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Buenos Aires: The Cheapest, Most Overpriced City Around

LA NACIÓN (Argentina)

BUENOS AIRES - From a consumer's perspective, the Argentine capital can be the best of cities…or the worst, depending on what you're in the market for.

A ticket on Buenos Aires' Subte underground costs $0.50. That's about a fifth of what the New York City subway charges. Cigarettes are cheap too: roughly $2 a pack. A 36-inch flat screen television, on the other hand, costs nearly $1,000 in Buenos Aires. The same TV goes for about $400 in the United States.

"Because of inflation, the delay in the exchange rate, subsidies and import tariffs, Buenos Aires has – at the same time – become the world's most expensive and cheapest city," La Nación reports.

Clothing and shoes are pricier in Buenos Aires than they are in the United States and Europe. A Polo brand leather jacket costs just shy of $2,500 in the Argentine capital, compared to $1,500 in the United States. Beef, on the other hand, is far cheaper in Buenos Aires. Top quality rib-eye steak can go for as little as $5 a pound – significantly less than it would cost even in neighboring Uruguay and Brazil.

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Geopolitics

The Taiwan Paradox: Preparing For War And Ready To Do Business With China

Large segments of Taiwan seem underprepared or indifferent when it comes to the possibility of Chinese invasion. But some are actively preparing, using Ukraine as a role model.

Taiwanese tanks fire cannons during a live-fire drill in Pingtung county, Taiwan, on Sept. 7 2022.

Taiwanese tanks fire cannons during a live-fire drill in Pingtung county, Taiwan.

Daniel Ceng Shou-Yi/ZUMA Press Wire
Lucie Robequain

TAIPEI — Hsu has just completed the required four months of military service in Taichung, central Taiwan. He had spread the training over the course of the past four years, training for one month every year. “Many guys go there during the summer. It’s like a summer camp: we go to a shooting range, we make friends,” he explains.

Yet these words seem somehow strange, incongruous, as his country is threatened by one of the most powerful armies in the world. “There is a kind of collective denial toward the Chinese threat. Many still think that the possibility of an invasion, in the short or medium term, remains very unlikely,” says Raymond Sung, a political expert based in Taipei.

In Taiwanese companies too, people remain overly confident. "What’s the point of worrying? Taiwanese are working on the technologies of the future! Thinking about war would just distract them," argues Miin Chyou Wu, head of Macronix, a company that makes memory cards.

Though relatively rare, some companies are even expanding in China. That’s the case with Delta, a Taiwanese flagship that produces equipment essential to a green energy transition (including charging stations and solar panels). Based in the outskirts of Taipei, not far from the Keelung River, Delta recently bought new land last May in Chongqing, southwest China. Their goal is now to expand their electric generator factories.

“We’re not very worried: we know that we won’t be the ones who will solve the conflict with Beijing," says Alessandro Sossa-Izzi, the head of Delta’s communication team. "But our grandchildren’s grandchildren will."

Of course, the Taiwanese government is more concerned.

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