Cuba in transition
Cuba will get a new leader in April, after President Raul Castro hands over the presidency to First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel. As the country tentatively introduces decentralizing reforms and embraces globalization, the new leadership will have to answer the question of how much freedom it can allow while retaining a tight political and economic grip over the country.
GIS Dossier: China’s Africa strategy
Beijing’s 1996 Going Out strategy called for trade and investment in developing countries to secure energy and raw materials for its accelerating economy. Two decades later, China’s relationship with Africa is evolving into a mature, balanced system of economic and political interests.
Russia losing the new Great Game
Chinese leader Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow last month brought a raft of investment deals, suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin is successfully executing his version of a pivot toward Asia. But appearances deceive. The Sino-Russian "strategic partnership" is not an agreement between equals, and Russia has lost the upper hand in Central Asia.
India and Germany draw closer
India and Germany may seem like an odd couple. But a recent flurry of diplomatic consultations suggest that the two countries may be beginning to form a strategic relationship. What animates them is a belief that second-tier powers need to work more closely together to shore up an international order threatened by an assertive China and a whimsical United States.
China’s stealth expansion in Latin America
Donald Trump's short tenure in the White House has already enhanced China's low-profile but pervasive influence in Latin America. While Chinese trade penetration has slowed, investment and infrastructure lending are expanding at a brisk pace. Perhaps most helpful to Beijing has been Mr. Trump's general indifference to the region, though some generals in his national security apparatus are beginning to fret.
India raises its profile in Africa
India is taking keener interest in Africa as it tries to buttress its strategic position against Chinese encroachments in the Indian Ocean. Trade, investment and security cooperation are all expanding rapidly, especially in Mozambique, which New Delhi regards as a crucial bridgehead. But India is still a long way from matching China’s footprint on the continent.
Mexico’s energy reforms and production outlook
Faced with output declines and the shale revolution, Mexico had little choice but to reopen its oil and gas industry to foreign investors. The early results have been promising, but President Enrique Pena Nieto’s energy reforms are not out of the woods yet.
Chinese firms’ spending spree favors Europe over U.S.
Chinese companies made record bids for foreign acquisitions in the first quarter of 2016, focusing especially on agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. But while such investments have been met with open arms in Europe, regulatory resistance is stiff in the United States. With Chinese firms eager to gain Western technology, brands and customer bases, the European Union is likely to benefit, writes GIS Guest Expert Nicola Casarini.
Angola’s dependence on oil exacts toll as 2017 elections loom
Since the end of Angola’s civil war (1975-2002), oil production in the country has rapidly increased. Production more than doubled between 2004 and 2008, from 800,000 to 1.7 million barrels per day, stabilizing at around 1.8 million bpd in 2015. Oil revenues alone injected an estimated $470 billion into Angolan state coffers between 2002 and 2014. But the recent dr...