Asia & the Pacific

45 Items

Sovereign Venture Capitalism: At a Crossroad

StockSnap/Pixabay

Analysis & Opinions - The Economist

Sovereign Venture Capitalism: At a Crossroad

| Oct. 03, 2018

What the Iron Man-like character is claiming for his futuristic automotive company is not unheard of. On a systemic basis, mammoth institutional investment—especially from sovereign wealth funds (SWFs)—is flowing into start-ups and technology-oriented publicly traded companies. In this case, Saudi billions would help Mr Musk escape the pressures of being publicly listed. SWFs have invested large sums into high-growth start-ups promising innovation and financial returns. In fact, just this month, Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced a US$1bn investment in Tesla’s rival, Lucid, and a US$2bn stake in Tesla. The rise in SWF balance sheets and activity is having ramifications on global efforts to be more Silicon Valley-like, and on Silicon Valley itself.

Tokyo at night

Flickr / Agustin Rafael Reyes

Paper - London School of Economics

Global Review of Finance For Sustainable Urban Infrastructure

    Authors:
  • Graham Floater
  • Dan Dowling
  • Denise Chan
  • Matthew Ulterino
  • Tim McMinn
  • Ehtisham Ahmad
| December 2017

This paper is a background review representing part of the initial phase of the Financing the Urban Transition work program. The review builds on a growing body of research that highlights both the importance of national sustainable infrastructure and the need to develop more effective and efficient financing mechanisms for delivering compact, connected cities that meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. While progress has been made in both these areas over the last five years, there remains a policy gap between the international/national level and the municipal level.

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

What Would a Realist World Have Looked Like?

| January 8, 2016

"Realists believe nationalism and other local identities are powerful and enduring; states are mostly selfish; altruism is rare; trust is hard to come by; and norms and institutions have a limited impact on what powerful states do. In short, realists have a generally pessimistic view of international affairs and are wary of efforts to remake the world according to some ideological blueprint, no matter how appealing it might be in the abstract."

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

The Islamic State of Afghanistan

| December 22, 2015

"A negotiated solution would require a military stalemate on the ground, and this depends on NATO forces guaranteeing that Afghan forces in key positions will not be overrun. This is the political objective that should inform Western military support in Afghanistan from here on out: to make clear to the Taliban that they can achieve more through a peace deal than through fighting and to make clear to Western electorates that this isn't a forever war."

Company A, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, part of Task Force 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment (TF 1-18 IN) board aircraft in Kuwait on 19 OCT 2006 in order to move to Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

CC-BY-SA-3.0

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

What Do Politicians Really Mean by 'Global Leadership?'

| September 4, 2015

"...[W]hat I'd really like to know is what the different candidates think about this issue, and hear them explain why U.S. taxpayers should pay a lot more than our allies’ citizens do and how Americans actually benefit from the energetic foreign policy that both GOP and Democratic stalwarts never even question. I'd also like to see reporters give them a good grilling on this topic, and refuse to accept vague or non-specific responses."

President Barack Obama and several foreign dignitaries participate in a Trans-Pacific Partnership meeting

Charles Dharapak

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Rescuing the free trade deals

| June 14, 2015

The Senate’s rejection of President Wo odrow Wilson’s commitment of the United States to the League of Nations was the greatest setback to U.S. global leadership of the last century. While not remotely as consequential, the votes in the House last week that, unless revisited, would doom the Trans-Pacific Partnership send the same kind of negative signal regarding the willingness of the United States to take responsibility for the global system at a critical time.

The repudiation of the TPP would neuter the U.S. presidency for the next 19 months. It would reinforce global concerns that the vicissitudes of domestic politics are increasingly rendering the United States a less reliable ally. Coming on top of the American failure to either stop or join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, it would signal a lack of U.S. commitment to Asia at a time when China is flexing its muscles. It would leave the grand strategy of rebalancing U.S. foreign policy toward Asia with no meaningful nonmilitary component. And it would strengthen the hands of companies overseas at the expense of U.S. firms. Ultimately, having a world in which U.S. companies systematically lose ground to foreign rivals would not work out to the advantage of American workers.

Both the House and Senate have now delivered majorities for the trade promotion authority necessary to complete the TPP. The problem is with the complementary trade assistance measures that most Republicans do not support and that Democrats are opposing in order to bring down the TPP. It is to be fervently hoped that a way through will be found to avoid a catastrophe for U.S. economic leadership. Perhaps success can be achieved if the TPP’s advocates can acknowledge that rather than being a model for future trade agreements, this debate should lead to careful reflection on the role of trade agreements in America’s international economic strategy.

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Why Nuclear Dominoes Won't Fall in the Middle East

| April 22, 2015

"On their own, civilian nuclear programs do not necessarily imply a military threat. Under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), member countries are allowed to pursue civilian nuclear programs. Because of a growing energy demand, many countries in the Middle East are exploring nuclear power as part of their energy mix. While some, including the United Arab Emirates, have succeeded in starting civilian nuclear power programs, others face serious financing and technical capacity issues."