EconVue Special Report on OBOR and Iranian Election

posted by Lyric Hughes Hale on May 22, 2017 - 9:13am

Last week marked the One Belt One Road Forum in Beijing.  The new Silk Road is a foreign policy masterstroke, but some are beginning to be concerned that OBOR might become a political and economic quagmire, given the diversity of the 68 countries it hopes to include.  The likeliest scenario is that it will create significant benefits for some countries such as Pakistan, where there is clear linkage and alignment, but the road is likely to be bumpy elsewhere.  This week we’ve included a range of comments that examine possible constraints to growth, including competition from the two other great powers in the region, Japan and India. 

Yesterday, I interviewed the director of the National American Iranian Council, Middle East foreign policy expert Trita Parsi. He has a new book coming out very soon from Yale University Press Losing an Enemy-Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy. We discussed Friday’s landslide (57%) re-election of President Hassan Rouhani, and what this means for Iran, the region, the US, and the world.  To link to the ten points Dr Parsi made during our conversation, please click hereRegistered EconVue users are welcome to comment on this panel. Of note since the interview,  President Trump’s remarks on Iran during his speech on Islam in Saudi Arabia today have reportedly dampened any election celebrations in Iran.  


Iranian Election

Trump Likely to Keep Pressure on Iran After Rouhani Election Win
Reuters 5/20/2017

No change is likely to the US-Iran relationship, but Trump’s speech on Islam today in Saudi Arabia rang alarm bells.  In spite of an election victory by moderate forces, Trump today called for both isolation of Iran and regime change while speaking in Riyadh. 

Will Congressional Democrats Give Trump Cover to Kill the Iran Deal?
Tyler Cullis 5/16/2017 NIAC

If so, it would be ironic if Democrats helped to undo one of the Obama presidency’s signature accomplishments.

Pew Study  Countries the US Worries About
April 2017

Post the recent nuclear agreement, most Americans do not think of Iran as negatively as they once did.  Russia, North Korea, and China have supplanted their concerns. Only 9% now view Iran as the biggest threat to the US, versus 28% in 2012.

One Belt One Road

Bumps on the New Silk Road 
Till Hoppe & Stephan Scheuer 5/15/2017 Handelsblatt Global

A Beijing forum that was supposed to be all about supporting a project to expand trade routes between Asia, Europe and Africa has resulted in a lot of bickering over free trade instead. The view from Europe.

Yes, China is investing globally—but not so much in its belt and road initiative
David Dollar  5/8/2017 Brookings Institute

While the belt and road initiative has received a lot of attention, China’s capital mostly seems to be going elsewhere. 

China will launch 100 poverty alleviation projects and 100 health care, rehabilitation projects in countries along
China Xinhua News Twitter 5/13/2017

While laudable, is this level of engagement sustainable? Questions arise not only about capital, but finding skilled personnel in fields that are short of trained staff in China itself, such as health care.

One Belt, One Road — and many questions
Financial Times 5/14/2017

China’s global plan must not reproduce domestic economic problems.

Who Is Actually Attending China's Belt and Road Forum?
Shannon Tiezzi 5/12/2017  Diplomat

At current count, The Diplomat has confirmed official representatives from 57 countries, counting China. But not India.

India, Japan plan counter to China’s OBOR
Sunil Chacko 5/20/2017 SundayGuardianLive

Asia & EM

The Amount China Spends Eating Out is Greater than the GDP of Sweden
Echo Huang 5/12/2017 Quartz

The Chinese are known for their voracious appetites, and the total amount they spent eating out last year is so massive it’s actually greater than the gross domestic product of a number of countries, including developed ones such as Sweden and Norway, according to the most recent figures from the World Bank.

China Has World's Biggest Productivity Problem
Michael Schuman 5/11/2017 Bloomberg

Slowing productivity could sabotage China's rise. Key piece of the global productivity puzzle.

Made or mad in India? Red tape and taxes are putting brakes on Modi’s push to emulate China
Agence France-Presse 5/14/2017 South China Morning Post

What’s hobbling Modi’s bid to emulate China for big business? Red tape, bureaucracy.  According to EconVue expert  Deepak Lalwani's latest report "India’s most ambitious tax reform in 70 years is aimed at transforming its $2.3 trillion economy and a market of 1.3 billion people into a single economic zone with the same indirect taxes. This is something that neither the EU nor the US has been able to achieve thus far”.

If Americans Can Find North Korea on a Map, They’re More Likely to Prefer Diplomacy
Kevin Quealy 5/14/2017 New York Times

Only 36% of Americans got it right. A clear and present danger to us all.

Driehaus Frontier Emerging Markets Fund 
KENYA: Driehaus Capital Management 4/30/2017

Although Kenya's risk factors signal caution, attractive opportunities remain in the market.

EconVue Research

Symbiotic Disruption: Skilled-Nursing-REIT Ecosystem Adapts to Market Dynamics
David Johnson

As markets evolve, participants specialize to achieve greater efficiencies and become more inter-dependent. When business sectors confront disruption, strategic partnerships become vulnerable. Participants adjust and some fail. Survivors strengthen their shared environment by adapting to new market realities in compatible ways.

Strategic Insights: Caribbean Security Issues
R. Evan Ellis

Today, the Caribbean is at peace and continues to be a strategically important region to the United States and its geopolitical rivals, transnational criminal organizations, and those who live there. Currently, the security environment of the Caribbean is subject to multiple interacting stresses, influences, and potentially transformative events posing significant consequences for the United States and the region.

Data Round-Up: 'Trump Bump' Persists, in Philadelphia at Least
Michael Lewis  (Subscriber content) 

Regional surveys for May have been mixed to date with Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index registering continued robust expansion, while its NY Fed counterpart retrenched. 

Digital Fuel
Collin Canright 

Highlights include: Slow API adoption is dragging U.S. banking down, ‘Most bank innovation programs are just innovation theater’, SoFi plans to apply for a bank charter in the next month, P2P payments are the new social norm, ICBA delivers paper on bank regulation to U.S. Treasury, Chicago Corner

Our Experts in the Media

100 Days of Trump
University of Tasmania 5/16/2017 StreamVideo

EconVue expert Saul Eslake speaks at a panel discussion at the University of Tasmania in Australia