Bellerbys Economics - Mr Stephenson

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

News Review

UNCTAD is the United Nations organisation that monitors international trade, so they are helpful to us in dealing with module 6. Their most recent report illustrates some of the newest trends in inward investment.

Developing countries have become increasingly significant in terms of investment overseas. The economic booms in India and China; the oil revenues in Russia and Venezuela; and offshore investment centres such as the British Virgin Islands. In BVI rich people can leave their money in virtual banks who then reinvest the money worldwide paying almost no tax on profits gained.

You can find out more here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6054866.stm

Meanwhile, I have noticed several of my Chinese students wearing items of clothing with the Playboy logo. The original Playboy organisation is now moving in on this. You can find out more here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6043832.stm

Since China entered the WTO, it has become much more supportive of international agreements regarding copyright. However, as we discussed in Module 1, does copyright act as fair protection for original creators - or does it act as a barrier to entry for new firms reducing innovation and creativity? What is the right balance to be found for the consumer?

The Russian seaport of Kaliningrad is fascinating as it is actually in the north of Poland on the Lithuanian border - hundreds of miles from Russia. It sits right in the middle of the European Union - Europeans joke that Europe must be bigger than Russia because it surrounds it!
Kaliningrad has a wonderful history (the famous Mathematical Three Bridges Problem is based on the bridges that cross the river there) and is now open to tourists. It is enjoying an extraordinary economic boom and yet its trade with the EU is still very limited. Hopefully, this will change in the future and Kaliningrad will lead the way in terms of EU-Russia co-dependence.

You can find out more here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6048708.stm

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