Political risk must-reads

November 7, 2013

Eurasia Group’s weekly selection of essential reading for the political-risk junkie — presented in no particular order. As always, feel free to give us your feedback or selections by tweeting at us via @EurasiaGroup or @ianbremmer.

India, Myanmar, Thailand trilateral highway may start soon” – The Economic Times

Improved infrastructure to facilitate the transfer of goods from India to Southeast Asia via Myanmar has been in the works since well before Myanmar began opening up. But to date, trade has been “well below potential,” with two-way commerce between India and Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar at just $8.5 billion in 2012-2013. Can a trilateral highway begin to change that?

Turkey: PM gives TV reporter ‘pocket money’” – BBC News

Prime Minister Erdogan’s gesture may have been in keeping with the traditions of a Muslim festival, but when he gave 200 Turkish liras to a journalist, it led to significant outcry. After all, this is a country where the limits of press freedom and the connections between journalists and Erdogan’s regime were on full display during the recent anti-government protests.

More sophisticated than you thought: A new study reveals how Somali piracy is financed” – The Economist

Performance bonuses. Reinvesting profits. Professional financing. These may not be the first terms one would most associate with Somali piracy, but they are increasingly applicable.

Can China Keep Growing At 8% Annually?” – Simon Montlake, Forbes

Is China’s current trajectory as gloomy as people suggest? Or is its slowing growth rate in keeping with the path forged by Asian economic wunderkinds like Japan, Taiwan and South Korea that surged before China and have since developed?

Sanction Side-Step: Iranian Oil Flows Back Into China” – Wayne Ma, Wall Street Journal

Negotiations between Iran and the West are aimed at trading nuclear program concessions for an easing of the sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy. But has China exploited gaps in the sanctions law to import Iranian fuel oil in advance of any sanctions relief?

Trending: The baby making history in Lebanon” – BBC

For the first time, a child has been born without registering a religious sect on his or her birth certificate. Are there political ramifications?

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