Around the world: High profile violence/Vodafone in Madrid/mining approval delays/busy Pacific Beat/Greek sell-off


World 01News and views from around the world

Lowy on high profile violence

Writing on The Lowy Institute’s Interpreter blog, Donald Gumbis, a lecturer in political science at the University of Goroka, notes how the recent wave of VIP visitors to Papua New Guinea has coincided with a spate of high profile violence in the country.

While ‘these visits help to reinforce Papua New Guinea’s growing regional and international significance’, he urges the PNG Government to ‘take advantage of international interest to leverage domestic political support for decisive action [to promote] a safe, just and secure society.’   

Madrid’s Vodafone met-work

The announcement that Vodafone will enter the PNG/Solomons market has been met with lots of jokes about ‘painting the town red … again’. But it seems Vodafone might try to go one better, judging by its recent rebranding of Madrid’s entire metro system, which includes renaming the bustling central Sol station, ‘Sol Vodafone’.

PNG’s mining delays rankle

According to Behre Dolbear’s new rankings, PNG lies in equal last place in the world for the time it takes to bring a new mine online.  Is that verdict merited or is PNG being downgraded due to negative international perceptions? Whatever the real issue, such coverage is liable to deter potential investors.

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Gold rush

No sooner had gold experienced its biggest one-day price drop in 30 years, than jewelry stores in China were being besieged by panic buyers. They must have read this reassuring analysis from the UK’s ETF Securities:

The longer term fundamentals for gold remain strong and ultimately should re-assert themselves once cyclical and technical factors move again in gold’s favour.

Pacific Beat 1-2-3

Radio Australia’s ‘Pacific Beat’ program has had a busy week, with interviews including:

  1. Outgoing BSP CEO Ian Clyne about his five years at the bank.
  2. Outgoing Bemobile Chairman (and CEO of the Kina Group) Syd Yates about the Vodafone-Bemobile deal.
  3. Frederic Dhie, the head of a newly-created organisation Oceania 21, on promoting sustainable development in the Pacific Islands.

Fire sale of Greek assets

The UK’s Telegraph reports on a fire sale of national assets of frightening proportions in beleaguered Greece, as the country tries desperately to balance its books. As islands, beaches and palaces go on the block, the only consolation is that foreign buyers will not be able to take their new assets home with them.