ISTANBUL — Acronyms have long been a favourite of policy wonks and policymakers, shorthand for describing the world and the changes taking place in it. Jim O’Neill, the Goldman Sachs economist who came up with the now-mainstream “BRIC” catch-all for four quite different economies – Brazil, Russia, India and China – has done it again. “MIST” – or Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey – is O’Neill’s latest rhetorical agglomeration, pulling four more far-flung countries together and talking-up the next tier of large “emerging economies.” Pundits might have a field day with this, with MIST obviously more vapid and perhaps lacking the solidity of its BRIC antecedent. Still, all four have in common a number of factors: a large population and market, a big economy at about 1% of global GDP each, and all are members of the G20.
HANOI — It’s 8am in Hanoi and already thousands of motorbikes, mopeds and scooters flow through the streets. Some sway with the weight of two or three passengers, boxes of merchandise, sacks of rice, or tied-down pieces of furniture that look heavier than vehicle and driver combined. vFor the first-time pedestrian, crossing the road is a daunting experience, but, amid all the apparent chaos, the “system” works. The trick is to just walk when you can, and let the torrent of bikes flow around you. Don’t look left, don’t look right. Just walk This functioning chaos contrasts sharply with the mostly prudent macroeconomic course that Vietnam has been taking. The Doi Moi, or “renovation” economic reforms were launched in 1986, emulating China’s move to open up its markets, after more than a decade of stagnation since the fall of Saigon to the Vietnamese communist forces.