Americas: Peru’s extractives facing heightened disruption, operational uncertainty risks
Sectors: mining; oil and gas
Key Risks: civil unrest; operational disruption; regulatory uncertainty
In Peru, leftist President Pedro Castillo’s government will continue to face mounting pressure from companies operating in the extractive industries sector and from local protesters opposing their activities. On 25 November local communities warned that they would resume protests including road blockades should the government backtrack from its recent pledge to shut down four mines in the southern Ayacucho region. On 19 November Prime Minister Mirtha Vasquez announced that the four mines would be closed as soon as possible, ruling out permit extensions on environmental grounds. However, days later the government stated that the mines could seek operational extensions. Meanwhile, Canada’s PetroTal requested the government’s intervention to end weeks-long disruptive protests affecting its operations in Block 95 in Bretana, Loreto region. The risk of further disruption and operational uncertainty across the oil and gas and the mining sectors will remain high.
Asia Pacific: Travel restrictions reinstated across Asia over Omicron variant fears
Key Risks: Economic risks; business risks
In Asia, on 29 November countries across the region reinstated COVID-19 travel restrictions amid mounting fears over the spread of the Omicron variant. Just weeks after softening its strict entry restrictions, Japan barred foreign nationals from entering the country and imposed quarantine restrictions for citizens returning from nine southern African countries and an additional 14 yet-to-be-specified countries. South Korea restricted arrivals from eight countries and halted plans to further ease domestic COVID-19 restrictions. Meanwhile, the Philippines suspended flights from seven southern African and seven European countries and halted the roll out of a plan that would allow fully vaccinated tourists to enter the country from December. Aside from restricting travel from southern African countries, Indonesia has extended its quarantine policy for all travellers from three to seven days. The fresh restrictions will prolong damage to tourism-dependent economies and threaten regional economic recovery.
Eurasia: Kyrgyzstan vote recount; Armenian and Azerbaijani deputies to meet in Russia
Key risks: political stability; civil unrest; trade; war on land
In Kyrgyzstan, on 28 November President Sadyr Japarov ordered a manual vote recount after opposition parties alleged vote rigging in the parliamentary elections. Preliminary results indicated that three pro-government parties and President Japarov’s allies were set to secure victory. However, opposition parties accused the electoral commission (BShK) of rigging the vote after its website, which initially showed some opposition parties reaching the 5 per cent threshold required to enter parliament, suffered a technical glitch and was restored with different projections. Though dozens of opposition protesters rallied in Bishkek on 29 November, significant unrest is not expected. Meanwhile, the deputy prime ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan are set to meet in Russia to announce decisions reached on improving bilateral ties at a Kremlin-hosted trilateral conference on 26 November. Though the talks were reportedly positive, no breakthrough announcements are expected.
Europe: NATO foreign ministers to discuss migrant crisis, Russia’s military build-up near Ukraine
Key Risks: war on land; trade; sanctions
A two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers is scheduled to begin on 30 November in Latvia. The meeting is expected to cover the migrant crisis on the EU’s eastern external border, notably in Lithuania and Poland, which the EU and NATO accuse Belarus of orchestrating in retaliation to EU economic sanctions imposed on Minsk on 24 June. Foreign ministers are also expected to discuss Russia’s military build-up on the border with Ukraine which has prompted warnings from US intelligence circles of a possible Russian invasion. Though an escalation on the border cannot be ruled out, the Kremlin is instead likely attempting to send a signal to the West over its ‘red lines’ vis-a-vis Ukraine, potentially hoping to achieve another summit between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
MENA: Kuwait reappoints prime minister less than 10 days after he resigned
Key Risks: political stability; economic risk; business risk
In Kuwait, on 23 November Shaikh Sabah al-Khalid was reappointed as prime minister less than 10 days after submitting his resignation on 14 November. Crown Prince Misha’l al-Sabah issued an Emiri Decree tasking Shaikh Sabah with forming a new cabinet. The resignation of Shaikh Sabah’s government on 14 November came amid tensions with opposition lawmakers due to a temporary immunity granted to him to protect him from questioning by MPs. This resulted in a political deadlock which prevented the government from passing a crucial debt law aimed at improving the country’s finances which were hit by low oil prices. The forming of a new cabinet approved by opposition lawmakers could defuse the legislative paralysis and enable the passing of a new debt law aimed at improving the country’s fiscal policies.
Sub-Saharan Africa: Anti-Kabore, anti-French protests persist in Burkina Faso, spread to Niger
Key Risks: civil unrest; political violence; political instability
In Burkina Faso, on 27 November security forces clashed with protesters in Ouagadougou calling on President Roch Kabore to resign over his failure to stem widespread militant violence. The incident occurred amid countrywide protests against Kabore and France’s military presence. The wave of protests, which was triggered by an attack in which dozens were killed in Soum Province on 14 November, led to a stand-off with a French military convoy in Kaya, Sanmatenga province, on 20 November for several days. On 27 November the same convoy encountered a large anti-French demonstration in Tera in Niger’s Tillaberi region, leading to the alleged killing of two protesters when tear gas and live rounds were fired. As news and misinformation relating to the Tera incident spreads, anti-government and anti-French protests risk escalating in both countries.