Gulf countries are world leaders in using worker mobility to fill employment gaps, a history that may serve them well as their populations age along with the rest of the planet and competition for immigrants intensifies. That said, the traditional model of immigration into much of the region has been temporary, and has involved considerable restrictions on the rights and opportunities of the migrants. Some Gulf countries are recognizing the need for change towards models that give migrants more autonomy, a necessary and welcome development.
In May, we examined the possibility of Southeast Asian countries working together to create a regional COVID-19 Vaccination Certification (CVC) system. We posited that CVCs present unprecedented collaboration challenges, especially that of coordination and trust. We suggested that the EU’s Digital COVID Certificate (formerly called Digital Green Certificate) approach provided an example of how regional blocs can address such challenges.
Amidst the debate, fears, political polarization, and regrets surrounding globalization, we cannot ignore a central reality: much of it is not reversible or even resistable. As in other periods of human history where new connections are forged between geographies and civilizations—whether driven by empire building, technological change, regime change, or climate change-driven migration—Pandora’s Box, once opened, cannot be closed. The flow of goods, services, people, and capital will continue across borders and increasingly encompass once isolated parts of the world.
After a lengthy review of the Trump administration’s trade policy toward China, the Biden administration unveiled its approach on October 4th. It is the conclusion of the Biden administration that structural inequities in trade relations remain, and that China is not compliant with Phase I of the agreement it reached with the Trump administration. The American position, as outlined by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, carries implications for African economies.
Here’s an easy five-point plan for the leadership of a country which has emerged from civil war and dire poverty over recent decades and now wants to destroy itself.
First, pick a fight with a corner of your territory run by a previously powerful minority ethnic group. Cut off their resources. Provoke them into a response. Send in the army. Invite a neighbouring army in to rape and kill civilians and destroy their crops, businesses, schools, and clinics. Persuade the victims they are about to be subject to a genocide and promote hate speech about them among the rest of the population.
The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has been operating for less than two years, and already some lawmakers are keen to expand its mandate. On the one hand, it’s good to see such appreciation for the tools of development finance. On the other, we share deep misgivings about proposals that would authorize—and even encourage—DFC investment in upper-middle-income and high-income countries absent a strong developmental objective or justification. That would divert attention and resources from the agency’s central mission: mobilizing private finance where it’s needed most. And, as mission creep spreads, it will likely mean DFC delivers less value for money and could jeopardize future support for the agency.
Pandemic risk is largely underestimated and actions to prepare for outbreaks are grossly underinvested. The spread and severity of COVID-19 felt like a surprise to many policymakers – a clear case in point. But careful analyses are suggesting that future pandemic risks are significant.
W. Gyude Moore
The IMF is warning of a dangerous divergence.
Economic divergence has always existed, but it’s been exacerbated by the pandemic. In this episode, Abebe Aemro Selassie, Director of the IMF’s African Department, and Charlie Robertson, Global Chief Economist and Head of Macro Strategy at Renaissance Capital, join Gyude to discuss how to reverse this divergence. How do we increase investment—in transport, power, water, health, and education infrastructure—to enable economic growth and give African countries a chance to close the gap?