Ideas

Peace

In a world set to reach nearly 10 billion inter-connected people, power will come from creating peace, prosperity and freedom so that we can make breakthroughs in how we live together, and this requires a transformation in the very definition of power, and the purpose and principles by which it is exercised

GPC’s Macro Thought Leadership

GPC’s research focuses on the geostrategic changes in the world and the implications of for peace, prosperity and freedom. Our analysis seeks to find the patterns and identify the new forces that are the signs of our times and will determine the future of the world


The world is in a historic transition of great power hegemony, world order, population and resources which will change the very nature of civilisation. These transformations create discontinuities and a dynamic canvas on which the world’s future will be written

The 21st Century has been widely predicted to be the Asian Century, in which the continent, home to 60% of the world’s population, will become the world’s dominant economic, political and even cultural force. Within this continent of 49 countries, two will disproportionately impact the trajectory of the 21st Century on account of their scale and growth potential: China and India. The relationship between these two countries as well as the trialogue with the world’s current hegemon, the United States, will will be critical to shaping global economic and political trends for generations to come.

 

A modern India lifting a billion people out of poverty will need a large, modern and diversified economy to not only realize the aspirations of people but also to clothe, feed, employ and educate what will become the world’s largest population within the next five years and this will require an India that is open to the world and dedicated to unlocking the potential of its people and its assets

 

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

 

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

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, China Trade Crosses US$100 Billion During January-September 2022.

India and China bilateral trade continued to boom, with the total trade, amidst the military standoff in eastern Ladakh, going up to US$103.63 billion, registering a 14.6% increase compared to last year during the same period.

PM Modi And Rishi Sunak Agree on Push for India-UK Trade Deal.

In their first conversation since Sunak assumed charge as British prime minister, the two leaders agreed on the need to expedite the free trade agreement between India and the UK and both leaders were in consensus on the importance of early conclusion of a comprehensive and balanced free trade agreement.

India, EU Discuss Ways to Facilitate Mobility of Professionals and Students.

India and the European Union (EU) have discussed the promotion of safe and orderly migration and cooperation to facilitate the mobility of professionals, students, and skilled workforce to benefit both sides as part of the 6th high level dialogue on migration and mobility that was held in Brussels..

RBI Raises Rates by 50 bps to 5.9%, Cuts Growth Outlook to 7%.

Announcing the monetary policy, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said that persistent high inflation necessitates further calibrated withdrawal of monetary accommodation to restrain broadening of price pressures, anchor inflation expectations and contain second-round effects.

Indian Rupee Drops to Record Low.

Touching a series of all-time lows, the Indian rupee has breached 83 against the US Dollar for the first time. Given India’s largely a consumption-driven economy, the weakening rupee and high inflation rates, are expected to impact not just growth levels but also consumer spending power.

5G Services Launched in India.

15 cities that will receive the 5G service in the initial rollout phase are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Varanasi, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jamnagar, Gandhinagar, Mumbai, Pune, Lucknow, Kolkata, Siliguri, Gurugram and Hyderabad, and the rollout to the rest of the country is expected to be completed by March 2024. Capable of supporting ultra-high-speed internet, the fifth generation or 5G service is expected to unleash new economic opportunities and societal benefits, serving as a transformational force for Indian society.

Spotlight on the key monthly news events shaping media coverage in India

Media coverage in the world this month covered Xi Jinping’s third term in power, Rishi Sunak’s appointment as UK’s new PM and Russia’s illegal annexation of four Ukrainian oblasts.

 

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping Wins Record Third Term in Power

Chinese President Xi Jinping created history in October 2022, becoming the first leader of the ruling Communist Party after party founder Mao Zedong to get re-elected for an unprecedented third term. Global media commentary sought to highlight the implications on China’s relations with the U.S., Europe, and India.

 

An op-ed in Los Angeles Times explored US-China ties in Xi Jinping’s third term and concluded that the relations are unlikely to improve. “He (Jinping) has shown, time and again, that he differs from his predecessors, except Mao, in that he does not shy away from conflict with the United States. Xi has felt comfortable declaring that “the East is rising while the West is declining” and positioning the U.S. as a challenge to overcome, rather than an obstacle to avoid, on the road to the Chinese dream. On the other hand, China will probably strengthen ties with Russia, North Korea and other like-minded authoritarian nations, just as the U.S. is strengthening alliance networks in the region, including with Japan and South Korea. We are, as Henry Kissinger once said, in the “foothills of a Cold War.””

 

An article in Politico discussed how Europe is gearing up for choppy waters ahead and how the EU, especially Germany lacks a united front while dealing with China. “From the race for tech supremacy to potential armed conflicts between Beijing and Washington, Europe has little cause to celebrate the dominance of China's most powerful leader since Mao. Indeed, the mood has shifted so dramatically that European leaders last week raised the alarm over the strategic threat China poses to the West. Gone is whatever goodwill there used to be on climate collaboration or trade… As much as Brussels may wish for European unity in the face of turbulence with China, Berlin, at least, still prefers to do things its own way… Berlin’s current coalition is so far sending confusing messages on how it plans to handle relations with Xi… Scholz’s approach has raised eyebrows in Brussels, where last week he flatly told his EU counterparts there should be no “decoupling” from Beijing. It’s not a view universally held in Berlin… In a recent interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung, Scholz’s coalition partner, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock attacked businesses for building up their dependency on China… “Are we moving in a downward spiral?” Germany’s Ambassador to the EU Michael Clauss, formerly Berlin’s top envoy to Beijing, said last week. “Much will depend on China’s next steps especially when it comes to dealing with Russia and Taiwan.””

 

Finally, an op-ed article in Firstpost, an Indian online news channel argued that while the world is approaching and analysing Xi’s return with great unease and anxiety, it is more bad news for China and the Chinese people, and far less for the world – especially India. “Xi’s China, just like Mao’s, is turning inwards and getting hyper-nationalistic, as its economy seems to be losing steam. China desperately needed Deng 2.0, but it instead seems to be getting Mao 2.0. Shouldn’t this be a cause of relief for India?... Given this hypocritical Western background, the economic crisis staring at the world and the ever-loosening moral fabric of Europe and America, there is no guarantee the West won’t again turn a blind eye to China’s misdeeds, only if the latter pretends to act sheepishly. The presence of a Xi Jinping in China pushes the US-led West to act tough, howsoever disinterested it may seem. It will be difficult for Xi’s China to be out of the global radar. And for India, its immediate neighbour and long-term rival, there cannot be better news amidst a host of worst-case scenarios.”

 

 

Rishi Sunak Appointed as United Kingdom’s First Prime Minister of Colour

 

Rishi Sunak was appointed as UK’s first Prime Minister of colour in October 2022 after he won the race to lead the Conservative Party. One of the wealthiest politicians in Westminster, 42-year-old Sunak became the country's youngest leader in modern times as he took over during one of the most turbulent eras in British political history. Allies welcomed the UK’s appointment of its third prime minister of the year.

 

News that a Hindu son of Indian immigrants to the UK had won the UK leadership race raised cheers in India, where some found pride in the fact that a person of Indian heritage would be running a country it was once colonised by. Further, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first global leaders to congratulate Rishi Sunak. While the public mood within the Indian diaspora was upbeat, an op-ed in Hindustan Timesdiscussed how India needs to temper its expectations from Sunak as bilateral ties would only improve if structural hurdles of the past are first removed. “The biggest fear and past experiences show that Indian-origin leaders in third countries tend to overcompensate for their so-called minority handicap and are more loyal than the king when it comes to dealing with the country of their origin… The Indian diaspora may be legitimately pleased with Sunak’s appointment but whether this will lead to better ties with India is a tough question to answer as it involves national security concerns of the Narendra Modi government… The second major hurdle in bilateral ties is the extradition of Indian economic offenders who are presently seeking shelter in Britain and using the legal system to their advantage… The third issue that challenges the improvement of India-UK ties is the umbilical link between the British and Pakistani deep state… The fourth challenge to bilateral ties is the UK’s playing behind the scenes with the Pakistani deep state in Afghanistan, much to the chagrin of India… The final challenge that Rishi Sunak faces is the unacceptance of white Britain particularly its media of rise of India as a global power.”

 

Relations between France and UK have been marked by tensions ever since Brexit and fuelled by animosity between French President Emmanuel Macron and former UK PM Boris Johnson. An article in France analysed how the new PM Rishi Sunak has ushered in hopes of a reset in relations between the UK and France, largely due to some of the perceived similarities between him and his French counterpart. “After Sunak was chosen as prime minister, Macron was quick to tweet a message of congratulations in which he pledged to work together “to tackle the challenges of the moment, including the war in Ukraine” … Both leaders are the sons of medical professionals and were educated at prestigious schools before making their fortunes as bankers. After shifting to the world of politics, both worked as finance ministers before rapidly ascending to the top leadership… Economically, there is much the two former bankers might agree on. Both are proponents of free markets and reduced public spending… it seems likely he (Sunak) will take a less strident approach than his immediate predecessors. Asked the same question as Truss – Is France a friend or a foe? – back in August, Sunak simply said France was a “friend”, an answer that made no headlines.”

 

Finally, an op-ed in Washington Examiner described how Sunak’s appointment would raise hopes in China and concerns in the U.S. “The diverging sentiments take root in indications that Sunak perceives China more through the lens of trade interests than he does security concerns. And it's a consideration that takes on particular emphasis at the moment… With international investors already concerned over what Britain's Brexit departure from the European Union might mean for its longer-term status as a global financial capital, Sunak is under pressure to restore economic stability in short order. China will be banking on that pressure. Beijing will hope to leverage its ability to offer massive new trade and investments in order to earn Sunak's political fealty on other concerns. The new prime minister's hesitation to support escalating U.S. efforts to constrain China's threats to Taiwan and technology capture efforts would be particularly valued by Beijing… Both Washington and Beijing will be watching Britain's new prime minister very closely.”

 

 

Russia Announces Annexation of Four Ukrainian Oblasts, Largest in Europe Since World War II

 

In defiance of the international law, Vladimir Putin signed treaties to begin the process of annexing parts of Ukraine into Russia. The four regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia comprise c.15% of Ukraine and along with Crimea which Russia annexed in 2014, Russia now lays claim to c.20% of Ukraine. While media coverage from around the world was overwhelmingly critical with the international community largely terming the Russian annexation as illegal, most of the developing world in Asia and Africa, including the Middle East, has not viewed the Ukraine war as the kind of definitive, transformational moment in international relations as the West has.

 

An article in Indian Express explained why India abstained from a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution tabled by the U.S. and Albania, which would have condemned the annexation as invalid. “Urging that all efforts are made by “concerned sides for the immediate cessation of violence and hostilities”, the Indian envoy said: “Dialogue is the only answer to settling differences and disputes, however daunting that may appear at this moment. The path to peace requires us to keep all channels of diplomacy open.” “Escalation of rhetoric or tensions is in no one’s interest. It is important that pathways are found for a return to the negotiating table. Keeping in view the totality of the evolving situation, India has decided to abstain on this resolution,” the envoy said, explaining India’s vote.”</i > The UNSC could not adopt the resolution as Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, vetoed it. It was supported by 10 of the 15 members of the Council, while India, China, Brazil, and Gabon abstained.

 

An article in AlJazeera analysed how Saudi Arabia and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) view the war in Ukraine as a complicated European conflict, which does not require Arab states to stand against Vladimir Putin’s government. “Riyadh has maintained its cooperative relationship with Russia since Putin sent troops into neighbouring Ukraine in late February. In fact, at the start of the war, Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding Co invested at least $500m in Gazprom, Rosneft and Lukoil, just as the West was punishing these Russian energy giants with sanctions. More recently, on October 5, the Saudi- and Russian-led OPEC+ cartel announced its plans to reduce oil production. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, maintains the decision was strictly about its financial and commercial interests, as well as market stability... The continuation of Saudi Arabia’s strengthening relationship with Russia – even if based on convenience and opportunism – will heighten tensions between Riyadh and Washington, analysts say. Heated rhetoric from US lawmakers about downgrading Washington’s security relationship with Riyadh and support for the so-called “NOPEC” legislation illustrate how Saudi Arabia’s image and reputation in Washington have suffered this year, particularly following the latest development at OPEC+.”

 

In further escalation, Putin imposed Martial Law in the four annexed regions in mid-October 2022. An article by international affairs think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace argued how imposing the law aimed at solving the numerous problems is in fact more likely to wreak new havoc within the Russian system. “Putin doesn’t want to be associated with unpopular steps, such as vehicle searches or converting private businesses to military needs in exchange for largely symbolic compensation. Therefore, it falls on regional leaders to implement all of these decisions in coordination with the prime minister and Moscow mayor. They will take all the flak if the situation gets really dire. The recent military draft has already brought Putin’s ratings down significantly, and Russians are feeling much more anxious. The Kremlin needs to stop any further decline in the president’s popularity, so now Putin can deflect any complaints about the draft onto Mishustin, Sobyanin, and the local governors… By creating a legislative fog and handing over power mechanisms from official institutions to interim emergency structures at both federal and regional levels, Putin is in effect acknowledging that the power vertical system he created is extremely inefficient. Hence the president is trying to revamp the system with the help of ad hoc project management offices: councils, commissions, and headquarters.”

 

 

Key insights and forecasts that show us what is to come

Understanding and Responding to Global Democratic Backsliding.

As the world faces a democratic recession, many of the most common explanations fall short but looking more closely at antidemocratic leaders’ motivations and methods reveals valuable insights about different types of backsliding and how international actors should respond.

China’s Economic Future Under Xi Jinping.

Certain leadership appointments, as well as Xi’s speech to the congress, indicate that major decisions in China will now place more emphasis on politics—particularly loyalty to Xi—rather than on economic outcomes.

The Future of American Power in Uncertain Times.

The deployment of U.S. power is indeed passing through a phase when it can no longer ignore the tectonic forces of a changing balance of power in the world.

Could America Win a New World War?

Washington needs to collaborate more closely with its partners on everything from defence research to operational planning and it needs to work with them to increase their reserves of munitions and weapons.

Four Years into the Trade War, Are the U.S. and China Decoupling?

Policymakers need to interpret the preliminary evidence of some US-China decoupling with extreme caution as policy decisions made today to reduce economic interdependence between the two countries will have profound implications for both economies, and neither will escape unscathed.

The Ukraine Crisis and China-India Relations.

On the border issue, China professes support for peace and stability in the abstract, but its actions demonstrate its intention to change the status quo in its favour, and while India calls for early resolution, Beijing is reluctant to take the substantive steps necessary to settle the boundary issue and is unlikely to be able to find a quick fix to reset overall bilateral relations.

The Challenges and Limitations in India-Iran Relations.

The bilateral energy relations between India and Iran have not yet been restored, despite Indian refiners’ keenness to import oil from Iran and the U.S. sanctions on Iran remain the primary impediment to resuming energy cooperation between both countries.

Hard Times Ahead for Sunak to Restore UK's Credibility.

New prime minister Rishi Sunak needs to reassure the world about the future of UK foreign policy, but his pragmatism must cope with a battering ram of ideology.

Brazil’s New President Inherits Huge Economic Challenges.

The new president will need to constantly walk a tightrope over a teetering economy between public support for a reversal of social development and of fiscal and monetary constraints – all with a thin political safety net and there is little room for error.

Is Taiwan Becoming Asia’s Ukraine?

If security – more so sovereignty and territorial integrity, although much contested – is on the line, all other calculations become secondary and if the war in Ukraine was a failure of diplomacy, countries in the immediate neighbourhood, notably ASEAN, may have to exert greater effort to prevent a repeat.

The Key Events Driving Global Instability & Opportunity

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.