Archive for the ‘countries’ Category

Global Financial Crisis May Fuel Instability and Weaken U.S. Defenses

November 15, 2008

Intelligence officials are warning that the deepening global financial crisis could weaken fragile governments in the world’s most dangerous areas and undermine the ability of the United States and its allies to respond to a new wave of security threats. 

By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer

U.S. government officials and private analysts say the economic turmoil has heightened the short-term risk of a terrorist attack, as radical groups probe for weakening border protections and new gaps in defenses. A protracted financial crisis could threaten the survival of friendly regimes from Pakistan to the Middle East while forcing Western nations to cut spending on defense, intelligence and foreign aid, the sources said.

The crisis could also accelerate the shift to a more Asia-centric globe, as rising powers such as China gain more leverage over international financial institutions and greater influence in world capitals.

Some of the more troubling and immediate scenarios analysts are weighing involve nuclear-armed Pakistan, which already was being battered by inflation and unemployment before the global financial tsunami hit. Since September, Pakistan has seen its national currency devalued and its hard-currency reserves nearly wiped out.

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Vietnam seeks diversified export

October 18, 2008

By Han Qiao Xinhua
Manila Sunday Times

HANOI: Vietnam, depending on the U.S. and European Union (EU) markets for more than one third of its exports, is beginning to tap more potential markets in the wake of the U.S. financial crisis and possible economic downturn in the United States and some European countries.

A farmer works on a paddy field in Vietnam's northern Bac ... 
A farmer works on a paddy field in Vietnam’s northern Bac Ninh province, 40 km (25 miles) north of Hanoi October 11, 2008.REUTERS/Kham (VIETNAM)

The export turnover of Vietnam is expected to reach 65 billion U.S. dollars this year, a leap of 33.9 percent over 2007 and the biggest increase in the past decade, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told a National Assembly session this week.

The impressive figure, on one hand, was thanks to rising international prices, especially in the first seven months of this year, of Vietnam’s major export items, like crude oil, coal, rice and coffee, said experts here. On the other hand, it was an achievement of the Vietnamese government’s huge efforts to boost exports.

But experts also warned that some Vietnamese export items, like coffee and garments, were depending too much on the U.S. and EU market, and it is likely to be hurt badly if no changes on export strategy is made.

Figures from the General Statistics Office of Vietnam showed that in the first nine months this year, the United States remained the biggest export market for Vietnam. Export value to the U.S. market stood at 8.5 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 17.4 percent of the total. It was followed by export to the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) with 17.2 percent, EU 16 percent, Australia 7.2 percent, and China 6.7 percent.

Exports to the United States and EU, however, have already showed….

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