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  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Africa is drawing increasing attention, not only from the perspective of businesses based in China and Europe, but also from operators in Africa itself. In particular, closer economic ties between Africa and China have been covered extensively by the media recently—with fairly mixed reviews. This paper highlights the potential, challenges and risks for doing business in Africa over the next few years.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Europe
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Three years after the global economy reached its lowest point in three-quarters of a century, the recovery remains incomplete and the outlook uncertain. On March 9th 2009, the capitalisation of Morgan Stanley\'s global stockmarket index fell to US$26trn, nearly 60% below its 2007 peak. Today, the value of the world\'s stockmarkets has yet to return to the pre-crisis level—nor has the confidence of most consumers and businesses. The excesses of the last ten years—the personal debt accumulated early in the last decade and the public debt added during the recession—have saddled many countries with weak economic foundations and little or no resilience to shocks. This has left the US economy, in particular, struggling for a third straight year to lock in faster growth. It has left debt-ravaged Europe in recession and China manoeuvring unsteadily to deflate a bubble. On the brighter side, the global economy will grow again this year and the imbalances that built up over the past decade will continue to unwind. But global growth will be slower this year than last, and a host of risks—from elevated oil prices to war in the Middle East, to the collapse of Europe\'s single currency—will weigh on confidence and reduce spending and investment.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Markets, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: In 2012 Western sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran's oil and gas industry, aimed at putting economic pressure on it to change its nuclear policy, have reached an unprecedented level. Since the Iranian revolution in 1979, Iran has been in a state of hostility with the US, and has had cool relations, at best, with most European states. Sanctions against official Iranian financial institutions, individuals associated with the Islamic Republic and organisations suspected of being involved in nuclear proliferation activities have been mounting for some time. However, it is only recently that Iran's oil and gas sector has been specifically targeted by both the US and the EU in such a co-ordinated manner. Importantly, this marks the first time since the foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran that the EU member states have collectively put in place sanctions on the export of Iranian crude oil—until now an action that, with a few exceptions, had only been taken by the US. The stakes have therefore been raised in Iran's confrontation with Western powers over the nuclear issue.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Islam, Oil, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: In the run-up to the global financial crisis, the euro area looked very much like a microcosm of the world economy. The region as a whole grew in line with its long-term trend, and its trade position with the outside world was broadly in balance. However, the euro area's aggregate position masked large variations across the member states. In some parts of the region (notably countries on the geographical periphery), demand grew consistently faster than output; in others (like Germany), the reverse was the case. Profligacy in the periphery was funded by thrift in the "core". This arrangement suited both sides.for a time at least. While countries in the periphery enjoyed debt-fuelled booms, countries such as Germany, where domestic demand was weak, could rely on exports to keep growing.
  • Topic: Debt, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Ben Jones
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Greece is not unique. Investors are finding it hard to judge which countries are "safe" or price for that risk. The EFSF is too small to buy the debt of larger states on the scale needed to stabilise markets. The EFSF cannot be scaled up in its current form without threatening the AAA ratings of the creditor countries.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Debt, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Ana Nicholls
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Market size: Medical tourism is not new, but it is growing. Global shift: The flow of travel from developed to developing world. Marketing: How developing countries are targeting the industry. EIU ranking: Why some countries are better placed to benefit than others. US, Europe and Asia trends: The effect of healthcare reforms, budget cuts, and growing wealth. The barriers: The need to harmonise standards and regulations.
  • Topic: Globalization, Health, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Thirteen years since its launch, Europe's common currency is in crisis. A Greek debt restructuring is inevitable, and concern is now focusing on contagion among the larger euro area economies. The prospect of a cascade of disorderly sovereign defaults is chilling investors, and the departure of some members from the common currency is increasingly being discussed. The Economist Intelligence Unit's central forecast is that the currency area will survive, but the odds of failure are too high to ignore. To help clients anticipate the implications for their operations of a collapse in the euro zone, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ), exploring the potential scope and impact of a euro-area break-up. We look at what “break-up” could mean, although in practice numerous possible permutations exist between the extremes of departure by a single country and the exit of all 17 members.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Steven Leslie
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Business executives are sour about 2012. However, they are much more negative about the prospects for the global economy than for their own industries, and especially for their own companies. These are the headline findings from a global survey of more than 900 corporate decisionmakers about their expectations for 2012.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe