References: "Slovakia No Longer a Laggard in Automaking," by Mark Landler, New York Times, 13 Apr, p. C1; and "In Mideast Aviation, Vying to Be New Global Hub," by Borzou Daragahi, New York Times, 13 Apr, p. W1; and "In Asia, Seaports Battle to Be King of Containers," by James Brooke, New York Times, 13 Apr, p. W1.
First article details all the global carmakers who have poured investments into East Central Europe (VW, Opel, Suzuki, Renault, Peugeot-Toyota, Peugeot Citroen, and Kiaóto name the biggest). Right now Slovakia is pulling ahead of the Czech Republic and Poland in terms of production capacity. Slovakia is becoming the "Detroit of Europe," crows one local automotive journal.
That is what real integration into the Core gets you: serious foreign direct investment that moves your economy and your workers up the production value chain.
Second article talks about competition among certain ambitious Mideast airlines to position themselves to capture rising numbers of tourists flying from and around Southwest and South Asia. Despite being 20% of the world population, the Middle East only accounts for about 5% of the global tourist/airline trade (that percentage basically matches the Middle East's share of global trade in generalóreflecting their generally disconnected status, as in they are underconnected given their numbers).
Which national airline is in the lead? Easy, the one associated with the most connected economy and society thereóEmirates Airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Another rising star is Qatar Airways, another non-surprise if you know anything about what's been happening in that country in recent years.
Third article is about race in Asia to own the biggest container-ship processing port. Shanghai of China and Pusan of South Korea, sister cities no less, are neck and neck in this race. This is connectivity personified: two countries racing to process the most bulk trade with outside world.
Why the U.S. isn't making a solution happening with China and South Korea regarding North Korea is simply beyond me. Instead we work toward a missile defense system in the region that South Korea refuses to participate in and China is purposefully excluded from (because it really targets them in the long run). Meanwhile, these two states compete to see who can process the most containers from North America and Europe.
Where is our strategic intelligence on that one I ask?