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  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: For the first time in at least two decades of reporting the worldwide cost of living survey Zurich sits atop the ranking as the world's most expensive city. An index swing of 34 percentage points pushed the Swiss city up 4 places compared to last year to overtake Tokyo which remains in 2nd place. Geneva, the other Swiss city surveyed saw a 30 percentage point rise in the cost of living to move up six places into joint third alongside Osaka.
  • Topic: International Relations, Demographics, Economics, Markets, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: Tokyo
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Africa is drawing increasing attention, not only from the perspective of businesses based in China and Europe, but also from operators in Africa itself. In particular, closer economic ties between Africa and China have been covered extensively by the media recently—with fairly mixed reviews. This paper highlights the potential, challenges and risks for doing business in Africa over the next few years.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Women are a key driver of economic growth. In the second half of the 20th century, the entry of women into the workforce helped to propel most of the world's developed economies. In the United States, an expanded pool of workers—from the emergence of the baby-boom generation and the rising number of women in the workplace—added nearly 2 percentage points a year to economic growth. Since 1995, the narrowing gap between male and female employment has accounted for a quarter of Europe's annual GDP growth. Today, women in the developing world are poised to have a similar impact—if they can be properly educated, equipped and empowered.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The issue of high-speed internet access remains at the forefront of the policy agenda in both developed and emerging markets. While circumstances and concerns differ from one country to the next, the motivations for public-sector involvement remain the same. Governments are keen to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas by bringing basic broadband services of between 1Mbps and 5Mbps to all. Yet governments also want to facilitate greater rollout of so-called next-generation networks (NGNs) that can provide broadband speeds of between 40Mbps and 100Mbps, and sometimes higher.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Science and Technology, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Three years after the global economy reached its lowest point in three-quarters of a century, the recovery remains incomplete and the outlook uncertain. On March 9th 2009, the capitalisation of Morgan Stanley\'s global stockmarket index fell to US$26trn, nearly 60% below its 2007 peak. Today, the value of the world\'s stockmarkets has yet to return to the pre-crisis level—nor has the confidence of most consumers and businesses. The excesses of the last ten years—the personal debt accumulated early in the last decade and the public debt added during the recession—have saddled many countries with weak economic foundations and little or no resilience to shocks. This has left the US economy, in particular, struggling for a third straight year to lock in faster growth. It has left debt-ravaged Europe in recession and China manoeuvring unsteadily to deflate a bubble. On the brighter side, the global economy will grow again this year and the imbalances that built up over the past decade will continue to unwind. But global growth will be slower this year than last, and a host of risks—from elevated oil prices to war in the Middle East, to the collapse of Europe\'s single currency—will weigh on confidence and reduce spending and investment.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Markets, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The new government in Myanmar has made a series of liberalising gestures over the past year, raising hopes that it is serious about meaningful political reform. Coming after national elections in November 2010, the release from house-arrest of the pro-democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi, and by-elections in 2012, many observers are concluding that Myanmar is finally embarking on a process of genuine democratisation. Aung San Suu Kyi is among those who have expressed optimism over future changes in the country, with her confidence bolstered by the release of hundreds of political prisoners in recent months. As ties with Western governments slowly thaw, there is now a high probability that sanctions and other restrictions on trade and investment will be lifted over the next year or so, and foreign investors are taking note of the opportunities that could soon present themselves.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Fossil fuels will continue to dominate China's energy mix, although renewable energy will carve out a bigger role. The large market for clean technology that this provides will give succour to firms in the sector—those, that is, that are able to survive their present difficulties.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The loosening of administrative restrictions on licensing and related remittances in 1991 led to an increase in the number of international licensing agreements in India. Many foreign companies involved in India use a combination of exporting, licensing and direct investment.
  • Topic: Corruption, Crime, Industrial Policy, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The global economy remains in precarious shape. Europe's debt crisis rages on, and although the euro appears to have survived its most recent test in the form of the Greek election on June 17th, austerity and financial-market uncertainty are depressing economic activity in Europe and, by extension, in much of the rest of the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit continues to expect global GDP growth to slow in 2012, and while our forecasts for the G3 economies—the US, euro zone and China—are essentially unchanged this month, we have cut our projections for Brazil and India.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, India, Brazil
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Global food prices rose twice as fast as inflation in the last decade, impoverishing millions at a time when poverty relief captured the world's attention. Huge price swings for wheat, maize, soybeans and rice—staple crops for much of the world—made matters worse, disrupting markets and harming both producers and consumers. The food riots that swept more than two dozen countries in 2008 and 2011 were the most visible effect of these trends, but they also point to a deeper and more lasting concern: chronic food insecurity.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Poverty, Food