Four EU countries in top 10 world economies

Written on December 30, 2014 by Waya Quiviger in Global Economy, News

BRUSSELS – Four European countries are in the world’s 10 largest economies, according to research by the Centre for Economic and Business Research.

The annual World Economic League Table 2015 published on Friday (26 December) by the London-based think tank puts the US as the world’s main economic powerhouse, followed by China and Japan.

Germany, the UK and France take the fourth, fifth and sixth spots, respectively, with Italy, in the eighth place, the only other EU country in the top 10.

The UK has edged ahead of France into fifth place in this year’s rankings, although the Cebr comments that the $1 billion (€850 million) gap in output between the two countries is “well within the margin of error” and would likely be extinguished if France’s markets in drugs and prostitution, which “may prove to be ‘larger than their British counterparts”, were included.

In June, the UK economy received a statistical boost of £65 billion (€80 billion) following the introduction of new EU accounting rules allowing the so-called ‘grey economy’, which includes proceeds from drug trafficking and prostitution, to be recorded.

Meanwhile, Russia is the main loser in the new list, dropping from eighth place to tenth in the rankings, with Cebr chief executive Douglas McWilliams suggesting that Moscow’s role in the ongoing Ukraine conflict was a factor in the country’s economic decline.

“The fun of the world economic league table is that it brings things back to hard figures,” said McWilliams.

He added that “countries like Russia and Argentina, who have invaded neighbouring countries and whose leaders spout aggressively nationalistic rhetoric, are brought down to earth by their falls in the league table as their economies collapse”.

The Russian economy is poised to endure a 4.5 percent recession in 2015 as a result of falling oil prices and the effects of western sanctions.

Last week the country’s central bank was forced to spent around €3 billion of its foreign currency reserves to prevent a run on the rouble currency.

But the next 15 years are likely to be about the continuing rise of some of the ‘Bric’ countries – Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

China is projected to overtake the US by 2025 as the world’s largest economy, the Cebr forecasts, while the “unstoppable” rise of India will see it become the world’s third-largest economy by 2024.

In Europe, meanwhile, Cebr predicts that Germany’s ageing and declining population, coupled with the weakness of the euro, will allow the UK to overtake it by 2030.


Tunisia Wins Again

Written on December 28, 2014 by Waya Quiviger in Democracy & Human Rights, Middle East, Op Ed

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With the election of its first freely chosen president, Tunisia has taken another important step on its post-Arab Spring transition toward democracy. Although the country faces many difficult challenges, it remains a symbol of hope and sanity in a region consumed by chaos and dominated by authoritarian governments.

The winner, Beji Caid Essebsi, is an 88-year-old former government official and leader of the secular, anti-Islamist party Nidaa Tounes. Mr. Essebsi received 55.68 percent of the vote, while Moncef Marzouki, the interim president, received 44.32 percent.

Mr. Essebsi served as interior minister under Tunisia’s repressive first president, Habib Bourguiba, and as speaker of Parliament under Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who was ousted in the 2011 Arab Spring revolution. During the campaign, he promoted himself as an establishment figure whose experience could help ensure Tunisia’s security. Mr. Marzouki, a former human rights advocate, embodied the ideals and fervor of the revolution.

Read more…


The Geopolitics of U.S.-Cuba Relations

Written on December 26, 2014 by Waya Quiviger in Americas, Foreign Policy, Political Economy

Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed to an exchange of prisoners being held on espionage charges. In addition, Washington and Havana agreed to hold discussions with the goal of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries. No agreement was reached on ending the U.S. embargo on Cuba, a step that requires congressional approval.

It was a modest agreement, striking only because there was any agreement at all. U.S.-Cuba relations had been frozen for decades, with neither side prepared to make significant concessions or even first moves. The cause was partly the domestic politics of each country that made it easier to leave the relationship frozen. On the American side, a coalition of Cuban-Americans, conservatives and human rights advocates decrying Cuba’s record of human rights violations blocked the effort. On the Cuban side, enmity with the United States plays a pivotal role in legitimizing the communist regime. Not only was the government born out of opposition to American imperialism, but Havana also uses the ongoing U.S. embargo to explain Cuban economic failures. There was no external pressure compelling either side to accommodate the other, and there were substantial internal reasons to let the situation stay as it is.

The Cubans are now under some pressure to shift their policies. They have managed to survive the fall of the Soviet Union with some difficulty. They now face a more immediate problem: uncertainty in Venezuela. Caracas supplies oil to Cuba at deeply discounted prices. It is hard to tell just how close Cuba’s economy is to the edge, but there is no question that Venezuelan oil makes a significant difference. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government is facing mounting unrest over economic failures. If the Venezuelan government falls, Cuba would lose one of its structural supports. Venezuela’s fate is far from certain, but Cuba must face the possibility of a worst-case scenario and shape openings. Opening to the United States makes sense in terms of regime preservation.

The U.S. reason for the shift is less clear. It makes political sense from Obama’s standpoint. First, ideologically, ending the embargo appeals to him. Second, he has few foreign policy successes to his credit. Normalizing relations with Cuba is something he might be able to achieve, since groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce favor normalization and will provide political cover in the Republican Party. But finally, and perhaps most important, the geopolitical foundations behind the American obsession with Cuba have for the most part evaporated, if not permanently than at least for the foreseeable future. Normalization of relations with Cuba no longer poses a strategic threat. To understand the U.S. response to Cuba in the past half century, understanding Cuba’s geopolitical challenge to the United States is important. Read more…

Written by George Friedman on Dec. 23rd: Mr. Friedman is chairman of Stratfor.

Published in http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2014/12/23/the_geopolitics_of_us-cuba_relations_110875-3.html


Launch of the FT|IE Corporate Learning Alliance (FT|IE CLA)

Written on December 18, 2014 by Waya Quiviger in News

On Wednesday 10 December,  Santiago Iñiguez,  Dean of IE Business School and President of IE University, announced the launch of the FT|IE Corporate Learning Alliance (FT|IE CLA), a 50/50 joint venture (JV) created by  IE Business School and the Financial Times Group to design and implement in-company programmes, executive development programmes and customised education for companies. We expect the FT|IE CLA to become a benchmark in the field within the next five years.

The FT|IE CLA has several unique and distinguishing features:

– The combination of IE’s academic strength and the FT’s presence in the corporate global sphere, coupled with the reputation and prestige of both brands.

-IE’s experience and leadership in the blended programmes sector, where we hold the leading positions in major international rankings. Blended programmes for companies will combine high-quality online courses with face-to-face learning. The FT|IE CLA will run a significant number of its courses using this blended methodology given the ever growing demand among companies for this type of program.

-The collaboration of some of the most important business schools in the world who will participate as partners in the FT|IE CLA in the design and teaching of courses, contributing local knowledge and relationships with stakeholders in their respective regions, as well as facilitating the distribution of courses in several languages, including English, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese. Partner business schools include Yale School of Management (US), Fundaçao Getulio Vargas (Brazil), Tec de Monterrey (Mexico), Jiao Tong University Business School (China), Renmin University Business School (China), Centrum (Peru), Universidad de San Andrés (Argentina), PUC-Universidad Católica (Chile) and Singapore Management University (Singapore).

-A carefully selected faculty team with the types of profile required by client companies for in-company programmes. The team will comprise IE professors, associate and adjunct professors hired by the JV, consultants specialised in executive development, and renowned thought leaders from the FT.

– Programme content developed in various formats aimed at leveraging IE’s multimedia content and the editorial resources provided by the FT and the rest of the companies owned by the Pearson Group (Prentice Hall, Random House, etc.).

The FT|IE CLA will have its headquarters in London, marking a further step in the internationalisation of IE with the opening of a campus that will offer education services in one of the most important education hubs in the world. Furthermore, there will be a subsidiary in Spain to which the pre-existing custom programmes unit of IE will be transferred. The plan is for FT|IE CLA to have subsidiaries and operational units in every continent over time.

The creation of the FT|IE CLA represents a further decisive step in the international development of IE, particularly in the area of custom programmes for companies and in our relationship with corporate clients. It also represents an opportunity for IE professors, who will now have access to new executive training programmes around the globe. In the sphere of educational technology it will permit IE to take the next major step toward consolidating its pioneering advantage in blended programmes. Furthermore, IE will further consolidate its presence as a global leader in the area of management education programmes.

The CEO of the FT|IE CLA will be Vandyck Silveira, who has extensive experience of executive education from his time at Duke Corporate Education as well as from his work here at IE. The Chairman of the Board will be Tas Viglatzis, Managing Director of Pearson English and CFO of the FT. The remaining members of the board will be James Lamont, Managing Editor of the FT, Angela Mackay, Publisher of the FT and Professional Education in Asia Pacific, Santiago iñiguez, Dean of IE Business School and President of IE University, Diego Alcázar Benjumea, Vice President of IE, Arantza Areilza, Dean of IE School of International Relations.


Serendipity – The Other Side with Waya Quiviger

Written on December 15, 2014 by Waya Quiviger in Video

International Relations Professor, Waya Quiviger, has lived in ten countries, she is half French, half Filipino, she was born in Belgium, raised in the US and is currently living in Spain. Of her rich life experiences, she says serendipity has played a big role. 

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The Other Side of IE Professors brings you videos about IE’s greatest assets, its professors. You can watch the full series of videos here: http://theotherside.blogs.ie.edu/

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