The Case For Africa As The Next Investment Destination

If you went back in time for about three decades, any talk of Africa as an investment destination would have earned you mocking laughter and a raft of dismissals even in the highest levels of political and economic thought. After decades of European colonialism and independence struggles, African nations still had to contend with the birthing pains of new socio-political orders that arrived in the wake of newly installed regimes which remained deeply tied to their former colonizers. The Cold War did not help either, as new governments contended with the slow, painstaking establishment of public institutions. Most of these emergent states would collapse, dispensing with their initial dreams o

Egypt’s Economic Pain Is All In A Good Cause – Analysis

Before the 2011 revolution that deposed Hosni Mubarak, Egypt had undergone a few reform periods between 1991 and 2007 in an effort to reduce external debt and expand the role of the private sector. As a result of those reforms, Egypt was able to relax some price controls, tackle double-digit inflation, reduce subsidies and cut taxes. The government also liberalized trade and reduced barriers to investment, resulting in a reduced public sector footprint in the heavy industries. This ultimately opened doors to private-sector investments in critical economic sectors such manufacturing and agriculture, with the exception of sugar and cotton. This meant Egypt was already poised to benefit from su

Arab states’ simple equation to solve Chinese investment dilemma

Relations between China and the Arab world are as simple as 1+2+3. That’s the formulation conceived by Beijing two years ago in an official policy paper, with each number representing a different aspect of the relationship. The number 1 refers to the energy relationship, seen as a “core” aspect, while the number 2 refers to the two “wings” of infrastructure investment and the facilitation of trade, and the number 3 is a tripartite wish-list of “breakthroughs” of cooperation in the fields of clean energy, nuclear energy and satellite technology. Ever since Beijing announced the 1+2+3 strategy, the relationship between China and several Arab states has witnessed an acceleration in both the bre

The many benefits of India’s growing ties with Saudi Arabia and UAE

When Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser cut the ceremonial ribbon in New Delhi to inaugurate the state-owned global energy giant’s newest office last year, the event captured only a smattering of headlines. That launch, however, should be seen as a defining moment in a relationship accelerating at dizzying speed, leading one Indian columnist to describe Saudi-India ties as “one of the most happening bilateral relationships of 2018.” The feeling seems to be mutual in Riyadh. India was selected as the guest of honor at the 2018 Janadriyah Festival — a culture and heritage gathering held every year near the Saudi capital. Saudi Arabian Airlines also did some ribbon-cutting recently, inaugurat

Iraq’s long and winding road to stability

It can be difficult to recall, in chronological order, the social and political developments in Iraq since the government’s success in pushing back Daesh, quelling Kurdish secession and consolidating its security and military forces. Iraq’s recent parliamentary election was comprehensively won by the popular cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, who immediately met Prime Minister Haider Abadi to form a government after years of war, internal turmoil, insurgency and calls for Kurdish independence as well as mounting foreign influence. Post-election optimism conceals the extremely shaky foundations of Iraq’s transition from wartime insurgency and turmoil to a peaceful, hopefully democratic, state. There is

Against Identity Politics: The New Tribalism and the Crisis of Democracy

Beginning a few decades ago, world politics started to experience a dramatic transformation. From the early 1970s to the first decade of this century, the number of electoral democracies increased from about 35 to more than 110. Over the same period, the world’s output of goods and services quadrupled, and growth extended to virtually every region of the world. The proportion of people living in extreme poverty plummeted, dropping from 42 percent of the global population in 1993 to 18 percent in 2008. But not everyone benefited from these changes. In many countries, and particularly in developed democracies, economic inequality increased dramatically, as the benefits of growth flowed primari

What It Would Take for Iran to Talk to Trump

On August 6, Donald Trump’s administration reimposed economic sanctions on Iran that Barack Obama’s administration had lifted when it signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015, the anticipated next step following Trump’s decision to leave the deal in May. Since then, the Trump administration has talked about bringing more economic pressure on Tehran not only to end its nuclear ambitions, but also to curb its regional influence and even weaken the Islamic Republic’s hold on power, which led many to see U.S. policy as one aimed at regime change. Read more at The Atlantic.

Why the Muslim world must protect the Rohingya

The Rohingya refugee crisis stunned the world when the first reports emerged of widespread ethnic cleansing in Rakhine state in Myanmar. Each new report was more alarming than the last, with stories of property seizures, arson, rape and murder of the Rohingya people, a Sunni-Muslim minority group in a country where about 80 percent of the people identify as Buddhists. Read more.

China's Relations with the Korean Peninsula

FPI Director Carla Freeman recently authored a chapter in The SAGE Handbook of Contemporary China, edited by Weiping Wu and Mark Frazier. Her chapter, "China's Relations with the Korean Peninsula," "looks across nearly four decades of Chinese and international academic and think tank publications on China’s relations with the Korean peninsula to identify patterns, areas of focus, key methodological approaches, and analytical perspectives." Read more.

Why the Arab world needs a new economic bloc

A new reality has emerged on the world stage, and at the heart of it is Donald Trump’s leadership of the world’s largest economy and most powerful military. Before Trump’s ascent, most of the world had settled into a peculiar cycle every four to eight years, depending on which Republican or Democrat occupied the White House. While there were some policy differences, American presidents inherited a world order created by generations of Americans before them. US leaders knew that system well and worked hard to expand, safeguard or realign it. Since the Second World War, no US president has openly advocated a total abandonment of hard-fought and hard-won dynamics that favored US domination over

Long-term strategic competition between the United States and China in military aviation

Michael Chase and Oriana Skylar Mastro (AEI) analyze the future of competition between the U.S. and China in the military aviation sector.The full chapter can be found in Tai Ming Cheung and Thomas G. Mahnken (eds), The Gathering Pacific Storm: Emerging US-China Competition in Defense Technological and Industrial Development, (Cambria Press, 2018): 111-137. The intensifying security competition between China and the United States in the Asia-Pacific region has manifested itself in a myriad of ways, including dangerous air encounters. Given the bilateral tensions and importance of airpower to national defense, has long-term strategic competition between the United States and China in the mili

BRICS, the 85 World and the future of the Middle East

When British economist Jim O’Neill dubbed the fast-growing, large, emerging market economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China as “BRICs” in 2001, few could have imagined that an acronym invented by a Goldman Sachs banker could today become a potent symbol of rising multi-polarity in a world formerly dominated by Western powers. But that is exactly what has happened. The grouping added South Africa a decade later to become BRICS. These countries account for some 40 percent of the world’s population, almost a quarter of global gross domestic product (GDP) and some 16 percent of total exports. China is the economic heavyweight, inflating the numbers, but BRICS should not be weighed by the siz

What Pompeo Wants In Southeast Asia Visit

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo travels through Southeast Asia this week. Satu Limaye talks with Noel King about the Trump administration's priorities in the region. Listen here.

Imran Khan Is Pakistan's Donald Trump. Here's What That Means for Relations Between Their Co

For those watching the results of Pakistan’s elections from the U.S., the parallels were striking. A wealthy sports icon turned politician who constantly reminds the country’s elite they don’t know the real Pakistan, Imran Khan’s rise to power is a replay of America’s 2016 reckoning with Donald Trump and the anti-establishment wave he rode to the White House. Read more.

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The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
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