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19th June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the nations of China and India have made arrangements to resume military exchanges. In order to provide further insight to the reader it may be best to quote directly from the Associated Press on the official website of Yahoo, Yahoo.com:

BEIJING – An Indian general led a delegation to Beijing on Sunday as the two countries moved to resume exchanges between their militaries after a yearlong freeze. Maj. Gen. Gurmeet Singh and seven accompanying officers arrived in Beijing on Sunday for a weeklong visit that will also include meetings with Chinese counterparts and stops in the business and shipping hub of Shanghai and the far-northwestern territory of Xinjiang. Such exchanges were suspended by India last year in protest over China’s decision to issue visas to Indians from disputed Kashmir in the form of a document stapled into their passports rather than a stamp. The decision appeared to question the legitimacy of Indian rule in Kashmir and was considered a concession to Pakistan, India’s arch rival with which China maintains close ties…

Readers are encouraged to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this story in full.

It is not difficult to infer that a resumption of military exchanges between China and India could have ramifications for virtually all countries around the world, at least to some degree. This is certainly important information for those who live in either India or China. The same could also be said for those living in Greater Asia as the resumption of military exchanges could have an impact upon the geopolitics of the whole continent. Meanwhile, those living in one of the jurisdictions which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are prudent to note these developments as both of these countries are likely to be increasingly important trading partners with that organization in the future. Furthermore, it should be noted that China and India are currently associated with the so-called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) grouping of countries which many consider to be of increasing importance on the world stage.

With ASEAN in mind, the reader should note that China and India are not the only jurisdictions that are engaging in military exchanges as it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Navy is conducting a naval exercise in conjunction with some of the ASEAN member states. To quote directly from an article written by Gilbert P. Felongco and posted on the official website of GulfNews.com:

Manila: The US Navy is conducting a naval exercise with its forces from the five member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) amid rising tensions in the troubled South China Sea. Dubbed the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (Seacat) 2011, the drills were launched last Tuesday in the Malacca Strait, Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea and will run until Friday…The drills will focus on real-time information exchange, coordinated surveillance operations, tracking, and eventual conduct of visit, board, search and seizure operation, he said…

Those reading this web log are strongly encouraged to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to learn more on this developing story.

The United States Armed Forces have been known to conduct exercises in many places and it would appear that the exercise noted above is designed to coordinate efforts between ASEAN members and the United States. Readers in the Kingdom of Thailand may note that the United States routinely works with the Thai military in undertaking exercises such as Operation Cobra Gold. Hopefully all such endeavors will accrue to the benefit of all concerned in the USA, Thailand, ASEAN, China, India, and Greater Asia.

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13th April 2011

Those who have been reading this blog with any degree of regularity may have noticed that the economies, polities, and geopolitics of the world are in something of a state flux. This is not to say that this is either a positive or negative thing as such events occur from time to time. Therefore, astute followers of such events must be careful about making rigid predictions about how such matters will play out in the future. That being stated, it has recently come to this blogger’s attention that representatives from the so-called BRICS countries (an acronym denoting Brazil, Russia, India, China, and, now apparently, South Africa) are  having a summit. To quote directly from a concisely written article by, On Wednesday April 13, 2011, 5:37 am EDT as posted on Yahoo.com:

SANYA, China (AP) — The leaders of the world’s largest emerging economies gather this week in southern China for what could be a watershed moment in their quest for a bigger say in the global financial architecture.

Thursday’s summit comes at a crucial moment for the expanded five-member bloc known as the BRICS, which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China, and, for the first time, South Africa.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and South African President Jacob Zuma will attend.

With the G-20 group of major economies seeking to remake parts of the global financial architecture, it’s time for the BRICS to test whether they can overcome internal differences and act as a bloc pursuing common interests.

The ramifications of this meeting could prove historic as the countries noted above, along with those that comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), appear on track to become increasingly economically dynamic in the forthcoming years.     While reading this article, this blogger was especially impressed by this writer’s insightful analysis of the characteristics of the BRICS countries. To continue quoting directly from the aforementioned article:

The five countries are loosely joined by their common status as major fast-growing economies that have been traditionally underrepresented in world economic bodies, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

All broadly support free trade and oppose protectionism, although China in particular has been accused of erecting barriers to foreign competition. In foreign affairs, they tend toward nonintervention and oppose the use of force: Of the five, only South Africa voted in favor of the Libyan no-fly zone.

At the time of this writing, the summit noted above would appear to be geared mainly toward economic matters or matters pertaining to the economic realm, but how increasing ties among these nations could impact affairs playing out in the international political arena remains to be seen.

On a related note, Stock Exchanges in some of the Nations which compose the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Thailand, have recently announced collaborations apparently referred to as ASEAN Brand Identity, an ASEAN Exchanges website, and ASEAN Stars. In following up on that story it would appear that the ASEAN Exchanges website is now live, to quote directly from the website AsiaToday.com:

Launched today was the ASEAN Exchanges website (www.aseanexchanges.org) that will feature the ASEAN Stars and other ASEAN centric products and initiatives giving investors an integrated single-window view into the ASEAN capital market; a market that has a combined market capitalisation of approximately USD1.8 trillion and participation of more than 3,000 companies. Some of these companies are the largest and most dynamic companies in the world including leaders in finance and banking, telecommunications, commodities, automotive manufacturing and other industrial sectors.

The administration of this blog highly recommends that readers click upon the hyperlinks above to learn more details about these issues and the various exchanges within the ASEAN region as the whole Southeast Asia area is quickly becoming a vibrant economic force both on a regional and global level.

Meanwhile, it should be noted that the nation of Laos has recently brought a Lao stock exchange online while Cambodia appears poised to take the same steps soon. Even the developing Union of Myanmar (referred to by some as Burma) has signaled interest in the opening of a Myanmar stock exchange. Whether such a development comes to pass remains to be seen. What is clear is that economic relationships are becoming increasingly stratified as economically dictated by the interests of the players in each of the markets of the world. Those interested in such matters are highly encouraged to conduct their own research and come to their own informed conclusions.

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