Emerging Markets Outlook Blog

Analysis and comment on economic and political events affecting the business environment in emerging and frontier markets

North Korea: Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

I was recently in Pyongyang, at the invitation of the Korean Association for Economic Development, to participate in a two-day conference on special economic zones, co-sponsored by the University of British Columbia. It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life, which I am still trying to process.

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Are the North Koreans ready for change?

In The Manzella Report’s “Insider Experts” series, John Manzella interviews Chip Krakoff about his recent trip to North Korea and what he found.

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Are the Chinese doing damage in Africa?

In The Manzella Report’s “Insider Experts” video series, John Manzella interviews Chip Krakoff who has worked in 30 African countries and knows a thing or two about the continent.

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The Entrepreneurial State, or, You Didn’t Build That

President Obama received a lot of outraged criticism from the right during the 2012 campaign for his remark, “You didn’t build that.” What he meant, though he uncharacteristically said it in a fairly clumsy way, was that for every proudly self-made entrepreneur there is a huge web of supporting institutions and infrastructure built by the government.

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Trade Agreements and Cultural Exceptions: A Plea for Tolerance

Outgoing WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy has recently criticized EU-US and transpacific trade talks, which have the potential to create the world’s two largest free trade areas and measurably increase prosperity and growth for hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people. He has a point. Several, actually.

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It’s Broke, Now Fix It: Patent Protection and Regulatory Capture in the Pharmaceutical Industry

For all its faults, the pharmaceutical industry remains one area in which the United States is still a competitive world leader. But without drastic changes in the way the FDA regulates the industry, this advantage may not last.

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African Air Travel: The Last Frontier

Air travel in Africa is undergoing a renaissance that speaks volumes about the continent’s overall growth and development.

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Afghanistan: A Decade of Progress and Hope?

I met Taymor Kamrany in 2003, just over a year after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan had ousted the Taliban. We were both in Kabul, working on a USAID program to improve the environment for business and help government institutions rebuild their capacity to support a market economy. It was not an easy task.

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Landing an Airbus in the Jungle

I can recall when taking a flight in Africa would almost always give you a funny or hair-raising story to tell, even though paved runways were already standard issue in airports throughout the continent, but traveling around Africa is now pretty boring, which is a good thing.

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