Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 1, No. 7, November 2013.
Figure 1: Foreign Investment in Iran and its Neighboring Countries, March 19, 2012-March 19, 2013. Data Source: The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran News.
By Reza Yeganehshakib
Despite a tumultuous recent political history that includes revolution, war and sanctions, relations between Iran and the West are improving and Western investors are increasingly interested. But, Iran’s politics cause sanctions, and the economy suffers from inflation. Protectionist laws are on the books, and in some cases economic crimes are punishable by death. Regardless of warming relations with the West, Iran has in the past reneged on its agreements, and war is still a risk with non-Western bordering countries and regional powers. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has nationalized foreign investments in the recent past, and the politically powerful revolutionary foundations known as Bonyads control large segments of the most lucrative investment sectors.
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 1, No. 4, August 2013.
Figure 1: Comparison of Gambia and Sierra Leone on the Ease of Doing Business in 2013. Data Source: World Bank. 
By Anders Corr, Ph.D., and Naheed Vadsaria
Political risk in the tiny West African state of “The Gambia” is high. Named after the small river around which its borders fluctuate, the country hosts a dictatorship established in a 1994 coup. The country also hosts Hizbollah operatives who conduct international financial transactions, and is one of the top African cocaine transshipment points to Europe. Local businesses are considering fleeing to Sierra Leone to escape a raft of seemingly arbitrary and protectionist laws promulgated by the President for potentially personal reasons. Continue reading →
The latest events in Latin America and the Caribbean provide good examples of the current political and economic tone in the region. On one hand, small and mid-sized economies such as Peru, Colombia, Chile and Mexico are working towards the advancement of the Pacific Alliance – an economic group whose agenda includes free trade and economic integration. On the other hand, a group of not-so-small economies still linger with populist recipes for government intervention, nationalization of companies, and manipulation of published government economic data. Continue reading →
With the investment-grade credit rating granted by Fitch Ratings in March, an improved international business reputation, and sound fiscal management, the Philippines is poised to become the next foreign direct investment (FDI) destination of Asia. Other conditions for a robust investment climate are in place: a large market, skilled human capital, youthful population, and strategic location that connects population centers across Asia. Also, the Philippines is increasingly open to international trade. By 2015, Southeast Asia will have the advantage of a single market through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community (ASEAN). According to data provided in the World Economic Forum’s Global Enabling Trade Report 2012, the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals are strong, making it attractive to at least a fraction of the foreign investors concerned over the Euro crisis.
Despite the improvement in the Philippine investment climate, the Philippine Constitution (1987) still has an antiquated article that supports laws restricting foreign ownership of property to 40% (Article XII), with minor adjustments and deviations by subsequent legislation. Removing the clause, and improving access and protections of foreign-owned business, would lead to a quantum leap in FDI and Philippine economic growth. Small changes to legislation are not enough. The Constitution needs to be changed in order to fully welcome foreign investors to the Philippines. Continue reading →