This week in international business news, we are all over the map, from Northern Ireland to Kazakhstan and Indonesia to Norway to Botswana, and it is all about the economy.
- Signs of Improvement in Northern Ireland Economy. According to Danske Bank’s latest Quarterly Sectoral Forecast, the economy in Northern Ireland is beginning to show signs of a rebound. Although economic growth is predicted to remain sluggish for the rest of 2013, the report predicts that growth could exceed 2% for the first time since the Great Recession. The recovery is spurred on in large part by strong showings in the agricultural and scientific sectors.
- Kazakhstan and Indonesia Mull Increased Cooperation. Earlier this week, Kazakh Economy and Budget Planning Minister Erbolat Dosaev and his Indonesian counterpart Muhammad Hatta Rajasa met in Jakarta to discuss increased cooperation in economic and transportation matters. According to a report of the talks, both sides are optimistic that increased cooperation can be fostered and that the two trading partners can improve upon an already substantial $57.3M of mutual trade.
- Norwegian Economy Stuck in Neutral. According to a report published by the Wall Street Journal, the Norwegian economy continues to flounder. The Scandinavian country’s economy expanded by only 0.2% during the second quarter of 2013, well below Wall Street’s prediction of 0.6% growth.
- Indebtedness Causing Economic Crisis in Botswana. An article from the Botswana Gazette details the problems caused by high levels of household debt in the African country. According to the report, over 70% of the nation’s debt is unsecured and offered by so-called “micro lenders.” The result? According to Mel Brown, deputy Chief Executive Officer of Non-Banks Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), “micro lenders put undue pressure on the economy by borrowing from the capital markets and then passing high interest rates to those who borrow from them, therefore increasing the national economic strain.”