The Philippines: ‘Sick man of Asia’ looking a bit better

Philippines president Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III

PERMANENT sick man of Asia? Or tiger in waiting? Once Asia’s richest country save Japan but now with reasonable claims to be one of its poorest, the Philippines confounds. Progress in the Philippines can be measured in unexpected ways. The first time I arrived in Manila, the Marcos kleptocracy was … read more >>

India: Hunt for next top Tata man seems an inside job

IN AN aspirational and caste-ridden society, corporate India intrigues at the best of times. Perhaps it’s the lopsided wealth of its business titans who present as both hope and fantasy for the 50 per cent of India’s billion-plus population who somehow struggle by on 50¢ a day. The lavish lifestyles … read more >>

Avoiding the grip of Singapore Inc

The island state’s government-owned corporations need us more than we need them, writes Eric Ellis. Yet we all know national interest goes both ways. ”A MISSED opportunity for both sides,” or so claimed the Singapore government’s quasi-official mouthpiece, The Straits Times, yesterday after the shock of Treasurer Wayne Swan’s knockback of Singapore … read more >>

With Tamil Tigers slain, booming Sri Lanka makes up for lost time

What to call the emerging Sri Lanka? The country seems like a construction zone, with ports, highways and airports sprouting and former rebel strongholds blossoming, writes Eric Ellis in Colombo. SO TINY Sri Lanka has made it to today’s Cricket World Cup final, to face mighty India in Mumbai in … read more >>

Egypt’s reluctant finance minister gets to work

Samir Radwan was a surprise choice as Egypt’s new finance minister, even to himself. Appointed at the height of the chaos, the retired economist is working hard to sustain Egypt’s finances and economy through a period of extraordinary upheaval. Eric Ellis joins him in Cairo IN EGYPT’S chaotic last days … read more >>