The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Tuesday 10 November 2015

Image: Australian Associated Press

Relationship repairs

Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull travels to Indonesia this week hoping to cool diplomatic tensions and talk trade. The two countries’ relationship suffered earlier this year following the Bali executions of Aussie drug smugglers, yet Turnbull hopes to rebuild the connection through positive trade developments. “There is a lot that Australian companies can do in Indonesia – maintain fisheries, help to better manage the catch and help protect Indonesian borders,” says Greg Earl, Asia-Pacific editor for the Australian Financial Review. He says a Tasmanian firm, Incat, is already discussing a boat-building joint venture with Indonesia, an archipelago nation that loses billions annually due to illegal fishing and poor maritime infrastructure. “What they really need right now is boats that don’t sink.”

Image: Getty Images

Done drone deal?

After the slow start to the Dubai Airshow on Sunday, with not a single order for new passenger jets on opening day, manufacturers are grappling with the shift from the frenzied purchases of Gulf carriers in recent years. Many had hoped that the rollback of sanctions on Iran would mean the country would splash out as part of a major upgrade of its ageing fleet. That hasn’t happened but Iran is making itself felt at the airshow in other ways. There’s currently an arms build-up taking place on both sides of the Gulf and this year’s show has an emphasis on reconnaissance: drones will feature in the flying display for the first time and Boeing is pushing its maritime surveillance aircraft to the Gulf Co-operation Council market.

Image: Courtesy of the Mall of Scandinavia

Bulk buying

The launch of the Mall of Scandinavia, a shopping centre just outside Stockholm, takes place this week. Built by retail giant Unibail-Rodamco, the centre represents an investment of €640m. Covering 101,000 sq m, it is the largest in Scandinavia and was designed by Swedish architecture firm Wingardhs (the practice behind the Emporia shopping centre in Malmo). Ahead of the launch the Paris-headquartered Unibail-Rodamco secured a leasing deal with one of the country’s biggest retailers, H&M Group. This means three of the group’s brands – H&M, Cos and & Other Stories – will take over 5,500 sq m of space. Non-chain retailers will also be given room in The Designer Gallery, a concept space curated by editor Maria Wahlberg that will be rented out to younger designers and seasonal pop-ups.

Image: Antonio Tajuelo

Booked up

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s success in winning parliamentary approval for two security bills in September despite public opposition has given the publishing industry a rare gift: a hot topic. Publishers have been rushing out new titles and reprints about democracy, freedom and national security, hoping to cash in. Titles such as This is What Democracy Looks Like, Shakai Wo Kaeruniha (How to Change Society) and Bokura No Minshushugi Nandaze (Hey, it’s our Democracy) have proven so popular that Maruzen, Junkudo and other major bookseller chains in Tokyo and Osaka have set up special displays to attract consumers. A few shops, however, have been hit by criticism that their shelves are heavily biased against the government.

From Monocle 24

Image: Mary Madigan

Beirut report: writing about Lebanese politics

Monocle’s Beirut correspondent Venetia Rainey speaks to two journalists about what it’s like to write when what you put on the page might put your life in jeopardy.

From Monocle Films

Finns of Thunder Bay

Waves of immigrants from Finland have arrived on Canadian shores over the past century, making Thunder Bay the most Finnish city beyond the Baltic.

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