"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075. Published since July 1957.


 "Asia and Africa today" № 2 2017



Azia&Afrika 02-2017


 Top Problem

INFORMATION WARFARE BETWEEN THE U.S. AND THE ISIL IN SOCIAL MEDIA: WHO IS WINNING? by N.A.Tsvetkova, Dr.Sc. (History), St. Petersburg State University
Keywords: propaganda, public diplomacy, Internet, digital diplomacy, USA, ISIL
The paper discusses the information war unfolded between the United States and the ISIL (terrorist organization forbidden in Russia) during the period of
2013-2016. The ISIL attracted a lot of followers and recruited new members from Europe via social media. Eliminating the accounts of the ISIL and its followers within Google, Facebook, and Twitter, Washington has just started winning the jihadist messages. However, this approach will not bring an eventual victory over the ISIL’s propaganda. The alternative social media available around the world and uncontrolled by the United States encourage the ISIL in disseminating its messages in Europe, Africa, Middle East, and etc.


 Policy, Economy

FATE OF THE WTO: CRISIS OR FAILURE? by I.T.Kofanov, PhD (Economics), A.A.Tkachenko, PhD (Economics), Institute for African Studies, RAS
Keywords: GATT, WTO, Doha Round, the key actors in WTO, regional megablocks
Many WTO members are talking about his «unfinished nature» and the need for further improvement of the trading system. They managed to agree on a very wide-ranging and ambitious targets for the agenda of the new round of negotiations, which started in the course of the 4th Ministerial Conference, held in November 2001 in Qatar.
The goal of the new round of negotiations is to continue improvement of WTO rules and mechanisms, and further removal of trade barriers. The talks will take place in two main directions: reciprocal liberalization in market access and improved rules of trade. Special attention was paid to the needs of developing and least developed countries.


THAILAND - CHALLENGED BY MILITARY POWER by N.G.Rogozhina, Dr.Sc. (Political Science), Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, RAS
Keywords: Thailand, military coup d’etat, military regime, parliamentary democracy, illegal migration, human trafficking, terrorism
The article analyses the key political and socio- economic problems of the contemporary development of Thailand which is currently powered by military. The author investigates the roots of coup d’etat undertaken by them in May 2014. It was caused by deep confrontation of political forces which is due to remain in latent form up to-day in spite of the fact that military have established a strict police regime in the country.
The article examines the main directions of internal and foreign policy conducted by the military regime aimed at strengthening its socio-economic and political basis of power. In its foreign policy Thailand has been turning to China, what can be explained by its intention to find new strategic partner when relations with the USA have been cooling and by its pragmatic economic interests priority of which is rising while the economic situation is worsening. This can result in credibility gap of regime planning to stay until mid 2017.
The author concludes that the promise of the military to hold general elections and return to democracy in the country in due time may not be fulfilled taking into account their intention to keep power as long as possible and ambitions of leadership. Political situation may become more complicated in case of death of monarch who embodies the stability of political system in Thailand. The military may seize the opportunity of increasing instability as the pretext to strengthen their position to which they are preparing by designing new constitution restricting the democratic ground for public administration. The return of Thailand to democracy seems illusory.


EXPANSION OF CHINESE CAPITAL by E.Ya.Arapova, PhD (Economics), Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University)
Keywords: China, foreign direct investment, mergers and acquisitions, technology, infrastructure
Last two or three years, the authorities of developed countries in various regions of the world are increasingly expressing concern about the growing investment activity of Chinese companies abroad. In April 2016 the head of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and the head of the Expert Council under the Government of Peter Jennings announced the need for a more balanced approach to the issue of the admission of Chinese investors into strategically important infrastructure projects, considering not only the economic feasibility of attracting investment in the short term but also the potential long-term consequences for national security positions.


INVESTMENT CLIMATE IN ASIAN COUNT- RIES by V.G.Kandalintsev, PhD (Economics), Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS
Keywords: investment climate, foreign direct investment, FDI attraction strategy, management cycle for investment climate
Investment climate forms the core of the strategy of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the economies of Asia. The article suggests the model of investment climate, consisting of ten components and allowing to assess its overall level of favorability. This level is correlated with FDI inflow in the ten largest by volume of FDI countries in Asia. Further, the concept of the strategy of FDI attraction is under consideration. The strategy is visualized on the strategy map as a tree of strategic objectives.
The author also describes the management cycle for investment climate. The cycle includes six stages and can be used as a methodological solution for developing specific management practices relating to investment climate. In the final part of the article, the experience of Vietnam to improve investment climate and increase FDI inflows is discussed.


Keywords: GCC, structural changes, diversification, structure of the economy
The article studies dynamics and structure of the national economy of the GCC for 1970-2014. On the basis of statistical analysis, the author found that in the region there were marked structural changes, in particular, the reduction in the GDP share of primary sector and increase in manufacturing and particularly services. At the same time, in this process there are still restrictions. According to the author, the ongoing process of diversification has growing importance for countries in the region. The author suggests a number of practical considerations and appropriate measures for the formation of a more rational economic structure.


ISLAMIC FINANCE OF MALAYSIA by I.A.Zaripov, PhD (Economics), Master of Islamic Finance Practice, Managing Executive Board Adviser of Banking Group ZENIT, the Member of RAEIF Coordination Council, Member of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation Working Group on partnership banking, Plekhanov Russian Economic University
Keywords: Malaysia, dual financial system, Islamic financial principles, Islamic finance flagship, example for other countries
The article is devoted to history of Malaysian financial system establishment representing the unique dual structure consisting of a combination of traditional and Islamic financial institutions in banking, insurance system and stock market. In Malaysia, first Islamic Banking Act was adopted in 1983 that supported formatting the full-fledged financial system based on interrelation and the fair and transparent competition of two financial models - traditional and Islamic.
The author shows a significant role of state authorities (the Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission of Malaysia), in formation, regulation and development of Islamic financial sector and supervise of integrity of the national financial system. In brief, Islamic finance and Islamic financial products’ basic features are provided. Now Malaysia, being the global prominent leader in Islamic stock markets, in banking and takaful systems, continues to set ambitious tasks and to solve them, setting an example of good practice to other countries, like Russia, on the way of dual financial system development.


MOZAMBIQUE: DEMOGRAPHIC RISKS AND THREATS TO DEVELOPMENT by J.V.Zinkina, PhD (History), Institute for African Studies, RAS; Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration
Keywords: Mozambique, East Africa, demography, fertility, population growth, demographic forecast
The paper presents a population and age-sex structure forecast based on the medium UN scenario but taking into account the real fertility dynamics of the recent years. The results show that if fertility decline does not accelerate dramatically, Mozambique may reach the level of population of Russia by the end of the century. Moreover, the inertial scenario of demographic development bears serious strain upon the social infrastructure, systems of education and healthcare, and the development prospects of the country in general. Thus, the upcoming demographic explosion is a very acute problem for Mozambique and requires concentrated measures targeted at the acceleration of the fertility decline.


THE POOR MAN WHO HELPED MILLIONS OF DESTITUTE by A.A.Suvorova, Dr.Sc. (Philology), Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS
Keywords: Pakistan, charity, the International Lenin Peace Prize, conspiracy theories, contemporary saint
The article is dedicated to the memory of Abdul Sattar Edhi (1928-2016), a Pakistani philanthropist, social worker, and humanitarian who founded the Edhi Foundation which runs hospitals, homeless shelters, rehab centers, and orphanages across Pakistan. Edhi’s charitable and humanitarian activities have been recognized world-wide and he received many international awards including the International Lenin Peace Prize. He is known as “Angel of Mercy” and is considered as Pakistan’s most respected and legendary figure.


FOOD AND FOOD SECURITUY IN INDIA by V.P.Kashin, PhD (History), Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS
Keywords: India, food, Public distribution system, National Food Security Act
The author analyzes the situation in India connected with the provision of the population with food. The present Public distribution system coverages 75% of the rural and 50% of the urban population. The National Food Security Act 2013, which was initiated by the Indian National Congress (INC), does not solve the problem of poverty and malnutrition. In most states it officially began after the Parliament election 2014 and could not help the INC win.


SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA AND «MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS» by V.V.Gribanova, PhD (History), Institute for African Studies, RAS
Keywords: United Nations Development Programme, countries in sub-Saharan Africa, education, gender equality
The article gives a brief overview of the main achievements in the field of development after the completion of one of the most ambitious programs of the UN colled «Millennium Development Goals» (MDGs), adopted in 2000 and ended in 2015.
The achievements and shortcomings in the education sector during the execution and completion of the MDGs are analyzed, both in to developing countries covered by the action program as a whole, and specifically in the sub-region of Africa South of the Sahara. In conclusion a new UN program for the 2015-2030 biennium. «17 sustainable development goals» (SDGs) is presented.


 From Our Staff Correspondent

ETHIOPIA: FLORICULTURE INDUSTRY by V.P.Nemchenko, our Staff correspondent in Ethiopia
Keywords: Ethiopia, Kenya, floriculture
It’s impossible to imagine Addis Ababa without flowers. No national or religious holidays, living alone a wedding or a birthday party get along without flowers. Very often one can see people going along the streets with elegant bouquets.
It’s not surprising, Ethiopian’s love for bright colors and beauty has led to the rapid development of the country’s floriculture industry.


 Post-Graduate Column

AFRICA - AUSTRALIA: MIGRATION IN THE CONDITIONS OF MULTICULTURALISM by S.I.Poruchikov, post-graduate student, Derzhavin Tambov State University
Keywords: skilled migration, Australia, Africa, multiculturalism
The article considers the processes of skilled immigration from African states to Australia. By reviewing the current political, economic and socio- cultural situation on both continents, the author gives analyses of the causes and characteristics of movement and integration of educated and skilled Africans in the Australian society.
To illustrate the problem, the statistics of national, educational and professional composition of African migrants is used. Author also reviews the measures taken by Australian government to prevent the discrimination and racism in the country. In addition, analysis of the major difficulties impeding the realization of the official intergovernmental initiatives, together with the final assessment of the prospects for the further deepening of the Australian-African cooperation in related spheres is given.


 Culture, Literature, Art

Keywords: photographer Vanesyan, Aleppo, photo pictures exhibition
An exhibition of works by Syrian photographer Vanesyan made him in Aleppo was hold in the Moscow State Museum of Oriental Art. The photo pictures show the destruction of the ancient Syrian city, whose name is now in the hearing of the whole world. These pictures indicate also the fate of people who are forced to survive in inhuman conditions.


AT INTERSECTION TWO POETIC WORLDS: NAZIM AND FAIZ by L.A.Vasilyeva, PhD (Philology), Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS
Keywords: Nazim Hikmet, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, essay by Faiz, perception of the world, poetry, poems, impact, selection, translation
The article focuses on creative cooperation of Turk Nazim Hikmet and Pakistani Faiz Ahmad Faiz, the two outstanding poets of the XX c. Mentioned in the article is Faiz’s little-known essay about Nazim Hikmet in which he speaks about their meetings in Moscow and recognizes the influence of Nazim’s personality and poetry on him.


* Summary