In Chile, stagnation and stasis despite shifting politics
The old party coalitions are breaking down in Chile, while new rules could shake up congressional representation. With the economy stuck in low gear, voters are frustrated. But despite all this, the country looks likely to elect a familiar face in November – former President Sebastian Pinera. If he wins, it will mark unprecedented stasis in Chilean politics since the end of the Pinochet dictatorship.
Outlook improves for Latin American economies
The economic news coming out of Latin America is finally somewhat positive. Stagnation seems to be turning into growth. However, most of this is due to a recovery in commodity prices. Underlying structural problems, especially inequality, persist. Sustainable economic growth in the coming years will require smart domestic policy choices and lowering barriers to intra-regional trade.
Ivory Coast’s recovery looks fragile
Ivory Coast is on the mend after a lost decade of internal turmoil and civil war. Yet recent army mutinies and protests by angry cocoa producers show how little real progress has been made in diversifying the economy and creating reliable security forces. On the horizon, perhaps, looms a presidential succession crisis as well.
Chile’s election will hinge on economy
After months of sluggish growth and political stagnation, Chileans want a fresh face to lead them. But so far, only well-known establishment figures have thrown their hats in the ring for Chile’s presidential election this year. For now, conservative former President Sebastian Pinera is the current front-runner. However, if commodity prices rise and boost the economy, the left could maintain its grip on power.
The waning Indo-Russian relationship
The Indo-Russian alliance was once one of Asia’s defining geopolitical relationships. While both sides are keeping up appearances, less and less is holding them together. The most important divergence is in geopolitical outlook: Moscow wants to contain the West, while New Delhi is most concerned about a rising China.
With India ready for takeoff, Modi pauses over launch button
After his first 18 months in office, during which India’s economic prospects have brightened considerably, 2016 gives Prime Minister Narendra Modi a last window of opportunity for radical new policy initiatives. If he decides on a bold course, it would depart from the incremental approach that has characterized Mr. Modi’s term thus far. ...
Global trends: Latin America seeks growth as leaders straggle
Latin America has reached an inflection point. Recent developments suggest that parts of the region will make significant economic strides over the next few years. However, its two biggest economies – Brazil and Mexico – are stuck in the doldrums, and their politics may be in even worse shape. <i>This report is par...
Argentina’s new president will find it hard to make a fresh start
Let’s Change – Cambiemos – led by former Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri, won Argentina’s presidential run-off by less than 3 per cent of the popular vote. Headlines in Europe, the United States and Latin America heralded the opposition coalition’s victory as marking a reversal of the ‘pink tide’ – the swing to the left that has dominated South American politics ...
Brazil’s Petrobras problems could open new opportunities for foreign investment
Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, re-elected by a slim majority for a second term in October 2014 faces calls for her impeachment and public demonstrations as she experiences a perfect storm of problems. Major falls in the price of oil and commodities, the worst drought for 80 years, government economic policies and corruption in Brazil’s energy giant Petrobras, h...