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.
Joseph Kabila will not be moved
For long-serving presidents in sub-Saharan Africa, there are few incentives to step down. That applies to President Joseph Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who has managed to extend his term beyond the constitutional limits. The country has been in a deep crisis since 2015, and conditions are primed to deteriorate in 2018. Even if long-promised elections do take place, they will hardly mark the beginning of a new era.
In Peru, the pace of progress slows
In Peru, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is wrangling with a fractious, majority-opposition congress. Having just narrowly escaped impeachment proceedings, he offered a presidential pardon to the controversial former President Alberto Fujimori. The move could gain him allies in the opposition’s ranks, but has alienated many of his supporters. However, with copper prices predicted to rise – and with them Peru’s economic growth – he may soon get a respite.
Four implications of electric mobility
China is doubly dominant in electric vehicles (EV), as the world’s biggest market and largest battery maker, with 55 percent of global production. EV makers also increasingly depend on critical raw materials from China such as lithium, cobalt, graphite and rare earths. This growing dependency, along with production bottlenecks and the environmental costs of EV production, may limit its impact on the global energy mix.
Peru: PPK makes a strong start
Despite just barely eking out a victory in Peru’s June presidential elections, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has made a fast start, gaining special powers to fight crime and corruption. The opposition has a significant majority in Congress, but PPK, as the president is known, is still likely to implement much of his center-right platform.
Mixed forecast for Latin America’s economies
Latin America has been slower to rebound after the financial crisis than most of the world. Now, however, some countries in the region seem poised to make progress. Their ability to participate in the global economic expansion will vary. Some, such as Argentina, Peru and Mexico are in a position to benefit. Others will struggle to gain traction.
Mongolia’s June elections and their impact
Fed up with economic and political drift, Mongolian voters handed the center-left opposition a crushing victory in the June 29 general election. What the new government does with its constitutional majority is another question. To keep the sputtering economy afloat, it will have to strike shrewd bargains with powerful neighbors and creditors.
Peru’s new president needs more than economic smarts
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, or PPK as he is known by Peruvians, was the least likely candidate to win the recent presidential election in Peru. A liberal economist, and at 77 the oldest of 19 first-round candidates, he looks and speaks like a gringo. In fact, it was just six months before the election that he gave up his passport from the United States, a country where he lived and worked for long periods of his life.
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...