Tag Archives: in the world

Some of the cheapest travel destinations in the world

Are you overwhelmed with overcrowded cities, the super bustling streets, the expensive rents and the life mortgages? Well, there are places in the world where you can live with less money and there are beautiful and exotic places that make you want to pack up and move, if not for life, at least for a while. There are two basic rules for finding low-cost destinations. The first is that if you find a cheap place to travel, it will be inexpensive to live. The second is that, wherever you are the cheapest places will be further away from the big cities and the crowds. Of course, “cheap” is a very relative term and what it can be inexpensive for some people maybe it would not be so much for others. So, if “cheap” means spending a few dollars a day, then these places in Asia and in Central America can be very interesting.

Thailand is one of the most favorite tourist destinations. You can find there the sun throughout the year, some exotic food, beaches and very amazing prices. The accommodation is about 20 euros a month (100 euros if you are on the coast) and the monthly food expenditure is about 150 euros. It is possible to live in paradise with a very low salary!
Thailland - beach


If you think about Cambodia’s history, the bloody regime of Pol Pot and the poverty, you would not dare to call this country a paradise. Moreover, this country does not have great beaches as its neighboring Thailand but if you do not care about that, you can live in the capital, Phnom Penh, for less than 250€. In addition, you can eat at a restaurant with less than two euros, and fast foods are even cheaper. Additionally, you should add in your expenses the extra costs of the visa (250 dollars per year). It is also possible to live in the area of ​​Angkor with a smaller budget.


This country has areas like Cebu, which is one of the most developed provinces in the country, where there are apartments to rent for 100 Euros a month. The food is as cheap as in Thailand and Cambodia and a large beer costs about 50 cents. On the other hand, Philippines offers a special Visa for the pensioners living in the country which can be obtained at the age of 35 years old but it is necessary to enter more than 34,000 euros in a bank there. From the age of 50 you should have deposited the amount of 6,800 Euros and demonstrate a monthly pension of 540 euros if you are a single person or 680 euros if it is a couple. Malaysia offers something similar which is called “my second home program.”
Philippines Island Beach

Costa Rica

We jump now to the Caribbean Sea. Costa Rica is the Republic of Central American, being more developed and politically stable. A few euros are enough to survive in Costa Rica which can be a real pleasure. The country has 12 different climate zones and an abundant wildlife. The most characteristic is the tropical and warm climate and the sympathy and friendliness of its people. You can get an excellent meal in the restaurants for 3 euros or even less, you would pay less if you buy the food in the local markets and the hawkers. For example, a bunch of bananas costs around 30 cents and a pack of snuff costs around 90 cents. In general, the prices in the supermarkets are 30% higher than in the local markets and street stalls. It is possible going as far as renting an entire house for 150 euros a month, although the prices in the capital are higher.


In spite of its beautifulness, Belize is much unknown in the touristic world. Your dreams of being in a paradise for a bargain price also can come true in Belize which is considered one of the most beautiful countries in Central America. It has everything: great beaches, a subtropical climate and varying faunas. The official language is English. It is a perfect place for diving enthusiasts. The coral barrier of Belize offers 127 offshore islands where you will find one of the best preserved marine ecosystems in the world. The cost of living there is similar to Costa Rica. A large house in the Cayo District, which is an hour by car to the Northwest of the capital, can cost around 210 Euros a month (70 € per month if accompanied by a couple of friends). The food is cheap if you buy it locally. The imported material is generally 50% more expensive, therefore, if you want to spend less money you should shop at the local markets and the street vendors. To make a long story short, if you are 45 year old or older you can consider the possibility of retiring in Belize since there is a program for retired people who can afford to live a lifestyle free of taxes, which will help you save more money.

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Anxious Dictators, Wavering Democracies: Global Freedom under Pressure


The world was battered by crises that fueled xenophobic sentiment in democratic countries, undermined the economies of states dependent on the sale of natural resources, and led authoritarian regimes to crack down harder on dissent. These developments contributed to the 10th consecutive year of decline in global freedom.

The number of countries showing a decline in freedom for the year—72—was the largest since the 10-year slide began. Just 43 countries made gains.
Over the past 10 years, 105 countries have seen a net decline, and only 61 have experienced a net improvement.
Ratings for the Middle East and North Africa region were the worst in the world in 2015, followed closely by Eurasia.
Over the last decade, the most significant global reversals have been in freedom of expression and the rule of law.

The world was battered in 2015 by overlapping crises that fueled xenophobic sentiment in democratic countries, undermined the economies of states dependent on the sale of natural resources, and led authoritarian regimes to crack down harder on dissent. These unsettling developments contributed to the 10th consecutive year of decline in global freedom.

The democracies of Europe and the United States struggled to cope with the Syrian civil war and other unresolved regional conflicts. In addition to compounding the misery and driving up the death toll of civilians in the affected territories, the fighting generated unprecedented numbers of refugees and incubated terrorist groups that inspired or organized attacks on targets abroad. In democratic countries, these stresses led to populist, often bigoted reactions as well as new security measures, both of which threaten the core values of an open society.

The year also featured the slowdown of China’s economy and a related plunge in commodity prices, which hit profligate, export-dependent authoritarian regimes especially hard. Anticipating popular unrest, dictators redoubled political repression at home and lashed out at perceived foreign enemies.

However, in several important countries, elections offered a peaceful way out of failed policies and mismanagement. Voters in places including Nigeria, Venezuela, and Myanmar rejected incumbents and gave new leaders or parliaments an opportunity to tackle corruption, economic decay, and corrosive security problems. These fresh starts suggest that democratic systems may ultimately prove more resilient than their brittle authoritarian counterparts.
by Arch Puddington and Tyler Roylance/Freedomhouse.

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This Is Going To Hurt You More Than It Hurts Us ! Said China To The World

China'sPresident_FollowingChina’s president Xi Jinping. Like a parent punishing a child, the Chinese economic slowdown is going to hurt a number of countries much more than it hurts China. (Photo by SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg )
China’s economic restructuring and deleveraging is going to hurt Asia and Latin America more than it hurts them.

Just ask Vale shareholders. Beyond its $5 billion lawsuit over a mining catastrophe with partner BHP Billiton , Brazil’s iron ore exporter relied on Chinese demand for years. It’s all but evaporated as China desists building ghost towns and airports with no passengers. Vale stock is down 93.3% in the last five years; worse than BHP (-77 %), worse than Rio Tinto (-66.9%) and worse than the MSCI Brazil (-77.37%).

The same story holds for Chilean copper exporters, Argentinian soy and Taiwan tourism. If China goes to hell, it’s taking a bulk of the world with it.

When it comes to markets, no market in the world drives the story like China this year. There is so much anti-China rhetoric in Washington, and perennial voices of hard landing aficionados that it makes one wonder why everyone seems so pleased with themselves when China does poorly? Apple doesn’t want China to do poorly. GM doesn’t. Caterpillar has had to give investors bad news for years because of China. And people on the verge of retirement, having watched their portfolios grow like weeds in a hot summer sun since March 2009, now have China to thank, in part, for recent losses.

The U.S. is not immune. In September, the Federal Reserve opted out of a rate hike because of China. The same might hold for 2016, where Fed supposedly planning on raising rates four times.

Between August 10 and August 27 of 2015, a 21.5% drop in local Chinese equities as measured by the CSI 300 Index triggered a 5.5% decline in the S&P 500 Index; an 8.1% drop in the MSCI EAFE Index (Europe, Australia, Asia, Far East) and an 8.4% decline in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. In the first two weeks of 2016, China’s A-shares fell around 16%, triggering an 8% decline in the S&P 500, an 8.8% decline in MSCI EAFE and a 10.7% drop in the emerging markets.
In 2014, Murilo Ferreira, chief executive officer of Vale, the world’s biggest iron-ore producer, predicted prices to rally 24% in 2015 due to mine closures and Asian infrastructure demand. Boy was he wrong. Instead, iron ore futures went from around $62 to a low of $36 in December. (Photo by Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg)
Who’s Crying Next?

China has given the world cheap labor and cheap goods, as well as cheap capital via export of excess savings. Over the last 15 years, it gave Asia and Latin America a massive demand shock for their raw materials. Those days are gone. Vale, BHP, Rio Tinto shares will never see the $20s again. China accounts for about 60% of iron ore production and imports nearly half of it.
Another important commodity where China demand weighs heavily is soybeans. It accounts for a third of total soybean production worldwide. Its demands are met almost entirely by U.S., Brazil and Argentina soy producers.

It also accounts for about 40% of crude steel production, but because China has so much supply of iron ore and other materials required to make steel, their import numbers have fallen off a cliff and are now negative, according to the World Bureau of Metals Statistics.

Gerdau, a big Brazilian steel producer, is now a penny stock because of China. Their share price is down 94% in five years. If this keeps up, the once mighty steelmaker will probably become delisted at some point in the near future.

China has so much steel it doesn’t know what to do with it. The U.S. Department of Commerce imposed a 236% import duty on certain types of Chinese steel. And ArcelorMittal blamed China for its third quarter losses.
Caterpillar has left the building. In September, it said it would be cutting 10,000 jobs worldwide. Not only is Caterpillar’s revenue shrinking, but the situation appears to be getting worse. (Photo by uke Sharrett/Bloomberg)
Venezuela is being held together by string, duct tape and a China fund of about $5 billion. Unless oil and metals start going the other way, Barclays Capital forecasts that it will be the first sovereign to default in 2016.

China’s actual impact cannot be measured precisely, Goldman Sachs’ investment strategy group led by Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani said in a 75 page report released on Thursday. She cites the lack of trustworthy data out of China and some trading parnters.

“We (also) cannot know the impact of a slowdown in China on risk aversion and market sentiment,” report authors wrote. “There is no question that China matters to the rest of the world. The question is how much it matters.”

The examples given here show just how much it matters to a number of mining and steel companies.

Neighboring countries are in for it. Around 25% of South Korea’s total exports go to China.
ShippingContainers_followingShipping containers at the BNCT Co. container terminal at Busan New Port in Busan, South Korea. China accounts for 25% of South Korea’s exports. Look for its currency the track the fortunes of the yuan going forward, say analysts from Bretton Woods Research in Long Valley, NJ. (Photo by SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg)
Lower profits stemming from a slowdown in China have a second order effect on global economies and multinationals. Goldman recently lowered its price target on Bunge because of lackluster commodity demand in China. Bunge is huge in Brazil and Argentina.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s latest semiannual “Outlook” said that the China drag on global equity markets could be greater than the realities of the slowdown. They estimate that a two percentage point decline in domestic demand growth in China would slow global growth by 0.33% per year for two years. But if equity markets over-react, as they always do, then global growth would slow by 0.75–1% per year for two years due to liquidity constraints.

There are opportunities. China is not getting poorer. The economy is not contracting, it is just not growing as it used to. Beijing also wants to green its economy and is struggling to make financial reforms. The locals want foreign made goods, because they believe the quality is better. China is moving up the value chain with smart phones, but companies like Korea’s Samsung and Apple still have room to grow. American companies can find new markets in China, especially in consumer discretionary like health and baby foods.

The good news is China’s deleveraging is very limited to Western banks.

Exposure to China’s companies through debt ranges from a low of 0.1% of bank assets in Italy to a high of 3% in the U.K. primarily driven by HSBC and Standard Chartered, the Goldman Sachs report states. Just 0.8% of U.S. bank assets are tied to China debt. To put those numbers in context, U.S. bank exposure to mortgages and sovereign debt in Europe was, and remains, substantially higher, meaning a crack-up in the euro zone is more dangerous to the U.S. financial system than a Chinese financial hard landing.

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