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Contributor PerspectivesAug 7, 2019 | 11:00 GMT
A project manager for the Arctic Research Foundation on April 9, 2015, walks past snowmobiles used by Canadian troops deployed to the territory of Nunavut to demonstrate Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic.
The Melting Arctic Heats Up the Question of Who Governs the Northwest Passage
In a rapidly changing climate, it is likely that recent U.S. attacks on Canadian claims of sovereignty in the far north are intended to remind Ottawa that the status quo depends on Washington's goodwill. But while the United States may be interested, in the short term, in jostling with Canadian sovereignty claims, perhaps to strengthen its hand in any potential dispute over resources, its apparent long-term geopolitical interests -- particularly the defense of the North American continent -- remain intertwined with Ottawa's.
Partner PerspectivesFeb 1, 2019 | 11:00 GMT
Chinese police officers watch a cargo ship in Qingdao, a seaport in Shandong province, on March 8, 2018.
Visualizing the World's Busiest Ports
Maritime shipping facilitates an estimated 90 percent of world trade, and as trade volumes continue to increase, the world's busiest ports continue to grow larger and more efficient to meet demand. While Danish company, Maersk, is still the largest shipping line, an ever-increasing share of the world's container traffic is moving through Chinese controlled ports. An estimated two-thirds of container traffic now passes through Chinese ports or ports that have received Chinese investment.
AssessmentsSep 14, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A container ship is docked at the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas in Michoacan state on April 4, 2017.
Can Blockchain Technology Bring Smooth Seas to Global Shipping?
There are a handful of technologies that, if widely adopted, have the potential to revolutionize how the world works. Distributed ledger technology is one such invention, and shipping is an industry that would obviously benefit from adopting blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies. Given shipping's struggles and its vulnerability to geopolitical risk, creating a transparent, distributed ledger that would remove middlemen and increase efficiencies could help the industry evolve and improve economically. To reap the benefits, however, the constraints of widespread adoption must be overcome. This challenge highlights a broader struggle to influence global standards across many emerging technologies, a struggle that often pits the United States (more broadly the West) against China. The use of blockchain in global shipping is no different.
Quarterly ForecastsMar 11, 2018 | 22:11 GMT
The White House will bump up against the laws of the United States and the central tenets of the World Trade Organization as it launches a global trade offensive in the name of national security.
2018 Second-Quarter Forecast
All eyes will be fixed on the White House this quarter as it launches a trade offensive whose collateral damage will span the globe. As economic and political pressure mounts against China, North Korea will use a temporary detente with the South to undermine the United States' containment strategy against it.
AssessmentsFeb 27, 2018 | 19:26 GMT
When U.K. voters elected to leave the European Union in 2016, they also -- perhaps unwittingly -- put the peace agreement between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland at risk. But blockchain technology could help provide a solution.
Could Blockchain Solve a Brexit Sticking Point?
Representatives on both sides of the arduous Brexit talks are confronting their biggest challenge yet: the future of the Irish border. In December 2017, the United Kingdom and the European Union agreed that the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland would remain an open one after Brexit was final, but that agreement was so vague that they are still working out the details of how to make that promise a reality. As negotiators look toward innovative new methods for maintaining the peace, they may discover that blockchain could contribute to a solution.
AssessmentsMar 27, 2017 | 09:30 GMT
A loaded cargo ship heads out to sea from New York Harbor. Over the past decade, the world's available shipping capacity has grown faster than global trade has.
Why the Global Shipping Industry Will Be Tough to Salvage
The political order that defines the world is changing, and with it, the global shipping industry. The advent of container shipping in the mid-1950s propelled the age of globalization forward as the world's biggest economies forged new and closer trade links with one another. International trade is now undergoing another massive overhaul as the rise of Western isolationism, the restructuring of China's economy, the weakening of European growth and the Fourth Industrial Revolution alter how goods and services flow between countries in the coming decades. But these fundamental shifts won't change the fact that the cheapest way to move things in large quantities is over water. As a result, the shipping industry will continue to limp along, struggling to stay afloat as countries with competing imperatives -- whether shipping, shipbuilding, shipbreaking or banking -- pull it in different directions over the next few years.
AssessmentsAug 2, 2016 | 09:15 GMT
In Kazakhstan, Saving the State Oil Company May Devastate the Sector
In Kazakhstan, Saving the State Oil Company May Devastate the Sector
The minority shareholders of Kazakhstan's lucrative energy firm, KazMunaiGas Exploration and Production (KMG EP), will vote Aug. 3 on whether or not to sell their shares to the firm's parent company, effectively consolidating the two. The parent company, KazMunaiGas (KMG), is fully owned by the state and is involved in some capacity in most of the country's major energy projects, including Kazakhstan's largest oil fields, transportation firms, refineries and sales groups. In 2004, the Kazakh government established KMG EP to act as a separate exploration and production company. KMG currently owns 57 percent of it, but KMG EP has been fairly autonomous since its foundation, a fact that has at times put the two at odds.
ReflectionsOct 27, 2015 | 01:37 GMT
The Indonesian Conundrum
Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, who finished the first year of his presidency on Oct. 20, campaigned on the promise of significant fiscal, regulatory and economic reform designed to help facilitate Indonesia’s transition from an economy based on raw commodity exports toward one more dependent on manufacturing and industry. However, Jokowi is contending with the challenge of balancing long-term economic plans with short-term domestic economic needs. This means that his reforms are often contradictory -- sometimes offering incentives for foreign investors and other times closing doors to investment in certain sectors.
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