18 Mart 2012 Pazar

Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Turkey make their mark in Africa

Keyur PATEL      The Financial Times

The Bric countries are making headlines in Africa but when it comes to doing business there are plenty of other emerging economies that are also digging deep into the fast-growing continent.
Standard Bank highlights the EM 10 – ten emerging economies that have seen their trade triple in the last decade to $330bn. The big four are the Brics, with a $250bn share in 2011, but the remaining six states between them account for a full $80bn – and are seeing their activities grow faster than the Brics.
The six states include two African nations, Nigeria and South Africa, which is a bit of a cheat. The others won’t come as a surprise to beyondbrics readers -  Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Turkey. But it’s worth noting how diverse Africa’s trade is becoming.

Standard Bank analyst Simon Freemantle wrote in a research note on Friday:
"The BRIC thesis, while neatly encapsulated in a powerful acronym, has become increasingly insufficient in explaining the broad sweep of new partnerships Africa is forging in a postcrisis world. Other large, fast-growing and dynamic emerging markets are increasingly partnering Africa’s commercial reinvigoration"
“Insufficient” might be a bit of a stretch. Standard Bank’s research shows that China, India and Brazil make up more than three-quarters of Africa’s trade with the EM 10 – China alone accounts for almost half. (Russia, by comparison, is relatively small).

                                         Sources: COMTRADE Standard Bank Research

2 Mart 2012 Cuma

Azerbaijan Makes Massive Israeli Weapons Purchase -- But Not Because Of Iran

Joshua KUCERA    EurasiaNet

Azerbaijan has agreed to buy $1.6 billion in weapons from Israel, a massive deal that is likely Azerbaijan's largest single arms purchase ever. The deal will include drones, anti-aircraft and missile defense systems, Israeli officials have told news agencies. The deal would be almost equal to Azerbaijan's stated 2012 defense budget of $1.7 billion (though will certainly be spread out over many years).
The timing of the deal is misleading: regardless of the ongoing ratcheting up of tension between Israel and Iran, and increasing attention to Israel's intelligence activities in Azerbaijan, these weapons are destined to be used not against Iran, but against Armenia, which controls the breakaway Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno Karabakh. Though it's tempting to think otherwise. The AP reports:
Israeli defense officials Sunday confirmed $1.6 billion in deals to sell drones as well as anti-aircraft and missile-defense systems to Azerbaijan, bringing sophisticated Israeli technology to the doorstep of archenemy Iran.
The sales by state-run Israel Aerospace Industries come at a delicate time. Israel has been laboring hard to form diplomatic alliances in a region that seems to be growing increasingly hostile to the Jewish state.
Its most pressing concern is Iran's nuclear program, and Israeli leaders have hinted broadly they would be prepared to attack Iranian nuclear facilities if they see no other way to keep Iran from building bombs...
As Iran's nuclear showdown with the West deepens, the Islamic Republic sees the Azeri frontier as a weak point, even though both countries are mostly Shiite Muslim.

Israel – Iran Military Comparison

 Iran Israel Military Comparison (2011)

Iran Israel Military Comparison (2)