Economy

RoK seeks qualitative growth of inbound tourism

Seoul (VNA) – The Republic of Korea’s tourism promotion agency will push forward efforts to stabilise and diversify the country’s inbound tourism market this year, as part of its broader aims to achieve qualitative growth, the Yonhap news agency reported on January 31. Vietnam+ (VietnamPlus) The Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) plans to unfold a two-track approach where it focuses on stabilising inflows of visitors from such countries as China, Japan and the United States, while diversifying its portfolio by attracting ... Read More »

Stronger Aussie a bump on RBA’s slow path back to normal

The Australian dollar is once again caught up in the shifting tide of global finance, with the currency pushing to two-and-a-half year highs and threatening to further delay the RBA’s tentative plans to move towards a more normal monetary policy setting. Patrick Commins Brisbane Times The Aussie has lifted by more than US6¢ since early December – or 8 per cent – to push firmly above US81¢, its loftiest level since May 2015. That brings its gains in 2017 to 3.9 ... Read More »

At Davos, the Real Star May Have Been China, Not Trump

DAVOS, Switzerland — President Trump used the World Economic Forum meeting to woo investors and business leaders by reassuring them that “America first does not mean America alone.” Keith Bradsher The New York Times But it was clear in Davos, Switzerland, this past week that geopolitical momentum lay with Beijing, not Washington. At one end of town, President Michel Temer of Brazil welcomed an unexpected offer from Beijing for Latin American nations to work closely with a Chinese initiative, known ... Read More »

Is Venezuela on the Brink of Economic and Social Collapse?

For change to occur in Venezuela, it will have to come from within the ranks of its armed forces. Scott B. MacDonald The National Interest Venezuela is totally out of sync with most of Latin America and the Caribbean as it has headed in an increasingly autocratic direction politically, marked by stunningly inept economic mismanagement, reminiscent of Zimbabwe under Mugabe and the Congo under Mobuto. The problem is that as Venezuela sinks deeper into socioeconomic misery, many of its citizens ... Read More »

The Korean Peninsula Crisis: Beyond Fire and Fury

Two Crisis Group reports detail how a nightmarish war on the Korean peninsula is closer than ever in recent history, and how the Winter Olympics and North Korea’s need to show economic progress in its 70th anniversary year offer opportunities for diplomacy and de-escalation. ICG North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests combined with bellicose rhetoric from the U.S. mean the risk of a catastrophic war on the Korean peninsula is higher than at any time in recent history. Yet a short ... Read More »

Australian property ‘severely unaffordable’, Sydney crowned ‘second least affordable market’

There’s no arguing Australian properties are among the world’s priciest, but experts disagree on exactly how unaffordable the market has become. David Chau ABC Australia’s five biggest cities have “severely unaffordable” housing markets, according to an international housing affordability think tank. Sydney was ranked “second worst”, with house prices almost 13 times higher than the median household income, Demographia said in its 14th annual report. It was beaten only by Hong Kong, where property prices were about 20 times higher ... Read More »

Billionaires Made So Much Money Last Year They Could End Extreme Poverty Seven Times

The global economy created a record number of billionaires last year, exacerbating inequality amid a weakening of workers’ rights and a corporate push to maximize shareholder returns, charity organization Oxfam International said in a… Shelly Hagan / Bloomberg Time The world now has 2,043 billionaires, after a new one emerged every two days in the past year, the nonprofit organization said in a report published Monday. The group of mostly men saw its… According to separate data compiled by Bloomberg, ... Read More »

Oxfam: Richest one percent banked 82 percent of wealth created in 2017

Oxfam’s latest report on wealth inequality describes how a wealthy elite accumulates vast fortunes while the poorest go without Nik Martin DW But the charity has been criticized as offering a too simplistic view of the imbalances. Oxfam on Monday detailed how the richest one percent grew its wealth by $762 billion (€620 billion) in 2017, which it says was enough to end poverty seven times over. In its annual report on wealth inequality, the UK-based poverty and disaster relief ... Read More »

Regional Report: Eastern Mediterranean

Eastern Mediterranean region are beginning to increase E&P activity and were able to bring several key projects on stream in 2017 Emily Querubin World Oil Eastern Mediterranean region are beginning to increase E&P activity and were able to bring several key projects on stream in 2017. Despite a substantial amount of progress, the region still faces a few hurdles as it enters the new year. EGYPT Egypt is home to several mega-projects—including Nooros and Zohr fields—which reportedly will double the ... Read More »

China’s record US trade surplus leaves Trump trumped

The US president will hate the figures after saying he is getting ‘much tougher’ on the world’s second largest economy Gordon Watts Asia Times Whichever way you look at it, the latest trade figures from China will make uncomfortable bedtime reading for Donald Trump. In yuan or dollar terms, the numbers are dripping with red ink, which will fail to amuse the US President. Official data released by the General Administration of Customs on Friday showed that China’s trade surplus ... Read More »

How Washington Will Lose Its Influence in Asia

There is no guarantee that President Trump will ask Congress to renew the Trade Protection Authority Act before it expires Peter C.Y. Chow The National Interest As Douglas Irwin said, if “truth” is the first to be sacrificed in the war, then “free trade” will be the scapegoat in the populist electoral politics. The most recent examples are the Brexit and the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP-12). While the British government is facing contentious negotiations with the ... Read More »

A new Kodak moment: shares soar as company launches KODAKCoin cryptocurrency

Shares of Eastman Kodak surged by as much as 147 per cent on Tuesday after the one-time leader in photography became the latest company to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon Reuters Brisbane Times The storied Rochester, New York-based company said in a statement it is launching a cryptocurrency called “KODAKCoin” for photographers, part of “KODAKOne”, an image rights management platform launched in a licensing partnership with WENN Digital. The platform uses blockchain technology, the backbone of bitcoin and other digital ... Read More »

Emmanuel Macron breaks French taboo on farm subsidies

Facing a multibillion-euro cash crunch in the EU budget, Paris is dropping its insistence on preserving the status quo for farmers. By EMMET LIVINGSTONE, MAÏA DE LA BAUME AND DAVID M. HERSZENHORN Politico France’s president has crossed the manure-lined Rubicon In a shift liable to ignite a civil war in French politics, Emmanuel Macron is breaking with France’s traditionally ironclad defense of farmers’ subsidies. If one thing was ever considered certain in negotiations over the EU budget every seven years, it was that ... Read More »

Brexit ‘will not be a fatal blow to Irish economy’

Former WTO director general and Goldman Sachs chairman Peter Sutherland on why Ireland had to change and future economic challenges Ian Hyland The Irish Times The following is an edited version of one of the last interviews Peter Sutherland gave prior to his death Attorney general, European commissioner, director general of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), director general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), chairmanships of BP and Goldman Sachs. … Peter Sutherland has undoubtedly enjoyed an illustrious career. ... Read More »

For richer or poorer: 4 economists ponder what 2018 has in store

Editor’s note: We asked four economists to offer their thoughts and insights on what they expect to be a key theme or issue in 2018. Greg Wright, assistant professor of economics, University of California, Merced Patricia Smith, professor of economics, University of Michigan Christos Makridis, Ph.D. candidate in labor and public economics, Stanford University William Hauk, associate professor of economics, University of South Carolina The Conversation Income and wealth inequality are currently at levels last seen during the Gilded Age ... Read More »

Flemish farmer busts conventional wisdom on EU farm policy

Community-supported model thrives without subsidies from Brussels By SIMON MARKS Politico LEUVEN, Belgium — The EU does not spend much time thinking about farmers like Tom Troonbeeckx. But as Brussels prepares to propose a reform of its landmark €58 billion-per-year Common Agricultural Policy in 2018, the softspoken Flemish farmer offers an alternative model to Europe’s conventional wisdom over the last half century. Troonbeeckx runs 30 hectares of farmland near the Belgian city of Leuven, only 20 kilometers east of Brussels, without… Flemish ... Read More »