PRESIDENT PUTIN has stated that the main economic goal of his Presidency is to raise the country 100 places in the World Bank’s Ease of doing Business rankings, from 120th to 20th by 2015. Diplomat explores this lesser known territory of investing in russia, discovering that for every high-profile failure, there are several other foreign companies quietly developing their business in this country, often with very high margins.
Diplomat also travels across the globe, dipping into some fascinating places along the way. With global headlines focussing on syria, Diplomat contributor, Professor Kapila, outlines the latest developments in sudan. unfortunately, he believes there is another darfur-scale catastrophe taking place. The ambassador of uzbekistan outlines his country’s latest achievements in a national day Message, and highlights tashkent’s upcoming film forum festival next month, putting the capital on the map as a centre for arts in the region. further East, in Cambodia, we reveal that the country’s image has not quite kept pace with the scale of its economic and social transformation.
former diplomatic Editor of The Times, Michael Binyon, travels to st helena, a tiny island community in the atlantic, on Diplomat’s behalf. Costing a total of almost £250 million, he finds one of the world’s most expensive, controversial and challenging airports is under construction. once complete, this will be a lifeline for one of Britain’s oldest overseas territories, located 2,000 km from the african coast. st Helena was also the nineteenth-century home of the exiled napoleon.
during her trip to London earlier this year, Diplomat was thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to Belize’s first lady, Kim Simplis Barrow, about her role as a special Envoy, comparisons with Michelle obama, her first-hand experience of cancer and her husband, dean Barrow, who was elected Prime Minister in 2008.
With the huge turnover in heads of Mission over the summer, this september feels rather like a new start to the year. There will, however, be plenty of opportunities for these colleagues to get to know each other judging by the number of national day receptions, vin d’honneurs and major meetings lined up. in an effort to help, as ever, Diplomat reviews the credentials of new heads of Mission to the Court of st James’s, this month meeting with the high Commissioners for the Bahamas and the seychelles, and the ambassadors of Libya, Lithuania and Thailand.
In the lifestyle section, Diplomat experiences a stay at the lovely summer lodge in dorset. We also enjoy a beautiful suite at The Wellesley, a spectacularly luxurious hotel found right on hyde Park Corner, and dinner at legendary restaurateur Keith Mcnally’s first uK outpost, Balthazar. readers with a taste for culture will find valuable advice in our book and arts reviews, including details of this month’s intriguing London design festival.