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  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The International Energy Agency speculates that we could be entering a “golden age of gas.” If that is the case Australia is set to be a key contributor to it. While much attention has been paid to the shale gas boom in North America and prospects for the spread of the “shale gas revolution” elsewhere, Australia has been positioning itself to emerge as a leading player in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market by the end of this decade.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Australia, Australia/Pacific, North America
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Ten years ago, The Economist ran a cover with the title “Africa: The Hopeless Continent”. Today, this has been replaced by “Africa Rising” (last December's issue)—a reflection of the changes that the continent has experienced over a decade. What has engineered Africa's rise through difficult times? It is predominantly the emergence of the BRICs, particularly India and China, that has helped to put Africa back on the map of development and investor interests.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, India
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The concept of liveability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions. Assessing liveability has a broad range of uses, from benchmarking perceptions of development levels to assigning a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. The Economist Intelligence Unit's liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual's lifestyle in any given location, and allows for direct comparison between locations.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Infrastructure, Financial Crisis, Urbanization
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Banks in emerging markets are increasingly weighty in global finance and still enjoy plenty of room to grow in their home markets. But they will do so in innovative ways that set them apart from the lenders of the developed world.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, Science and Technology
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The last few years have presented a series of challenges and learning opportunities for the microfinance sector. During the last few decades the microfinance industry experienced substantial growth, but eventually this resulted in market saturation, a rise of The last few years have presented a series of challenges and learning opportunities for the microfinance sector. During the last few decades the microfinance industry experienced substantial growth, but eventually this resulted in market saturation, a rise of non-performing loans and multiple lending across a few key markets. The global financial crisis then increased the focus on risk management, corporate governance and regulatory capacity. Most recently, the Andhra Pradesh microfinance credit crisis that unfolded in India has raised serious questions about the viability of microfinance as a valid development modality.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Poverty, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: Andhra Pradesh
  • Author: Martin Adams
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The bulk of the world's proven oil reserves are concentrated in places that are hostile to the West, unstable or a combination of the two. Since the US is the world's largest importer of oil, concerns about energy security have long simmered in Washington. On top of this, global oil prices have hit new highs in recent years and remained persistently strong. This adds to anxieties about the security of energy supplies and places a burden on the US economy. Partly as a result of elevated prices, however, something new—and, arguably, revolutionary—has happened.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: On November 8th this year China will begin the once-a-decade process of changing its leaders, with the launch of the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This will, by coincidence, come just two days after the US presidential elections. Both events will have momentous repercussions, both for the countries involved and for the world, but they will mark a study in contrasts. Unlike the US, China's succession battles are being waged in near secrecy, yet observers are already sure who the next president and premier will be. Less clear is what exactly China's new leadership will stand for. This report will examine their backgrounds and policy positions, asking what we can expect from the incoming administration.
  • Topic: Communism, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Markets of the future—China, India, Brazil and Russia—will become the dominant retail markets l Africa, the final frontier—as BRIC opportunities diminish retailers will look to Africa as a driver of growth l Virtual marketplace— e-commerce, m-commerce and s-commerce—will transform the global retail landscape l Bricks and mortar will fight back as traditional retailers respond to change by integrating online with physical store offerings l Convenience will be king as shopping habits evolve into a multichannel approach rather than “one-stop shopping” l UK focus: polarised shopping habits could continue even when incomes recover, leading to an even greater squeeze on mid-market retail by 2022.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Science and Technology, Communications
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, United Kingdom, India, Brazil
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Last year we published Industries in 2012 and made a number of predictions about developments in our six key industries – Automotive, Consumer Goods and Retail, Energy, Financial Services, Healthcare and Telecommunications. Some of our predictions were prescient, others were premature.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Global Recession
  • 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