What Our Analysts Are Reading – 8/25/2017

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Each week Frontier Strategy Group’s global team shares their view on key media stories, and what the implications are for businesses that operate in emerging markets. For more information about how to contact our analysts, send us an email.

Pratima SinghPratima Singh on “Trump’s Challenge: Shatter Strategic Stalemate in Afghanistan”

“Trump’s strong criticism of the Pakistani government’s failure to counter terrorism, and his increasing engagement with India, marks a clear shift in the US government’s South Asia strategy. This new stance, along with the evolving relationships between Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and even China, is expected to further complicate an already complex regional dynamic.”

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Dalia Naguib on “Lebanon approves controversial tax hikes”

“After years of delay, Lebanon passed several tax hikes that will finance public sector wage increases. MNCs should assess the impact of a 1% rise in the VAT and 2% rise in the corporate tax on their cost assumptions, while consumer demand for MNCs’ products is unlikely to be significantly dampened following the tax hikes.”

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Alex Shober on “After two consecutive falls, Argentine consumer confidence rose 11.8% in August”

“Argentina’s consumer confidence index (CCI) rose 11.8% YOY and 12.1% MOM in August. This means a strong recovery after two months of decline. The sub-index measuring “personal situation” rose 9.4% YOY, “durable goods and real estate” rose 8.1%, and “macroeconomic situation” rose 16.5%. B2C companies should view this as a positive indication that consumption will begin to recover by year end.”

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William Attwell on “Africa-US Agoa trade talks end with no decision, waning enthusiasm”

“The US Trade Representative’s reassurances that AGOA – the United States’ overarching trade framework with SSA – will continue will do little to ease speculation that the Trump administration, and even some SSA governments, are lukewarm about the deal in its current form.”

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athanasia-kokkinogeniAthanasia Kokkinogeni on “France’s Macron, seeking to re-shape Europe, heads east”

“Macron seems willing to proceed with his European integration plan, but his recent moves create confusion. He first focuses on Eastern Europe, and the directive of posted workers, which creates competitive imbalances between West and East on cheaper labor. His enthusiasm about re-shaping the EU idea will be tested in the short-term, and any implementation of the EU reform is likely to be slow.”

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JosefJosef Jelinek on “Exclusive: In China, the Party’s push for influence inside foreign firms stirs fears”

“A cost of doing business in China is the requirement for every company to establish a party unit within it. As part of Xi Jinping’s efforts to strengthen the party’s role, these units have become more active. Foreign companies have reported coming under pressure to revise the terms of their JVs with SOE partners to allow the party final say over business operations and investment decisions.”

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Matthew KindingerMatthew Kindinger on “UPDATE 1-Congo H1 copper output up 15 pct, inflation to hit 52 pct -cbank”

“The central bank of DR Congo has revised up is year-end inflation forecast for 2017 to 52.6% YOY. Despite healthy growth in copper and cobalt production this year, the country’s protracted political crisis, widespread risk of unrest, sharp currency depreciation, and weak government fiscal position will mean operating conditions will remain challenging for MNCs in DR Congo.”

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