For those in the West who have lived the second half of the 20th century, being under the United States’ tutelage was a mere fact of life. As the great victors of World War II and uncontested rulers of nearly every international institution in the world – UN, IMF, World Bank, GATT, NATO etc. – North Americans have transformed Central and South America into their own backyard. Now change is said to be underway.
“Vision 2030” shows that Saudi Arabia is conscious about the necessity to reform the country’s economy. Its cut in social spending, the plan to introduce a tax on expenses by 2018, and –more importantly- its plan to privatise the state oil company Saudi Aramco are very positive. [...] The success of Saudi Arabia’s economic reforms is crucial to the West, who needs a stable Saudi Arabia in an already chaotic Middle East.
Britain may lack hard power, but the soft power of influence and a network of relationships deriving from decades of active and assiduous diplomacy still count for something. [...] Britain is one of the leading supporters of the new style of Chinese economic diplomacy, involving the furthering of solid infrastructural links along which mutually beneficial trade and investment can flow to an increasingly interlinked world.
China has begun using the One-Belt-One-Road project, rechristened the Belt-and-Road Initiative (BRI), for expanding diplomatic engagement and securing strategic mileage. India might find itself strategically cramped as several countries from Asia and Europe get more committed to the Chinese connectivity plan, leaving India isolated. In a major public diplomacy exercise, China has announced scholarships for at least 3,000 students from countries and regions around BRI.
Australia’s Ambassador to China HE Ms Jan Adams AO PSM said, “The Australian Embassy proudly supports Screen Australia, Ausfilm and the Australian screen industry. Our work together delivers public diplomacy and economic diplomacy benefits by highlighting Australian creative excellence, deepening cultural understanding and delivering business opportunities in a fast growing market. 2017 is the Australia China Year of Tourism and marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations. It is a great time to be making co-productions.”
The dynamics of the global economy are shifting apace. With uncertainty in developed markets such as the UK, the US and Europe, many brands are looking beyond their traditional customer bases in search of new opportunities and sources of growth. Africa, the world’s poorest continent but also the most untapped by consumer brands, looks set to benefit.
Gulf nations are seeking to help their firms venture into Kenya in a renewed bid to grab a piece of the local economy and rebuild relations following moments of suspicion. Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted high-level delegations from Qatar and, later, Saudi Arabia, two of the oil-rich Middle East nations that have had mostly bad press in Kenya for suspected mistreatment of Kenyan domestic workers there.
The Qatari-Kenyan relations enjoy mutual respect and appreciation and developing cooperation at all levels. [...] The Republic of Kenya seeks through its promising investment climate and its new laws to attract foreign investment and provide the largest possible employment opportunities. The country’s economy is stable and growing, and it has become an economic force in the African continent thanks to its stable environment.