Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Great news - it looks like a the Russian side of the project to link Russia with Alaska and therefore the rest of North America has been approved, with the Russian part to consist of 5,000 km of road and then a 100 km tunnel under the strait. Not sure whether the $100 billion estimated cost is only about the road or includes the tunnel, and whether the tunnel would be jointly financed by Russia and the US (assuming the US decides to go ahead with its part of the project too).
So what will the world look like then? According to future GDP estimates, we'll see the following change over that time among the countries closest to this rail link:
US: $15 trillion ---- $23 trillion
Russia: $1.5 trillion ---- $4.3 trillion
China: $5.8 trillion ---- $34.3 trillion
Japan: $5.4 trillion ---- $5.8 trillion
Korea: $1 trillion ---- $2.2 trillion
So this would be a link to quite a different market than that found in 2011.
Of course, there is no guarantee that the situation will not drastically change by then: North and South Korea is an obvious example as there is almost no possible way the North will have the same leader by then - the already fairly unhealthy Kim Jong-il would be almost 90.
While we're still on the subject of Russia, another Korean article I found yesterday - this article is about how interest in other languages besides the three Koreans usually study (English, Japanese, Chinese) is increasing, with more interest in Spanish, French and Russian. The reason given is that the first three are already fairly saturated with a hagwon (school) to be found anywhere to learn them, while there is a very small number of schools that teach the other three in comparison with demand.
No exact numbers are given, but the article gives the example of a hagwon that teaches Russian, German and Arabic along with the usual three, and has seen a lot of businessmen coming to learn these languages.