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  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Foreign companies continue to be attracted by the opportunities offered by China's large and rapidly growing economy. China has a population of over 1.3bn, and the size of the economy is likely to grow to just under US$13trn a year at market exchange rates by 2015. Although GDP per head will still be relatively low by the end of the forecast period, at just under US$10,000 a year, this will represent a substantial improvement from just under US$4,500 in 2010. Significant regional disparities within China will persist. The provinces of the eastern seaboard enjoy standards of living well above the national average. However, there are also markets to be found in inland China, where many large cities are located. To some extent, the size of the population and the pace of economic growth belie the challenges of operating in China. Nationwide distribution networks will increasingly be put in place, but the Chinese market is likely still to be a fragmented one by 2015.
  • Topic: Demographics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • 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. The survey originated as a means of testing whether Human Resource Departments needed to assign a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. While this function is still a central potential use of the survey, it has also evolved as a broad means of benchmarking cities. This means that liveability is increasingly used by city councils, organisations or corporate entities looking to test their locations against others to see general areas where liveability can differ.
  • Topic: Crime, Demographics, Economics, Political Economy, Social Stratification
  • 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: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, microfinance has begun to enter a more mature and sustainable growth phase. After years of rapid expansion, the focus has turned to accelerating the improvements already underway in corporate governance, regulatory capacity and risk management. Indeed, risk management, which has become a post-crisis priority for all financial institutions, has improved considerably in the microfinance sector, which is essential, given that it is offering an increasingly diversified range of innovative financial services to the poor. Efforts to strengthen the sector sit comfortably beside new opportunities; microfinance is well positioned to take further advantage of technological and market innovations and to build on improvements already underway.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Governance
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: As the third edition of our government broadband report shows, the issue of high-speed internet access remains at the forefront of the policy agenda in both developed and emerging markets. While circumstances and concerns differ from one country to the next, the motivations for public-sector involvement remain the same. Governments are keen to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas by bringing basic broadband services of between 1Mbps and 5Mbps to all. Yet governments also want to facilitate greater rollout of so-called next-generation networks (NGNs) that can provide broadband speeds of between 40Mbps and 100Mbps, and sometimes higher.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Science and Technology, Governance
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Worries about climate change are deepening in many countries. Proponents of gas, which burns cleaner than coal, suggest that it could be part of the answer—but preferably indigenous gas, for the sake of energy security. At the same time, even as energy demand surges ahead, the giants of the oil industry are finding it harder than ever to tap new reserves, which is forcing them to look to previously neglected, harder-to-reach hydrocarbons. Among these, hitherto disregarded shale gas reserves are generating the most enthusiasm.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Natural Resources
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: This is the fourth edition of the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy index. It reflects the situation as of the beginning of December 2011. The first edition, published in The Economist's The World in 2007, measured the state of democracy in September 2006; the second edition covered the situation towards the end of 2008; and the third as of November 2010. The index provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories—this covers almost the entire population of the world and the vast majority of the world's independent states (micro states are excluded). The overall Democracy index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Countries are placed within one of four types of regimes: full democracies; flawed democracies; hybrid regimes; and authoritarian regimes.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Politics
  • 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