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Articles in Economics News

A Disneyland for the Philippines’ Sex City?

By Martin W. Lewis | April 29, 2012 | 2 Comments

A prominent Filipino politician is seeking support from the country’s Department of Tourism for his lobbying effort to establish a Disneyland theme park in the Clark Freeport Zone, a massive (4,400-hectare) trade-oriented redevelopment area that occupies the former U.S.-run Clark Airbase in central Luzon.

The Cherry Export Boom In Chilean Patagonia

By Martin W. Lewis | April 24, 2012 |

FreshPlaza—the global fresh produce news service—recently reported on the surge of cherry exports from Chilean Patagonia to Asia and Europe. The small town of Chile Chico (population 4,400) alone exported 270 tons of cherries this year.

Republic of Congo/Congo Republic — and its Oil Development

By Martin W. Lewis | April 16, 2012 |

Searching the internet for the Republic of Congo can be a frustrating exercise, as returns are dominated by the country’s neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC is a much larger and more populous country, and its security problems and general misgovernment are considered more newsworthy. To find information on the smaller of the two Congos, a former French rather than Belgian colony, it is best to search for “Congo Republic.”

Al Shabab to Ban Khat?

By Martin W. Lewis | April 13, 2012 | 5 Comments

According to a report yesterday in Shabelle News, the radical Somali Islamist group Al Shabab has banned khat (qat) chewing and trading in the part of the country that it controls. Vehicles equipped with loudspeakers reportedly drove through the streets of towns under Al Shabab authority, informing residents that the mildly euphoric drug would no longer be tolerated.

Burma’s (Myanmar’s) New Currency Regime

By Martin W. Lewis | April 9, 2012 |

Central bank officials in Burma (Myanmar) recently announced that they would establish a reference exchange rate of 818 kyat to the dollar in turning to a “managed float currency regime.”

The South Korean Push into Central Asia

By Martin W. Lewis | March 31, 2012 |

The governments of Kazakhstan and South signed an investment deal this week worth US$ 7 billion, focused on petrochemicals, electric power generation, machine building, and construction. South Korea is now the top investor in the country’s state-led industrial development program.

New Investments in Electronics Factories in Tierra del Fuego

By Martin W. Lewis | March 24, 2012 |

A recent article in Advanced Television notes that DirectTV is planning to invest U.S. $32 million in Argentina, much of which will be devoted to manufacturing set-top boxes. The devises will be made Tierra del Fuego, in the extreme south of the country. Many of the boxes will be exported to other Latin American countries; Venezuela alone is expected to purchase up to one million annually.

Economic Disputes and Environmental Woes in Indonesia’s Booming East Kalimantan

By Martin W. Lewis | March 17, 2012 |

Indonesia’s province of East Kalimantan, located on the massive island of Borneo, is by far the most economically productive part of the country. Its Gross Regional Product is almost five times the national average, exceeding even than of Jakarta, the national capital, by a substantial margin.

Pressure for Land Reform Heats up in Namibia

By Martin W. Lewis | March 14, 2012 | 2 Comments

The president of Namibia recently expressed deep dissatisfaction with the slow pace of the land reform program, which aims to transfer commercial farm ownership from the country’s White minority to its indigenous majority. The Namibian program relies heavily on government-facilitated loans and is based on a “willing seller/willing buyer” framework.

India Fighting Bull Semen Smuggling Ring

By Martin W. Lewis | March 12, 2012 |
Ongole Bull

According to a recent article in The Hindu, The government of Andhra Pradesh in India has recently put all airports and seaports in the state on high alter, due to concerns about the smuggling of genetic material by organized crime syndicates. The material in question is “semen of the Ongole bull, acclaimed as one of the world’s best bovine [breeds] available.”

Foxconn Expands in Minas Gerais

By Martin W. Lewis | March 11, 2012 |

The Taiwanese company Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd) has appeared often in the global news in recent months, owing largely the labor practices of its Chinese plants that make iPhones and other popular electronic devises. According to the Wikipedia, Foxconn factories “assemble around 40 percent of consumer electronics products in the world.”

Labrador Community Demands Drone Squadron

By Martin W. Lewis | March 10, 2012 |

Happy Valley-Goose Bay (population 7,500) is pressing Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to fulfill a campaign promise of several years ago and establish a drone squadron at the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) located in the remote community. During the Cold War, CFB Goose Bay had been a major military facility, used heavily by NATO.

Sweden Arming Saudi Arabia

By Martin W. Lewis | March 8, 2012 | One Comment
Wikipedia Arms Exports Table

Space War reports today that Sweden, “has in secret been helping Saudi Arabia plan the construction of an arms factory to produce anti-tank missiles,” citing Swedish public radio as its information source. The report further claims that the Swedish Defence Research Agency has been involved with the Saudi armaments industry since 2007.

The US Virgin Islands after the Shuttering of the Hovensa Refinery

By Martin W. Lewis | February 28, 2012 |

Until recently, Hovensa in the U.S. Virgin Islands was one of the world’s largest petroleum refineries, with a capacity of almost 500,000 barrels per day. As of this month, Hovensa is no longer refining oil, but is merely serving as a storage facility.

Burma’s Electricity Quandaries

By Martin W. Lewis | February 21, 2012 |

In early 2012, the Burmese government again astounded many by suspending an $8 billion, 4,000-megawatt, coal-fired power plant at Dawei in the southern part of the country, due mainly to environmental concerns,

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