Trade & Investment

Is Puerto Rico Going the Way of Greece and Detroit?

Puerto Rican society has been shaken to its foundations by the announcement in February by Standard & Poor's and Moody's credit rating agencies that they had downgraded the island's creditworthiness to junk status.

Q&A: Malawi’s President Banda Confident ‘I Will Win this Election’

Malawi's President Joyce Banda is campaigning ahead of next month's elections to extend her term of office. But many believe that the massive public service corruption scandal here has weakened her chances of winning.

World Cuts Back Military Spending, But Not Asia

For the second year in a row, the world is spending a little less on the military. Asia, however, has failed to get the memo. The region is spending more at a time when many others are spending less.

Developing Nations Seek U.N. Retaliation on Bank Cancellations

The 132-member Group of 77, the largest single coalition of developing nations, has urged Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to provide, "as soon as possible...alternative options for banking services" in New York City following the mass cancellation of bank accounts of U.N. missions and foreign diplomats.

Colombia’s Breadbasket Feels the Pinch of Free Trade

“Things are getting worse and worse,” Enrique Muñoz, a 67-year-old farmer from the municipality of Cajamarca in the central Colombian department of Tolima, once known as the country’s breadbasket, said sadly.

Fracking, Seismic Activity Grow Hand in Hand in Mexico

Scientists warn that large-scale fracking for shale gas planned by Mexico’s oil company Pemex will cause a surge in seismic activity in northern Mexico, an area already prone to quakes.

Wanted: Foreign Investment in Cuba

A new law opening Cuba up to foreign investment and a shift in the country’s relations with the European Union are aimed at seeking outside support to overcome the chronic crisis plaguing the country since the early 1990s.

20 Years On – Rwanda Uses Genocide Reconciliation to Boost Economic Growth

It’s almost 20 years now since Sylidio Gashirabake, a Hutu, was a perpetrator in Rwanda’s genocide. It’s also almost 20 years since his neighbour, Augustin Kabogo, a Tutsi, lost his sister and family in the violence. But today, both men work side-by-side in their joint business venture in Kirehe district in southeastern Rwanda.

Côte d’Ivoire’s Middle Class – Growing or Disappearing?

“I’m middle class. Definitively,” Sonia Anoh, a young and independent 30-year-old Ivorian tells IPS. Anoh has a master’s degree, earns 1,470 dollars a month working in marketing, lives alone, owns a car and is now shopping for a home. 

Ethiopia’s Textile Manufacturers Benefit from Global Interest

The sign for Salem’s directs you off a busy road in Addis Ababa, down a side street to a compound where multiple pairs of feet move up and down working treadles, and wooden shuttles flit back and forth, as Ethiopian sheumanoch — weavers — ply their trade.

Port Development Brings Progress to Brazil – At a Price

“We are victims of progress,”complained Osmar Santos Coelho, known as Santico. His fishing community has disappeared, displaced to make way for a port complex on São Marcos bay, to the west of São Luis, the capital of the state of Maranhão in Brazil’s northeast.

Ethiopia’s Female Fashion Designers Embrace Tradition to Boost Sales

Female fashion designers are drawing on Ethiopia’s rich cultural heritage and adding a modern twist to find success at home and increasingly impress abroad. 

Trade – Growth Recovering but Restrictions on the Rise

The Bali Package, approved on Dec. 7 by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) members, was a historic achievement, representing a significant boost for trade, growth and development around the world. But its true significance lies in what it allows us to do next to conclude the Doha Development Agenda.

Russians Stand Strong Against Sanctions

As the West imposes what have been called the most comprehensive sanctions on Russia since the end of the Cold War, many ordinary Russians say they have no fear of any economic measures the United States or the European Union may take against their country.

Monk Sparks Row Between Spain and China

Thubten Wangchen, a Tibetan Buddhist monk with Spanish nationality, has become a thorn in Spain-China relations since Spanish High Court judge Ismael Moreno sought international arrest orders for top Chinese leaders last month following a petition by the monk.

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