Constance Anne Pence

Constance Anne Pence

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Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 — Ambitions to Modernize and Diversify the Economy

In reaction to the global economic slowdown and commodity price collapse, Saudi Arabia’s leaders have made virtue of necessity in announcing plans for far-reaching economic, educational and related reforms. They aim to innovate and diversify the economy of the Kingdom. The goal is faster growth and job creation, especially in the private sector, in order … Continue Reading

G20 Meetings in Shanghai — Snoozer or Sleeper

Disappointment is the sentiment most expressed towards results of the February 26-27 meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Shanghai.  One former UK official calls G20 meetings a “damp squib” — no idea what that means, but it sounds about right.  Despite rising panic by the IMF, OECD and others about the … Continue Reading

Can the G20 Pull the Global Economy Out of its Stall?

In recent days, Citi strategist Jonathan Stubbs and his colleagues have warned that the global economy is trapped in a “death spiral.”[1] Economist  Mohamed El-Erian says that the era when policymakers could rely upon growth from easy money provided by Central Banks is over, and went on too long[2].  Nouriel Roubini, also known as Dr. … Continue Reading

Hosting the G20 Leaders is an Opportunity for Turkey on Growth and Stability

President Erdoḡan and his Justice and Development (AKP) party clearly won big on November 1 with over 49 percent of the vote.   On November 16-17, Turkey is hosting G20[i] leaders for discussions of global economic and political issues.  Some see that as confirmation that the Erdoḡan-supported AKP government is ready to welcome private investment, and … Continue Reading

China, the Middle East and the Global Economy–Where Might the “Silk Road” Lead?

China clearly wants to use its enormous financial capacity to secure access to resources, to create good jobs for its huge population, to enhance its strategic clout and to spur global growth in ways that shore up growth at home.  Certainly, this is true of China’s engagement with the Middle East, from which it obtains … Continue Reading

After Turkey’s Election—What Next?

Since becoming Prime Minister in 2000, now-President Recep Erdogan has consolidated power and led his Justice and Development Party (AKP) to a 13-year majority position in the Parliament.  Yesterday, however, they got 41% of the vote, and failed to achieve an outright majority.  The reasons, implications and uncertainties this raises are very important.  How Erdogan … Continue Reading

Global Infrastructure Investment — Getting Investors Off the Sidelines

Power shortages in India, transportation costs in Africa, the poor grades given to US infrastructure, pollution in China, and the devastation to old and sub-par infrastructure in places like Nepal when disaster strikes are clear reminders that the world needs more and better infrastructure.   Infrastructure is the talk of governments, of bodies such as the … Continue Reading

G20 Mildly Optimistic about Growth, Worried About Greece, Annoyed at the US

The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors met last weekend in DC during World Bank/IMF meetings to discuss global economic conditions.  OECD Secretary General Gurria and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon also attended as did IMF Managing Director LaGarde and World Bank President Kim. The US came in for heavy criticism for failing … Continue Reading

No Business As Usual in Davos

This year, titans of business, government and society face a near tidal wave of anxiety-provoking events and trends in “The New Global Context” they will discuss this week.  Rather than upbeat discussions of start-ups and breakthroughs, they will confront some of the world’s most intractable issues just as global events highlight the failure of sufficient … Continue Reading

Indonesia — Can it Unleash Needed Investment?

Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) is sending strong signals about how he wants to position the country as a self-sufficient, regional power.  He laid out reform priorities in November to CEOs from APEC countries: 1) simpler, faster investment licensing; 2) higher but cleaner and more efficient tax collection; 3) cuts in the country’s massive … Continue Reading

White House Mobilizes Forces Against Superbug

President Obama yesterday signed an Executive Order [1] (EO) directing Federal Government departments and agencies to take action at home and with international partners to combat this national security threat.  The White House also issued its five-year National Strategy for Combatting Antibiotic Resistance [2] and the President’s Council on of Advisor’s on Science and Technology (PCAST) … Continue Reading

Indonesia — Why Its Choices Will Affect Our Peace and Prosperity

While it is far away and little known, we should all be paying more attention to Indonesia, even beyond its important elections this week.  It is the world’s fourth most populous country (home to one-fifth of the world’s Muslim’s) and the third largest democracy.  By some accounts, Indonesia’s economy is already in the world’s top … Continue Reading

Confronting Apocalyptic Risks of Broken Antibiotics Pipeline

Alarmed by the real health, economic and security risks associated with “superbugs” that are resistant to antibiotics — the lynchpins of modern medicine — President Obama has included antimicrobial resistance as a focus of his 26-nation partnership Global Health Security Agenda.  He has just announced a September 2014 White House international conference that will highlight … Continue Reading

G7 Leaders* Tackle Growth, Stability and Tax Bases; Warn Absent Russia

G7 leaders met last week for the first-time ever in Brussels, and for the first time since 1998 without Russia.  They gave Russia a strong warning and then proceeded to make substantive headway without them on international tax, energy, trade and investment, security and development issues in ways that directly affect companies active in international … Continue Reading

Foreign Investment in Africa is Booming

This week U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker is leading an energy business development mission to West Africa with stops in Ghana and Nigeria.  The mission will help US companies launch or increase their business in West Africa.  Both countries are facing considerable growth and need the foreign investment as they expand their energy resources. This … Continue Reading

Africa’s Coming Infrastructure Boom

The World Economic Forum (WEF) African regional meetings in Nigeria this week emphasized that a major push on infrastructure is underway in Africa.  In order for Africa’s recent economic turnaround to continue, large scale investment activities including energy, transportation, housing, and telecommunications are essential. The amounts required are staggering.  According to McKinsey CEO Barton investment … Continue Reading
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