Asia

<strong>Sales dip but Chinese EV producers continue price war in Thailand</strong>
Asia, China, Market

Sales dip but Chinese EV producers continue price war in Thailand

In the face of stiff competition and declining sales in Thailand's Electric Vehicle (EV) market, Chinese automakers are battling to carve out a niche for themselves. This spring, a host of Chinese automakers showcased their EVs at an international auto show in Bangkok, Thailand, in an attempt to attract Thai customers. Among the participants were notable companies such as Changan Automobile, BYD, Great Wall Motor Company Ltd., Dong Feng Motor Corporation, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, Nio, Xpeng, Leap motor, Hozon, Geely, JAC, and others. Despite the aggressive pricing strategies employed by these Chinese automakers, their vehicles have yet to gain significant traction among Thai consumers. The sales of EVs in the Thai market continue to be sluggish, casting a shadow over the ...
<strong>Sri Lanka shuns China to hand over Beijing-funded airport management to Indian, Russian companies</strong> 
Asia

Sri Lanka shuns China to hand over Beijing-funded airport management to Indian, Russian companies 

In a possible diplomatic victory for India, Sri Lanka has decided to hand over management of its $209 million Chinese-built airport to two companies from India and Russia.The step taken by the Sri Lankan Cabinet is a positive change at a time when the cash-strapped island nation is heavily dependent on Chinese loans for major projects.Last week, the Sri Lankan Cabinet handed over the airport to Shaurya Aeronautics (Pvt) Ltd. of India and Airports of Regions Management Company of Russia for 30 years, a move clearly showing India regaining closeness with its immediate neighbour over China.The airport in question is Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), located in Mattala town, about 18 km from Hambantota. The airport was built in the country with funds from China EXIM Bank bu...
Bypassing Barriers: China’s clever use of Mexico to penetrate U.S. markets
Asia, Market, USA, World

Bypassing Barriers: China’s clever use of Mexico to penetrate U.S. markets

China operates with a singular objective: to maximize profits, employing any means necessary. Recently, we have witnessed escalating tensions between the United States and China over trade relations. This conflict has significantly impacted the American market, prompting the U.S. government to impose substantial tariffs on Chinese goods imported into the country. However, China has ingeniously devised a strategy to circumvent these hefty tariffs while simultaneously reducing shipment costs. Chinese companies utilize Mexico as a back door to enter the US amid the ongoing trade war with the US. Many Chinese firms have moved to industrial parks in northern Mexico over the past few years to get closer to the American Market. Market Manoa Furniture in Monterrey producing recliners and plush...
What is the US economy’s message from the smaller US surveys?
Asia

What is the US economy’s message from the smaller US surveys?

Stickier inflation, a relatively healthy labour market and a barrage of stronger US economic data have forced the market to reconsider its aggressive Fed expectations and to price in only two rate cuts for 2024. Despite the surging US yields, which make lending more expensive especially for the smaller corporates, US stock indices recorded new all-time highs, partly on the back of the AI craziness that is expected to benefit their accounting bottom lines, as the US economy proves to be ahead of the herd. However, the recent US CPI report has alarmed the market about the possibility of the Fed not cutting rates this year and thus prompted the current stock market weakness. Is the US economy strong enough to justify keeping rates unchanged? Putting aside the most popular busin...
Sri Lanka must follow a careful growth path.
Asia

Sri Lanka must follow a careful growth path.

In April 2022, crowds of Sri Lankans gathered on the streets, protesting the lack of essentials such as fuel and medicines. Amid an economy lurching from crisis to crisis, chaotic resignations ensued, a sovereign debt default was declared for the first time and bailout discussions were finally initiated with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF’s second staff-level review, which concluded in March 2024, deemed that recent policy measures had yielded ‘good progress’. While many would agree that economic conditions are better today than they were previously, macroeconomic stability and accompanying signs of economic growth are not a source of immediate comfort to the many who have lost jobs, had their incomes shrink and experienced an abrupt decline in living standards. T...
Fifty years of observing ups and downs in Bangladesh’s economic
Asia

Fifty years of observing ups and downs in Bangladesh’s economic

When I used to work for the World Bank, many newcomers at the Dhaka office, usually from the headquarters, would ask for reference books to read up on Bangladesh. They would look for a publication covering the body of research on social science, which I often struggled to find even though there are many brilliant writings on the subject by some of the most eminent social scientists, Bangladeshis and non-Bangladeshis alike. The recently published Fifty Years of Bangladesh: Economy, Politics, Society and Culture, edited by Professors Rounaq Jahan and Rehman Sobhan, is exactly the intellectual feed needed not only by those seeking to dive deep into Bangladesh's socio-economic landscape, but also by those who already know it but want contemporary perspectives on how the nation evolved in i...
US Economic Growth Is Up; Later Fed Rate Cuts
Asia

US Economic Growth Is Up; Later Fed Rate Cuts

The US economy powered ahead in the first quarter, as strong hiring activity and gradually waning inflationary pressures boosted consumer spending, keeping growth on solid footing. In our view, much of that strength will last, supported by changing demographic trends, leading us to increase our 2024 full-year GDP growth forecast to 1.5% in real, or inflation-adjusted, GDP terms.   Robust economic activity has caused inflation to cool more slowly, though we still expect price pressures to ease as the year progresses. But the process will likely be slower than previously forecast, and that will likely affect the path of Federal Reserve policy—including rate cuts. We now expect policy rates to stay where they are for several months, before cuts eventually start late this year. ...
Making AI a “pro worker”
Asia

Making AI a “pro worker”

A top economics researcher is making the case that generative AI could be good for workers, as long as there's a course correction in how businesses plan to use the technology. Why it matters: The economic consequences of AI are a big unknown. But if this outlook is correct, the economy could see the upsides of the rapid economic changes AI might bring while avoiding the pitfalls of uneven labor market outcomes, like those seen during the automation boom of the 1970s. What they're saying: "The right way to think about generative AI is to view it as a flexible tool that's usable by human workers," MIT professor Daron Acemoglu said at an event hosted by the Group of 30 at the International Monetary Fund on Friday. "If we can do that — not just for managers and the top-le...
How the US Economy Might Be Affected by an Increase in Middle East Tensions
Asia

How the US Economy Might Be Affected by an Increase in Middle East Tensions

Recent escalations in Middle East tensions won’t likely have a big impact on the U.S. economy, but that could change if oil prices move higher.If oil prices rise to $100 per barrel or more, it could weigh down the entire economy by pushing up inflation.Higher inflation would likely push back cuts to interest rates by the Federal Reserve.Recent tensions in the Middle East may not create a big impact for the U.S. economy, analysts said, but that could change if things escalate and drive up oil prices. After Israel and Iran recently exchanged drone and missile strikes, the recent standoff may come to a close, Wells Fargo said in a commentary. Forecasters at the bank wrote the conflict was likely to remain “contained” and have minimal impact on the U.S. economy.1Unlike when conflict over I...
In Disease and Debt: The Inalienable Right to Health About 42% of Pakistanis do not have access to health coverage, and 50% do not have access to basic primary healthcare services.
Asia

In Disease and Debt: The Inalienable Right to Health About 42% of Pakistanis do not have access to health coverage, and 50% do not have access to basic primary healthcare services.

Muhammad Boota, a domestic worker in Lahore, requires an insulin injection every 10 days to help manage his diabetes. But just one of these injections costs about one-third of his meagre monthly salary. As with millions of Pakistanis with health conditions, the only thing that keeps food on his table and a roof over his head is unreliable charitable assistance to help pay for an unaffordable medicine that he cannot live without. His story is just one of so many examples of Pakistan’s severe healthcare crisis and one of so many reasons why the government needs to change course to ensure every Pakistani’s human right to the highest attainable standard of health. According to the Pakistani nongovernmental healthcare organization, Sehat Kahani, more than 50 per cent of Pakistanis do not...