Jokowi’s prospects and Indonesia’s future
Indonesian President Joko Widodo – better known as Jokowi – has run up against tough political resistance. He is learning the hard way that the country’s cumbersome bureaucracy does not react as quickly as the businesses he has run. But despite some mistakes, he still retains public support due to his focus on economic development and infrastructure. If he can see his ambitious initiatives through and make Indonesia a “Global Maritime Fulcrum,” the country would play a pivotal geopolitical role.
Tension in the India-China relationship
Though the standoff on the Doklam Plateau between India and China seems to have been resolved, the countries’ Himalayan border will continue to be a source of tension. As emerging world powers with aspirations for hegemony, both are jockeying for influence in other countries in the region, such as Nepal and Bhutan.
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.
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.
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.
Indian opposition to China’s New Silk Road
India has become the most vocal opponent of China’s massive Belt Road Initiative (BRI), which New Delhi sees as a thinly veiled geopolitical power play by Beijing. So far, China has not pushed back hard, and instead has consistently tried to woo the Indian side. This is because linking the BRI to India could make the project much more profitable. If China could adjust the project to accommodate Indian concerns, it would benefit the continent. But for now, that looks unlikely.
Opinion: Trumponomics is worth a second look
President Donald Trump’s economic program is perceived by many as a recipe for disaster. But its most questionable, protectionist elements – such as the border adjustment tax – are unlikely to be implemented or could bring completely unexpected benefits. And the new administration’s plans for infrastructure and deregulation should bring positive effects.
Growing cities pose challenges for African economies
Africa’s future is tied to its growing cities. However, in most of them, economic resources are not keeping pace with the speed and scale of urbanization. Unprecedented population growth, huge infrastructure gaps, a lack of investment and poor governance pose challenges to sustainable development.
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...
The energy mix revolution in Japan
Japan is moving full throttle toward renewable energy. Five years ago, before the Fukushima Daiichi accident in March 2011, such a development would have been inconceivable because the country’s so called “nuclear village” held tight control over the energy sector. The powerful pro-nuclear lobby comprised of elite bureaucrats, utility executives, academics and jour...