Showing posts with label Economic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Economic. Show all posts

16 May 2022

From Mining To Fishing: How Blockchain Is Addressing Different Challenges Of Supply Chain In Asia – Analysis

Yingli Wang and Imtiaz Khan

International supply chains are lengthy, complex and face risks of disruption. There is also public pressure on firms and governments to ensure supply chains adhere to social and environmental standards. While supply chain resilience can be achieved by developing transparency and traceability capacity, establishing end-to-end (E2E) supply chain visibility is the holy grail of supply chain management — and it can be achieved through blockchain technology.

Cross-border supply chains are often ladened with paper documents. Although bills of lading are one of the most important documents issued from carriers to shippers, only 0.1 per cent of original bills are digitised. The handling and exchange of such paper documents is costly, error prone and time consuming. Supply chain finance transactions share the same problem and typically involve a complicated paper trail that can take as long as a month to be completed.

12 May 2022

Economic Costs of China’s Zero-COVID Policy Mount

The economic blowback from China’s zero-COVID policy was patently obvious in Caixin’s latest surveys of economic activity. In services, the reading was the second-lowest on record, with the PMI hitting 36.2 in April, down from 42 in March. As recently as February the index had been just above the 50 threshold denoting expansion. In manufacturing, the Caixin PMI hit 46 in April, down from 48.1 in March.

The data reflects choked commercial activity being left in the wake of Beijing’s zero-COVID policy, which applies a contain-at-all-costs logic to a virus that is now endemic in nearly every other part of the world. As of Tuesday, some 43 cities are under full or partial lockdown as per Reuters, but the most politically and economically salient of them are without a doubt Shanghai and Beijing.

10 May 2022

Good US-China Strategic Competition


MILAN – It is now widely accepted that the economic and technological relationship between the United States and China will be characterized by some combination of strategic cooperation and strategic competition. Strategic cooperation is largely welcomed, because addressing shared challenges, from climate change and pandemics to the regulation of cutting-edge technologies, demands the engagement of the world’s two largest economies. But strategic competition tends to be viewed as a worrisome, even threatening, prospect. It need not be.Economics

Anxiety about Sino-American competition, particularly in the technological domain, reflects a belief on both sides that a national-security-based, largely zero-sum approach is inevitable. This assumption steers decision-making in an unconstructive, confrontational direction and increases the likelihood of policy mistakes.

6 May 2022

The West’s Economic War Against Russia Is Imperiling the World

David C. Hendrickson

An extraordinary feature of the Ukraine crisis is the way it has imperiled three other “global goods”: efforts to address climate change, energy security, and poverty. Under the impetus of the total economic and financial war against Russia, as the French foreign minister described it, the West is now committing to a set of measures that threaten these other objectives, making them secondary or tertiary before the all-commanding need to do harm to the Russian economy. The global food crisis was precipitated by Russia’s war against Ukraine, as it has disrupted food and fertilizer shipments from the Black Sea, but the total economic war against Russia (TEWAR) looks set to deepen these multiple crises, converting temporary disruptions into near-permanent handicaps.

Energy security and climate change pose a set of quandaries that are very different from traditional geopolitics, and yet for which traditional geopolitics have been of vital importance. Vast interdependencies populate the subject. Energy production is thirsty, often intensely reliant on scarce freshwater. Climate change will make some areas far more susceptible to drought or harsh storms, imperiling food supplies. Then, too, the price of oil and natural gas is closely linked with food prices. Historically, crisis in the one domain has meant crisis in the other.

4 May 2022

World Food Grain Shortage Looms as Russia Blocks a Top Ukrainian Export


With sea routes closed due to Russia's war with Ukraine, a representative of the United Nations (U.N.) World Food Program has said nearly four and half million tons of grain are blocked in Ukraine's ports, with far-reaching impacts around the world.

Martin Frick sought for Ukraine's ability to resume supplying food to other countries to lessen a global food crisis, according to the dpa news agency report published Sunday.

"Hunger doesn't have to be a weapon," Frick said.

Ukraine, combined with Russia, accounted for about 30 percent of global wheat exports and 20 percent of corn exports in the last three years, according to the U.N.

3 May 2022

Charting net zero: Insights on what the transition could look like

As we highlight in a new report, a transition to net-zero emissions would entail an economic transformation that would affect all countries and all sectors of the economy, either directly or indirectly. This transformation comes with both opportunities and risks. Here are eight charts from recent McKinsey articles and reports that show what the net-zero transition could look like, as well as some of the challenges leaders—and the global population—could confront.

2 May 2022


Yuka Koshino

Geo-economic strategy is not new: deploying economic instruments to secure foreign-policy aims and to project power has long been a core part of many countries’ statecraft even before the advent of the term itself.1 Analysts, meanwhile, have often sought to explain the link between economics and power. Writing in 1938, philosopher Bertrand Russell called economics an element in the ‘science of power’.2 In his seminal 1945 study of Germany’s use of trade policy in the run-up to the Second World War, National Power and the Structure of Foreign Trade, Albert O. Hirschman wrote of how ‘foreign economic relations can be used ... as an instrument of national power policy’.3 Writing in the 1970s, political scientist Joseph S. Nye spoke of ‘the two-edged sword’ nature of economic interdependence in international relations, citing the ‘economic aspect’ of national security.4 In his 1987 study, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, historian Paul Kennedy, analysing imperial overstretch and the economic limits to national power, wrote: ‘all of the major shifts in the world’s military-power balances have followed alterations in the productive balances ... where victory has always gone to the side with the greatest material resources.’ 5 The practice of geo-economics has an inseparable relationship with what might be termed ‘economic security’ – the safe-guarding of national economic prosperity. Without a thriving national economy that is resilient to potential hostile measures by international adversaries, no state can use economic power effectively in order to achieve its geopolitical goals.

30 April 2022

Commercial Space Capabilities and Market Overview

Emmi Yonekura, Brian Dolan, Moon Kim, Krista Romita Grocholski

The U.S. Space Force (USSF) and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) are examining and pursuing various ways to leverage commercial space capabilities as part of their policy goal to promote the U.S. space industry and their strategy for improving the national security space architecture. As the commercial space industry continues to grow in capability, capacity, and diversity, opportunities for the USSF and DoD to leverage commercial capabilities are expanding. Specifically, the USSF is considering the role of the commercial space industry in its future space architecture and the innovation ecosystem. It is faced with many choices, such as which commercial capability option to leverage or for which military application it should use commercial instead of organic space capabilities.

29 April 2022

Future Uses of Space Out to 2050

James Black, Linda Slapakova, Kevin Martin

Recent years have witnessed major changes in how humans are utilising space. Access to and use of space has become essential to modern digital society and many aspects of everyday life. The number of space-related activities conducted by government, military and commercial actors around the world is increasing. This second 'space race', brings both threats and opportunities to the UK's economy, security, interests, values and way of life.

Why Elon Musk Bought Twitter

Patrick T. 

On Monday, Elon Musk bought Twitter for forty-four billion dollars. Musk, the C.E.O. of Tesla and the richest man on earth, plans to take the social-media company private, and has said that he wants Twitter to adhere more closely to the principles of free speech, which, in a statement, Musk called “the bedrock of a functioning democracy.” (In the same statement, he described Twitter as the “digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”) Musk himself is a frequent tweeter, and it is assumed that he will continue to use the platform, and potentially reinstate the account of former President Donald Trump. He is also thought to be less likely to ban people for violations of the platform’s policies, which themselves may change.

28 April 2022

Foreign investors are ditching China. Russia's war is the latest trigger

Laura He

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Investors are ditching China on an unprecedented scale as a cocktail of political and business risks, and rising interest rates elsewhere, make the world's second biggest economy a less attractive place to keep their money.

China witnessed $17.5 billion worth of portfolio outflows last month, an all-time high, according to most recent data from the Institute of International Finance (IIF). The US-based trade association called this capital flight by overseas investors "unprecedented," especially as there were no similar outflows from other emerging markets during this period. The outflows included $11.2 billion in bonds, while the rest were equities.

World military expenditure passes $2 trillion for first time

Military expenditure reaches record level in the second year of the pandemic

World military spending continued to grow in 2021, reaching an all-time high of $2.1 trillion. This was the seventh consecutive year that spending increased.

‘Even amid the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, world military spending hit record levels,’ said Dr Diego Lopes da Silva, Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme. ‘There was a slowdown in the rate of real-terms growth due to inflation. In nominal terms, however, military spending grew by 6.1 per cent.’

27 April 2022

Who Really Owns the World? Meet the Merchants of Power You’ve Never Heard Of

Carlos Roa

WHEN I was an undergraduate studying at Georgetown University, I used to listen to Al Jazeera English’s (AJE) coverage of global events—the Arab Spring was still in full swing at the time, and AJE’s reporting was second to none. On a May afternoon in 2011, one particular segment on Kamahl Santamaria’s show, Counting the Cost, stood out. Kamahl introduced a company that I had never heard of before: Glencore.

The company is a commodity trader—a business that focuses on the buying and selling of physical commodities, like grain, oil, copper, and so on. Most would dismiss this as relatively inconsequential; buying and selling commodities is one of the oldest kinds of trade in the world. What made Glencore stand out, Kamahl emphasized, was that “when one company has this much influence, through its size, and some say even its practices, then there is a concern.” He laid out the numbers: at the time, Glencore controlled 3 percent of the world’s oil market, 50 percent of the global copper market, 60 percent of zinc, and 9 percent of the world’s grain. “Think about the effect that would have on food prices,” Kamahl cautions, “the absolute basics for so many people around the world.” If controlling the food supply of entire nations isn’t a significant form of power, then what is?

26 April 2022

Pakistan passes orders to scrap China-Pak Economic Corridor Authority

Pakistan's new government has initiated a process to abolish the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority, with the planning minister saying it was a "redundant organisation" that wasted resources and thwarted speedy implementation of the ambitious regional connectivity programme.

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal passed orders to the concerned officials to begin the process of abolition of the authority following reports that Chinese power producers have shut down 1,980 megawatts of production capacity due to non-clearance of their Rs300 billion dues, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

25 April 2022

Russia and the First Economic World War

Antonia Colibasanu

As momentous as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is, the most strategically important event in recent weeks was the global economic war between Russia and the U.S. and its allies. Russia, however, has been preparing to confront the West and challenge the Western socio-economic model for a long time. The Putin Era to the Pandemic Russia’s

24 April 2022

Russia and the First Economic World War

Antonia Colibasanu

As momentous as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is, the most strategically important event in recent weeks was the global economic war between Russia and the U.S. and its allies. Russia, however, has been preparing to confront the West and challenge the Western socio-economic model for a long time.

The Putin Era to the Pandemic

Russia’s strategic interests in Ukraine are well-known. The geography and history of Russia compel its leaders to create and preserve a buffer between Moscow and the major powers in Western Europe, and to ensure access to the Black Sea. Ukraine is crucial to both goals. But beyond Ukraine, the Kremlin perceives the eastward expansion of Western influence, including into Russia, to be a modern invasion by stealth that threatens the Russian regime.

23 April 2022

How the IMF and World Bank Can Support African Economies Hit Hard by Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine


Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a watershed moment that has devastated Ukraine, created a European refugee crisis, and united NATO allies in taking unprecedented steps to counter Russian aggression. For African countries, the conflict’s second-order effects compound a series of existing economic and debt challenges already heightened by the coronavirus pandemic. The IMF and World Bank should respond decisively with an economic package that averts the worst impacts of these crises in Africa.

In the wake of the invasion, the prices of staple commodities such as wheat, barley, and vegetable oils have skyrocketed. In March, the UN’s Food Price Index hit record highs. With a monthly increase of 12.6 percent in March from February, food prices are now 33.6 percent higher than they were a year ago (see figure 1). This is, in part, because Russia and Ukraine are the breadbasket of the world, exporting a third of the world’s wheat, a quarter of the world’s barley, and 69 percent of the world’s sunflower oil.

Can the EU wean itself off Russian gas?

Harry Dempsey, Niko Kommenda, Leslie Hook

The EU, UK and US have imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Russian banks and high-profile individuals linked to Vladimir Putin in response to the war in Ukraine, yet Russian oil and gas imports have continued to flow into Europe.

Since the invasion began on February 24, the EU has paid Russia more than €20bn for gas imports alone. The European Commission has now published an ambitious strategy to reduce the bloc’s reliance on Russian gas by the end of 2022 — but how feasible is it?

21 April 2022

In War, the Economic Weapon Is No Silver Bullet

Lars Erik Schönander

Some books are timely because their authors felt a need to address a specific issue at a specific moment. Other books are timely because history just so happened to make the subject matter relevant. Nicholas Mulder’s The Economic Weapon: The Rise of Sanctions as a Tool of Modern War falls into the latter category.

Mulder sets to illuminate the early history of sanctions—known then as “The Economic Weapon,” as the press dubbed them—starting from the first blockades of World War I. From there, he expounds on sanctions’ evolution to the interwar years; their further development during the brief period where the League of Nations thought it figured them out (as seen with the sanctions on Italy during the invasion of Ethiopia and the Japanese interventions in China); and ultimately, their reinvention during World War II, where the “positive economic weapon” had its time in the sun. Through all this, Mulder shows how the “positive economic weapon” would be the preferable option when deploying economic tools for the purposes of warcraft, despite being tragically left on the wayside due to the ease with which sanctions can be implemented—in comparison to the considerable logistics effort that spinning up positive aid programs (such as the Lend-Lease program) requires. It is an enlightening tome, with lessons for experts and policymakers on the application of sanctions in contemporary conflicts.

19 April 2022

The Dangers of China’s Decline As China’s economic miracle fades, its leaders may become more inclined to take risks.

Hal Brands

Decline is a tricky concept. The term makes us think of a country that is falling like a rock—one whose power and capabilities are dropping across the board. But a country can be in relative decline vis-à-vis a fast-growing adversary even if its own power is still increasing. It can be surging forward in some areas, such as military might, even as its underlying economic strength starts to wither. And decline doesn’t always lead a country to scale back its objectives—the sense of urgency it creates can cause ambitious powers to grab what they can before the clock runs out.