Of the six government defaults recorded in the world in 2020, four were in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Not just that: in 2020 four other countries in the region benefitted from the debt service suspension initiative (DSSI) set up by the G20. Indeed, according to the latest World Economic Outlook (IMF, April 6, 2021), in 2020 general government gross debt in the area as a whole rose by about 9 percentage points of GDP, giving Latin America and the Caribbean the unenviable record of most indebted region in the developing world.
The pandemic has caused a very large increase in public and private debt all over the world. The G20 is deeply involved, in particular, in dealing with sustainability issues of poorest countries’ debt. In order to advance on this front, several measures are under discussion, including debt cancellation, various forms of restructuring, international risk sharing, and an increase in common debt issued via multilateral financial institutions.
What does the future hold for the Middle East and North Africa? The second Rome MED Regional Meeting held last week provided an opportunity for experts to analyse and comment on the trends and challenges facing the region. The discussion was framed around MED’s 4 core pillars: Security, Prosperity, Migration, and Culture & Civil Society.
On the last Sunday before Easter, the city of Makassar, South Sulawesi, was rocked by a suicide bombing that took place at the gates of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral while the morning mass was held. Two suicide bombers detonated a homemade, improvised explosive device, wounding around 20 people and killing themselves. In a press conference following the attack, Police General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, Chief of the Indonesian National Police, stated the two suicide bombers were believed to be members of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah (JAD).
Maritime transport underpins global supply chain linkages and economic interdependency, with shipping and ports estimated to handle over 80 per cent of global merchandise trade. As a result, when the pandemic broke out, the sector has worked as a transmission channel sending shockwaves across supply chains and regions. Most recently, the importance of the shipping sector was clearly highlighted by the Ever Given’s incident in the Suez Canal: one single event managed to shake international trade for several days, triggering delivery delays and relevant economic losses.
The torching of Chinese-financed factories in an industrial township of Yangon, on 14 March, signaled the first outburst of violence, linked to the current anti-coup demonstrations, directly targeting Chinese economic interests in the country.
Ten years after the 2011 uprising and six years since the civil war outbreak in 2015, Yemen’s main, “old” political parties, the General People’s Congress (GPC) and Islah, are coping with a fragmented and deeply transformed country. On identity and alliance-making, Yemen’s political structure is traditionally marked by fluidity and pragmatism.
The Rome MED This Week newsletter provides expert analysis and informed comments on the MENA region's most significant issues and trends. Today we turn the spotlight on Libya, where the new National Unity Government led by Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah will be sworn in Tobruk and will have the difficult task of healing the country’s multiple wounds and leading it to the crucial elections of December 2021.
The Rome MED This Week newsletter provides expert analysis and informed comments on the most significant issues and trends in the MENA region. Today, we focus on the significance of Pope Francis’ historic visit to Iraq and its possible implications on both the country’s domestic inter-faith dynamics and the region’s tense geopolitical situation.
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In the run up to the G5 Sahel summit in N'Djamena, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian expressed the French government’s desire and goal for the summit to mark a “diplomatic, political and development surge”. Held on 15 and 16 February, the event itself was like a balance sheet of activities in the region.