It looks like officials at the World Economic Forum have learned their lessons after all.
Fresh from the embarrassment of not having any high level officials from China attending Davos this year, WEF officials are apparently in discussions over moving the date of next year’s event so that it does not clash with Chinese New Year.
The growing presence of Chinese travellers on the luxury shopping circuit of the US and Europe is well known, but catering to ordinary Chinese and the country’s growing band of super rich are two different things, as the FT reports.
The wealthy don’t want bus tours and showy logos. Instead they are looking for VIP treatment and knowledge about the history and manufacturing of luxury brands. But China experts say there is also a dark side. Continue reading »
Funny what a bit of humility and a seeming willingness to take heed can do. Viktor Orban’s apparent readiness to listen to the EU and IMF to start talks on a new credit line has had a powerful effect on the Budapest Stock Exchange, as well as the forint.
This, plus positive sentiment towards emerging markets in general has made the Budapest stock market one of this year’s top performers, with the benchmark BUX index closing on Friday at 19,286 – that’s a 13.6 per cent up in forint terms, and a whopping 22 per cent up for greenback investors. And the best part of those gains have been made since 18 January, the day of Orban’s begging visit to Brussels. Continue reading »
Wherever it turns, the Romanian government seems to run into trouble. On Friday, it was the constitutional court rejecting plans to delay local elections by a few months and hold them on the same day as parliamentary polls due in November.
Tanzania has long dragged its heels among its east African neighbours as they heave themselves towards harmonising everything from tax law to capital markets. Ambitious to a fault, the five-member East African Community foresees a single currency this year, and political federation by 2015.
Neither will happen, not least because they can’t even sort out the basics. And because Tanzania, despite being the most populous country in the would-be bloc, fears domination by Kenya, which is a bit smaller in population but much more dynamic. Continue reading »
Domestic travel by Chinese citizens shot up during the first three days of the current lunar New Year holiday, demonstrating continued consumer confidence in China despite the slight economic slowdown. Continue reading »
Some good news from Europe amid all the gloom. Poland’s GDP grew at 4.3 per cent last year, according to figures published on Friday. That’s slightly above expectations and comfortably higher than 2010′s 3.9 per cent. What’s more Marek Belka, the central bank governor, told Bloomberg television that he was “more optimistic than most analysts” – and forecast growth of over 3 per cent for 2012. Who else in the EU is going to match that? Continue reading »