Showing posts with label Global. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Global. Show all posts

24 June 2019

2019 Third-Quarter Forecast


The U.S.-China Trade War Will Drag On. While there is a small window for a truce between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, there is a stronger likelihood that the White House will follow through on its threat to impose tariffs on remaining Chinese imports. Nearly every move China makes to push back and cope with tariff pressure, including ramping up state backing for strategic industries and retaliating against U.S. businesses, will drive the two economic giants further apart as the trade war continues to damage the global economy.

Iranian Retaliation Will Raise the Risk of a Military Confrontation. Iranian retaliatory moves against the United States, including the resumption of nuclear activities and threats to shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, will raise the threat of U.S. punitive strikes on Iran. Even though the White House intent will be to limit offensive action and avoid bogging itself down in another politically unpopular war in the Middle East, the potential exists for a more serious escalation. Short of the negotiation Trump envisioned for Iran, progress could be made toward establishing a deconfliction channel via third-party mediators.

23 June 2019

The Geopolitics of Information


Information is now the world’s most consequential and contested geopolitical resource. The world’s most profitable businesses have asserted for years that data is the “new oil.” Political campaigns—and foreign intelligence operatives—have shown over the past two American presidential elections that data-driven social media is the key to public opinion. Leading scientists and technologists understand that good datasets, not just algorithms, will give them a competitive edge.

Data-driven innovation is not only disrupting economies and societies; it is reshaping relations between nations. The pursuit of information power—involving states’ ability to use information to influence, decide, create and communicate—is causing states to rewrite their terms of engagement with markets and citizens, and to redefine national interests and strategic priorities. In short, information power is altering the nature and behavior of the fundamental building block of international relations, the state, with potentially seismic consequences.

21 June 2019

Our global system has spun out of control. Here's how to rebalance it

Klaus Schwab

The global system we are part of seems to be spinning out of control. Headlines around the world tell us something is amiss in many societies. I believe many of the developments we see today in individual countries and societies are part of an interconnected network of cause and effect. The entire global system is under stress. We must ensure it rebalances.

I believe this is possible, and I will outline below how I think this rebalancing can be achieved. But first let us consider the extent of the current global imbalances. There are four reasons why the system has spun as out of control as it has.

1. The unprecedented complexity of our global system

In a world of 7.7 billion people, it is no surprise that our global system is more complex than at any other time in history. In 1945, when the building blocks of the current global system were constructed, the world population was less than a third of what it is today. Similarly regarding the global economy, after World War II exports comprised a mere 5% of global GDP. Today, that percentage is roughly five times higher, even as global GDP has increased multifold as well.

Reassessing CBRN Threats in a Changing Global Environment


Threats related to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) use are evolving rapidly alongside changes in the political environment and developments in technology. The continued use of chemical weapons (CW) in armed conflict has, in particular, underlined the fragile nature of existing arms control agreements. In addition, several recent attacks in Asia and Europe using toxic chemicals and radioactive materials suggest that a new concern—state-sponsored assassination or attempted assassination—must now be incorporated into national security policy. Such confirmed use of CBRN materials by both state and non-state actors in these contexts highlights substantial challenges that the world is facing. As such, it is imperative to identify the threats posed by the use of CBRN and to understand the obstacles that impede cooperation at both the regional and international levels. Strengthening barriers against the use of CBRN weapons by exploring the possibility for working collectively to safeguard and enhance existing international instruments is in the mutual interest of Asian and European states. On 14 January 2019, SIPRI held the expert workshop ‘Reassessing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats and their implications for East Asia’. A number of key takeaways generated from the workshop are set out in this volume.
Contents

17 May 2019

Can the East Save the West?

PARAG KHANNA

Asia’s emergence as the world’s geopolitical and economic center has lent global prestige to a new paradigm for achieving sustainable growth alongside social solidarity. With many other countries already studying the Asian playbook, the United States and Europe could benefit from doing the same.

SINGAPORE – The past two decades have been either the best of times or the worst of times, depending on where you are sitting. Just when the global East was converging economically with the West, the two regions began to diverge psychologically. While America and Europe turned inward, toward pessimism and despair, Asia embraced globalization with growing confidence and optimism.

At the same time, Asians devised a new set of principles to govern the majority of the world’s population, and their models are spreading faster than Western-style democracy and development paradigms. As the world undergoes a rebalancing of power, the most important feature of the change is not economic or geopolitical, but intellectual. The years between the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States and US President Donald Trump’s election in 2016 will be remembered as a historical rupture. The post-war decades of Western political and economic dominance are already behind us.

16 May 2019

A Global Gas Strategy for the United States


Natural gas, unlike oil, has never been a major strategic preoccupation for U.S. foreign policy. The country was historically a net gas importer, but self-sufficiency was relatively high, and imports came mostly from Canada, raising few geopolitical or energy security concerns. In the 2000s, the United States was worried that it might become reliant on liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, but that moment passed quickly. If the United States ever had a grand strategy vis-à-vis global gas, it could be summarized simply. In Europe, the United States wanted diversity of supply, which meant access to non-Russian gas; and in Asia, it wanted liquidity, meaning a relaxation of rigid contract terms and a move away from oil indexation as the pricing mechanism for LNG.

But the growth in U.S. gas supply, and now exports, has created a new reality. The United States is a major global gas player—by far the largest producer in the world, and quite possibly, in the 2020s, the largest LNG exporter. Yet this change has not produced a new grand strategy. So far, the instinct is to promote U.S. LNG exports—selling gas abroad is the number one priority, especially for the Trump administration. This is a logical place to start, but it is not enough, especially since the push is mostly in the form of advocacy, rather than accompanied by a serious policy agenda or toolkit to support exports or gas consumption. More than ever, the United States needs a new global gas strategy.
Clean Up at Home

10 May 2019

Huawei’s Long Road to Global Tech Leadership


By Chen Dingding and Hu Junyang

The globalization of the world economy is entering a transformative period of evolution from the traditional mode of the knowledge economy to the age of artificial intelligence (AI) and other digital-based technologies. Accompanying this comes a fundamental shift in what it means to be a leader in the marketplace and in the technology sector in particular.

In this invisible battlefield, China has long been active, with a greater edge than many observers appreciate. As one of the world’s largest investors and adopters of digital technologies and home to one-third of the world’s so-called unicorn companies, it persists in expanding the scale of innovation and entrepreneurship to aggressively consolidate this global position, according to a discussion paper by the McKinsey Global Institute. Comparatively, it is in mobile payments, for instance, that China becomes a true leader, with 11 times the transaction value of the same technology in the United States. Although the latter still remains dominant in the global landscape of the technology sector as a whole, China’s gap with other actors is shrinking.

In addition to other internet companies, Huawei is a formidable company that fuels the country’s competitiveness and has recently commanded the most attention from outside. With its exceptional growth over the past few years in the telecommunication sector, Huawei is “the only Chinese company to feature in the annual ranking of the World’s Most Valuable Brands 2018 compiled by Forbes.” It has also moved up to 48th place on The Most Innovative Companies of 2019 list compiled by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

6 May 2019

Examining the Global Terrorism Landscape

By Bill Roggio

Editor’s note: Below is Bill Roggio’s testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa and International Terrorism. 

Chairman Deutch, Ranking Member Wilson, and other distinguished committee members, thank you for inviting me to testify today to examine the global terror landscape.

The Easter day bombings in Sri Lanka serve as a stark reminder that our enemies are committed to their cause and are willing to go to any lengths to destroy our way of life. Nine suicide bombers, many of them well educated, including two sons of a wealthy spice tycoon, and a pregnant woman, killed more than 250 people during attacks on churches and hotels. The suicide bombers swore allegiance to Islamic State emir Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before carrying out their heinous attacks.

The Sri Lanka bombings took place just one month after the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declared a victory over the Islamic State. While the Islamic State may have lost its physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria, it is by no means defeated.

26 April 2019

GLOBAL TRENDS TO 2030 – CHALLENGES AND CHOICES FOR EUROPE


The next decade will be defining for the future of Europe and Europe’s role in the world. Seismic global power shifts; pressure on liberal democracies; challenges to global governance; the transformation of economic models and the very fabric of societies; new uses and misuses of technology; contrasting demographic patterns; and humanity’s growing ecological footprint – the world is well on its way towards a new geopolitical, geo-economic and geotechnological order. What role will Europe play in this fast-changing world? How can the European Union ensure that it does not end up a middle power, caught between the United States and China? What will it take for Europe to hold its destiny in its own hands in 2030?

Against this backdrop, the ESPAS Global Trends to 2030: Challenges and Choices for Europe report is a contribution to support policy- and decision-makers as they navigate the world into 2030. The European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS) provides a framework for cooperation and consultation at administrative level, on a voluntary basis, between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the European External Action Service, with the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, the European Investment Bank and the European Union Institute for Security Studies as observers, to work together on medium and longterm trends facing or relating to the European Union.

21 April 2019

How global value chains open opportunities for developing countries

David Dollar

Traditional trade statistics measure the gross value of trade. When a smart phone goes from China to the United States, what is recorded as an export is the full value of the phone. It would be more accurate to say that the United States is importing different types of value added from different partners: labor-intensive assembly from China, more sophisticated manufacturing inputs from South Korea, and services from the United States, since even foreign-brand phones have a lot of U.S. technology.

In recent years, major economies have produced annual input-output tables that deconstruct production into its many constituent parts. There is a growing amount of research into the value added in trade, as well as into the stages of the value chain. These studies provide new perspectives on trade. The Global Value Chain Development Report 2019, produced by the World Trade Organization and other partners, has a wealth of findings, some of which are especially relevant to developing countries.

THE CASES OF CHINA AND VIETNAM

20 April 2019

Hate Speech on Social Media: Global Comparisons

by Zachary Laub

A mounting number of attacks on immigrants and other minorities has raised new concerns about the connection between inflammatory speech online and violent acts, as well as the role of corporations and the state in policing speech. Analysts say trends in hate crimes around the world echo changes in the political climate, and that social media can magnify discord. At their most extreme, rumors and invective disseminated online have contributed to violence ranging from lynchings to ethnic cleansing.

The response has been uneven, and the task of deciding what to censor, and how, has largely fallen to the handful of corporations that control the platforms on which much of the world now communicates. But these companies are constrained by domestic laws. In liberal democracies, these laws can serve to defuse discrimination and head off violence against minorities. But such laws can also be used to suppress minorities and dissidents.
How widespread is the problem?

12 April 2019

Record High Remittances Sent Globally in 2018


WASHINGTON, April 8, 2019 — Remittances to low- and middle-income countries reached a record high in 2018, according to the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief.

The Bank estimates that officially recorded annual remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries reached $529 billion in 2018, an increase of 9.6 percent over the previous record high of $483 billion in 2017. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, reached $689 billion in 2018, up from $633 billion in 2017.

Regionally, growth in remittance inflows ranged from almost 7 percent in East Asia and the Pacific to 12 percent in South Asia. The overall increase was driven by a stronger economy and employment situation in the United States and a rebound in outward flows from some Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Russian Federation. Excluding China, remittances to low- and middle-income countries ($462 billion) were significantly larger than foreign direct investment flows in 2018 ($344 billion).

Among countries, the top remittance recipients were India with $79 billion, followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico ($36 billion), the Philippines ($34 billion), and Egypt ($29 billion).

11 April 2019

What’s Driving the Global Slowdown?

ESWAR PRASAD

Faced with an increasingly synchronized global slowdown, policymakers must use a judicious mix of monetary and fiscal measures and recommit to broader reforms of product, labor, and financial markets. How well they respond to these challenges will shape the course of the world economy for years to come.

ITHACA – The drumbeat of warnings about a looming worldwide recession is growing ever louder. According to the latest Brookings-Financial TimesTIGER indexes, which track the global economic recovery, growth momentum is declining in virtually all of the world’s major economies. And what this portends in the longer term is ominous, especially given the limited macroeconomic policy options for stimulating growth. 

The current slowdown is mainly the result of weak business and consumer sentiment, geopolitical uncertainties, and trade tensions. These factors have dampened corporate investment and could hurt future growth prospects, too. If the downturn persists, current high levels of public debt and low interest rates will limit the ability of policymakers in large advanced economies to provide significant fiscal or monetary stimulus. Other, less conventional monetary-policy measures, meanwhile, would come with significant risks and uncertain payoffs.

10 April 2019

Rethinking Trade: Global Competitiveness Through Regional Cooperation

By Matthew Rooney

Thanks to the North American Free Trade Agreement, U.S. annual trade with our neighbors has increased by $800 billion since 1990. Our trade with the rest of the world rose by an even greater $2.3 trillion. These are big numbers that represent real wealth creation for Americans. During that period our economy has almost doubled in size and we have created more than thirty million net new jobs

Building off NAFTA’s success, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, improves access to the Canadian and Mexican markets for U.S. products, modernizes provisions for the digital age, and strengthens protection of intellectual property. These provisions play to the particular strengths of the United States.

Unfortunately, the Agreement also responds to concerns about globalism that threaten the economic benefits that American consumers and businesses enjoy as a result of low barriers to trade. In particular, its more restrictive requirements for regional content of imported cars will probably have unpredictable effects on the global competitiveness of the U.S. auto industry. 

9 April 2019

The 2020 Election Marks a Global Inflection Point

By Reva Goujon, Reva Goujon

You may have noticed by now that there is a strong air of existentialism surrounding the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign. Environmental policy has vaulted from being a fringe electoral issue to prompting calls for a national emergency on climate change. The "socialist" label is being bandied left and right as a way of questioning the very survival and moral legitimacy of U.S. capitalism. And foreign policy debates are raging over China's attempt to unseat the United States in a tech-fueled battle for global supremacy — a global great power competition.

These are big, whopping issues. And while they're certainly not new, they're currently being debated with fresh and unusual levels of frankness and ferocity.

So, why is all this existential angst spilling over now?

The Rear View

8 April 2019

World’s Poorest Of The Poor To Hit One Billion By 2020 – OpEd

By Dr. Michael A. Bengwayan

In the arid dunes of sub-Saharan Africa, women walk six hours to fetch water with nothing to eat. Arriving home, one mother decides who among her four children will eat the last oatmeal from a food aid caravan three weeks back, and who will starve.

The picture is no different in the Philippines where in the Visayan region, rural mothers scour the forests for something to eat as crops have failed. Their counterparts in Manila eat whatever food they get from the garbage, unmindful of their health.

These are images of the world’s poorest of the poor. They are trapped in long-term poverty where most likely, their children, if they survive, will live in worst or similar conditions. They are hardcore poor, extreme poor and ultra poor. They are the victims of chronic poverty because they are in it for a long, long time, an entire life or even across generations.

The world’s 7.5 billion people, in one chart


Which countries do people live in, globally?

It’s a very simple question, but it’s also hard to get an accurate sense of the answer by browsing through a lengthy table of country-level population data.

That’s because there are close to 200 countries spread around the globe, with populations ranging from near 1.4 billion (China or India) to countries a mere 0.001% of that size. How is it possible to do the mental math in interpreting such a wide range of data points simultaneously?

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global syste


Geo-economic developments are illustrating the power of global partnerships but also the constraints of current systems. As Japan begins its presidency of the G20 for the first time this year, there is an opportunity for the international community to reaffirm its commitment to a cooperative approach toward economic growth and to update our trade system so that it is more resilient and responsive to new technology.

For Japan, 2018 marked a productive period in terms of strengthening global commerce: the European Union and Japan signed the Economic Partnership Agreement this past summer and the eleven-nation Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership entered into force at the end of last year. Combined, these deals are expected to add a total of 750,000 new jobs and ¥13 trillion annually to the Japanese economy.

Indeed, these projections are in line with the broad benefits we have seen from globalization over the past quarter century. Since 1990, global GDP has doubledin real terms and the proportion of the population living in extreme poverty has dropped from 36 percent to 10 percent, according to the World Bank. A key driver behind this has been trade.

5 April 2019

Globalization in transition: The future of trade and value chains

By Susan Lund, James Manyika, Jonathan Woetzel, Jacques Bughin, Mekala Krishnan, Jeongmin Seong, and Mac Muir

Although output and trade continue to increase in absolute terms, trade intensity (that is, the share of output that is traded) is declining within almost every goods-producing value chain. Flows of services and data now play a much bigger role in tying the global economy together. Not only is trade in services growing faster than trade in goods, but services are creating value far beyond what national accounts measure. Using alternative measures, we find that services already constitute more value in global trade than goods. In addition, all global value chains are becoming more knowledge-intensive. Low-skill labor is becoming less important as factor of production. Contrary to popular perception, only about 18 percent of global goods trade is now driven by labor-cost arbitrage.

Three factors explain these changes: growing demand in China and the rest of the developing world, which enables these countries to consume more of what they produce; the growth of more comprehensive domestic supply chains in those countries, which has reduced their reliance on imports of intermediate goods; and the impact of new technologies.

3 April 2019

How global development leaders think their field is changing

George Ingram and Kristin M. Lord

Last year, we interviewed 93 leaders from government, NGOs, private development contractors, corporations, foundations, and multilateral organizations on how they see global development changing, what they forecast in the near and mid-term future, and how their own organizations are adapting. Their perspectives coalesce around a few broadly held themes—and diverge widely on a host of other topics.

Overall, we found a fragmented field that is very much in transition. Development organizations are struggling with uncertainty and striving to keep pace with rapid change. Leaders are proud of what they do and the advancements in global development but painfully aware of the lack of progress in many areas and of the development sector’s shortcomings. Changes in the sector elicit both excitement and fear. For leaders, they induce worry about the relevance of their own organizations and the ability of the sector to adapt and add value.

Though we encourage readers to review the full report to appreciate the breadth and richness of the findings, we summarize three top conclusions below:

1. FUNDING IN FLUX

The most-mentioned issue is the future of funding for development. There is broad concern over a plateau in official development assistance (ODA), and inadequate financing for development overall as well as for specific areas of need. There is also concern for the long-term financial health of development organizations that are overly dependent on government donors.