Recommendation | A Pivot to Europe: China’s Belt-and-Road Balancing Act

In the international agora, China is increasingly reaching out to Europe. Driven both by economic necessities and strategic imperatives, a grand design for crossing (and transforming) Asia has been advanced: the Belt-and-Road Initiative. As they share a common (extended) neighbourhood in the Middle East and Central Asia, the two actors’ manner of interaction – cooperative or adversarial – shall define the future of the region. Read more ...

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At the Far Ends of the Silk Road | A DAVA Review of 2017

The present publication marks the first period of our activity as a think-tank specialized in international affairs along the Silk Road. It consists of seven reports – a selection of the best contributions of our experts from the past year – that deal with pressing issues of the moment, but which will – undoubtedly – shape the strategic environment in 2018. These are the problems of today, but the roots of tomorrow’s challenges. Read more ...

Recommendation: Left Behind? Reassessing the Balkan Quest for EU Integration

At the fringes of the European Union, but entirely engulfed by it, the Balkan countries have set upon their quest for integration ever since the late ‘90s. In their lasting interaction, the partners have engaged in an often inconsistent negotiation framework that moved from the idea of ‘sharing everything but institutions’ to a more cautious approach, dominated by (im)patience and mutual demands that did not generate any tangible outcome. Read more ...

Not Just a Bridgehead: EU’s (Possible) Vision for Taiwan

From a geoeconomic perspective, Taiwan represents a hot spot that unites the flows of goods and capital from near mainland China, from the South-East Asian cauldron, as well as a bridgehead for Western transoceanic commerce and investment. Not truly an island (in the sense of isolation), but a focal meeting point between two seas and an (open) ocean, Taiwan strategically lies in one of the best positions in opening up the Asian markets to larger influxes of EU-based products and capital. Read more ...

A (Legally) Turbulent Affair: The Textile Industry in Uzbekistan

When thinking where to invest next, Uzbekistan would not necessarily rank first among your options. Nonetheless, a constant high cotton production, low-wage workforce, a relative proximity to the largest  markets, combined with a (seemingly) supportive state agricultural policy and incentives for investors made Uzbekistan’s textile industry an attractive business venue. However, as always, there is another side of the coin. This Mercantile Digest analyzes the challenges (legal and political) of Uzbekistan’s textile industry, while also offering advice for investors in order to prepare themselves in such a delicate economic environment. Read more ...

The EU Factor: GDP per Capita | #BalkanStats

This is the first material in our Balkan Stats series. Every post will focus on a statistically relevant indicator, briefly showing how the Balkan trends converge or diverge due to the various economic and political allegiances of the constituent states.  Comments are reduced to a bare minimum, letting figures do the talking for themselves. This week, Horia Ciurtin - our Senior Expert - depicts how GDP per capita (PPP) varies in accordance with EU membership. Read more ...

Seeing Other People: Lukashenko’s Balancing Act

It is a hot (geopolitical) summer. In Asia and in Eastern Europe. Away from the North Korean crisis or the Qatar parading blockade, EU-based delegations are increasingly visiting Minsk these months. In one way or another, the European Union and its member states are looking for a readjustment of their relation with the secluded republic on the Eastern flank. Roughly put, Belarus is tucked in a Russian corner that it can hardly escape even if it wished. And it doesn't. Read more ...