China’s profile is rising in Latin America
As China’s growing economy made it an increasingly important player in Latin America, Beijing kept a low profile. Now, it can no longer avoid the spotlight. In Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil and Cuba, its position as a customer, financier and investor is leading to some complicated challenges. The question now is how assertive it will become in imposing its will on these countries – and how they and the U.S. will react.
Liberia and Sierra Leone: post-conflict, focused on growth
Liberia and Sierra Leone went through painstaking a post-conflict restoration process after civil wars that ravaged them in the last decade of the 20th century. In 2018, newly elected leaders in Freetown and Monrovia face the task of restoring growth in the economies badly hindered by 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic and low commodity prices.
African countries move toward fiscal consolidation
Stung by falling commodities prices and growing donor fatigue, many African countries are expanding their tax bases. While at first blush this looks like a good move to liberate their economies from aid and resource dependence, it could also be a recipe for reducing investment and tamping down economic growth.
As Indian agriculture expands, farmers and reform prospects suffer
India’s food output has nearly quadrupled over the past 50 years, but farm households – more than half the country’s population – are in some ways worse off. Rural distress is weighing on the country’s politics and eroding the government’s political base. If India wants to follow the path of the Asian tigers, it should start where they did: agricultural reform.
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. ...