Global Challenges

  • Illicit trade is growing faster than global economic growth.

    Illicit Financial Flows Outpace Global Growth

    No inclusive growth is conceivable without success in Nigeria’s anti-corruption drive. Today, that struggle is increasingly global.  In mid-May, the world’s first anti-corruption summit took place in London. During the event, the chair, UK Prime Minister David Cameron was caught on open mike disclosing to Queen Elisabeth II that attendants included some “fantastically corrupt” countries, including Afghanistan and Nigeria.

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  • The plain packaging of cigarettes is not so plain.

    Not So Plain Packaging

    The new normal. EPA/Lukas Coch

    Tobacco kills nearly half of all long-term smokers and in the UK alone accounts for the deaths of 100,000 people annually, according to the public health charity ASH. This is the harsh reality behind plain packaging for tobacco, which comes into force in the UK on May 20 2016.

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  • Good land governance has cut down on land-grabbing.

    From Land-Grabbing to Land Governance

    Four years ago, voluntary guidelines on the governance of land and land tenure were agreed at the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome. This was a response to growing concerns about the impacts of “land grabbing” driven by the global rush for investment in the wake of the food, fuel and financial crises in the first decade of this century.

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  • Economics is taking a back seat to the growing Asian terror threat.

    The Southeast Asia IS Threat Looms Large

    Terrorism is not a new phenomenon in Southeast Asia, but goes as far back as the era of anti-colonial struggle. It gathered pace after September 11 with a series of attacks perpetrated mostly by the Al-Qaeda linked organisation Jemaah Islamiyah. Terrorism continues to pose a threat to Southeast Asian societies, as demonstrated by the recent attacks in Jakarta and the southern Philippines by groups inspired by the so-called Islamic State (IS).

    The threat from IS to Southeast Asia takes three forms.

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  • A Trump Win would totally alter the course of the U.S. in Asia.

    The U.S.'s Role in Asia Could Be 'Trumped'

    In the capitals of America’s Asian allies, two phenomena are combining to intensify already uneasy relations with Washington. The first is China’s continued assertiveness in the South China Sea. Beijing’s militarisation of these contested territories — transforming rocks and reefs into artificial islands with runways and radars — has driven already close US allies more tightly into the American embrace.

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  • Credit rating agencies are under fire by critics.

    Credit Agency Criticism Continues in the Wake of China's Downgrade

    In March, the leading credit agencies cut their outlook for China’s sovereign credit rating from stable to negative. If the decision was warranted, it may also be time to reassess the current ratings of most advanced economies and accelerate global ratings reforms.

    Standard & Poor's (S&P) downgrade followed a similar measure earlier in March by Moody's, another major ratings agency. S&P did maintain the rating AA-, adding that China's reform agenda is on track, though likely to proceed more slowly than expected.

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  • It's easy to finance terrorism using offshore shell companies.

    Terrorists Play the (Corporate) Shell Game

    The Panama Papers have exposed the largest financial crime scandal of our lifetimes. However, what has been uncovered by the Panama Papers is much more dangerous than simply greed and corruption.

    For those of you who have been hiding under a rock, the Panama Papers are over 11 million documents leaked from Mossack Fonseca, one of the largest law firms in the world specializing in offshore accounts and incorporation of shell companies.

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