Archive | April, 2014
Kerry Rouhani Iran US nuclear talks

Iran-U.S. relations improving despite nomination setback

Iran-U.S. relations turned especially reactive in April 2014. But buried beneath the tough rhetoric and diplomatic posturing are indications of long-term potential for improved relations. After this tumultuous month of diplomacy, the casual observer of Tehran-Washington relations can be forgiven for having a pessimistic outlook. What should have been a month of increased partnership and confidence-building […]

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Taksim protests 2013; Source: Alan Hilditch via Wikipedia

Corruption still a major hurdle for Turkey

Recent manifestations of entrenched corruption in Turkey threaten to unsettle investor confidence. The outcome of the Turkish local elections on March 30 left many political observers somewhat uneasy about the prospects for democracy in the foreseeable future. The AKP, riddled by last summer’s massive protests and a corruption probe that would have left the ruling party […]

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“Too Big to Fail” banks enjoy lower funding costs despite stronger regulations

Implicit subsidies for large systemic banks has come down since the crisis but it is still higher than before, reflecting an ongoing perception of government support for the largest banks. While the US economic recovery has strengthened recently, the effects of the financial crisis and subsequent government intervention still linger. The problem of “too big to […]

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Interview, part II of II: Kurdistan still faces investment roadblocks

This is the second of a two-part interview with Brady Jewett, Kurdistan Region Project Editor at Invest in Group, a publishing and research consultancy in partnership with the Kurdistan Regional Government to promote investment in the region. 7) The code governing FDI in Kurdistan is a bit unclear, as there seems to be regulations coming from […]

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Kalk Bay station, Cape Town, South Africa; Source: CC-BY-SA-2.5 via Wikipedia

South Africa’s transportation infrastructure curbs economic potential

Development of infrastructure is one of the top political priorities in Africa, to enable economic growth and competitiveness. Without adequate infrastructure endowment, Africa risks sacrificing about 2% of GDP growth per annum. – World Economic Forum on Africa The most recent data from the World Economic Forum (WEF) reveals that South Africa, while still enjoying […]

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Source: Gary Rogers, Geograph

Starbucks’ new European HQ sign of ‘tax posturing’?

Tax mitigation strategies are here to stay and so is public disdain for them, leading multinationals to start ‘tax posturing’. Starbucks is the latest example. On the surface, the announcement that Starbucks is moving its European headquarters to London from Amsterdam sounds logical: the UK is Starbucks’ largest European market. Moving “a modest number” of […]

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Kazakhstan to increase privatization of state-owned companies

Privatization could stimulate foreign investment and aid in the growth of the Kazakh economy, but not without major challenges. Kazakhstan has announced a wave of privatization to bolster foreign investment in the Central Asian republic. The reforms could be the largest since the end of the Soviet Union. Of the 599 companies included in Kazakhstan’s sovereign […]

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Mediterranean israel gas rig drilling

Israeli natural gas may reshape Mediterranean energy dynamics

Israeli natural gas exports have the potential to reshape energy dynamics across the Mediterranean, helping Israel and its neighbors to diversify their energy access. Regional political risks, however, loom large over export deals and further exploration. Five thousand feet beneath the surface of the East Mediterranean Sea lies the Leviathan gas field, the largest discovered […]

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Four Countries that beat the resource curse

Four countries that have successfully navigated the potential pitfalls of natural resource wealth provide examples of how best to avoid falling victim to the “paradox of plenty.” A quick look at emerging powers and the world as a whole reveals the importance and power that certain resources can bring.  Whether it’s Russia using its significant […]

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Botanica District in Chişinău, Moldova; Source: Kalatorul via Wikipedia

Transnistria is another fracture in Ukraine crisis

As the European Union and United States negotiate with Russia over the situation in Ukraine, another disputed territory is attracting international attention. With the tension escalating in eastern Ukraine and Moldova ready to join the EU, Transnistria may become a second front for Russia and Ukraine’s geopolitical crisis. Present Crisis The commander of NATO forces in […]

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