Regional Cooperation not on Zimbabwe's To Do List

Zimbabwe’s recent ban on imports from South Africa suggests that the country has taken action that undermines the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional integration project. This is because trade is an important element of regional integration. It promotes cross-border and local economic development, and provides the foundation for cross-border cooperation and integration, and the development of good neighbourly relations.

Can Erdogan Allay Kurdish Concerns?

Turkey’s failed military coup last month rocked the foundations of its political system, yet in some ways the country has emerged stronger and more resilient.

In addition, that’s precisely what Turkey needs to deal with one of its biggest and oldest challenges: the Kurdish minority and the PKK separatists who took up arms against the Turkish military 32 years ago this week.

Sri Lankan Government Economic Missteps Need Correcting

Eighteen months ago, a new president and government came to power in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has had a national-unity government since August 2015. So what has changed?

The political atmosphere is freer, ethnic tensions are much lower, and foreign policy has been rebalanced, with much better relations with India and the West. However, the government’s Achilles heel is the economy. Here expectations have been dashed. What has gone wrong?

China's Economic Growth Falls to the Policymakers

The pattern of growth that drove the Chinese economic miracle has broadly run its course. China’s future prosperity now rests on the shoulders of its policymakers. Will they be able to steer the Chinese economy to prosperity, or will China be bogged down in the middle-income trap? Broadly speaking, there are three paths the Chinese economy can go down.

Young South Koreans Losing Interest in the North

It is not easy being a young person in globalised South Korea. The intense competition that defines South Korea’s education system and the irregular employment market that awaits graduates has led to rising inequality, falling birth rates, insecure employment and high numbers of youth suicide. Beyond South Korea’s domestic wellbeing, globalisation and its accompanying economic insecurity also have implications for foreign affairs, particularly attitudes towards North Korea.

Japan's GDP Disappoints

The US dollar closed the pre-weekend session well off its lows that were seen in response to the disappointing retail sales report.  It has been unable to sustain the upside momentum, and as North American dealers prepare to return to their posts, it is trading lower against most of the major currencies. The notable exceptions are the Scandi-bloc, which are consolidating last week's gains, and sterling, which remains pinned near $1.29.

Emerging Markets Officials Express Exchange Rates Concerns

EM FX ended the week on a soft note, despite the weaker than expected US retail sales report. Official concern about strong exchange rates is beginning to emerge. First, it was Korea, and then on Friday it was Brazil as acting President Temer said his country needs to maintain a balanced exchange rate, neither too weak nor too strong.

We expect more pushback to emerge if the current rally is extended. Still, the global liquidity outlook for now favors EM and "risk."

Korea Gets a Credit Upgrade and Thailand's Constitution Referendum Passes

S&P upgraded Korea a notch to AA with a stable outlook, Voters passed the constitutional referendum in Thailand by a wide margin, The IMF and Egypt have reached a staff-level agreement on a 3-year $12 bln loan program, Argentina’s central bank will begin using a new overnight rate to manage monetary policy, Political uncertainty has returned to Brazil