Africa Still Struggles with Miners Versus Farmers

The interaction between artisanal (small-scale) mining and agriculture in Africa still needs to be carefully considered by policy makers to ensure that people’s livelihoods and countries' export revenues aren’t threatened. It’s also important that the relationship between the two sectors be optimised to mutual benefit.

There is Something in the Water in China

Water and energy are indispensable inputs to modern economies. However, in China these are both under threat. China’s per capita quantity of fresh water is only one-quarter of the global average and its sparse water resources are unevenly distributed across the country.

At the same time, China faces serious energy pressures due to the dominance of coal in energy consumption, causing severe environmental crises and its high external energy dependence in general.

Rio Returns to 'Normal'

A boost in tourism is meant to be one of the big bonuses of hosting the Olympics. There is never any shortage of pre-games rhetoric about the bounties – generally packaged as “Olympic legacies” – that the mega-event will bring hopeful cities and their governments. But Rio 2016, as with London 2012 and others before it, has shown that the reality rarely lives up to the promises.

Jokowi's Mulyani Appointment a Step in the Right Direction

Once again, President Joko Widodo has reshuffled his cabinet. One pleasant surprise is the return of Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who until recently was Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the World Bank. She accepted the offer to serve as the Minister of Finance, replacing Bambang Brodjonegoro who now leads the Ministry of Planning.

The 'Dangerous Populist'

The new Philippine president is waging a tough drug war, pushing economic growth domestically and greater pragmatism in foreign policy that could contribute to Southeast Asia’s future.

Stabilizing Philippine Economic Growth from the Bottom Up

The local business community is upbeat with the passing into law of Republic Act 10744, otherwise known as the Credit Surety Fund Cooperative Act of 2015 on 6 February 2016. Essentially, the said law provides for the creation and organization of the Credit Surety Fund (CSF) cooperatives to manage and administer credit surety funds and to enhance the accessibility of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); cooperatives; and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) to bank credit facilities.

How China's Soft Budget Constraint Created Zombie Firms

This year began with international media attention drawn to the weakness of China’s economy. This prediction was validated on 9 May 2016 when the People’s Daily ran on its front page an article written by President Xi Jinping that expounded on the need for ‘supply-side structural reform’.

Can Philippine President Duterte's War on Drugs Last?

Duterte is gaining in the war on drugs, but at a terrifying cost to Filipino society.  The Philippines is drowning in a wave of killings as the government of the newly proclaimed President Rodrigo Duterte combats the illegal drug trade. Except for a few human rights advocates, there has been no outcry from the population.

Indonesia's Jokowi Makes a Questionable Appointment

In July, Indonesian President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo courted controversy by appointing a former New Order general who has been accused of human rights abuses, Wiranto, as Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs. As security and human rights have come to dominate the political dynamic in West Papua, the new appointment to the third most powerful position in Indonesia’s Cabinet raises new questions for Indonesia’s restive eastern province.

Emerging Markets React to Dudley and FOMC Minutes

EM ended last week on a soft note.  Fed tightening expectations were buffeted first by hawkish Dudley comments and then by the more balanced FOMC minutes. 

On net, the markets adjusted the odds for tightening by year-end a little higher from the previous week, and stand at the highest odds since the Brexit vote.  Yet despite the strong jobs data in June and July, odds of a move on September 21 or November 2 are still low, with the December 14 meeting seen as the most likely for the next hike.