Economy & Trade

Zimbabwe’s Struggle to Formalise the Informal

Zimbabwe’s extensive informal sector could help boost government revenue if regularised, but this won’t happen unless the government creates incentives for the informal sector to register, economists say.

Storm in a Rice Bowl

Rice, a staple of the South Korean diet, is stirring up a bowlful of worry for Seoul. Under a promise to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the government has to make a tough choice on rice imports by June this year.

Kyrgyzstan: Russian ’Information Wars’ Heating Up

Relative to other Central Asian states, Kyrgyzstan has a fairly free and perennially noisy domestic media scene. Even so, Kyrgyz outlets tend to be no match for Russian state-controlled media when it comes to establishing narratives for current events.

U.S. Apache Delivery Highlights Mixed Messaging on Egypt

Last October, the Barack Obama administration suspended the delivery of attack helicopters to Egypt’s interim government following the Jul. 2 military ouster of Egypt’s democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi.

Argentina’s Informal Economy Shrinks, But Not Fast Enough

At the age of 22, Franco finally landed his first job, although he is not on any payroll and receives no labour benefits. He is part of Argentina’s informal economy, where one out of three workers are employed – a proportion the government aims to reduce by means of a new law.

Japan Seeks Foreign Workers, Uneasily

Desperate for more workers to support a construction boom, Japan has proposed to expand its controversial foreign trainee programme to permit more unskilled labour from Asia to work in Japanese companies for five years from the current three years.

Culture Increasingly Unaffordable for Cubans

Standing in line for a concert at the Centro Cultural Fábrica de Arte, a cultural centre in the Cuban capital, Alexis Cruz anxiously checks his billfold, where he has the price of the ticket – 50 Cuban pesos (two dollars) - and three CUCs (equivalent to one dollar each) to buy something to drink.

Charting a Course for Survival, or Oblivion?

Hopefully, on Earth Day today, high-level ministers from all countries are thinking about what they can bring to the table at a key set of meetings on climate change in early May.

Weak Laws and Capitalist Economy Deplete Kenya’s Natural Wealth

Each season Peter Gichangi, a vegetable and arrowroot commercial farmer who owns four hectares of land in Nyeri County, Kenya’s Central Province, cultivates his crops near the Nduyi River.

Cuba’s Burgeoning Private Sector Hungry for Flora and Fauna

The lack of markets to supply raw materials for Cuba’s new private sector, along with the poverty in isolated rural communities, is fuelling the poaching of endangered species of flora and fauna.

The Global Trading System Aims to Improve Children’s Lives

Although some people don’t see the connection, the global trading system is aimed at creating some of the essential conditions needed to improve children’s lives and their prospects in the future.

Obama Seeks to Reassure Anxious Asians on “Rebalance”

As he embarks Tuesday on a major trip through East Asia, U.S. President Barack Obama will be focused on reassuring anxious – albeit sometimes annoying – allies that Washington remains determined to deepen its commitment to the region.

Mexico’s Climate Change Law – More Than Just Empty Words?

When Mexico’s climate change law went into effect in October 2012, it drew international praise. But what has happened since then?

Informal Carpentry Hammers Away Zimbabwe’s State Revenue

Tracy Chikwari, a 36-year-old single mother of two and informal furniture dealer in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, is all smiles as she talks about her flourishing business.

Poland Uses Ukraine to Push Coal

A European ‘energy union’ plan proposed by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk as an EU response to the crisis in Ukraine could be a Trojan horse for fossil fuels.

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