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Today In The World

Dated: 26 Nov 2013
Posted by Thomas McIntyre
Categoiry: Autonomy, New Markets, Technology
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VMI 2013 General Industry Banner

The Top Line

French Government Spending: While having a young workforce is seen as a tool for boosting industrial output and revitalizing an economy, financing the expansion of the necessary infrastructure to nurture this demographic is a key variable that governments should not overlook.  France, who boasts one of the highest birthrates in the EU, is increasingly struggling to pay for the costs of their baby surge due to deficit ridden budgets.  Indeed, welfare spending (including programs for youth, the unemployed, and elderly) is set to reach 31.7% of GDP, the highest ratio among OECD countries.   With low growth and massive entitlements, expect their central government to do more with less while continuing to spend beyond their means.   

China’s Stealth Drone: The Chinese military conducted a test flight of its Lijian stealth drone, also known as “Sharp Sword”, last Thursday.  Designed by the Shenyang Aircraft Design Institute and built by Hongdu Aviation Industry Group, China now joins the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Russia in an elite group of countries that are making stealth drones.  Coincidentally, Sharp Sword’s design bears a close resemblance to the design of the X-47B drone currently being developed by Northrop Grumman.

Hydropower: With IEA forecasting that from 2010 to 2035, hydropower generation is expected to expand by two-thirds while maintaining a roughly 15% share of the world’s electricity supply, environmentalists, non-profits, and organizations like the World Bank are now advocating for expansion of this energy source, as sustainable methods can be applied in order to mitigate damage to the local environment.  Indeed, even private equity firms such as Blackstone, best known for corporate takeovers, are moving into the space as evidenced by the firm pursuing dam projects in Uganda, Tanzania and along Rwanda’s border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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