The Sign of the Times
The Frontline of Change
Data and Resources
Publications & Reports
Transforming Education Through Technology is a Key to Underpinning Human Security and Progress
Lessons from the Russian Invasion of Ukraine in 2022 The West’s Opportunity to Reset the World Order
Lessons from the Russian Invasion of Ukraine in 2022 Moving the World Beyond War
We bring our network of business leaders, entrepreneurs, influencers and thinkers who are at the frontline of change across to provide insights into the global issues that are rapidly changing the world and how they see an impact being made for good
India’s Battle Against the Coronavirus
After spreading to virtually every part of the world and ravaging several large countries including China, the US and most of Western Europe, the Coronavirus
The Need for Conscious Capitalism
A brief discussion with Michael Gelb, best-selling author, about what businesses and investors can and should do to make capitalism more conscious and creative
Addressing India’s Literacy Challenge
A brief discussion with Sourav Banerjee, India Country Director for Room to Read, a global non-profit organisation whose mission is to tackle childhood illiteracy
Revolution and the Information Revolution
A brief discussion with Jon Miller, the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Digital Media Group and Chief Digital Officer for News Corporation
Plant for the Planet
Greater Pacific Capital talks to 15 year old Felix Finkbeiner who at the age of nine developed the idea of Plant-for-the-Planet
We recognise the complex and rapidly changing nature of India’s markets and economy as it grows and expands internationally and have focused the firm’s thought leadership on detailed research to generate insights into the macro-environment, market strategy, investment opportunities and challenges to generate attractive risk adjusted returns
India: Where China was 10 Years Ago, Not all Emerging Markets are the Same?
Over the last 18 months the conventional wisdom that the next wave of global growth would be driven by emerging markets, and the “BRIC” countries in particular, has been turned on its head
The Enrichment of India’s Farming Community is the key to Adding US$4.3 trillion to Indian GDP
In 1961, India was on the brink of famine. Shortages all over the country had caused the government to import major food grains from other countries and with over 40 percent of India’s GDP supported by the agricultural sector at the time, there were grave concerns over the human impact on the country’s impoverished population
Strengthening India’s Growth Multiple in the Global Slowdown
India, the world’s fastest growing major economy, has been one of the few bright spots in an increasingly volatile world that has seen global risk rising.
Realising India’s demographic dividend: The People Determine Success
India has the largest potential labour force in the world with over 850m people who are of working age. Its current labour force of 500m is far below its potential but still greater than the combined forces of Japan, the European Union and the United States
India-International: How India’s Links to the World Create Value and Drive Development
There has been much discussion about the “India Story” and the key drivers of the world’s second most populous nation’s gradually accelerating growth path. The conventional wisdom is that India’s growth is being driven by its burgeoning young working age population (the “demographic dividend”) which is creating a growing middle class with increasing purchasing power driving India’s rise.
India Wide Open – Transforming India Now for 2040
In 1991, India opened its economy to the rest of the world and reversed decades of slow and insular growth implementing a series of far-ranging reforms. There have been ups and downs in the years since; today however, a little over 25 years later
India’s Journey to a US$5tn Economy:Growth Beyond Policy
India’s Journey to a US$5tn Economy: Growth Beyond Policy As the world’s fastest growing major economy, India’s GDP is on a path to overtake the United States’ and become the world’s second largest (behind China) by 2030 . It took India fifty years following independence from British rule to scale to a US$1 trillion economy in 2007.
India’s Rise: Growth Scenarios
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the start of his second term has laid out a vision of economic growth for India that would see the country’s GDP nearly double from US$3tn today to US$5tn within the next five years. Achieving this target will require a GDP growth of approximately 8%, substantially higher than India’s current growth, but well within its growth potential of 10% or more at this stage in its growth trajectory.
Digital Shock: India’s Challenges are its Opportunity to Lead in Tech
Over the past two decades, India has emerged as a market leader in providing information technology services to the world and will likely maintain this position in the coming years. More importantly, the coming decades will also see India apply digital technology to solve various issues it is facing, potentially leapfrogging older western models with new low-cost ones…
Digital Shock: India’s Opportunity to Create a New Healthcare System and Save US$50bn
The provision of modern healthcare to 1.3bn people is one of the biggest challenges facing India today and a priority for its government. Earlier this month the finance ministry made two flagship policy announcements aimed towards improving healthcare coverage in the country
Restructuring the Nation’s Financial Sector for 10%+ Growth
Given its favourable demographics and other resources, India has the inherent drivers to sustain 7-8% growth over the medium to long term and the potential to achieve 10%. An India that can sustainably harness its core assets and create new ones has the potential to emerge as one of the key drivers of growth and stability in a world faced with increasing global economic and geopolitical uncertainty.
We live in revolutionary times. Increasingly political, economic and social volatility is driving change on a global level, creating both risks and opportunities for international investors. Greater Pacific Capital’s thought leadership and investing strategy placed it at the forefront of global change
Selected news that makes the difference
India and China to Account for Half of Global Growth in 2023: IMF.
The period of slower economic activity will be prolonged, with the next five years witnessing less than 3% growth, “our lowest medium-term growth forecast since 1990, and well below the average of 3.8% from the past two decades," IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said. Further explaining, she said, “Some momentum comes from emerging economies — Asia especially is a bright spot. India and China are expected to account for half of global growth in 2023."
India, Russia Talk Free Trade Deal in Step-up of Relations.
The FTA talks mark a step-up in economic relations between the two countries despite calls from Western countries for India to gradually distance itself from its dominant weapons supplier and top supplier of crude oil.
Indian and UK Prime Ministers Agree to Expedite India-UK FTA Talks.
A UK Department for Business and Trade spokesperson said both countries are “committed to delivering an ambitious and mutually beneficial FTA” while adding they concluded the latest round of talks last month. The India-UK trade partnership was worth GBP 34 billion in 2022 growing by GBP 10 billion in one year.
India Ranks 16th on Kearney’s FDI Confidence Index; Second Among Emerging Countries.
After a hiatus in 2022, India has re-joined Kearney's foreign direct investment (FDI) confidence index list in the 16th position, signalling a renewed interest from foreign investors in the Indian markets. Kearney says that even as the global economic sentiment is somewhat in the doldrums, business leaders are showing signs of optimism.
Indian PE-VC Investments Exceed US$60 Billion Across 2,000 Deals in CY22.
India’s PE-VC investments in the Asia-Pacific region increased from 15% to 20% between 2021 and 2022 due to China’s tailwinds and India’s macroeconomic robustness, amid decelerating capital flow in the region.
India Elected to UN Statistical Commission.
India has been elected to the highest statistical body of the United Nations for a four-year term beginning January 1, 2024. External Affairs Minister said the country’s expertise in the field of statistics, diversity and demography had earned it the seat.
The Month Through India's Eyes
Spotlight on the key monthly news events shaping media coverage in India
Media coverage in the world this month covered escalating Israel-Palestine tensions and Russia assuming the presidency of the UN Security Council.
Escalating Israel-Palestine Tensions
While international attention is consumed by Russia’s war in Ukraine, tensions are flaring in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine. 81 Palestinians and 14 Israelis have already been killed in between January and March 2023, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Media coverage seeks to explore the role that China, EU and Japan can play amid the escalating tensions.
An op-ed article in Asia Times analysed how China’s mediation won’t solve Israeli-Palestinian conflict as Beijing’s main goal is to chip away at US prestige in the region. “China’s push into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an apparent assault on America’s position in the Middle East. And it doesn’t come out of thin air. Israel and China have quietly developed close military and trade relations over the past decades, much to the ire of the US… Behind the European Union and the US, China is Israel’s third-largest trading partner. But what’s important to note is where the trade flows are focused. According to Time magazine, 492 of the 507 trade deals between the two countries from 2002 to 2022 were in the technology sector, including IT, communications, agricultural tech, and robotics. China has also pushed its infrastructure initiatives in Israel in the past decade. In 2021, Chinese companies were involved in expanding the Haifa port. Washington expressed serious reservations about the partnership because the US often uses Haifa to dock parts of its Sixth Fleet. Israel rejected the request when the US demanded to inspect the port to ensure there wasn’t any Chinese surveillance technology that could snoop on the Sixth Fleet… China’s push into Middle Eastern diplomacy has more to do with its status as a superpower chipping away at American prestige in the region than solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Finally, an article in Carnegie Europe explained how the prolonged conflict between Israel and Palestine is leading to democratic deterioration in both territories and how the EU and its member states should root their responses in liberal democratic values. “The EU needs to rethink its approach to Israel and the Palestinian territory in light of these twin deteriorations. Israel and the PA have been moving in illiberal directions for years, but the EU has never adjusted its policy. Instead, it has deepened its ties with Israel despite the emerging one-state reality and the country’s widening democratic deficit. Meanwhile, the EU and its member states have poured funding into the supposed kernel of a Palestinian state, regardless of the PA’s democratic backsliding, corruption, and repression of popular dissent. Further, Europeans have entrenched the Palestinian political divide by maintaining a no-contact policy toward the Hamas de facto government in Gaza, after designating Hamas as a terror organization… In the face of Russia’s war in Ukraine, it may be tempting for European countries to avert their gaze from the Middle East. But the EU must not be a bystander. If European countries continue to pursue old and broken policies, they will see Israel-Palestine descend into significant violence and bloodshed, with the risk of spillover to other parts of the region. A paradigm shift in the EU’s approach may not be imminent given the realpolitik, but there are steps the EU can take to, at the very least, do no harm.”
A press release by the Government of Japan covered how the country condemned the rise of violence and supported a two-state solution with regard to the Middle East peace. “The Government of Japan strongly condemns all forms of violence over the past week and expresses its serious concern over the growing tensions on the ground. As we have entered the season of holy days for both Muslims and Jews, it is all the more important to respect the sanctity of the holy place… Japan urges all the parties concerned to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from violence and provocative actions in order to avoid further escalation of the situation.”
Russia Assumes UN Security Council Presidency
On 1st April 2023, Russia assumed presidency of the UN Security Council despite Ukraine urging members to block the move. Each of the council's 15 members takes up the presidency for a month, on a rotating pattern and the last time Russia had the presidency, February 2022, it launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The move implies that Security Council is being led by a country whose president is subject to an international arrest warrant for alleged war crimes. Media coverage widely criticized the move but commented on failure to block it due to procedural reasons.
An article in PBS covered Russia’s stance and how it dismissed U.S. and E.U. descriptions of its presidency of the Security Council this month as an April Fool’s joke. “Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters there will be no change in the rules of the council, which is charged with maintaining international peace and security, and he said Russia will be “an honest broker” … Nebenzia responded to the U.S. ambassador’s expectation that Russia will spread disinformation about Ukraine by calling it “a Western narrative” and stressing that “we think just the opposite.” He said Russia plans to hold an informal council meeting on Wednesday on what Moscow claims is disinformation being spread by Western officials and media about the Ukrainian children taken to Russia. He said the aim of the meeting is “to dispel this narrative” that they were abducted.”
An article in CNBC focussed on the blistering criticism from the U.S. and Western allies for Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine and for its trampling of the U.N. Charter. “Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., placed the blame squarely back on Russia during her opening remarks before the 15-member group. “Our hypocritical convener today, Russia, invaded its neighbor Ukraine and struck at the heart of the U.N. Charter,” Thomas-Greenfield said, referring to the U.N.’s founding document that vows to preserve sovereignty, peace, justice and the prevention of war… U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who sat next to Lavrov, criticized Russia’s war, saying it was in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law. The conflict, he said, was “causing massive suffering and devastation to the country and its people and adding to the global economic dislocation triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.” He warned that tensions between the world’s major powers were at a “historic high” … Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Barbara Woodward said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has brought “unimaginable suffering to that country while trampling on the U.N. Charter.” “Thousands of Ukrainians have been killed and millions have been displaced,” she said, adding that billions of people around the world are feeling the brunt of higher energy prices and food insecurity because of the Kremlin’s ongoing conflict. She added the war also has triggered “an unmitigated disaster for Russia too.” Japan’s envoy also blasted Moscow’s war and demanded an immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.”
Finally, an op-ed article in Newsweek was of the opinion that Russia’s presidency was immaterial and ineffective and hence the initial outrage was not worth the time and effort. “The outrage surrounding Russia's Security Council presidency was always a bit over the top—not because Moscow being at the head of the table wasn't unpleasant but rather because the position was essentially a powerless one, more pomp and circumstance than authority… At most, the presiding country gets to pick a unique theme for the month and organize additional meetings other members don't even have to attend… Looking back on Russia's brief presidency, one has to question whether all of the freak outs and gyrations were worth the time and energy. On a moral level, the answer is yes. But in terms of practicality, the answer is most assuredly no… While Russian officials would say otherwise, the whole business of being president was probably more trouble for Russia than it was worth. Lavrov's harangue in New York against U.S. hegemony and Western arrogance will provide Russian state broadcasters some juicy TV clippings for the nightly propaganda shows, but it will do nothing to change minds in the court of public opinion. In fact, Lavrov's high-profile appearance gave the U.S. and its allies a golden, high-profile opportunity to call him out for spouting nonsense… Russia's presidency was a minor event, and far too much ink was spilled psychoanalyzing it.”
Pointing to the Future
Key insights and forecasts that show us what is to come
Can Europe Forge a Common China Policy?
EU member states’ policies toward China have been hardening, but different national interests prevent a joint, coherent approach to Beijing. It may take a conflict over Taiwan to unify Europe.
Can China’s Long-Term Growth Rate Exceed 2–3 Percent?
Once China begins to take seriously the need to rebalance its economy, China’s annual GDP growth is unlikely to exceed 2–3% for many years, unless there is a substantial increase in the growth rate of consumption.
How U.S.-South Korea Nuclear Cooperation Could Expand.
The Washington Declaration, issued by presidents Joe Biden and Yoon Suk-yeol, expands nuclear consultations between the United States and South Korea, however, U.S. credibility must prove durable for swift implementation.
America’s Bad Bet on India.
The United States should certainly help India to the degree compatible with American interests, but it should harbour no illusions that its support, no matter how generous, will entice India to join it in any military coalition against China.
Population Control Is Back in India.
India now has the world’s largest population—and is trying to find ways not to.
Where Does Sri Lanka’s Protest Movement Go from Here?
The primary demand of the 2022 protests – the removal of Gotabaya Rajapaksa from his role as president – has been achieved, but the secondary demand of “system change” has not.
How GPT Mania Could Harm AI Innovation.
The scramble to win the GPT race could divert essential resources from the development of more socially meaningful uses of AI.
Gold, Arms, and Islam: Understanding the Conflict in Sudan.
If the Framework Agreement is signed and free elections follow, the Islamist faction will lose any chance of retaking control of Sudan, short of mounting yet another coup, one that, in the current environment, would meet with massive resistance in the streets as well as in the international arena.
The US and the EU Want to Create a Hydrogen Economy. They Need the BIS in BRICS.
The US and Europe must secure the critical metals upon which the industry inevitably relies. In a world marked by war and increased animosity towards China, advanced economies will need to foster greater proximity with Brazil, South Africa, and India.
The Choice Between China and the United States Among the Asia Pacific Countries.
China’s increasing influence around the world, on the one hand, can be traced back to President Xi’s flagship project, the Belt Road Initiative, and on the other, China’s ambition to dominate in several key industries as outlined in the Made in China 2025 document.
Global Risks and Opportunities
Big Picture TEST Metrics for the US, India and China, February 2022
India’s Manufacturing PMI was down to 55.5 in December 2021 from a tenth-month high of 57.6 in October, remaining in the growth territory, amid slower rise in sales and new orders, even as business sentiment was dampened by concerns surrounding supply-chain disruptions, COVID-19 and inflationary pressures. Exports and imports grew by 39% and 40% respectively as compared to the same period last year driven by rising international demand for Indian goods. No further rate cut was announced by the RBI during this month.
China’s Manufacturing PMI rose to 50.3 in December 2021 from 50.1 in November, slightly above market expectations of 50. The latest reading pointed to a modest growth rate in the manufacturing sector, which is expected to remain subdued at the start of the new year due to uncertainties brought by the pandemic outbreak in Xian and Omicron variant. Exports and imports grew by 21% and 20% respectively as compared to the same period last year.
The Leading Financial Hubs for the Sustainable Information Age.
The global finance industry today is dominated by a few key financial hubs, which concentrate much of the world’s financial activity and served as nerve centres for the global economy. During the next decade however, the global finance industry stands to be fundamentally transformed by a series of major transitions relating to sustainability, digital technology and to geopolitics.
President’s Agenda: The Decisions that Will Shape US-China Relations; published in “Obama and the World” (Routledge Studies in US Foreign Policy
During the past decade, China has gone from being a “strategic partner” (under President Clinton ) to being a “strategic competitor” (under President Bush ). What the US and China will be to each other will be shaped by how Presidents Obama and Xi tackle the top bilateral issues of trade and economics, foreign policy, natural resources, as well as their respective top domestic issues.
American Power, Patterns of Rise and Decline; published in “Obama and the World” (Routledge Studies in US Foreign Policy)
The rise of China and the end of the American Century is a topic that has occupied policy makers, economists and investors throughout the past decade. While the continuing rise of China has recently been called into question by some, American decline still appears to be a foregone conclusion in the eyes of many analysts and commentators
The Master Strategist: Power, Purpose and Principle in Action
We stand at a point in history where we can have almost anything we desire and are able to manipulate technology to create wealth and launch any war we wish to fight. Learning how to create a strategy for saving the future is now essential.
Multilateralism to Transactionalism – America and Trump in the Asia-Pacific; published in “The US in the Indo-Pacific: Obama’s Legacy and the Trump Transition” (Birmingham University Press)
The United States under Donald Trump is set to chart a radically new course in Asia, a region that has long relied on America for stability and maintaining the balance of power. President Trump has reversed or sought to reverse many of the long-standing policies and initiatives pursued by his predecessors, with potential long-term implications for the global balance of power.