Growth, recessions, fiscal policy, monetary policy, currencies and global business deals. GIS experts provide forecasts and potential scenarios for all of the economic trends that shape geopolitics.
Brexit and the sunset of European influence in Asia-Pacific
Though the Asia-Pacific region seems too far away to be affected by Brexit, the UK’s departure from the EU will have a profound impact on the region. While it will reduce the bloc’s significance in the region’s affairs, the UK’s status may suffer as well. Asia-Pacific states will likely look to countries such as Germany to act as a new counterweight to China and the United States.
Opinion: Control of trade routes is decisive
China’s Belt Road Initiative (BRI) is at once a trading and a political strategy. By securing trade routes and enlisting allies, the Chinese are laying the groundwork for their long-term resurgence as Eurasia’s leading economic and political power. If it continues to stand aside from this process, Europe would be making a historic mistake.
Zimbabwe’s pivotal moment
Zimbabwe’s deepening economic crisis have led to protests of unprecedented intensity against the regime of President Robert Mugabe. However, the opposition is divided, and Mr. Mugabe still has plenty of tricks up his sleeve. If the coalition of opposition parties can remain unified, it has a chance of unseating the president in next year’s elections. But no matter the outcome, unrest is likely to continue.
GIS Dossier: China’s global ambition
The People’s Republic of China is now attaining military might commensurate with its global economic position. This emerging colossus faces a dramatic demographic challenge at home, however, and stiff international resistance to some of its key strategic goals.
Crusade for total control
The campaign in many countries against cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin is part of a larger government quest for citizen control. Oversized transaction and compliance systems, ostensibly imposed on financial institutions to help fight the gray economy and terrorism, are in fact control tools, used both by democratic and authoritarian governments. At the end of this road is socialization of all property.
The fog of cybersecurity
A worldwide surge of sophisticated cyberattacks has alarmed business, governments and experts alike. As long as it remains difficult to identify the attackers, while offensive cyber tools become more commonplace and easily available, one can expect such assaults to increase. Disruptive attacks on critical infrastructures have already crossed the “red lines” of past forecasts. Even so, we may still be underestimating the threat.
Opinion: Confusing statements on money and trade
Janet Yellen is not worried about another global financial crisis. Mario Draghi and even Warren Buffet bemoan “inequality.” But no one seems to be taking seriously the problems artificially cheap money is causing to the global economy. With such a fragile global financial situation, free trade could be a big help – but protectionism is on the rise. Could the upcoming G20 meeting bring substantive progress on that count?
GIS Dossier: Sub-Saharan Africa
The list of challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa is long and daunting. Political instability and violence have led to immense migration flows that countries on three continents are struggling to contain. These problems have exacerbated weather-related catastrophes like famine, creating a vicious circle. Yet, the region has plenty of potential. Can it overcome its hurdles? This edition of GIS Dossier surveys the predictions from our experts on this troubled region.
China’s nuclear energy ambitions
China is pushing to become the leading exporter of civilian nuclear technology. Its first domestically designed reactor is a hard sell abroad due to regulatory barriers and safety concerns, and the market for nuclear power is stagnant at best. Beijing, however, can afford to offer incentives to buyers and is not discouraged easily.
Ecuador’s interrupted revolution
After Rafael Correa became president of Ecuador in 2007, he used windfall profits from petroleum revenue to drive economic growth with aggressive public-sector spending on huge infrastructure projects, much-needed social assistance and ballooning government bureaucracy. The 2014-2015 global downturn in oil prices made that strategy unsustainable. Since May 2017, the country’s newly elected President Lenin Moreno faces an anemic economy, unchecked corruption, pent-up opposition demands and tensions inside the ruling party. Shadowing him is Mr. Correa, who is plotting a return to the presidency.