The royal guest from Riyadh (by way of Beijing)

Somewhere between disappointment and euphoria Let there be no doubt. Pakistan remains Saudi Arabia’s closest ally in the region. Despite talk of ‘de-hyphenation’, by no means has Saudi Arabia abandoned its approach of looking at India through the prism of its relations with Pakistan. What is true, however, is that there is an inkling of … Continue reading “The royal guest from Riyadh (by way of Beijing)”

The remaining 3 percent

Bangladesh’s textiles may still face US and EU tariffs The 50 least developed countries (LDCs), which includes countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Cambodia, were supposed to get a good deal as part of the World Trade Organisation’s Doha development round. They hoped to get duty-free, quota-free access to developed country markets for all their goods. … Continue reading “The remaining 3 percent”

Some Indian women can now work night shifts

And the coincidental conversation with MadMan To our surprise, MadMan told us last night that the reason why there are few waitresses working in restaurants in India is because of labour laws that prohibit women from working late. That’s one more example of how laws aimed at ‘protecting’ women actually end up discriminating against them. … Continue reading “Some Indian women can now work night shifts”

Bangladeshi diplomatic retaliation

Those who can’t shut up, please get out! Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s government is not taking ‘interference into its internal affairs’ kindly at all. Pakistan’s high commissioner to Dhaka has already been sent back and the Danish and German governments have been informally asked to replace their ambassadors too. What gives? Manzar Shafique, until recently … Continue reading “Bangladeshi diplomatic retaliation”

Hoodbhoy reviews Cohen’s new book on Pakistan

Demilitarise the state and detoxify its education system Joel, of Far Outliers, points to Pervez Hoodbhoy’s review of Stephen Cohen’s latest book, the “Idea of Pakistan”. The military is only one (albeit the most important) component of the wider “establishment” that runs Pakistan. Cohen calls this establishment a “moderate oligarchy” and defines it as “an … Continue reading “Hoodbhoy reviews Cohen’s new book on Pakistan”

F-markets instead of F-16s

Instead of indulging its dictatorship, the United States must engage the Pakistani economy The New York Times makes a very good point. Three weeks ago, the Commerce Minister of Pakistan came to Washington to meet with his American counterparts. His request was familiar: that the Bush administration lower the odious duties on underwear and shirts … Continue reading “F-markets instead of F-16s”

Competitiveness in agriculture beyond WTO agreements

The Doha round is an opportunity Most of the interests at the WTO framework negotiations walked away from Geneva (a major rip-off city) with self-congratulatory smiles. The good news is that Europe, America and Japan have agreed to consider lifting the atrocious subsidies they provide to their farmers which had come to represent the greatest … Continue reading “Competitiveness in agriculture beyond WTO agreements”

Lynn Carpenter’s insufficient analysis

Rajesh Jain points out an article by Lynn Carpenter that argues China is still a good bet for small investors because India’s economic growth is doubtful. Her contention that Chinese companies are good investments is not wholly wrong – but her analysis of the Indian economy is not wholly correct either.