YANGON – While no Asian country is likely to match South Korea’s run to the semi-finals on home soil in 2002, Japan and South Korea have a good chance at repeating their 2010 achievements by qualifying for the knockout rounds in the 2014 World Cup. For Iran and Australia, Asia’s other contenders, escaping the initial pool stages looks less likely, with the Australians drawn in an inescapable-looking cliff-face group.
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.
BANGKOK — Home to over half the world’s population, Asia’s array of growing, dynamic economies will become an increasingly important place for Irish business going forward. That was the key message delivered at the Asia Pacific Ireland Business Forum held in Bangkok recently. Hosted by the Irish Thai Chamber of Commerce, the forum brought together over 400 Irish business leaders with operations across Asia and follows up on the recent Global Ireland event held at Farmleigh. However, despite Asia’s potential and resistance to the current downturn, Liam O’Keefe – a Farmleigh attendee and leading Irish businessman in Asia – told the Bangkok gathering that that Asia was not originally on the Farmleigh agenda. Jerome Kelly is President of the Chamber. He told the Irish Examiner that “we aim see how we can create opportunities for the Irish businesses looking to expand and invest in Asia.”