Wednesday 14 October 2015 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Wednesday. 14/10/2015

The Monocle Minute

Image: Getty Images

Liberal leadership?

With just six days to go until election day in Canada, the Liberal party may be poised to stage a rather remarkable comeback. After struggling throughout, the Liberals clocked in at almost seven points ahead of their Conservative rivals in the latest poll. “The Liberal party is doing something totally, starkly different from everybody else,” says Rosemary Barton, host of Power and Politics on CBC television, highlighting the Liberals’ proposal to dramatically increase public borrowing. “They believe there’s a deficiency of growth in this country; most projections have it at about 1 per cent for the rest of this year and [for the Liberals] that’s not enough.” Borrowing to grow may be a gamble for an economy in recession but when it comes to voters, it seems to be paying off.

Image: Reuters

Thai revival

The past decade has not been kind to Thailand. The kingdom has weathered more coups than any other country since 1932 and this has taken its toll on the economy. Today, deputy prime minister HE Somkid Jatusripitak – alongside the finance, transport, industry and information ministers – will present Thailand’s national economic strategy to thousands of people as part of the Bangkok Post Forum. “Thailand’s export structure has not changed for the past 20 to 30 years,” says Pichai Chuensuksawadi, editor of the Bangkok Post, who is moderating the conversation. But he notes that there are significant schemes in the pipeline. “The government is planning major rail projects in partnership with both the Chinese and Japanese governments, aimed at enhancing the country’s central role in the Asean Economic Community. It’s also promoting new and high-technology investment clusters to attract foreign investment.”

Image: Julian Nitzsche

Booming Bosnia

Gulf travellers tend to escape the punishing summer heat by taking to altitude, whether that’s a Swiss retreat or an alpine bolthole in Zell am See. But Bosnia could soon be an alternative mountainous escape for the Middle East. Dubai-based property developer Buroj plans to invest €4.2bn in a luxury resort in Trnovo, close to Sarajevo, with the intention of create “the largest tourist city in southeastern Europe”. The region has struggled to attract foreign investment since the war ended in 1995 but it’s been quietly upping its influx of tourists over the past few years. Increasingly those visitors are from the Middle East, attracted by a crisp climate, primarily Muslim population and several new routes into Sarajevo International.

Image: Shepard4711

Worth the wait?

The delayed opening of the M+ visual-arts museum in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) has prompted executive director Lars Nittve to announce that he will step down when his contract expires in January 2016. Nittve’s departure follows those of curator Tobias Berger and CEO Michael Lynch, all of them having joined in 2011. Construction of the Herzog & de Meuron-designed building, now slated to open in 2019, began in February. Long delays have struck a number of Hong Kong’s flagship infrastructure projects this year, including the bridge to Macau and the high-speed rail link with Beijing. The hold-ups are not helpful: this retail-driven economy, already suffering from falling visitor numbers, could use a few more reasons for tourists to make the trip.

Image: Stefan Ruiz

Daniel Libeskind on building memorials

Daniel Libeskind, whose work includes Berlin’s Jewish Museum and the masterplan reconstruction for the World Trade Center site, talks about the art and architecture of memory.

UN Security Council

The UN Security Council is the iconic roundtable heart of diplomacy that decides when to act on some of the globe’s most pressing issues. But is the historic body still fit for purpose? We pay a visit to its HQ to find out.


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