The topics you have to be able to discuss this week.

1. Breaking India’s love of gold

The Indian government’s effort to crack down on undeclared income is affecting sales of one of its most-loved commodities, gold. Exports to India rose to their highest level this year in November as jewellers built up stocks in preparation for the wedding season. But so far this year shipments have slumped 43% from a year earlier, Bloomberg reports. The drive for greater transparency in the financial system and a tax on jewellery will push consumption down to its lowest level in seven years.

2. Trade wars beckon

China’s hopes of being granted "market economy" status on the 15th anniversary of its membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) don’t look promising. That change in status would alter how countries determine antidumping duties levied on its imports. But the US and the EU are thwarting China’s plans, prompting it to lodge a dispute with the WTO. Expect this to escalate already-tense relations with the US.

3. Kenya plans ICC exit

Uhuru Kenyatta. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Uhuru Kenyatta. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Will Kenya become the fourth African country to ditch the International Criminal Court? It has been the continent’s most vocal critic of the court, mostly because its leaders were called to account for their role in post-election violence in 2007. President Uhuru Kenyatta accused the court of "a lack of impartiality" this week and said he would give "serious thought" to retaining Kenya’s membership. Burundi, SA and Gambia have all announced their intentions to withdraw, and have the backing of the AU.

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