Name: Donna

Email:

Web Site: http://donnawelles.blogspot.com/

Bio: Economist. Washington, DC.

Posts by DonnaWelles:

    Portuguese Gold Mining Operations in Brazil

    November 2nd, 2016 Flag of Portugal

    By: Donna Welles

    Portugal has reported a diminishing net trade deficit in recent years. It is possible that wealth from gold mines in Brazil has helped the Portuguese economy to balance its net trade deficit. The price of gold is listed by the International Monetary Fund. Switzerland has been at the center of litigation in Brasilia because Brazilian government officials utilize Swiss banks. Switzerland imports more gold than any other country in the world.

    The relationship between Portugal, Brazil, Angola, and Switzerland is unfolding right now in the South American media. Venezuela has recently begun a large-scale gold mining operation and the Venezuelan media has reported deaths in mines. The theme behind the investigations into Portugal and Switzerland is whether or not the methods by which wealth is being removed from South America is in keeping with international law.

    Brazil and Angola have shared colonial histories with Portugal. Additionally, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, and Cabo Verde have shared colonial histories with Portugal. Guinea-Bissau and Angola are located on the African continent along the Atlantic Ocean and Mozambique is located along the Indian Ocean. Mozambique serves as a transit corridor between South Africa and Kenya. Cabo Verde and Sao Tome and Principe are islands off the coast of West Africa.

    Angola has been in the media in recent weeks because Brazilian government officials have business connections in West Africa. Annually, Angola is burdened by a sizable net trade deficit and its energy and metals reserves are not being efficiently cultivated and exported. Mozambique does not report healthy finances to the World Bank. Guinea-Bissau for many years has not reported trade data to the World Bank.

    Portugal began its colonial exploration in West Africa by way of Ceuta, Morocco in roughly 1400. Later, Portuguese sailors founded what is now Brazil in roughly 1500. Generally, Portuguese business interests first arrive in West Africa and then they appear in South America. Many cities in Brazil including Rio de Janeiro have sizable ethnically Angolan populations. Portugal has an unemployment rate of 16% and there might be domestic pressure on the Portuguese government to provide for internal demand.

    Comments Off on Portuguese Gold Mining Operations in Brazil

    El Salvador and Manufacturing Exports

    October 24th, 2016
    Flag of El Salvador

    By: Donna Welles

         El Salvador has defaulted on its national currency and now uses instead the United States Dollar. Violence in El Salvador is well documented by the media. El Salvador shares land borders with Honduras and Guatemala and they sit across the bay from Nicaragua. Salvador Sanchez Ceren has been the President of El Salvador since 2014.

         El Salvador is burdened by an annual net trade deficit of roughly $5b USD. In 2006, El Salvador reported $4b USD in exports and $8b USD in imports. In 2015, El Salvador reported $5b USD in exports and $10b USD in imports. Therefore in the previous decade the annual net trade deficit has increased from $4b USD to $5b USD.

         El Salvador exports what the World Bank categorizes as miscellaneous manufactured goods. Annually they enjoy roughly a $1b USD trade surplus in miscellaneous manufactured goods. In 2006, El Salvador exported $2b USD in miscellaneous manufactured goods and that amount increased by 2015 to $3b USD.

         El Salvador has an army of 42,000 soldiers which is slightly fewer than Guatemala which has an army of 43,000 soldiers. The Mexican Army has 336,000 soldiers. Guatemala has the highest fertility rates in the region at 3.2 births per woman. El Salvador has a fertility rate which is slightly lower than that of Mexico. Mexico reported a fertility rate in 2014 of 2.2 births per woman and El Salvador reported a fertility rate that year of 1.9 births per woman.

         In terms of land area, El Salvador is roughly 21,000 sq km whereas Guatemala is 107,000 sq km. Mexico has a land area of 2m sq km. El Salvador enjoys a higher life expectancy than Guatemala. In 2014, El Salvador reported a life expectancy of 73 years whereas Guatemala reported a life expectancy of 72 years. Life expectancy in Mexico is 77 years. Literacy in the region is roughly 90 percent. El Salvador reported a literacy rate of nearly exactly 90 percent while Mexico reported a literacy rate of 96 percent. Guatemala reported a literacy rate of 85 percent.

         Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and it has a population of 21m people. San Salvador is the capital of El Salvador and it has a population of 1m people. Guatemala City is larger than San Salvador. In 2015, Guatemala City had a population of 3m people. Total population figures are such that Mexico has a population of 130m people, Guatemala has a population of 16m people, and El Salvador has a population of 6m people.

    Comments Off on El Salvador and Manufacturing Exports

    An Overview of the Argentinian Economy

    October 16th, 2016 Flag of Argentina

    By: Donna Welles

    Mauricio Macri is the President of Argentina and Michel Temer is the President of Brazil. Cristina Kirchner preceded Mauricio Macri and Dilma Rousseff preceded Michel Temer. Both Cristina Kirchner and Dilma Rousseff have been investigated by authorities for financial crimes. While Cristina Kirchner has not yet faced trial, Dilma Rousseff has been found guilty of financial crimes and she has been asked to leave public office.

    Many countries in South America are experiencing trials where government officials are being charged with financial crimes. In Venezuela and in Brazil the supreme courts have become active in these investigations. It seems appropriate to review the report submitted by Argentina to the World Bank.

    Argentina has reported fluctuating GDP values to the World Bank since 2011. In 2011 Argentina reported a GDP of $533b USD, in 2012 Argentina reported a GDP of $549b USD, in 2013 Argentina reported a GDP of $554b USD, in 2014 Argentina reported a GDP of $530b USD, and in 2015 Argentina reported a GDP of $583b USD. Total population in Argentina increased slightly from 42m people in 2011 to 43m people in 2015.

    Trade balances holistically transitioned from a large trade surplus to a $3b USD net trade deficit. In 2006 Argentina reported a $12b USD trade surplus and that trade surplus was reduced to $2b USD by 2013. In 2014 Argentina reported a trade surplus of $3b USD but in 2015 Argentina reported a $3b USD net trade deficit. Both exports and imports fluctuate in Argentina. In 2006 Argentina reported $47b USD in exports and $34b USD in imports. In 2011 Argentina reported $83b USD in exports and $74b USD in imports. In 2015, Argentina reported $57b USD in exports and $60b USD in imports.

    Unemployment in Argentina was down to 7.3% in 2014 from 8.5% in 2007. Fertility rates have decreased since 2007 from 2.4 births per woman in 2007 to 2.3 births per woman in 2014. Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city in Argentina. The population of Buenos Aires was 14m people in 2007 and in 2015 it was 15m people. Argentina has enjoyed a slight improvement in life expectancy since 2007 when  it was 75 years. Argentinians in 2014 enjoyed a life expectancy of 76 years.

    Comments Off on An Overview of the Argentinian Economy

    Trade Deficits in Paraguay and Uruguay

    September 24th, 2016 Flag of Uruguay

    By: Donna Welles 

    Last week the South American media reported that Uruguayan politicians are being investigated for criminal activity. Argentina, Brazil, and Chile have experienced similar litigation in the past weeks and months. The nature of the investigations into the Uruguayan government is not yet fully understood. Argentina and Brazil have been investigating officials for financial crimes and Chile has been prosecuting military officers for violent crimes committed during the tenure of President Augusto Pinochet.

    Uruguay and Paraguay have similar economies and demographics. Paraguay was founded by Spain and for many years Asuncion served as the regional capital for the Spanish Empire. Uruguay was for many years part of Brazil. Ethnically the two countries are similar because they are Spanish and Italian.

    Both Paraguay and Uruguay are burdened by trade deficits. There is fluctuation in both countries in terms of imports and exports. Patterns in international trade by way of MERCOSUR as well as trade with North America and the European Union account for some of the fluctuations. Also, both Paraguay and Uruguay have recently upgraded their industry. Uruguay ranches cattle and additionally they export machine works. Paraguay is removed from the Atlantic Ocean but they are located downstream from Buenos Aires, Argentina and therefore enjoy transplanted industrial growth. The Parana River traverses north from Buenos Aires to Paraguay.

    In 2011 Paraguay reported exports of $8b USD and imports of $12b USD. In 2012 exports decreased to $7b USD and then in 2013 and in 2014 exports increased to $10b USD. Exports decreased again in 2015 to $8b USD. Paraguay also reported fluctuating imports. In 2011 Paraguay reported imports of $13b USD and in 2012 that number decreased to $12b USD. In 2015 Paraguay reported imports of $10b USD.

    In 2011 Uruguay reported exports of $8b USD and imports of $11b USD. In 2012, 2013, and 2014 Uruguay reported exports of $9b USD and then in 2015 Uruguay reported exports of $8b USD. Imports increased in 2012 to $12b USD. In 2015 Uruguay reported imports of $9b USD. Holistically Uruguay has reported a lessened trade deficit since 2011. In 2011 their trade deficit was $3b USD and in 2015 Uruguay reported a trade deficit of $2b USD.

    Paraguay has a population of 7m people and Uruguay has a population of 4m people. Uruguay has a GDP of $58b USD and Paraguay has a GDP of $31b USD. Paraguay has a largest city of 3m people and Uruguay has a largest city of 2m people. Uruguay has a life expectancy of 77 years and Paraguay has a life expectancy of 72 years. Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay and Asuncion is the capital of Paraguay.

    Comments Off on Trade Deficits in Paraguay and Uruguay

    An Overview of the Brazilian Economy

    September 16th, 2016

    By Donna Welles.

     

    An Overview of the Brazilian Economy

    South America has natural resources and they are experiencing rapid growth in internet connectivity rates. The prices paid for the natural resources are regulated by the International Monetary Fund. The mechanisms to allow for economic growth involve market based prices of natural resources and efficiency in the distribution of agriculture. The region is experiencing a noticeable political shift away from something and toward something else.

    Several countries in South America are prosecuting government officials in criminal courts. There have been high profile allegations against the Brazilian government for corruption in recent weeks. President Dilma Rousseff has been impeached and found guilty of financial crimes. Former President Luiz Lula da Silva has been charged with financial crimes. Former House Speaker Eduardo Cunha is facing criminal charges for financial crimes.

    In Argentina Former President Cristina Kirchner is facing criminal charges for financial crimes. Chile is prosecuting former military officers for criminal behavior that is not financial in nature. The crimes in Chile were committed during the tenure of President Augusto Pinochet during the 1980s.

    The trials in Brazil pertain to two sources of corruption including, (1) Peterobras which is the state-owned petroleum firm, and (2) Bolsa Familia, a 2003 government social welfare program from which funds have been siphoned. Former President Luiz Lula da Silva was the architect of Bolsa Familia and Former President Dilma Rousseff was at the time an aide to the Lula da Silva government. Brazil is a large country with a large economy and they would be greatly affected by slight changes in the commodities markets.

    Additionally the Brazilian economy has seen fluctuating trade balances and decreasing exports. In 2011 Brazilian exports totaled $256b USD and imports totaled $226b USD. Brazilian net trade in 2011 was a $31b USD surplus. In 2012 Brazilian exports decreased to $243b USD while imports remained steady at $223b USD. Therefore from 2011 to 2012 Brazil enjoyed a lessened trade surplus. Brazil reported a trade surplus of $31b USD in 2011, $19b USD in 2012, and $3b USD in 2013. In 2014 Brazil reported a trade deficit of $4b USD and then in 2015 Brazil reported again a surplus of $19b USD. In 2015 Brazilian exports totaled $191b USD and imports totaled $172b USD.

    Comments Off on An Overview of the Brazilian Economy

    Trade Deficits in Central America

    September 7th, 2016

     

    By Donna Welles.

     

     

    Central America consists of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize. Each of these countries is struggling with industry and they have reported to the World Bank annual trade deficits. Mexico is a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Panama Canal was built a century ago to allow for commercial transit between New York City and the State of California. The American economy is affected by trade deficits in Latin America.

    The nature of the trade deficits is that each country reports an annual decline in exports. Ideally industry in Central America can be revitalized. If a country cannot sustain the domestic demand for goods and services then of course there will be a need to import. This is what is happening. Industry in Central America is not sustainable and there is domestic demand for goods and services.

    Mexico has a gross domestic product above $1.2t USD. Guatemala reported a GDP of $59b USD, Costa Rica reported a GDP of $50b USD, Panama reported a GDP of $46b USD, El Salvador reported a GDP of $25b USD. Honduras, Nicaragua, and Belize have economies smaller than that of El Salvador.

    Mexico and Guatemala have populations of more than ten million people. The rest of the region reports per country populations of less than ten million people. Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize have populations of less than five million people. Mexico has a city with twenty million people. Guatemala has a city with three million people. The rest of the region reports largest cities under three million people. Costa Rica, Panama, and Mexico have life expectancies over 75 years. Nicaragua has a life expectancy of 75 years.

    Mexico has an army of 325,000 soldiers. The rest of the region reported smaller armed forces personnel totals. Guatemala has an army of 42,000 soldiers, El Salvador has an army of 32,000. The rest of the region reported per country armies smaller than that of El Salvador. Mexico has a land area of 2m square km. Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala have land areas above 100,000 square km.

    Comments Off on Trade Deficits in Central America

    An Inventory of South American Demographics

    September 1st, 2016

    By Donna Welles.

         Venezuela and Brazil are struggling currently with political upheaval. The Venezuelan opposition party has announced a large march this week protesting the government of President Nicolas Maduro and the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, has been impeached by the Brazilian Senate.

         South of Venezuela and Brazil are four smaller countries that might be affected by this political turmoil. These are Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Each of these four countries currently experiences a trade deficit with the People’s Republic of China. Trade deficits can lead to political turmoil and so it is an appropriate time to inventory social economic indicators in Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

         Peru has the largest population and Uruguay has the smallest population. Peru has a total of 32m people, Bolivia has 11m people, Paraguay has 7m people, and Uruguay has 4m people. Peru has the largest city and Uruguay reported the smallest figure for largest city. Peru has a city of 10m people, Paraguay has a city of 3m people, Bolivia has a city of 2m people, and Uruguay has a city of 2m people.

         Uruguay has the longest life expectancy and Bolivia has the shortest life expectancy. Uruguay has a life expectancy of 77 years, Peru has a life expectancy of 75 years, Paraguay has a life expectancy of 73 years, and Bolivia has a life expectancy of 68 years.

         Peru has the largest land area and Uruguay has the smallest land area. Peru has a land area of 1.3m square km, Bolivia has a land area of 1.1m square kilometers, Paraguay has a land area of 400,000 square km, and Uruguay has a land area of 200,000 km. Lima is the capital of Peru, Asuncion is the capital of Paraguay, La Paz is the capital of Bolivia, and Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay.

    Comments Off on An Inventory of South American Demographics

    Nigerian Energy and the Commodities Markets

    August 24th, 2016

    By Donna Welles.

     

    Resultado de imagen de Nigerian Energy and the Commodities Markets

     

    Nigeria, Togo, Benin, and Ghana all are having to defend their natural resources because the commodities markets are out of alignment and not enough money is being paid in exchange for energy or metals. Nigeria and Ghana have valuable energy reserves and Ghana additionally has metals. Togo and Benin are small countries in between them.

    Nigerian petroleum refineries are not operating at peak efficiency and the Nigerian Government is sometimes confronted by a hostile private sector. All four countries have ports on the Atlantic Ocean. West African countries have capital cities that are also ports and some have capital cities that are inland.

    Abuja is the capital of Nigeria and it is inland, Accra is the capital of Ghana and it is a port, Cotonou is the capital of Benin and it is a port, and Lome is the capital of Togo and it is a port.

    Nigeria has a GDP of $569b USD, Ghana has a GDP of $39b USD, Benin has a GDP of $10b USD, and Togo has a GDP of $5b USD. Nigeria has a population of 177m people, Ghana has a population of 27m people, Benin has a population of 11m people, and Togo has a population of 7m people.

    In terms of military personnel neither Benin nor Togo have armies larger than 10,000 soldiers. Ghana has an army of 16,000 soldiers and Nigeria has an army of 162,000 soldiers.

    Comments Off on Nigerian Energy and the Commodities Markets

    Venezuela Economics and the Referendum

    August 18th, 2016

         By Donna Welles.

     

    (1)

    Hugo Chavez has been succeeded by Nikolas Maduro. Hugo Chavez had a public mandate and an organic constituency. Nikolas Maduro worked for Hugo Chavez and then Hugo Chavez died suddenly in 2013. I view Maduro with suspicion and the people of Venezuela likely also view Maduro with suspicion. Either Maduro is culpable in the death of Hugo Chavez or he is not.

         Economically since the death of Hugo Chavez there is less food and more foreign military personnel exporting petroleum when the commodities markets make selling energy unwise. Foreign military personnel in Venezuela exporting energy seem unmoved that there is little food in grocery stores. The foreign military personnel likely come from Spain, the Netherlands, and Russia.

         England and France are north in the Caribbean Sea and east in French Guinea. Belize still lists the Queen of England as its Head of State but French Guinea does not report much trade data to the World Bank. England once exported dyes to Europe from the Yucatan Peninsula and France has a colonial history in Mexico. The United States fought the Spanish-American War after the explosion on the USS Maine while it was sitting in a Havana harbor.

         Elections for the Venezuelan Parliament, the referendum, and audits of treasury money are symptoms of food shortages and energy being removed from South America en masse without adequate compensation. The International Monetary Fund lists energy prices on its website and petroleum and natural gas prices remain low.

    Comments Off on Venezuela Economics and the Referendum

    Asiatic States of Eastern Europe, Economic Profile

    September 24th, 2015

    By Donna Welles.

     

     Edgar Savisaar Mayor of Tallinn, Estonia.

    Edgar Savisaar
    Mayor of Tallinn, Estonia.

     

    Yesterday Tallinn sacked its Mayor, Edgar Savisaar, and arrested him on suspicion of taking bribes. Estonia is not an Indo-European nation, rather it is Asiatic and closely related to Finland and Hungary. Allow us to examine these Asiatic nations in Eastern Europe by way of their social and economic indicators.

    Finland has the highest life expectancy of the group, 81 years from birth. Both Estonia and Hungary have lower life expectancies than I would have thought, 76 and 75 years. It is possible the Estonian figure is affected by ethnic Russians left over from the Soviet Era; it is possible the Hungarian figure is affected by ethnic Slavic peoples left over from the Soviet Era. Estonia, Finland, and Hungary all have Western European social behaviors.

    Hungary has the largest population of the group, roughly 10m people. Finland’s population as of 2014 was 6m and Estonia’s was 2m. By contrast, France reported 66m, the United Kingdom reported 65m, and Sweden reported 10m.

    Finland and Estonia sit better in terms of unemployment than Hungary. Hungary reported an unemployment rate of 10% in 2013; Finland reported 8% and Estonia reported 9%. By contrast, the United Kingdom and Sweden both reported 8% and France reported 10%.

    Paris and London are much larger than Budapest, Stockholm, Helsinki, and Tallinn. Each of the latter cities have less than 2m people.

    Comments Off on Asiatic States of Eastern Europe, Economic Profile

    Economic context, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

    September 17th, 2015

     

    By Donna Welles.

     

     

    A transition of power has taken place this week in Australia as a new Prime Minister has been installed. Allow us to examine Australia’s economy in the greater context of New Zealand and the United Kingdom using the following indicators, (1) GDP, (2) Population, and (3) Unemployment. 

    Regionally, GDP in Australia expanded to $1.5t USD in 2014 and New Zealand’s to $188b. In 2000, Australia’s GDP was $415b and New Zealand’s was $53b. Populations in both countries grew from 2000 to 2014. Australia’s population was 19.2m; it is now 23.5m. New Zealand’s population was 3.9m; it is now 4.5m. The United Kingdom’s population was 59m; it is now 65m.

    Largest City population data in each of these countries has grown in recent years. London now has 10.2m people, whereas in 2000 it had 8.6m. Sydney now has 4.5m people, whereas in 2000 it had 4.0m. Auckland now has 1.3m people, whereas in 2000 it had 1.0m.

    Unemployment data in the group has remained low since at least 2000. Australia has reported unemployment data of 5% and 6% from 2000-2012. . The United Kingdom has the highest rate of the group, 8% in 2013. New Zealand’s unemployment rates have been stable throughout that time, 6% in 2000 and 5% in 2012.

    Comments Off on Economic context, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

    Egypt, Regional Context of Economic Stability

    September 10th, 2015 Source: World Bank, WDI.

    By Donna Welles.

     

    Although currently struggling with unemployment, Egypt has been immune to some of the fluctuations the global economy has experienced since 2008.

    Out of a sample of Egypt and its neighbors, only Egypt never experienced a year where its GDP contracted. Rather, Egypt’s economy has expanded every year since 2004. Allow us to examine Egypt in the regional context of Italy, Turkey, Greece, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia.

    Italy’s is the only economy in the group that includes trillions of dollars. In 2014, Italy’s GDP was $2.1t USD and Turkey’s was $800b. A second tier within the group includes Egypt which reported a GDP of $287b, Greece of $238b, and Algeria of $214b. Finally, Morocco reported a GDP of $107b and Tunisia of $47b.

    Italy and Greece had the lowest unemployment figures of the group in 2008, 7% and 8%. Egyptian unemployment was 9% in 2008, Morocco’s was 10%, and both Turkey and Algeria reported unemployment figures of 11%.

    By 2013, Greek unemployment had risen to 27%, Egyptian to 13%, and Italian to 12%. By 2013, both Turkish and Algerian unemployment had dropped to 10% while Moroccan unemployment had dropped to 9%.

    Egypt’s population in 2014 was 83m people and it is slightly larger than the combined land areas of Texas and Oklahoma.

    Comments Off on Egypt, Regional Context of Economic Stability

    Relative Unemployment, Czech and Slovak Republics.

    September 3rd, 2015 Grassalkovich Palace, seat of the President of Slovakia.

    By Donna Welles.

     

    Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic peacefully separated in 1993. Now the Slovak Republic is struggling with unemployment whereas the Czech Republic is not. Allow us to understand these nation states by way of the following economic indicators, (1) Population and Land Area, (2) GDP and Unemployment, (3) Bilateral Trade, and (4) Municipalities and Armed Forces pools.

    Czech has roughly twice the population of Slovak Republic. In 2000, Czech had 10.3m people while Slovak had 5.4m. In 2014, Czech had 10.5m people, while Slovak had 5.4m. Czech is 77,230 km^2, which is roughly the size of the State of Maine. Slovak is 48,088 km^2, which is half the size of the State of Kentucky.

    Czech has roughly twice the GDP of the Slovak Republic. In 2000, Czech’s GDP was $62b USD while Slovak’s was $29b. Since 2010, Czech’s GDP has contracted from $207b to $206b in 2014. Slovak’s GDP has expanded since 2010 to $100b from $89b. Slovak unemployment rates have been consistently higher than Czech unemployment rates since at least 2005. In 2005, Slovak rates were 16.2% while Czech’s were 7.9%. In 2010, Slovak rates were 14.4% while Czech’s were 7.3%. In 2013, Slovak rates were 14.2% while Czech’s were 7.0%.

    Both countries have positive net trade balances. Slovak exports in 2013 totaled $85b while Slovak imports totaled $81b. Czech exports totaled $162b while Czech imports totaled $143b. Germany serves as both nations’ top import partner; including 26% of Czech imports and 16% of Slovak imports. The People’s Republic of China is Czech’s second top import partner while Czech is Slovak’s second top import partner. Germany serves as both nations’ top export partner; including 31% of Czech exports and 21% of Slovak exports. Slovak serves as Czech’s second top export partner while Czech serves as Slovak’s second top export partner.

    Prague’s population has grown since 2000 to 1.3m people. Bratislava’s has contracted from 430,000 in 2000 to 406,000 in 2013. Armed Forces pools in both countries have diminished since 1995. Czech had 92,000 soldiers in 1995 while Slovak had 51,000. In 2013, Czech had 24,100 soldiers while Slovak had 15,850.

    Comments Off on Relative Unemployment, Czech and Slovak Republics.

    Albania, Modern Land of Enver Hoxha

    August 27th, 2015

     

     

    By Donna Welles.

     

     

    An old communist bunker overlooking the spectacular peaks of Valbona Valley. An estimated 700.000 concrete bunkers were built by Hoxha's regime.

     

    During the twentieth century, southeastern Europe was dominated by three strong dictators; these were Enver Hoxha of Albania, Nicolae Ceaușescu of Romania, and Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia. All three men have since died. What has replaced these leaders? Allow us to examine modern Albania by way of its social and economic indicators.  

    Albania’s armed forces pool has dropped by 90% since 1995. In 1995, Albania had 86,500 soldiers and in 2013 Albania had 8,500 soldiers. Romania has retained 151,300 soldiers. Yugoslavia has been separated politically into six nation-states, including Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia.  

    Albania’s GDP has grown from $4 billion in 2000 to $13 billion in 2014. Italy and the People’s Republic of China are Albania’s major trading partners in terms of both imports and exports. Romania’s GDP has grown from $37 billion in 2000 to $199 billion in 2014. Germany and Italy are Romania’s major trading partners in terms of both imports and exports.  

    Population figures for both Albania and Romania have dropped since 2000. Albania currently has 2.9 million people; Romania has 19.9 million people. In 2000, Albania had 3.1 million and Romania had 22.4 million.  

    Albania last reported unemployment figures in 2012 when it was 13.4%; Romania reported in 2013 when it was 7.3%. Albania reported an unemployment rate of 22.7% in 2001, 13.5% in 2007, and 14.2% in 2010. Romanian unemployment rates have not risen above their 2002 report which was 8.1%.  

    Trade balance is an issue for Albania as Albanian exports totaled $2.3 billion in 2013 and imports totaled $4.8 billion. Exports from Albania are largely mineral fuel, clothing apparel, and iron and steel. Imports to Albania include 22% manufactured goods, 18% machinery, 17% mineral fuel, and 13% agricultural products.  

    Albania’s life expectancy is 78 years and it has a similar land area to that of the State of Maryland.

    Comments Off on Albania, Modern Land of Enver Hoxha

    The Netherlands, Land Area and GDP.

    August 20th, 2015 Royal Coat of Arms of the Netherlands

     

    By Donna Welles.

    The Netherlands has roughly the same land area as the State of Virginia; it has roughly the same GDP as the State of Florida.  The Netherlands’ GDP is $870billion USD whereas that of the State of Florida is $833billion.

    Allow us to examine the Netherlands in terms of the following indicators, (1) trading partners, (2) imports and exports, (3) unemployment, and (4) armed forces personnel totals.

    Germany and Belgium are the Netherlands’ major trading partners in terms of both imports and exports. In 2013, Dutch imports totaled $506billion and Dutch exports totaled $571billion. German trade accounted for 17% of Dutch imports and 25% of Dutch exports. Belgian trade accounted for 10% of Dutch imports and 11% of Dutch exports.

    The People’s Republic of China accounted for 8% of Dutch imports and 2% of Dutch Exports. The United Kingdom accounted for 7% of Dutch imports and 8% of Dutch exports. Finally, the United States accounted for 7% of Dutch imports and 4% of Dutch exports.

    Machinery and Transportation equipment represented 27% of Dutch imports and 25% of Dutch exports in 2013. Mineral Fuel represented 25% of Dutch imports and 20% of Dutch exports; Chemicals, including pharmaceuticals and organic chemicals, represented 13% of Dutch imports and 17% of Dutch exports; and food and live animals represented 9% of Dutch imports and 12% of Dutch exports in 2013.

    Unemployment in the Netherlands has risen slightly since 2005; it was 7% in 2013 and 5% in 2005. Total population is 17million, roughly 500,000 more people than in 2005. Armed forces personnel totals have fallen since 2000; 43,000 soldiers in 2013 and 57,000 in 2000.

    Comments Off on The Netherlands, Land Area and GDP.

    Poland, in the Context of Eastern Europe.

    August 13th, 2015

    By Donna Welles.

     

     

    Coat of Arms of Poland.

     

    Coat of arms Poland

     

    Poland has been a member of NATO since 1999 and a member of the European Union since 2004, although it has not yet joined the Eurozone. Poland’s language is Western Slavic, it of course is related to ancient Sanskrit and it does not use the Cyrillic alphabet. Ukrainian and Belarussian are more closely related to the Russian language than is Polish, as they are Eastern Slavic languages. Allow us to examine Poland’s East-West tendencies by virtue of its economic and social indicators.

    Poland has Eastern Europe’s largest pool of armed forces personnel as of 2013, 173,000 soldiers. Belarus has 158,000 soldiers, Romania has 151,000, Ukraine has 122,000, and Bulgaria has 47,000. In 1995, Ukraine had more than half a million soldiers. Poland had 302,000, Romania had 297,000, Bulgaria had 136,000, and Belarus had 106,000.

    Poland also has Eastern Europe’s largest economy. In 2014, Poland’s GDP was $548billion, the Czech Republic’s was $205billion, Romania’s was $199billion, Hungary’s was $137billion, and Ukraine’s was $132billion.

    Population figures reported by the World Bank show Poland to be the second largest country in Eastern Europe. In 2014, Ukraine had 45million people, Poland had 38million, Romania had 20million, the Czech Republic had 11million, and Hungary had 10million. Of these, only the Czech Republic has seen an increase in population since 2000. Romania’s population has contracted by 11%, Ukraine’s by 8%, Hungary’s by 3%, and Poland’s by 1%.

    Poland is halfway down the list per unemployment figures in Eastern Europe. In 2013, 10.3% of Poles were unemployed whereas in Macedonia unemployment was at 29%, in Bosnia at 28%, in Serbia at 22%, in Croatia at 17%, and in the Slovak Republic at 14%.

    Germany is Poland’s most dominate trading partner in terms of both imports and exports. In 2014, Polish imports totaled $211billion and Polish exports totaled $209 billion. German trade accounted for 28% of Poland’s imports and 27% of Poland’s exports. British trade accounted for 3% of Poland’s imports and 7% of Poland’s exports. Russian trade accounted for 9% of Poland’s imports and 4% of Poland’s exports. Chinese trade accounted for 7% of Poland’s imports and a negligible amount of Poland’s exports.

    Life expectancy in Poland is 77 years; that in Belarus is 72, in Romania is 74, in Ukraine is 71, and in Bulgaria is 74. Poland is the size of the State of Arizona, roughly 300,000 km2.

    Comments Off on Poland, in the Context of Eastern Europe.

    Unemployment in Ireland, Economic Profile

    August 6th, 2015

    By Donna Welles.

     

    Ireland. Political Map.

    Ireland has an unemployment rate of 13%. Its European neighbors have unemployment rates that dot the spectrum; Norway has 4%, the United Kingdom has 8%, and Spain has 26%. In 2000, Ireland’s unemployment rate was 4%.

    Allow us to examine Ireland’s economy in terms of the following indicators, (1) trade balance, (2) trade with the United Kingdom and Germany, and (3) social indicators. In 2014, Ireland’s GDP was $246billion USD, up from $99billion in 2000.

    Ireland’s exports greatly exceed its imports. The World Bank’s WITS database reports that 2014 Irish exports totaled $118billion, whereas its imports totaled $71billion. Of the $118billion in exports, 58% is chemicals, 13% is manufactured goods, 11% is machinery, and 10% is food and live animals.

    Specifically, pharmaceuticals accounted for $29billion, organic chemicals accounted for $24billion, perfumes and cosmetics accounted for $9billion, and scientific instruments accounted for $6billion. Of the $71billion in imports, 27% is machinery, 21% is chemicals, 13% is manufactured goods, 12% is mineral fuel, and 11% is food and live animals.

    External trade with Germany has fluctuated significantly since 2000, although that with the United Kingdom appears stagnant. Irish exports to Germany have decreased by 13% whereas imports from Germany have increased by 98%. Irish exports to the United Kingdom have increased by 16.6% whereas Irish imports from the United Kingdom have increased by 61%.

    In terms of social indicators, Ireland’s armed forces personnel totals have dropped to 9,350 servicemen in 2013 from 11,500 in 2000. Dublin has increased in size since 2000 to 1.2million in 2014. Ireland’s total population in 2014 was 4.6million and its life expectancy was 81.

    Comments Off on Unemployment in Ireland, Economic Profile

    Malaysia, Growth Market for Telecommunications.

    July 30th, 2015 Suria KLCC, located between the Petronas Twin Towers. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    By: Donna Welles.

    Allow us to examine Malaysia as a potential growth market for telecommunications. In terms of its overall economic landscape, Malaysia has a GDP of $327billion USD and a population of 30million. Indonesia has a GDP of $889billion and a population of 253million. Relative growth rates since 2000 show that Indonesia’s economy has expanded by 438% whereas Malaysia’s has expanded by 249%. Australia’s GDP has expanded 250% since 2000.

    Social indicators show that people in Malaysia live to be 75 whereas in Indonesia people live to be 71. Australia’s life expectancy is more in line with that of Western Democracies, 82years. In terms of armed forces personnel totals, Indonesia has by far the largest reserve totaling 677,000, Malaysia has 134,000 soldiers, and Australia has 57,000.

    In terms of targeted marketing per the telecommunications sector, Malaysia enjoys an internet connectivity rate of 68% whereas less than 18% of Indonesians have access to the internet. Further, external trade indicators show Malaysia to be home higher quality goods than Indonesia. The countries have roughly the same imports and exports ($USD), although Malaysia’s total GDP $USD is much smaller. In 2014, Malaysian exports totaled $234billion whereas Indonesia’s totaled $176billion. Malaysian imports totaled $209billion whereas Indonesia’s totaled $178billion.

    Malaysia’s land area is a fifth the size of Indonesia, less than half a million square kilometers. Malaysia’s capital city is Kuala Lumpur, Indonesia’s is Jakarta, and Australia’s is Canberra.

    Comments Off on Malaysia, Growth Market for Telecommunications.

    Tajikistan, Regional and Eurasian Context

    July 23rd, 2015

    By Donna Welles.

     

     

    Tajik Aluminum Smelting Plant.

    The Tajik Aluminum Company (TALCO), located in Tursunzoda, Tajikistan

     

     

    Tajikistan’s population statistics are indicative of a people who move around a lot. Although Total Population and Largest City Population have increased steadily since the Fall of the Soviet Union, there is a noticeable amount of fluctuation in terms of net migration reports. In 2014, Dushanbe had a population of 800,745 and Tajikistan as a whole had a population of 8.4million. Net migration figures are reported to the World Bank every five years and the next one is expected in 2017.

    Central Asia’s geographical dimensions can perhaps be understood by Americans in terms of units Alaska. Alaska’s total land area is 1.5million km2 whereas that of Kazakhstan is 2.7million, Turkmenistan is .4million, Uzbekistan is .4million, Kyrgyz Republic is .2million, and Tajikistan is .1million. Central Asia’s climate is largely determined by elevation which increases eastward from the Caspian and Aral Seas.

    Kazakhstan has the region’s highest internet connectivity rate as well as its largest GDP, 54% in 2013 and $212billion in 2014. Kazakhstan served as the base of operations for the Soviet Space Program and does so even today as launch pads there continue to rocket Russian satellites into space.  Tajikistan’s internet connectivity rate in 2013 was roughly 1 in 4; it’s GDP was $9.2billion in 2014. Tajikistan exports aluminum and imports both chemicals and electric current. Tajik exports in 2000 totaled $692million; imports in 2000 totaled $644million.

    Life expectancy figures in the region range between 65.5 years in Turkmenistan and 70.5 years in Kazakhstan. Tajikistan has the region’s smallest armed forces pool, reporting 16,300 soldiers in 2013. Kazakhstan reported 70,500 and Uzbekistan reported 68,000. In the Eurasian context, Lithuania reported 22,000 soldiers in 2013 while Estonia and Latvia reported less than 6,000 soldiers.

     

    Comments Off on Tajikistan, Regional and Eurasian Context

    Bulgaria’s Manufacturing Base, Electrical Equipment & Clothing Apparel

    July 16th, 2015

     

     By Donna Welles.

     

    H.E. Daniel Mitov, Bulgarian Foreign Minister.

     

    Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister, H.E. Daniel Mitov, spoke this week in Washington, DC. Much of the conversation pertained to energy, specifically to natural gas and to Russia’s Gazprom. Allow us, however, to examine the Bulgarian economy in terms of its manufacturing base as well as its trading partners.

    Clothing Apparel and Electrical Equipment are Bulgaria’s major manufacturing exports; Copper is Bulgaria’s major export in terms of Non-Ferrous Metals. Notably, Clothing Apparel, Electrical Equipment, and Copper are in demand all over the world and at all times. In 2014, Bulgaria’s exports totaled $29bllion USD. Of that, Non-Ferrous Metals totaled $3billion, Electrical Equipment totaled $2billion, and Clothing Apparel totaled $2billion.

    Regionally, Bulgaria is surrounded by enviable buyers such as Hungary, Italy, and Turkey. Romania exports much more to Hungary than Bulgaria exports to Hungary. In 2014, Romanian exports to Hungary totaled $3.5billion while Bulgarian exports to Hungary totaled $395million. Italian and Turkish figures are more similar, however. To Turkey, Bulgaria exported $2.8billion in 2014. To Italy, Bulgaria exported $2.6billion in 2014. Romania exported $3.5billion and $8.2billion. Arguably, there is room for growth in terms of Bulgarian exports to each of these regional buyers.

    On the whole, both Bulgaria’s and Romania’s economies have expanded since 2010. Bulgaria’s to $56billion from $48billion and Romania’s to $199billion from $165billion. Population figures for both countries are in decline, however, resulting from both low fertility rates as well as net outflow of migration. Also, unemployment rates for both countries are concerning.

    Bulgaria’s were up to 12.9% in 2013 from 10.2% in 2010. Romania’s were a little lower, 7.3% in both years. Literacy rates in both countries are steady at 98.5% and life expectancy rates for both countries are 74.5 years.

     

    July 16, 2015

    Comments Off on Bulgaria’s Manufacturing Base, Electrical Equipment & Clothing Apparel