The once very strong Indo-Russian relationship has more recently been reduced as India’s economy and technical base have grown and, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India began to turn away from Russia and increasingly towards the United States, France and Israel as its primary defence suppliers. Subsequent changes in the international order have helped to reinvigorate the relationship.
Weaknesses in the Indonesian tourism industry identified by the World Economic Forum are being addressed by the government and noticeable improvements should be seen by 2019.
China has promised Pakistan that it will fund the construction of five dams that will form the North Indus River Cascade. The project, however, is primarily aimed at countering Indian dam projects and highlights Pakistan’s willingness to sacrifice its food and water security to do so.
A new government directive that black ownership of mining companies be increased from 26 per cent to 30 per cent may be economically counterproductive if it ends up reducing the ability of the government to fund transformative policy programmes or to provide much-needed basic services.
The wealth of biodiversity below ground is vast and unappreciated: millions of microorganisms live and reproduce in a few grams of topsoil and these organisms are critical to soil health and fertility. Soil biological fertility is, however, the least well-understood soil fertility component. Soil microorganisms also play essential roles in the nutrient cycles that are fundamental to life on the planet. A better understanding of soil microbiology is essential if agricultural production is to sustainably meet the needs of a growing world population.