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  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The growth rates witnessed in markets across Latin America in the decade to 2010 pulled millions out of poverty, led to rapid growth of the middle class and helped to demonstrate the promise of emerging markets. Since then, however, growth has slowed dramatically across the region. 2015 will mark the fifth successive year of deceleration in Latin America, which has slowed more than any other emerging market region. With concerns over the ability of emerging markets to withstand a slowdown in China and monetary policy normalisation in the US growing, risks to the growth and financing outlook for Latin America persist. However, as economic recovery starts to gather pace in the region, opportunities for investment and growth will also re-emerge. This report provides a snapshot of the current political and economic landscape in the region, and in some of Latin America’s largest economies: Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. Each article analyses key concerns and presents our view of the outlook going forward, helping you to influence decision-making and economic outcomes for your business.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Jan Techau
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) pledged in 2014 to increase their defense spending to 2 percent of their gross domestic products by 2024. It is unrealistic to assume that this goal will ever be reached by all 28 allies, and yet the 2 percent metric persists—and it has assumed a significance beyond its face value. It is about addressing Europe’s growing security vacuum and defining who will be in charge of European security.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Economics, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Alan Guidetti
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Rumours in American media and within policy circles in Washington hint at a shift in the making in US policy towards China. Accordingly, the carefully managed balance between cooperation and constraint, which was designed to accompany and guide the rise of China, might give way to a more confrontational US posture. The cause for a reorientation in US policy is ascribed to the assertiveness of Beijing in the territorial disputes and land reclamations in the China Seas. However, the growing US nervousness about China, as illustrated by blunt warnings to Beijing by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, goes beyond the Chinese build-up of artificial islands, which fuels the current dispute. Washington recently opposed Chinese efforts to set up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a central pillar of the “New Silk Road” project that will advance the centrality of China within the Eurasian space and beyond. As competition rises between the two powers, sources of tension multiply, thereby increasing risks of conflict.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Power Politics, Hegemony
  • Author: Juha Jokela
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: The Arctic region is currently undergoing major and rapid transformation, both environmentally and economically. This report, the outcome of a EUISS Task Force, examines how these changes carry significant political implications, and highlights the new security challenges that are emerging in the region.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Politics, Biosecurity
  • Political Geography: Arctic
  • Author: Simeon Djankov
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Since the promising start of its transition from a centrally planned economy to capitalism, Hungary has failed to join Western Europe in terms of living standards and democracy. The dominant political figure in Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, shares many features with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Both view the increasing role of the state as economically beneficial, and both consider the Western European economic model to be flawed. Hungary is headed towards centrally planned capitalism, demonstrated by the partial nationalization of the banking sector, the monopolization of some sectors of the economy, and the reversal of the pension reforms of 1998. Plagued by the most persistent budget deficit of any post-communist country, Hungary's greatest challenge is to establish a fiscally sustainable growth path.
  • Topic: Communism, Economics, Politics, Governance, Authoritarianism, Russia
  • Political Geography: Hungary, Western Europe
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: After the plunge in commodity prices in 2015, the outlook for raw materials remains highly uncertain amid slowing economic growth in China and looming interest rate rises in the US. In China—which gobbles up nearly one-half of the world’s consumption of aluminium, copper and coal—demand for base materials risks moderating further as the economy moves away from an investment-driven growth model. This will continue to have knock-on effects on the performance of commodity-exporting economies, weighing down on global consumption of raw materials. However, supply responses are beginning to emerge from commodity producers worldwide. Coupled with less favourable weather prospects, this will lead to some market tightening next year, allowing for some price stabilisation after four years of decline. This report provides a snapshot of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s current commodity price indexes, exploring the changing prices for industrial raw materials and food, feedstuffs & beverages. Each article provides analysis and forecasts across a number of key commodities, helping you to assess the fast-changing environment of commodity markets and influence key decision-making processes.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Lord Nicholas Stern, Jeremy Oppenheim, Amar Bhattacharya
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The agendas of accelerating sustainable development and eradicating poverty and that of climate change are deeply intertwined. Growth strategies that fail to tackle poverty and/or climate change will prove to be unsustainable, and vice versa. A common denominator to the success of both agendas is infrastructure development. Infrastructure is an essential component of growth, development, poverty reduction, and environmental sustainability.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Poverty, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Carol Graham, Shaojie Zhou, Junyi Zhang
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The past two decades in China brought unprecedented rates of economic growth, development, and poverty reduction. Indeed, much of the reduction in the world’s extreme poverty rates during that time can be explained by the millions of people in China who exited poverty. GDP per capita and household consumption increased fourfold between the years 1990 and 2005.1 China jumped 10 places forward on the Human Development Index from 2008 until 2013, moving up to 93 of 187 countries, and life expectancy climbed to 75.3 years, compared to 67 years in 1980.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Christine Zhang, Jeffrey Gutman
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Economic development is often tied to the evolution of local industry. One way to assess a country’s emergence as a major player in the global economy is by examining the ability of its domestic firms to compete on the global market. Public procurement—the purchase of goods, works, and services by governments—represents a significant portion of this market, making up an estimated average of 15 to 30 percent of a country’s GDP. Procurement in the developing world is especially noteworthy, since large projects are often partially or wholly financed by external donors such as the World Bank and other international financial institutions (IFIs), which encourage developing country governments to internationally advertise the goods, works, or services they require and to select the most competitive bid they receive. Yet the role of IFI-funded procurement in the emergence of global markets, particularly for and among developing countries, is seldom a topic of empirical study, despite its linkages to global growth.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, World Bank, Developing World
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Micha'el Tanchum
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: With the removal of international sanctions on Iran, different markets will have a great interest in importing Iranian gas. But which market will benefit the most? In A Post-Sanctions Iran and the Eurasian Energy Architecture, Micha'el Tanchum, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center and the Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative, argues that the lifting of the sanctions carries the potential to radically restructure the Eurasian energy architecture and, as a consequence, reshape Eurasian geopolitics. After Iran meets its domestic demand for natural gas, it will have the option to export gas to two of the following three markets: European Union/Turkey, India, or China. Iran will not have enough natural gas to supply all three of these major markets. The pattern of Iran's gas exports in the immediate post-sanctions period will shape the relationship between two competing orientations in the Eurasian energy architecture: a system of energy relationships reinforcing the EU's outreach to the Eastern Neighborhood alongside a system of energy relationships reinforcing China's OBOR integration project. A pivot to China will not be favorable to EU's and NATO's interests as it decreases Europe's energy security. By contrast, an expanded Southern Gas Corridor to Europe would promote the extension of Euro-Atlantic influence in Eurasia.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Energy Policy, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Iran, Eurasia