Sibylline Insight Series
China-US: Challenges for foreign firms operating in China will persist despite trade deal

China-US: Challenges for foreign firms operating in China will persist despite trade deal

February 14, 2020

The operating environment for US and other foreign firms in China will not change significantly following the implementation of the ‘phase one’ Sino-US trade deal on 14 February. While the agreement will bring a reprieve for companies operating in some of the sectors that have been affected by the tariffs, challenges such as IP theft, forced technology transfers, and anti-competitive state subsidies for domestic firms will endure for the foreseeable future.

Key points include:

  • Main provisions of the ‘phase one’ deal
  • Prospects for a second deal
  • Beijing’s goals of self-sufficiency and technological ascendancy
Coronavirus outbreak to continue to have significant impact on economic activity globally

Coronavirus outbreak to continue to have significant impact on economic activity globally

February 6, 2020

The Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak has proven to be extremely disruptive in China and internationally as authorities struggle to contain the spread of the infection. As governments respond with widespread travel restrictions, and production chains are interrupted, economic growth in China is likely to be significantly impacted. With China's importance to the global economy at an all-time high, the knock-on impact will be amplified.

Key Points

  • What are the prospects for the continued spread of the coronavirus
  • How have the authorities responded to the outbreak
  • What will be the impact on firms

 

Turkish foreign policy in the Eastern Mediterranean is driving maritime tensions

Turkish foreign policy in the Eastern Mediterranean is driving maritime tensions

February 4, 2020

Turkey's focus on securing access to lucrative natural gas fields is driving a more aggressive foreign policy in the Eastern Mediterranean, including in the ongoing Libya conflict. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is pressing on with illegal drilling around Cyprus, and in December signed a controversial maritime deal with Libya. Escalating tensions between Turkey and a range of international actors over the issue are therefore increasingly likely to result in maritime disruption.

Key points include:

  • What is driving Turkish foreign policy
  • Recent developments including Turkish cyber attacks
  • Threat to the maritime sector
Russia’s constitutional reforms to secure Putin’s influence beyond

Russia’s constitutional reforms to secure Putin’s influence beyond

January 27, 2020

On 15 January, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's government resigned after President Vladimir Putin proposed constitutional reforms that would give more power to various government bodies – whilst ensuring that Russia remains a presidential republic. A career technocrat and former head of Federal Tax Service (FTS) Mikhail Mishustin was appointed as new prime minister same day, in what constitutes a power reshuffle designed to ensure long-term stability of Putin's regime and prepare the ground for the transition of power in 2024 and beyond.

Venezuela’s prolonged political crisis will worsen bilateral relations with Colombia

Venezuela’s prolonged political crisis will worsen bilateral relations with Colombia

January 17, 2020

On 5 January, Venezuela tumbled in a new political crisis when the leadership of the Venezuela’s National Assembly was challenged by two rival speakers: opposition leader Juan Guaidó, backed by the international community, and dissident opposition lawmaker Luis Parra, supported by President Nicolás Maduro and Russia. As the political standoff continues in the coming months, the deepening of the economic and humanitarian crisis will exacerbate tensions with neighbouring Colombia.

Key points include:

  • The latest political developments in Venezuela and their domestic implications
  • The impact of Venezuela’s political crisis on Colombia
  • Our predictions for Venezuela and its bilateral relation with Colombia
Hong Kong - National Day will be a flashpoint for Hong Kong anti-government protests

Hong Kong - National Day will be a flashpoint for Hong Kong anti-government protests

September 30, 2019

Anti-government and anti-China protests have been ongoing in Hong Kong since early June and show no sign of abating. While the majority of the demonstrators have been protesting peacefully, there has been violence on the margins, with the use of water cannon and petrol bombs posing elevated incidental risks to people and property in the vicinity. China's National Day on 1 October threatens an escalation in the violence and disruption, as the hardline demonstrators seek to embarrass Beijing as it celebrates the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic.

Key points include:
• The tactical manifestation of the protest movement.
• Direct threats to businesses operating in the territory.
• Our predictions for National Day and longer-term forecast.

We hope you enjoy the podcast and welcome questions and feedback. Please get in touch at info@sibylline.co.uk

Sibylline Podcasts - Sudan – Re-engagement with Negotiations Unlikely to Boost Stability or Result in Significant Transfer of Powe

Sibylline Podcasts - Sudan – Re-engagement with Negotiations Unlikely to Boost Stability or Result in Significant Transfer of Powe

June 13, 2019

On 3 June, the governing Transitional Military Council opted to utilise force to disperse protesters who had been gathered in central Khartoum since the fall of former president Omar al-Bashir. In doing so they indicated their commitment to the protection of their assets and the retention of their power over Sudan. As such, the resumption of negotiations is unlikely to result in meaningful change, increasing the likelihood of further protest action and enduring instability through the coming months.

Key points include:

  • Explanation of why negotiations initially broke down.
  • The ability of foreign powers to influence negotiations.
  • The trajectory of growing division within the protest movement.

We hope you enjoy the podcast and welcome questions and feedback. Please get in touch at info@sibylline.co.uk

Risks for Canadian Businesses Remain Elevated as Meng Wanzhou Case Proceeds

Risks for Canadian Businesses Remain Elevated as Meng Wanzhou Case Proceeds

May 16, 2019

On 16 May, the Chinese government announced that they have formally arrested two Canadian nationals – Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor – who have been detained for over five months, on charges of violating state secrets. This marks the latest development in the highly politicised cases of Kovrig, Spavor and Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, which have led to an atmosphere of elevated tensions between China and Canada in recent months. As Beijing seeks to exert pressure on Ottawa, Canadian companies operating in China are facings risks ranging from arbitrary detentions of staff to enhanced inspections and customs delays.

Key points include:

  • The latest development in the cases of Meng, Kovrig and Spavor
  • The impact of Beijing’s economic pressure campaign on Canadian companies
  • The likely trajectory of this situation and flashpoints for related risks

 We hope you enjoy the podcast and welcome questions and feedback. Please get in touch at info@sibylline.co.uk

Sibylline Podcast - Sudan - Tensions Between Civilians and Transitional Military Council Drive Threats to Stability

Sibylline Podcast - Sudan - Tensions Between Civilians and Transitional Military Council Drive Threats to Stability

May 3, 2019

Since the removal of President Omar al-Bashir on 11 April, protests have continued, with tensions remaining elevated between civilians demanding meaningful reform and a transitional military council attempting to retain executive control of the state.

Key points include:

  • The formation of a movement to demand a transition to civilian rule
  • The objectives of the Transitional Military Council
  • The trajectory of growing internal division and its impact on government stability and policy risk

We hope you enjoy the podcast and welcome questions and feedback. Please get in touch at info@sibylline.co.uk

Sibylline Podcast - Sri Lanka - Easter Sunday Attack Triggers State of Emergency and Could Ignite Religious Tensions

Sibylline Podcast - Sri Lanka - Easter Sunday Attack Triggers State of Emergency and Could Ignite Religious Tensions

April 25, 2019
On 21 April, suicide bombers killed at least 359 people and injured more than 500 at churches and hotels across Sri Lanka. The government has said that a local Islamist group carried out the attacks with the assistance of foreign jihadists, while Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility.
 
Key points include:
 
  • Who may have been behind the attacks
  • Possible motivations for the bombings
  • Potential local and regional security implications following the attacks

We hope you enjoy the podcast and welcome questions and feedback. Please get in touch at info@sibylline.co.uk