uk

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.

 

The Microsoft founder urged the UK to keep spending at least 0.7% of national income on foreign aid, saying it was proof of its goodwill and humanity. [...] More than £12bn was spent in aid in 2015. Some newspapers and Conservative MPs argue the figure is too large and too wasteful, and some of it would be better spent on schools and hospitals in the UK.

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.

City Street

"Individuals are increasingly important to solving some of the world’s most intractable challenges," says Timothy Jenkins.

Chess board

Digital diplomacy involves more than simply social media, argues Shaun Riordan.

British foreign minister Boris Johnson met Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Wednesday, pledging aid to help combat the effects of a devastating drought, the Somali president's office said. [...] A statement from the Somali president's office said Britain would give 110 million pounds ($134.35 million) for drought in some parts of Somalia.

Boris Johnson yesterday signalled he backs building a new royal yacht to boost Britain’s international influence after Brexit. The Foreign Secretary insisted a new Royal Yacht Britannia would ‘add greatly’ to the UK’s ‘soft power’. It was the first time the plan has been openly backed by a minister in the House of Commons.

This year, Koreans can get a taste of Britain thanks to the series of cultural events organized for “2017-18 Creative Futures,” which was designated between Korea and the U.K. last year to engage in a more active cultural exchange by the two countries. [...] There’s been a number of collaboration projects and cultural activities between Korea and the U.K., but according to the British Council, “this will be the first official event to more professionally support the exchanges.”

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