Insights

General Politics

Commission ambition meets UK experience

General Politics

Matthew Duhan
|

London always likes to think it is a step ahead of Brussels. In electricity generation policy it may just be. EU Energy and Climate Change Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete has just given a speech to the European Electricity Regulatory Forum in Florence on completing the internal market for electricity in Europe. He set out both an ambitious and pro-market program, calling…

Read more
General Politics

How worried are Europeans about immigration?

General Politics

Roberto Robles
|

Europe is in the midst of a crisis over migration. But how worried are Europeans about immigration? The answer depends on whether you look at Europe as a whole, or individual countries. And it may matter is thinking about the impact in the EU of a Brexit in June.  

Read more
Financial services icon

The ghost of Paul Volcker: is “too big to fail” returning to centre stage?

Financial Services

Leo Ringer
|

Global regulator the Financial Stability Board is at pains to cast banking reform in 2016 as an implementation exercise, not a policy-making one. But the ghost of Paul Volcker lives on in the US as the question of ending ‘too big to fail’ returns to the fore.

Read more
General Politics

Five ways the UK deal would change the EU

General Politics

Gregor Irwin
|

The UK’s new settlement won’t satisfy Eurosceptics, but does establish principles and precedents that will impact on the EU in future if the UK votes to remain. Some are for the better, while others are risky and potentially damaging. If Britain votes to stay in the EU the prime minister will need to demonstrate that the new settlement really does make a difference. He…

Read more
Financial services icon

China market economy: status update

Financial Services

Stephen Adams
|

The debate has now started in earnest over whether the EU will – or must – award China ‘Market Economy Status’ (MES) in 2016. The status is politically sensitive for Beijing, but has no technical standing outside of EU nomenclature. However, it is linked to one very specific and narrow element of EU trade defence practice where the material impact for some businesses…

Read more
General Politics

Politics and Policy 2016

General Politics

Stephen Adams
|

As ever, 2016 will be a year in which the landscape for businesses and investors in the EU will be shaped by the choices of politicians and policymakers.

Read more
Trade and Manufacturing icon

Knowing when to quit: assessing the Nairobi WTO Ministerial

Trade & Manufacturing

Stephen Adams
|

While the eyes of the world were fixed on Paris in December 2015 for the COP21 climate summit, the 10th WTO Ministerial was also taking place in Nairobi in Kenya. WTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo described the package of measures agreed at Nairobi as the most significant package of reforms in trade in agricultural goods ever agreed. This is a fair assessment, although…

Read more
General Politics

Erdogan: executive president or economic reformer?

General Politics

Thomas Gratowski
|

As was to be expected after his majority win on 1 November, the new Turkish government has left little doubt about Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s dominance in the AKP, and the AKP’s confident status as a majority government. The AKP now has four years to govern alone with no major election before 2019: will Erdogan use this political space for structural reform, or to cement his…

Read more
Energy and commodities icon

The UK energy reset: exporting the ‘Rudd model’

Energy & Commodities

Matthew Duhan
|

As Europe steps towards Energy Union, this week saw evidence that distinct and divergent policy models for how member states should generate and supply electricity are emerging. UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd’s energy policy “reset” coincided with the inaugural State of the Energy Union report in Brussels and the release of the German…

Read more
General Policy icon

Jokowi: One Year On

General Policy

Ying Staton
|

Last week marked one year since Joko Widodo took up office as President of Indonesia. Jokowi’s rise to power was swift and many doubted the ability of an outsider to effectively manage Indonesia’s acutely insider brand of politics; at the same time, he enjoyed an almost unprecedented popular mandate and support from the international community, and expectations when he…

Read more
Financial services icon

The morning after: Brexit uncertainty and what it means for business

Financial Services

Gregor Irwin
|

The ‘in-out’ nature of the Brexit debate, and the focus on uncertainty about the referendum outcome, obscures another, equally important layer of Brexit uncertainty for business, which is about what a vote to leave the EU would actually mean in practice. There are uncertainties about both the destination – what the future relationship between the UK and the EU would…

Read more
General Policy icon

Multinationals in Russia in 2015: in their own words

General Policy

Thomas Gratowski
|

Read more
Trade and Manufacturing icon

The new deals: the 2015 EU trade strategy

Trade & Manufacturing

Stephen Adams
|

The European Commission last week published its new trade policy strategy, the most comprehensive restatement of EU trade policy since 2010. It is exceptionally ambitious – adding more FTAs to the already crowded stable of EU open and recently-concluded deals. It is also highly defensive in its attempt to win back political ground lost in the Transatlantic Trade and…

Read more
Financial services icon

ASEAN Insurance Markets: Integration, regulation and trade

Financial Services

Stephen Adams
|

ASEAN has a justified reputation for moving slowly on formal commitments to regional economic integration. However our report makes it clear that the real picture is much more complex, and that regional ambitions are driving important changes in the insurance market. Attitudes to foreign capital are evolving, regulatory capacity is uneven but growing and the race to…

Read more
TMT icon

A small problem with big telcos? Competition policy and the EU Digital Single Market

TMT

Conan D'Arcy
|

The collapse of the proposed merger between Telenor and Teliasonera and the launch of antitrust proceedings against Sky and six Hollywood companies have highlighted DG Competition’s ambition and prominence in the EU’s ‘Digital Single Market’ (DSM). Its prioritisation of market competition and consumer interest is an important choice when set against the commercial…

Read more
Energy and commodities icon

The other oil price: the problem with palm oil

Energy & Commodities

Ying Staton
|

The price of palm oil tumbled to a 6 year low in August, dragging with it shares in major palm oil producers and traders including Wilmar, Olam and Golden Agri Resources. Some analysts argue that palm oil is merely going through a standard commodity cycle, with a temporary glut causing a short-term fall in the price. However, two intrinsic problems with palm oil – its…

Read more
General Policy icon

Third term presidents and first time voters: what Burundi tells us about African political risk

General Policy

Matthew Duhan
|

Investors in Africa routinely worry about the scope for politics to destabilise markets and undermine growth. Last week’s election in Burundi was a case in point. President Pierre Nkurunziza claimed an election victory for what many both in the country and outside believe to be an unconstitutional third term amid opposition boycotts, violent suppression of civil society…

Read more
TMT icon

ITA: The tech imports deal with lessons for global trade policy

TMT

Stephen Adams
|

On 24 July, the WTO announced the conclusion of negotiations to update and expand the product coverage of the 1997 Information Technology Agreement (ITA). ITA II will eliminate tariffs for over 200 high-tech products – including new generation semiconductors, videogame consoles and global positioning system devices – traded between the 80 signatories of the original…

Read more