April 30, 2013 |
It's time for South Korea to face facts: The Kaesong experiment has failed. The ideologically motivated joint business venture with North Korea known as the Kaesong industrial complex is not economically viable, nor has it achieved any of its political objectives. To protest recent sanctions against it, the North pulled its workers out this month and locked out workers from the South. Seoul tried to engage North Korea to resolve the dispute, coupled with an uncharacteristic deadline and a warning of "grave consequences.
October 5, 2012 |
Pyongyang again disappointed those predicting it was about to change its ways. For months, experts and major media organizations have proclaimed imminent economic reform, even declaring that "North Korea has virtually abandoned the planned economy. " A rare second Supreme People's Assembly this year could only mean codification of free-market principles, or so it was argued. Yet the legislative assembly came and went in late September with nary a whisper of economic reform. What went wrong?
September 15, 2012 |
NEW DELHI - After months of criticism over policy malaise, the Indian government on Friday announced a series of bold economic reforms allowing significant foreign investment in the retail, aviation and broadcasting sectors. The moves, aimed at invigorating the economy, would allow investment from abroad of up to 51% in supermarkets and chain stores such as Wal-Mart, up to 49% in aviation, up to 71% in broadcasting and up to 49% in parts of the electrical power industry. In addition, New Delhi announced plans to sell its stake in several public service companies dealing in oil, copper and aluminum.
March 22, 2012 |
The aftershocksfrom the sacking last week of a powerful Communist Party secretary are still rattling China, injecting an element of turmoil into a transition the government had hoped would showcase the stability of its political system. State media reported this week that 3,300 party cadres from the security apparatus would be sent to Beijing for ideological retraining. The order was unusual enough, but even more so was the fact that the report omitted mention of internal security czar Zhou Yongkang, who heads the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee that is recalling the cadres.
November 9, 2011 |
Even a politician with the survival skills of Silvio Berlusconi proved, in the end, to be no match for the power of global financial markets. The beleaguered Italian prime minister bowed to the reality of international pressure and withering domestic support Tuesday, promising to resign once Parliament passes a reform package of cuts aimed at reining in a runaway debt crisis. The question now is whether Berlusconi's departure would be enough to arrest the decline in Italy's perilous financial condition, which has moved the front line of Europe's debt crisis from peripheral countries such as Greece and Ireland to one of its central economies.
April 26, 2011
Last week, Cuban President Raul Castro endorsed sweeping economic reforms, proposed term limits for government and Communist Party officials, and conceded that the party's failure to groom a new generation of leaders will make it harder to find a successor. The proposed reforms could usher in major changes. For the first time since the 1959 revolution, the government would allow Cubans to own and sell houses and cars. Taxis, barbershops, restaurants and other privately run businesses would be allowed to expand and hire workers.