Dan Steinbock
Dan Steinbock
Dr Dan Steinbock is an internationally recognised expert of the multipolar world. He focuses on international business, international relations, investment and risk among the major advanced economies and large emerging economies; as well as multipolar market trends. His commentaries are published across all world regions. For more, see

Policy failures in the past decade have brought plunging trade and investment, slowing migration and an explosion of global displacement. The longer stagnation prevails, the greater the chances of cold wars turning into hot wars.


International critiques of Rodrigo Duterte’s authoritarianism and war on drugs are in stark contrast to the trust he enjoys at home. The People Power movement, of which the Liberal Party has portrayed itself as the institutional embodiment, has failed most Filipinos. Antagonistic relations with China will not help.


Global growth is unlikely to recover soon, given not only the US-China trade war but also geopolitical tensions. Around the world, the number of forcibly displaced people has hit a record high.

Compared to pre-2008 crisis levels, world economic growth has already plummeted by half and is at risk of a long-term, hard-to-reverse stagnation. Returning to global integration and multilateral reconciliation could dramatically change the scenario.


Tokyo plans to proceed with a sales tax increase in October, despite signs of economic weakness and signals of an end to monetary easing. But, instead of penalising the middle class, it should be solving Japan’s structural problems.

Dan Steinbock says the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement could become a template for major trade deals the Trump administration wants to execute around the world, but it will not be an easy sell.


The end of US participation in the Iran nuclear deal seals the conclusion of American interest in upholding a multipolar world order, but it was achieved thanks to a loophole Obama left behind.

Transparency International’s annual measure of corruption is flawed because it only measures public sector corruption and is biased towards advanced economies’ interests.

China’s debt-to-GDP ratio is in fact no higher than those of major countries that enjoy a higher credit rating. And, unlike these other economies, China can look forward to years of solid growth

Japan's fiscal discipline is worsening. In the coming years, the consequences will be felt in Japan, the region and worldwide. In the past quarter, the economy fell into recession.

Hong Kong's lingering turmoil suggests that its economic future is not assured. Recently, the People's Daily accused Washington of colluding with Occupy Central protest organisers to try and foment a "colour revolution".

China is not known for its resilient small- and medium-sized enterprises - yet. Still, for July, the SMEs' PMI figure suggests that China's internal economic growth is gaining momentum.

It has become an annual ritual. The US Department of Defence recently released its report to Congress on China's "military and security developments", which was followed by Beijing's comment that it overstated the "so-called Chinese military threat".

The recent volatility of the renminbi does not herald its weakening, but the increasing opening of the currency and still another milestone in its international ascent.

After two "lost decades", Japan began its bold but risky reforms a year ago. The new governor of the Bank of Japan, Haruhiko Kuroda, pledged to do "whatever it takes" to achieve the 2 per cent inflation target, seeking to double the monetary base by the end of this year.

In 2012, foreign direct investment into emerging economies exceeded that into advanced economies for the first time. One reason is the shift of global innovation to Asia, and China in particular.

The results of the most recent Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) again reveal Shanghai's 15-year-old students as the smartest in the world in reading, maths and science, coming out ahead of Hong Kong and Singapore.

Bangladesh has a less-known but vital role in China's regional rebalancing. As the eastern part of Pakistan, Bangladesh was born with the Partition of Bengal and British India in 1947. After more than three decades of economic neglect and political marginalisation, Bangladesh gained its independence in 1971.

In the next few weeks, Premier Li Keqiang's "new type of urbanisation" is expected to take off. In the West, the response has often been sceptical and occasionally very critical. It is time for a sanity check.

Obviously, Microsoft’s US$7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia is an important deal, but it may be more about the past than the emerging challenges of the future.

Hong Kong's challenge is not China's economic rise, Shanghai's free-trade zone, or even the mainland's impending financial reforms. These are all new opportunities.

Our friendship is higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the deepest sea in the world, and sweeter than honey," Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told his Chinese counterpart, Li Keqiang , at the start of their recent meeting in Beijing.

After two "lost decades", Japan has begun a risky monetary gamble. Abenomics has the potential to make or break Japanese savings, the Asian century and global recovery.

According to IMF data, central banks in emerging economies cut their euro holdings by 8 per cent, or €45 billion (HK$450 billion) in 2012. The world economy is moving towards a multipolar currency regime.

In the coming years, China's economic dominance will continue to increase, assuming there is sustained internal cohesion and a peaceful international environment. However, the nature of this growth is shifting, and the pace of change may be significantly faster than anticipated.