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economy - page 2

Civil pact on nuclear power signed by India and Japan

BreakingNews @en/Tech & Cyber di

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday signed a civilian nuclear cooperation pact with visiting Indian leader Narendra Modi as he pushed to promote exports of Japanese nuclear technology to keep the teetering economy afloat. The basis of the treaty was agreed on last December, before his three-day visit to Japan. The treaty will allow Japan to transfer nuclear technology-related components and help build reactors in India, where countries like China and France are eyeing opportunities for similar investments.

Azerbaijan wants to boost the relations with China

BreakingNews @en di

Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and China increased by 56 percent in the first nine months of 2016 as compared to the same period of 2015, said Azerbaijani Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev. He made the remarks during a meeting with Chinese businessmen in Baku, said Azerbaijan’s Economy Ministry in a message on Nov. 11. Azerbaijan is interested in further development of relations with China, noted the Minister. He added that there is a big potential between the two countries in development of relations in the spheres of energy, transportation, transit freight traffic and investment.

French tourist have been called to return to Tunisia for their holidays

BreakingNews @en di

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, on Wednesday, called on French tourists to return to Tunisia and take full advantage of their holidays in this “beautiful country”. Tourism is a driving element of the Tunisian economy and the security situation has improved considerably, he said at the end of his meeting with Prime Minister Youssef Chahed. He is making a two-day official visit to France. Some 464,665 French tourists visited Tunisia in 2015, down 35.5% compared to 2014. France has been the leading European customer of Tunisia in terms of tourism since 2004. In an exclusive statement to TAP, France’s ambassador to Tunis, Olivier Poivre d’Arvor stressed his country’s determination to actively encourage the rapid return of French tourists to Tunisia. “This position is explained by the stabilisation of the political and security situation in Tunisia insofar as the danger of terrorism is largely controlled by the efforts exerted by the military and security institutions,” he said.

A certain number of companies and individuals’ bank accounts have been frozen by Libya’s Audit Boureau

BreakingNews @en di

Libya’s Audit Bureau announced yesterday that it has frozen the bank accounts of a number of companies and individuals. It did not state how many nor did it name the companies or individuals. In the short report scant of details, the state financial watchdog said the concerned accounts were being frozen for ‘‘causing harm to public funds and the national economy’’ due to being implicated in ‘‘foreign currency smuggling and forged document’’. The Audit Bureau ordered all Libyan banks to refrain from opening any bank accounts for the concerned parties without its prior permission. The watchdog also froze the accounts of an unnamed company accused specifically of smuggling 9 million Euros. It ordered that the bank accounts of this company are to remain frozen until it refunded the amount in Euros into the Central Bank of Libya’s (CBL) account.

Istraeli newspaper announces economic collaboration between Istrael and Egypt

On Tuesday, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth said that Israel is preparing for a series of projects on a large scale with Egypt, after several years of economic cooperation suspension, Aswat Masriya reports. The newspaper added that joint negotiations on projects do not only reflect rapprochement between Egypt and Israel but also reflect Egypt’s urgent need for infrastructure development in light of the severe economic crisis that threatens the political stability of the country

Iran’s economic offensive

Asia @en/Energy di

With the enforcement of the nuclear deal in January, several economic sanctions -which have wreaked havoc on Iran’s economy for years- has been lifted, thus paving the way for its re-integration into the international economic competition. However, as the Expediency Council points out, the hostility of many countries is still alive, along with their desire to curb the country’s economic recovery. Likewise, some countries, for example some European partners, will have to gradually win back Iran’s trust towards them. In other words, Tehran bets again on the well-known economy of resistance strategy, which has taught the country to maximize the use of national resources, while minimizing vulnerability and damage caused by sanctions. This policy, indeed, allowed the Iranian economy to survive decades of isolation, still being (in terms of GDP) the second of the Middle East and the seventh in Asia.


The openness towards foreign countries will be carefully planned: the aim is to strengthen key economic areas, while continuing to exploit the internal resources, which have proved to be productive, such as industrial infrastructure and the petrochemical industry. Hence, priority is given to investment from abroad, increasing export of non-oil products and to address the problem of foreign exchange reserves still frozen by sanctions. At a time when international attention is focused on fighting ISIS, Tehran is launching its economic “offensive”, paving the way for trade agreements especially with Asian and African countries.

Concerning import-export, Iran and Russia are considering the creation of a free trade zone, as Russian Energy Minister Alexsandr Novak recently announced. The first draft of the project sets metal and chemical products as the main objects of Russian exports to Iran; in return, Iran would provide fruit and vegetables up to one billion dollars, a significant increase compared to the current trade ($194 million).

Important achievements also with Vietnam. The two countries aim to increase their trade value from 350 million to 2 billion over the next five years, with investment projects in several sectors, i.e. agriculture, tourism, energy  and technological innovations. In order to foster cooperation, their central banks have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Ongoing negotiations also with Turkey, Côte d’ Ivoire and other African countries, which are willing to enhance economic relations with the Islamic Republic. Iran’s achievements in energy, healthcare, technology and infrastructure make it an ideal partner to supply the needs of the African continent.

Two major projects are on the table in energy sector. The first concerns the construction of an undersea gas pipeline linking Iran to India: 1400 kilometers of infrastructure that will allow to bypass Pakistani exclusive economic zone, bringing up to 31.5 million cubic meters of gas per day in India. A big investment, about $ 4.5 billion, which confirms –and rewards- the good relations that the nations preserved even during the sanctions regime. The second new project is a scientific and technological cooperation between the Elettra Synchrotron of Trieste (Italy) and the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences in Tehran. Key points are the training of Iran’s scientific and technical personnel and the joint design of a new line of light, to be used both in the study of chemical and biological phenomena, and in industrial sectors.

Pakistan marks an important turning point in banking sector. As some sanctions are still in force, payment in dollars for products imported from Iran is not yet possible. Hence, Pakistani businessmen decided to open letters of credit (LCs) in euro rather than in the US currency. In this way, the American banks will be no longer the intermediate banks, but the European ones will clear the LCs.

To conclude, it seems that Iran has a clear economic strategy in mind. On the one hand, it focuses on internal resources, such as oil – Iran will begin to cooperate with other producing countries about freezing production only when the its output will reach the quota of 4 million barrels a day. On the other, it aims to strengthening key economic sectors, by intensifying relations with medium and big Asian powers, thus favoring them rather than Middle Eastern and Western countries, a clear sign that the distrust towards those who most benefited from sanctions is far from over.


Paola Fratantoni



The strategic interests of China and the US collide

Over the past decade China has grown enormously, redefining its role in economic and geopolitical level and assuming the characteristics of a true global power. Despite the great changes and the fast pace that has marked them, the Beijing strategic imperatives continue to be the same, at least in part.

On top of the list is still the maintenance of internal unity in regions where prevails the Han ethnic group, located mainly along the two major rivers, the Yellow and the Yangtze. These territories are home to the bulk of China’s population and the main sectors of industry and national agriculture. Keeping the unity in this macro-areas is vital to ensure the cohesion of the Asian giant and to consolidate the role of the Communist Party of China as the hegemonic force. The goal is not easy, though. Uniformity is only theoretical, since the majority ethnic group in the country differs internally through cultural, social and economic articulations that complicate the search for a balance. The economic slowdown also contributes to make the picture even more complex.

Another key challenge concerns the control of the buffer regions, those more remote, inhabited in the past by nomadic populations, and characterized, for a long time, from poorly defined borders. Over the centuries the China of the Han fought with its neighbors, finally being able to integrate many peripheral regions, from Manchuria to Mongolia, passing through Xinjiang, Tibet and Yunnan. Today these areas are of strategic importance to Beijing and help make the country the power that is, but pose multiple challenges for the central government in terms of cohesion and ethnic policies.

The third link in the chain of priorities refers to the protection of the coasts, which cover about 18,000 kilometers from Vietnam to North Korea. For much of its history China has relied heavily on the inner dimensions and land trade routes to grab the necessary resources, paying little attention to the seas. For a long time, then, China did not want to have a powerful naval force, focusing on the defense of the coast from the ground and developing alternative navigation systems, through a complex network of internal channels. Today the situation has changed considerably, and China is strengthening its military fleet. In these waters, however, the distance with the American adversary is still considerable and defense policies still focus on strengthening coastal defenses.

Alongside these three historical imperatives, the economic growth of the past decade has revealed a fourth strategic objective: the defense of trade routes, resources and markets from foreign interference. Today China imports much as exports, is no longer independent as before. The foreign trade has become vital, as well as external investment to acquire technology and know-how. The affirmation of this new paradigm sought greater military, financial and policy presence internationally and has led inevitably to a more direct confrontation with the US and its strategic interests.

The US, on the external level, consider as vital the control of the oceans and the containment of emerging powers, China in the first place. Beijing, for its part, believes that its economic stability may be jeopardized by the American dominance on the seas and trade routes and is strengthening the fleet to increase the weight of his presence.

The strategic interests of the two powers collide and from the outcome of the battle will depend the future geopolitical order. The main game now is in the South China Sea where China claims ownership of some archipelagos to extend its control over the area and limit US hegemony on the southern Asia seas. The US sees this expansionist policy as a threat to freedom of navigation and as a signal of excessive aggression on the part of a rising power, more and more difficult to contain. Both countries have their own reasons and both are pushed by the imperative defense of their strategic interests.

The opposition has now extended also to the field of international finance. Thanks to the dollar power and to the influence that this guarantees in international markets, the US has always been able to dictate the rules of the international economy, relegating China to a secondary role. To break the system, China is pushing for the creation of an alternative trading and international finances system and shall seek to increase its role in the World Bank and other international financial institutions.

Ultimately, the crucial interests of China and the United States are entering in conflict at different levels, both militarily and economically, and none of the contenders can simply wait for the other making his moves. The risk of waiting would be likely to exceed the cost of action. The outcome of the battle is not yet predictable and we do not know how the current strategies will evolve. What is certain is that one of the contenders, if not both, will have to give up part of its strategic objectives.


Luca Marchesini

Winter ices migrants flows but not concerns

Miscellaneous di

Only a year ago, in 2014, the most important route into Europe for migrants was across the Mediterranean sea, in boats of up to 800 passengers from the North African coast to Italy (Lampedusa sas primary destination) or Malta: the southern route. So far in 2015, migration along the alternative eastern route has rised.



Matter of fact, during 2012 a fence was erected on the border between Turkey and Greece, forcing migrants to take boats from the Turkish coast to nearby Greek islands or travel north to the Bulgarian border. In 2014, Bulgaria began building its own fence to prevent this.

In September 2015 alone, 156,000 immigrants took the eastern route compared to just 7,000 in the same month the previous year.

The Schengen area makes things easier once the migrants have entered Hungary or Slovenia, but, on the other hand, things are getting much harder to deal, to administrate for these countries. In early July, Hungary began building a fence on its Serbian border, forcing the migrants on the west route through Croatia, often entering Hungary from there and a second fence was built on the Croatian border in October, pushing people up to Slovenia. Actually, Slovenia is building a fence itself. Balcans countries are struggling in order to face the situation. Albanian Government has already stated that the country will make what’s in it’s possibilty to mitigate the pressure in the area.

European countries are forced, under pressure, to find long term solutions, Germany in first place.

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor and most powerful woman in the planet, is facing risks on her own political body, over migrants crise . When migrants began to arrive in large numbers over the summer, she announced publicly that they were to be welcomed rather than turned away. Considering that an imponent number of Syrians living in Turkey have been able to make a living only because of temporary employment or casual labor, but , as Turkish economy has begun to deteriorate, unemployment has grown by being unaffordable, those Syrians are also leaving Turkey. So, what’s next?

Germany is home to the vast majority of past Turkish immigrants into Europe, and tensions have long been high over the issue. Syrians have a explicit and strong case for asylum, and it is extremely hard to repatriate them. The European Union wants to keep the Balkan countries from confronting one another over migrant flows. At the same time, the bloc wants to keep borders within Europe as open as possible to preserve the union’s structure while apportioning them fairly across the Continent. The Oct. 25 summit likely discussed all of the possible solutions along the migrant route and most summits during last two years have tried the same.

As temperatures drop immigrant flow will arrest the emergency. The latest flows have also revealed a drop in the portion of migrants from Syria and a rise in Afghan and African migrants, partly because of cheap Turkish Airlines flights to North Africa. Unlike Syrians, authorities will find it much easier to send back migrants from these points of origin.

But the fact is that war keeps on radicalizing in Syrian territories, which is much more than a preview on warmer season to come: migrants are most likely not stopping their desperate journeys.


Sabiena Stefanaj


Sabiena Stefanaj
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