Economics and Country Risk Conference

Monday, Sep 26, 2016

    • 12:45 pmRegistration
    • 1:30 pmOpening Remarks

      Zbyszko Tabernacki, Senior Vice President, Economics and Country Risk

    • 1:35 pmSmooth Sailing or Turmoil? Assessing Risks to the Economic Outlook Amidst Increased Political Uncertainty

      Political uncertainty is at an especially high level, and there are more questions than answers. What does Brexit mean for the future of the European Union? What types of policies will the next US president implement? How serious is the backlash against globalization? Could China become a source of further financial instability globally and geopolitical instability in Asia? In each case, the outcome could have profound implications for growth rates and currencies in the global economy.

      Nariman Behravesh, Chief Economist, IHS Markit

    • 2:45 pmUS Presidential Elections: What Are the Likely Impacts on the Economy and Foreign Policy?

      The 2016 presidential election has been one of the most unusual in recent history. Based on statements by the candidates and the party platforms presented at the Democratic and Republican conventions, the policy outlook is also highly uncertain. What type of tax and spending plans are likely to be enacted? Will the next president push for more free trade accords or abrogate existing ones? Will there be a dramatic shift in foreign policy? This session will address these imponderables.


      David Wessel, Director, Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy, Brookings Institution
      Nariman Behravesh, Chief Economist, IHS Markit
    • 3:45 pmCoffee Break
    • 4:00 pmGlobalization: How Serious is the Retreat from it?

      There are ample reasons to be concerned about a retreat from globalization: Brexit, comments by US presidential candidates that show hostility towards free trade and immigration, and the rising popularity of nationalist parties in Europe. Is this a passing phase in the ebb and flow of support for globalization, or is it something more serious? And what can be done to increase the support for a more integrated global economy? This session will address the seriousness of the current retreat from globalization.

      Greg Ip, Chief Economics Commentator, The Wall Street Journal
      Nariman Behravesh, Chief Economist, IHS Markit

    • 5:00 pmNetworking Reception

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016

    • 7:30 amRegistration and Continental Breakfast
    • 8:30 amOpening Remarks

      Zbyszko Tabernacki, Senior Vice President, Economics and Country Risk

    • 8:35 amAt the Crossroads: Where is China Headed on Overcapacity and Economic Reforms?

      China's economy has continued to struggle. Economic reforms have stalled, and Beijing's ability to manage the economy is in question. President Xi Jinping's strongman leadership style also casts doubts on reforms of China's political system, which is increasingly at odds with China's growing middle class. This session will examine how these issues will impact China's near- and long-term prospects.


      Todd Lee, Senior Director, Economics
      Nicholas R. Lardy, Anthony M. Solomon Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics

    • 9:35 amAfter China: In Search of the Next Big Opportunities

      As China struggles with excess industrial capacity and debt, businesses are looking for the next big opportunities for global expansion. Which markets will generate robust growth in domestic demand and globally competitive production with manageable risks? A review of global sector earnings potential will identify which sectors in key regions are attractive for investment.

      Moderator: Sara Johnson, CBE, Senior Research Director, Economics

      Farid Abolfathi, Senior Director, Risk Center, IHS Markit
      Michael Ryan, Principal Economist, World Industry Service, Economics

    • 10:30 amCoffee Break
    • 10:45 amPolitical and Economic Outlook: How Is Russia Handling Low Oil Prices and Sanctions?

      The plunge in the price of oil and economic and financial sanctions by the United States and the European Union have been highly problematic for Russian consumers, enterprises, and the government. Additionally, given a weakened ruble, stubborn inflation, tight credit conditions, and a sharp reduction in state revenues, the country is in the second year of recession. Is the economy adapting to the new conditions, and how will the government finance its anti-crisis measures, social programs, and defense initiatives amid the resource constraints? Will these difficulties elicit social unrest and erode support for the ruling party? What are the results of the parliamentary elections held on 18 September 2016? Will they contribute to political stability in Russia?

      Charles Movit, Senior Manager, Economics
      Thane Gustafson, Senior Director, Energy
      Alex Melikishvili, Senior Analyst, Country Risk

    • 11:45 amSub-Saharan Africa: Opportunity and Risk from a Sector Perspective

      Sub-Saharan Africa is contending with a number of adverse factors, from internal threats, such as political instability and civil conflict, to external pressures, such as El Niño, increased volatility in commodity prices, and an economic slowdown in China. IHS Markit forecasts that GDP growth for the region will slow to around 3.6% in 2016–20 from 5.7% in 2006–10 and 4.2% in 2011–15; however, growth trends are diverging as various countries and sectors show resilience. This session will consider key growth sectors and examine how to manage risks in these more fragile environments to minimise unexpected losses.

      Natznet Tesfay, Director, Africa Analysis, Economics and Country Risk
      Alexia Ash, Senior Consultant, Industry Consulting, Economics and Country Risk
      Rafael Docavo-Malvezzi, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Risk for Political Risk & Trade Credit Insurance, XL Catlin

    • 12:30 pmLunch
    • 1:30 pmEurope: Can Political Challenges Derail European Economic Recovery?

      Several countries in Europe will be facing general elections next year during a particularly challenging economic time. The UK exit vote, the migrants crisis, threats from terrorism, pervasive debt problems, and banking crisis fears continue to undermine confidence throughout the region, challenging the vision of the European Union's founders and facilitating the rise of extremist parties. Could changes in monetary or fiscal policy put European economies back on track? Is the ECB's monetary policy working? Does the Eurozone still have a problem with its banking sector? How much progress has been achieved in the public sector, and can a pause be envisaged? What will the Brexit vote change?

      Elisabeth Waelbroeck-Rocha, Chief International Economist, Economics

    • 2:30 pmMiddle East: Proxy Wars and Shifting Geopolitical Landscape

      The regional proxy conflicts between Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Russia have contributed to the rise of the Islamic State and groups with similar ideologies. It is important to examine the potential escalation and de-escalation pathways, such as potential game changers, including Israeli involvement and the possibility of regime changes.

      Firas Abi Ali, Senior Principal Analyst, MENA, Country Risk
      Bhushan Bahree, Senior Director, Energy

    • 3:30 pmCoffee Break
    • 3:45 pmLatin America: How Will Political Change Affect the Outlook for Key Regional Markets in 2017 and Beyond?

      Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela are struggling with political upheaval in a challenging context of depressed commodity prices and economic recession. This is compounded by high inflation, growing unemployment, and social unrest. In Brazil and Venezuela, political instability has taken a toll on the economy via a deteriorating business environment. By contrast, in Argentina, a pro-business new government appears to be implementing the policies required for economic revival. How will the political dynamics impact these countries, and what does this mean for their economic growth and FDI path in the next two years? Additionally, we will discuss Mexico, which has maintained sound macroeconomic fundamentals and passed key structural reforms, but still struggles to achieve robust economic growth, as operational and security risks remain high.

      Rafael Amiel, Director, Economics
      Carlos Caicedo, Senior Principal Analyst, Country Risk Analysis and Forecasting

    • 4:45 pmClosing Remarks

      Zbyszko Tabernacki, Senior Vice President, Economics and Country Risk


      * Agenda Subject to Change.

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