Source: HSBC

Emerging markets are redrawing the map of global trade in high-tech goods with several countries in developing Asia vaulting up the global rankings both in terms of exports of high-tech products and in R&D spending, a new HSBC research report finds.

Much of developing Asia’s ascendance is driven by China’s near six-fold increase in its total share of world exports of high-tech goods to 36.5 per cent in 2013 from a mere 6.5 per cent in 2000 (see chart), HSBC found. The US, by contrast, saw its share of total high-tech exports fall to 9.6 per cent from 29.2 per cent in the same period. Continue reading »

When employees of Indonesian zinc oxide producer Indo Lysaght went to pick up their export permits from the trade ministry last month they were shocked to be told by officials: “computer says no”.

Without the company’s prior knowledge, zinc oxide had been added to the list of mineral ores that were banned from being exported as of January 12 as part of a controversial plan to force mining companies to build smelters and refineries. Continue reading »

The recent devastation in Syria has had one less expected outcome far away on the shores of India.

Exports of cumin, a popular spice used in curry powder and medicines, have shot up to compensate for the disruption to supplies in the Middle East. But prices aren’t spiking as you might expect. Continue reading »

Could Uruguay’s groundbreaking marijuana law lead to more than just legal spliffs? Politicians, government officials and legalisation activists all say: yes.

Producing marijuana legally to supply domestic recreational demand could be Uruguay’s first step to becoming a cannabis exporter and an R&D centre brimming with foreign investment. Continue reading »

India’s trade data for the month of December was published on Friday, showing the trade deficit narrowed to $10bn from $18bn in the same month a year earlier.

That sounds like good news – but it’s not as good as a deficit of just $9bn in November – and it is possible that the gap will soon balloon as the government loosens its grip on gold imports. Continue reading »

The 12th in our series of guest posts on the outlook for 2014 is by Saurabh Mukherjea and Ritika Mankar Mukherjee of Ambit Capital

In the stockbroking profession, the norm is to view a country through the lens of economic growth and political management. So a lot of effort is currently being expended on analysing when India’s economy will recover, who will win this year’s general elections and what the victorious candidate will do for the country. While such analysis is interesting to perform and sometimes stimulating to read, its ultimate impact on share prices is tenuous at best. Continue reading »

India’s external balances have been a focal point this year as the country’s economic woes have centred around the depreciation of the rupee.

So policy makers will be pleased to see India’s trade deficit narrowing yet again. The gap was squeezed to $9.2bn in November from $17.2bn in the same period a year earlier, according to new data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Good news? Continue reading »

There's another side

Beyondbrics readers will be well aware of the threat that a tighter US monetary policy poses to emerging markets. Mere hints of higher rates and a tapering of bond-buying caused EM currencies to drop earlier in the year.

But there is another side to the coin, not often noted. Rates will only rise when the US economy recovers (that is, when unemployment dips below 7 per cent under the Fed’s current plans).

A sturdier US economy will help some EMs that export great volumes to the US, as well as hurt them – from higher rates. Continue reading »

By Kim Hayward of BDO

The growth potential for medium sized businesses following international expansion is enormous. For many, the route may lie in emerging markets; yet although these markets play an increasingly large role in the global economy, just over 5 per cent of UK exports are to the Bric countries and the UK still exports more to Ireland than to China – and this is likely still to be the case in 2030. To unlock their potential, MSBs must capitalise on opportunities in emerging markets with a combination of strategy and opportunism. Continue reading »

Taiwan’s exports slumped 7 per cent in September year-on-year, far worse than analysts had predicted. That’s the bad news.

The good news – and it’s a crumb of comfort – is that the electronic parts industry managed to squeeze into positive territory, with a smidgen of growth. Plus European demand is holding up. Those are the few positives. Continue reading »

Philippine electronics exports, which account for almost half the country’s overseas sales, surged by a surprising 11.2 per cent from a year ago in July to $1.9bn, in what could be the start of a rebound from a plunge of almost a fifth in the first half of the year. Continue reading »

India’s economic woes and the sharp decline in the value of the rupee are well known. But, the theory goes, as a currency depreciates, exporters stand to benefit.

Or do they? Is a fall in the rupee that much of a positive for India’s exporters? Continue reading »

The Bank of Korea’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged at 2.5 per cent for a second month came as no surprise – instead, the focus was firmly on the central bank’s economic outlook.

The BoK raised its growth forecast for this year to 2.8 per cent from its previous 2.6 per cent and for next year to 4 per cent from its earlier 3.8 per cent. It’s a confident call. Is it too optimistic? Continue reading »

Najib Razak, PM of MalaysiaFresh from an election victory, Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak (pictured) was full of new-term enthusiasm when he visited the Financial Times this week, speaking of his plans to push his country into the ranks of the developed world by 2020.

He didn’t say it would be easy but it may be harder than he expects, given the slowdown in the world economy: trade figures published on Friday showed a 5.8 per cent drop exports in May, nearly double forecasts of around 3.0 per cent and April’s 3.3 per cent decline. Continue reading »

Salman Khurshid, India’s foreign minister, is back from a trip to China last week, happy to see the end of a tense stand-off over a long-running border dispute. Settling that issue will re-open the way for a planned visit by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to India and allow the two countries to concentrate on the big topic on Khurshid’s agenda: trade.

But here, too, relations between the region’s big powers are not entirely friendly. Continue reading »