Archive | May, 2014

Greek EU presidency presents window for Albania’s membership bid

In December 2013, the European Council rejected the Commission’s recommendation to grant Albania candidate country status. But on May 12 this year, the sixth meeting of the Stabilization and Association Council between Albania and the EU gave a boost to Albania’s EU membership aspirations. Albania’s relations with the European Union are stagnant, as internal political infighting prevents […]

Continue Reading

US Decline Series: Financial sector health makes US a sound investment

The US regulatory response to the crisis has resulted in a stronger market and equipped the US to deal with future crises. This GRI series challenges the myth of the American decline. Despite being half a decade removed from the global financial crisis, concerns remain about the health of financial systems in advanced countries. A closer […]

Continue Reading

Senegal sukuk bond signals wider African interest in Islamic finance

Senegal plans to issue an Islamic law compliant bond in 2014, building on momentum in sukuk issuance globally.  Senegal’s government looks set to issue a type of Islamic bond, known as sukuk as the country hopes to tap financing from wealthy Islamic states. According to reports from a recent meeting of the African Development Bank, […]

Continue Reading
fiber optic cable middle east

Broadband faces long last mile in Middle East and Africa

Big infrastructure projects are already in place to improve much of the Middle East and Africa’s expensive and slow Internet. For many countries, however, many issues lie ahead. Over the last five years, there has been a spate of new international subsea fiber-optic cable networks linking African and Middle Eastern coastal countries to the global […]

Continue Reading
Tobgay Bhutan (NY Times photo)

Bhutan’s economy rests hopes on new prime minister

In the years following Bhutan’s political reform, the country’s economy and infrastructure still lag behind. Heavily dependent on India for aid, Bhutan must attract more foreign investment and strengthen its private sector. After King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck implemented the final phases of his father’s political reforms, Bhutan became one of the global community’s newest […]

Continue Reading
Russia China energy pact

Sino-Russian natural gas deal transforms global energy markets

Sino-Russian energy deal will have profound economic consequences for global energy markets and will have an impact on relations between Russia and the West. On 21 May, Russia and China signed a decade-long negotiated deal on Russian natural gas exports to China valued at $400 billion. According to the agreement, Russia’s gas giant Gazprom will […]

Continue Reading
Source: Wikimedia Commons

No promise of quick return to democracy after Thai coup

Last week’s military coup follows the traditions of Thai politics, where generals frequently intervene to end political paralysis. Yet, unlike Thailand’s many previous coups, this time there is no promise of a quick return to democracy. For many Thais, last week’s military coup was a welcome development after more than 6 months of political crisis […]

Continue Reading
oil drilling

US Decline Series: Shale transforms the US into a global energy giant

Technological innovations and a positive regulatory framework are transforming the United States into a major energy player that is beginning to change the global energy outlook. This GRI series challenges the myth of the American decline. The US energy boom is not a coincidence. Rather, it is the product of three decades of systematic efforts to […]

Continue Reading

Final agreement with Iran would boost trade but hurt Chinese interests

With the introduction of a comprehensive agreement and the thawing of U.S-Iranian relations, a new era of regional dynamics will be ushered in. Some of these dynamics could adversely impact Chinese national interests in the Persian Gulf and beyond. Changing regional dynamics China has much to gain should P5+1 negotiations succeed. Sourcing upwards of 50% […]

Continue Reading

Resurgence of MFN clauses in contracts and treaties

Most favored nation clauses have been around for centuries. Perhaps because of their increasing popularity, however, governments and the public are starting to question how well they work.  What do U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, the Automotive Service Association (ASA), the head of a prominent Ghanaian business lobby, South Africa’s Department […]

Continue Reading