Coming Soon in Our April 2022 Political Risk Reports

PRS’ coverage of the Americas this month includes reports on Costa Rica, Haiti, and Suriname, where the economy is on the mend and could receive an additional boost in the near term as the uncertainty surrounding European energy supplies contributes to increased demand for the output of smaller oil and gas producers. We will also take an in-depth look at the political situation in Canada, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been thrown a lifeline by the New Democratic Party, which has concluded an unprecedented formal confidence-and-supply agreement that will keep his minority Liberal Party government in power until 2025. Analysis will focus on the policy implications of the agreement that are most relevant to the investment climate, including potential changes to environmental rules and other regulations, as well as the tax burden of businesses.
Our coverage of Western Europe this month includes a fully updated report on the risks in Belgium, along with Finland, where we assess the evolving domestic political and economic risks considering the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our Finland report in particular analyzes the push for NATO membership (with Sweden), and its likely consequences, given that it is the European country that has the longest land border with Russia. We investigate how this is playing out on the domestic political scene, among Finnish voters, and within the five-party center-left coalition as it also embarks on its framework negotiations for the budget ahead of the four-year cycle parliamentary elections to be held within the year. With the elections looming we assess the prospect of a change of government, to be led by the liberal-conservative National Coalition Party and what that might mean for policymaking. The report rounds-out by looking into Finland’s emerging economic risks, including slower-than-expected economic growth and higher inflation, and how these issues will impact on other variables, such as government spending and debt sustainability.
Coverage of Eastern Europe will include a report on Hungary that includes an examination of the risk implications of the outcome of this month’s general election, as well as the potential for policy shifts that affect investors if the EU continues to withhold billions of dollars in development funding on rule-of-law grounds. PRS will also conduct an in-depth analysis of how the military invasion of Ukraine has and will continue to affect political risk in Russia, where President Vladimir Putin faces challenges created by unexpected setbacks for the military campaign and the equally unanticipated scale of the international effort to punish the Moscow regime for undermining peace in Europe. The report will examine the implications of Russia’s relegation to pariah status for both political and economic stability in the near term, including the possibility of sovereign default, and how the Kremlin’s attempts to manage the twin crises could shape Russia’s role in the global economy over the longer term.
Turning to the Middle East and North Africa, our coverage in April will include reports on Israel, Morocco, and Algeria, which has become a target of western diplomatic wooing since the Russian invasion of Ukraine created an imperative for Europe to seek out alternative sources of oil and gas. The report will discuss the factors the government in Algiers will weigh in deciding how to respond to the opportunity, and what that might mean in terms of implementing policy changes that would facilitate an increase in hydrocarbons output. The analysis will also assess the outlook for political stability, focusing particularly on near-term risks, including those related to soaring food prices, yet another impact of the war in Europe.
As well as a fully refreshed report on Angola, and a shorter update on Somalia this month, our coverage of sub-Saharan Africa also focuses on the outlook for Zambia where the conditionality attached to the financing agreement with the IMF is raising hopes for a longstanding debt restructuring that can restore confidence in the investor environment. Our report investigates the major economic problems that have put back the country’s development in recent years, and its current prospects, notably for the copper industry which remains so crucial for foreign exchange exports earnings and fiscal revenue. We look into how reforms, and a dose of austerity, will play out in terms of the government’s popularity, not least when considering an under-funded healthcare system and accusations that President Hakainde Hichilema and his support party, the United Party for National Development, have not only clamped down on the corrupt practices that led to Zambia’s downfall since winning the elections last August, but are also using repressive tactics to quell the political opposition and other critics, undermining Zambian democracy. Our report rounds out with forecasts for major macroeconomic and fiscal variables, noting Zambia’s ability, or otherwise, to withstand future shocks.
This month’s coverage of the Asia-Pacific region includes reports on the main political drivers and economic prospects affecting prospective returns in both Myanmar and Taiwan. In Taiwan, our focus is on the effects of the pandemic, and cross-Strait relations, as we dissect what the Russian invasion of Ukraine now implies for China’s similar threats to an island that it has steadfastly refused to accept as an independent sovereign state. We assess whether the prospect of US intervention in any potential attack, plus the strong response to Russia from the West (in terms of sanctions), will moderate China’s ambitions, and what it all means for President Tsai Ing-wen’s government. On the domestic scene, our report also focuses on the consequences of the four-part referendum held towards the tail-end of last year for both the government and opposition, as well the likely effect of a proposed lowering of the voting age. We look at the results of a by-election and recall vote earlier in the year for the government’s political strengths ahead of local elections later this year, and any prospective developments concerning economic growth, inflation and ultimately the Taiwanese dollar given the backdrop of rising energy and other commodity prices, and more monetary policy tightening expected from the US Federal Reserve.
Since 1979, The PRS Group Inc., has been a global leader in quant-based political and country risk ratings and forecasts. This commentary represents a sneak peek from our upcoming political risk reports. For more information please contact us at (315) 431-0511 and sales@prsgroup.com, or explore a subscription to ICRG Online and/or World Service Online today to receive political risk updates.

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