Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Chinese President Xi Jinping during the BRICS summit, Ufa, Russia, July 9, 2015 (AP photo by Ivan Sekretarev).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR Editor-in-Chief Judah Grunstein and host Peter Dörrie discuss the impact of El Niño on South America, Iran’s economy after the end of sanctions, recent elections in Taiwan and upcoming elections in Uganda. For the report, we are joined by Miles Kahler, senior fellow for global governance at the Council on Foreign Relations, who explains the increasing influence of emerging economies on the international stage. Listen: Download: MP3 Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant articles on WPR: El Niño Tests Latin America’s Ability to Adapt to Climate Risks After Sanctions, Rouhani’s Economic Agenda Faces Challenges […]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a press conference at the Elysee Palace, Paris, Jan. 28, 2016 (AP photo by Thibault Camus).

Thanks to Iran’s speedy compliance with the requirements of its nuclear agreement with the group of world powers known as the P5+1, international economic sanctions on Iran were formally lifted on Jan. 16. Iran’s political leadership upheld its part of the deal so far in order to prevent any delay in lifting sanctions that have crippled its economy. The two most devastating sanctions that were lifted had restricted Iran’s finances and oil exports. These measures reduced Iran’s oil revenues, blocked its foreign assets and nearly paralyzed its foreign trade. Free from those restrictions, Iran has wasted no time in trying […]

Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the parliament, Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 21, 2016 (AP photo by Ahmed Omar).

Although its previously explosive economic growth has slowed, China’s growing geopolitical clout continues to reshape the balance of power, regionally and beyond. From its relations with the U.S. and its aggressive actions in the South China Sea, to its regional foreign policy and economic prospects, China remains a mixed bag of promise, risk and uncertainty. The following articles are free for non-subscribers until Feb. 18. Testing Time for U.S.-China Ties Xi’s Visit Exposes Mismatch in U.S. and Chinese Expectations Following Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Washington last September, Timothy R. Heath wrote that incremental progress in relations has “been […]

Excavation at the Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi coal mining facility, southern Mongolia, July 6, 2012 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on the impact of falling oil and commodities prices on resource-exporting countries. As a commodities-exporting country deeply linked to the Chinese market, Mongolia faces heightened risks from the current commodities slump and China’s economic slowdown. In an email interview, Jonathan Berkshire Miller, director of the Council on International Policy, discusses the impact of the commodities slump on Mongolia. WPR: How important are commodities for Mongolia’s economy, and what effect have falling commodities prices had on public spending and, by consequence, political stability? Jonathan Berkshire Miller: Commodities, and their prices, […]

Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai and European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen at the 5th China-EU High Level Economic and Trade dialogue, Beijing, Sept. 28, 2015 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

After the collapse of multilateral trade talks at the World Trade Organization in Geneva in 2008, governments around the world went back to the drawing board to devise new trade strategies. As a second-best solution, trade officials increasingly looked to bilateral and plurilateral trade negotiations to generate commercial opportunities for domestic businesses and strengthen their economic and geopolitical positions in regions of strategic importance. In anticipation of the failure of the WTO’s Doha Round, European Union leaders had already ended, in 2006, the EU moratorium on bilateral trade talks and made concluding comprehensive trade and investment agreements with emerging and […]

Supporters of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party as Tsai Ing-wen declares victory in the presidential election, Taipei, Taiwan, Jan. 15, 2016 (AP photo by Wally Santana).

The results of Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections, which were held on Jan. 16, were important, and not only for its domestic politics and relations with China. For the third time in Taiwan’s history, there was a peaceful transfer of power through the ballot box, with Tsai Ying-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) beating Eric Chu of the ruling Kuomintang party (KMT) for the presidency. Tsai garnered more than 56 percent of votes cast, significantly more than what she managed in her last presidential bid in 2012, when she finished with just over 45 percent. For the first […]

The leaders of the five BRICS countries at the 6th BRICS Summit, Fortaleza, Brazil, July 15, 2014 (South Africa GCIS photo, CC BY-ND 2.0).

Assessments of the largest emerging economies—China, India and Brazil—and their global influence have been as volatile as each of their stock markets. In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, the buoyancy of their economies supported both a global recovery and their status as the rising powers of the 21st century. Now, the boom decade after 2001 seems a distant memory. As China’s economy slows from supercharged to respectable growth and rebalancing curbs its demand for commodities, growth in commodity-producing countries, Brazil among them, has slumped. Even India, which surpassed China’s growth rate for the first time in 2015, […]

French and Iranian energy officials at a bilateral agreements session, Paris, Jan. 28, 2016 (AP photo by Stephane de Sakutin).

Would anyone like to save Europe from itself? The continent is presently enduring economic weakness, an influx of refugees, rising nationalism and a general sense of insecurity. All too often, its leaders’ collective response to these multiple threats is not to take decisive action but to look around for someone else to do so, echoing the motto of Charles Dickens’ eternal optimist, Mr. Micawber: “Something will turn up.” The range of “somethings” that might dig Europe out of its strategic hole is broad. Russia could become more moderate, easing security fears. Turkey and African states might adopt robust policies to […]

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