risks come to pass, the world's leading economies will be hard-pressed to respond in a coordinated, effective manner. Already, international cooperation is frayed as countries look increasingly inward, while slower growth with stagnant incomes could encourage even more economic nationalism than exists at present. Ultimately, the host of threats presents the world's policymakers with a tricky path toward safeguarding growth in the global economy.
AssessmentsDec 10, 2019 | 20:10 GMT
Myanmar army generals Tun Tun Nyi, Soe Naing Oo and Zaw Min Tun (left to right) discuss their intent to thwart constitutional changes by the governing National League for Democracy.
How Myanmar's Elections Could Dampen Its Investment Climate
In the months leading up to Myanmar's late 2020 elections, an atmosphere of political uncertainty and a risk-averse approach to reforms will combine to make it difficult for the country to attract foreign investment, even as it pushes to diversify beyond Chinese involvement. Myanmar's next government will likely be more divided and incoherent than the one now led by the National League for Democracy, with added complexity expected as ethnic minority, military-aligned and other parties jockey for position. More immediately, in the run-up to the election, the risks associated with spikes in anti-Muslim communal violence, stepped-up military offensives in ethnic border regions and a stagnating peace process with insurgents will rise. These factors, combined with the global trade slowdown, could limit Myanmar's economic growth. The 2020 vote, coming a decade into Myanmar's post-dictatorship period, will be a key test for the country's new political balance.
AssessmentsJun 19, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad delivers a speech during a conference in Tokyo on May 30, 2019.
For Malaysia's Ruling Coalition, the Honeymoon's Over
It's been just over a year since Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his Pakatan Harapan coalition took office in an election upset that unseated the country's monolithic Barisan Nasional coalition. But after more than six decades at the helm, Barisan Nasional's political roots run deep, with an extensive bureaucratic influence that its newly minted successor has yet to achieve. Since taking office in May 2018, the ruling coalition's approval ratings have plunged from nearly 80 percent to roughly 39 percent in March. The government's inability to fully deliver on its promise of economic prosperity, as well as recent signs of internal discord, continues to dampen its legitimacy among voters. Meanwhile, the handover of power to a new prime minister risks crumbling the coalition's already fragile unity altogether in the years ahead. This, combined with looming global threats to Malaysia's economy, will further jeopardize the new government's ability to pass key
AssessmentsMay 15, 2019 | 11:00 GMT
Residents cast their votes in Philippine national and midterm elections on May 13, 2019, in Malabang, Lanao del Sur, in the southern Philippines.
Duterte's Policies Earn a Vote of Confidence in Philippine Elections
From the start, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has sought to be a game changer. The first president from the remote southern region of Mindanao, he swept to victory in 2016 elections by advocating a ruthless approach to crime, promising to spread economic development to far-flung regions and vowing to end chronic insurgencies. The man known as "The Punisher" has proven to be wildly popular, managing to sustain his controversial drug war, attracting record foreign direct investment (FDI), advancing the Mindanao peace process and maintaining healthy growth numbers overall. Now, midway through his single term, Duterte's allies have made a strong showing in elections that will help him move forward on key agenda items. At stake are ambitious objectives to implement a federal system of government, raise FDI limits and revamp the mineral sector, among others. Amid the Philippines' careful balancing act between the United States and China, Duterte's domestic fortunes
AssessmentsFeb 25, 2019 | 10:30 GMT
A Chinese worker checks wheels on Jan. 28, 2019, at a factory in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province.
China's Economic Pain Will Power Southeast Asia's Gains
As the global trade and investment landscape continues to evolve, Southeast Asia is gaining momentum as a top destination for investors seeking lower-wage manufacturing labor, high returns on their capital and infrastructural investments, and opportunities to profit from the region's sizable and fast-growing domestic markets. U.S.-China trade frictions are set to increase the manufacturing investments into the region that already are underway. The surge of investment into the region will be shared unevenly and felt disproportionately. But in the short term, Southeast Asia's emerging economies must equally contend with supply chain disruptions caused by the U.S.-China trade war, an extended slowdown in the Chinese economy, weak global demand for China's manufactured goods and their individual internal structural issues.
AssessmentsJan 2, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, inspect the troops during a welcoming ceremony at the Malacanang Palace in Manila on Nov. 20, 2018.
The Philippines Waits for a Chinese Windfall
Since 2016, conciliation with China has been the name of the game for Philippine foreign policy planners. Under President Rodrigo Duterte, Manila has de-emphasized thorny South China Sea disputes in favor of pursuing cooperation with China in the hopes of freeing up resources to quell internal instability while attracting Chinese investment to bolster the Philippine economy and even out the island country's deep regional development disparities. For Beijing, the warmer relations with Manila align with its preference for dealing with each of the South China Sea's claimants on a bilateral basis, along with its overall regional strategy to leverage its economic heft for strategic advantage. As Duterte nears the midpoint of his term in office, the jury is still out on whether his approach has been a success. Despite two high-profile state visits and a raft of pledges, Chinese investment has yet to flow into the archipelago. Ultimately, if China wants
AssessmentsDec 12, 2018 | 11:00 GMT
A Saudi man gestures near a sign at the start of the three-day Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on Oct. 23, 2018.
Why Saudi Arabia Will Struggle to Draw Investors in 2019
With 2019 just around the corner, Saudi Arabia's economic planners are busy at work, planning the oil giant's budget for the coming year. On one hand, the outlook for the country's economic growth is good, especially when compared to a year ago. Over the past year, oil prices have been high enough that the desert kingdom has succeeded in narrowing its substantial budget deficit faster than originally planned. Real GDP growth also hit 1.8 percent in the first half of 2018 – up a full 1 percent from the same period of 2017. Nevertheless, a deeper problem lurks, namely, the economic engine that is responsible for the country's growth. If growth only comes from heavy state spending, rather than private sector activity or higher levels of consumption, Saudi Arabia's ambitious plans to diversify the economy have little chance of success in the near term.
AssessmentsNov 28, 2018 | 13:30 GMT
Vendors sell nuts as people shop under a banner reading "An End to Inflation" in Istanbul's Eminonu neighborhood on Nov. 6, 2018.
As Turkey Enters 2019, Its Economic Woes Are Never Far Away
Turkey has endured more than its fair share of economic hardships in 2018, but its annus horribilis might portend even greater trials and tribulations in the year to come. Inflation reached record levels, going as high as 25 percent in September, a month after the value of its currency dropped to the unprecedented level of almost 7 liras to the dollar, striking investors with fear. Watching on wearily, consumers could only express their despair as the prices for staples soared. And far from shoring up confidence in the economy, the government and its plans to tackle the crisis simply invited derision.
SnapshotsSep 12, 2018 | 20:35 GMT
Russia, Japan: Putin Tries to Tempt Abe With a Surprise Offer
Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise offer to Japan at the Eastern Economic Forum on Sept. 12. During a panel discussion alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Putin remarked that the two sides should conclude a World War II peace treaty by the end of 2018 without preconditions and build on that foundation "to resolve all the controversial issues." This treaty has been stalled for decades because of a thorny territorial dispute over the southern Kuril Islands.
Contributor PerspectivesJul 11, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
A container ship pulls into Djibouti's Doraleh Port in 2015.
How Development Finance Is Changing Geopolitics
Development finance has undergone a shift. Though traditional aid flows once dominated the sector, foreign direct investment (FDI) is now by far the leading source of development finance in most of the world's emerging states. At the same time, competition for influence in these countries is heating up, led by China's massive investments in infrastructure projects in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The race in development finance is already altering the balance of global geopolitics and will have major economic, military and political repercussions.
AssessmentsMay 4, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
In this 2007 photograph, office blocks and residential buildings tower over the notorious slum colony of Dharavi in Mumbai, India.
Why India's Options to Reduce Inequality Are Limited
In March, the whole of India tuned in to watch as 35,000 farmers -- many barefoot -- traipsed across the western state of Maharashtra for six days on the way to Mumbai, India's financial capital, to register their discontent about the hardships so many feel in the subcontinent's countryside. Aware of a nation's eyes upon it, a chastened state administration gave the marchers an obsequious welcome, rapidly caving into demands for financial concessions. Mollified, the marchers dispersed and returned to their farms, as the rest of the country returned to its daily life, awaiting the next conflict.
AssessmentsFeb 10, 2018 | 15:25 GMT
An investor in China examines a map showing investment opportunities in real estate, including in the United States.
Tit for Tat? The Shape of U.S. Restrictions on Chinese FDI
In its ongoing pushback against Chinese trade and investment, the White House is reportedly mulling restrictions on Chinese investment that mirror the restrictions imposed by Beijing on U.S. investment. Since 2005, the United States has attracted approximately 10 percent of all outbound Chinese foreign direct investment, or FDI. The amount of Chinese FDI heading to the United States has grown tremendously since 2010 in parallel with more Chinese investment in developed markets, particularly in those that Beijing has sought to beef up domestically. Because of China’s tight investment policies, the possible move by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration could have a major impact on the billions of dollars Beijing pours into U.S. industries, especially sectors that China has prioritized for growth, such as technology, consumer goods and services.
AssessmentsSep 8, 2017 | 11:59 GMT
Chinese demand for commodities has made Beijing the main trade partner of some of Latin America's biggest economies, but the United States and Europe will continue to lead foreign direct investment in the region.
Economic Influence in Latin America Isn't All About Trade
Over the past decade, increased trade with China has helped fuel Latin America's economic growth. The country's demand for commodities has made Beijing the main trade partner of some of Latin America's biggest economies, including Brazil, Chile and Peru. China's growing presence in the region, particularly in South America, has raised alarms in Washington, which historically has considered Latin America its backyard. But to look at international trade alone would be to misrepresent the situation. When trying to understand Latin America's complex economic structures and international relations, foreign direct investment (FDI) is one of the most important indicators to consider.
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