economic diplomacy

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.

The Foreign Ministry, in cooperation with the Riau Islands provincial administration, plans to make the archipelagic province a hub for Indonesia’s economic diplomacy. Riau Islands province comprises 2,408 islands, including Natuna Islands, a stretch of resource-rich islands jutting at the frontiers of the South China Sea and bordering Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore and Malaysia.

Featuring a Japanese-Indian regional initiative and a German-African economic development program. 

South Korea and Africa’s exchange of ideas and experience can go further. An avenue which would allow the fulfilling of both the cultural and economic aspirations of the relations could be the formation of sister-cities; pairing each of South Korea’s major cities’ governments with those of Africa and forging a kind of ‘Mayoral Korea-Africa Forum’ as well accompanying that with population exchange programmes. 

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