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Economics Latin America

Mercosur’s Birthday Celebration Reveals a Path towards Irrelevancy

The risk of Mercosur becoming another failed attempt of regional integration in Latin America has been rising steadily in the last two decades and is likely to increase even more in the current scenario. The tension between leaders on Mercosur’s last summit demonstrates a lack of internal cohesion that will lead the bloc towards failure and irrelevancy.

China Economics

China’s Plan for the Post-Pandemic World Order: The Dual Circulation Strategy

On the 5th of February, 2021, China’s National People’s Congress passed the fourteenth five-year economic plan (14FYP) from 2021 to 2025. A core component of the 14FYP is the Dual Circulation Strategy (DCS). First set forth by President Xi Jinping during the Politburo Standing Committee Meeting of May 14th, 2020, the DCS is set to determine legislative, diplomatic and economic developments in China for the coming decade. Yet, the DCS is not well-defined. By looking into its origins, context, and objectives, this article will forecast the systemic changes to the Chinese economy introduced by the DCS. This article will argue that the DCS is nothing but a plan to advance China’s economic and political interests by strengthening its domestic market, achieving technological self-sufficiency, and promoting the adoption of its standards.

Economics Middle East/North Africa

Walking the Tightrope: The UAE Makes Strides Towards Regional Power in the Gulf

The United Arab Emirates has taken increasingly bold foreign policy measures since the start of the pandemic. In a carefully crafted mix of economic and security measures, the UAE is not only on its way to repairing the economic impact of the pandemic but also to becoming a regional hegemon. The formal establishment of relations with Israel has significantly improved the UAE’s position in the short-term. However, the long term advantage of this agreement for the UAE will depend on Iran’s security status, and whether the UAE can compete with Saudi Arabia to become the region’s economic heart. 

Africa Economics

End of the CFA franc: A possible turning point in Francafrique?

The CFA franc has long been cited as the representation of France’s economic “grip” on Africa and forms a central pillar of Françafrique – France’s relationship with its former African colonies. However, in an effort to move away from the controversial aspects of the region’s common currency, France and the CFA countries have initiated a number of reforms – with the former also pushing for the adoption of the “Eco” by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). This move would help remove the most visible elements of French influence; however, it is unlikely to assuage the allegations of French neo-colonialism that hamper Paris’ foreign policy objectives. 

Economics Finance

Finance in 2021: The Challenges and Opportunities 2020 Left Behind

Even though the new year has been around for a while, new trends keep emerging in the world of finance. The greatest challenges and opportunities of 2021 all rest on phenomena and policies initiated in previous years. Sure, what lies ahead is much less certain than some analysts seem to believe. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile for investors look at what they can expect in the next months and brace for it – or reap.

Asia Pacific Economics

Japan’s Tech Competitiveness: Why the Decline?

The Japanese government’s plans to increase economic efficiency and productivity through digitalisation reflect Japan’s growing need to develop new and innovative technologies in software and big data. However, Japanese firms’ incremental and often secretive R&D approach and risk-averse attitude to investments in startups undermine these efforts.

Central America Economics

Nicaragua: Risks to Economic Recovery in 2021

Like most other countries, Nicaragua’s economy slowed in 2020 owing to the international effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nicaragua was also affected by a rough hurricane season, sustaining damage particularly from Hurricanes Eta and Iota. Compounding these challenges, the country’s political environment remains an obstacle to encouraging foreign direct investment and improving the country’s socioeconomic situation. How is Nicaragua’s situation likely to change in 2021?

Economics International

US-China Phase One Trade Deal: Challenges for Trade Expansion

After a year since the United States and China signed the phase one trade deal agreement, it is evident there are several systemic challenges to its full implementation. China’s decentralized governance, limitations in the deal’s dispute resolution mechanism, and failure to address structural issues in the bilateral economic relationship limit the prospects of reaching phase one goals of trade expansion. The consequent market distortions may negatively impact international trading partners, whereas China’s search for alternatives to US imports will hinder progress in subsequent negotiations.

Economics Europe

Britain’s Economic Outlook – Navigating Brexit

As news of the last-minute trade deal with the EU emerged, right-wing commentators in publications such as The Spectator embraced it with cautious optimism. Johnson’s administration will not be leaping into the dark, but the economic costs of the pandemic and Brexit, irrespective of the trade deal, will likely pave the way for a bleak decade. 

Economics Middle East/North Africa

What is next for Turkey?

With the Turkish lira at a record depreciation amid the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic,Turkish leadership is struggling to deal with an economic impasse and a seismic foreign relations shift as a result of the US election.