What ASEAN’s enterprises need to succeed

ASEAN member states do not count for much in the global economy on their own. Indonesia, the biggest economy in Southeast Asia, has a GDP of US$861 billion, but that is still smaller than the economy of Tokyo. Yet combined, the GDP of ASEAN member states is about US$2.6 trillion. If ASEAN was a single

Good fences or good neighbours in the South China Sea

Despite the old adage that ‘good fences make good neighbours’, sometimes it is impossible, for a variety of reasons, to build good ‘fences’ in the sea. This is certainly the case in the South China Sea, where territorial claims are complicated by geography. While the recent ruling by the Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague on

Philippines–Vietnam partnership can help manage South China Sea dispute

On 12 July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration rendered its decision on the Philippines v. China case over disputes in the South China Sea. Capturing worldwide attention, the ruling was made largely in Manila’s favour. Yet overshadowed by this event was another milestone in Manila’s foreign relations: the 40th anniversary of the establishment of

The problematic proposal

THESE are difficult times for America’s free-traders. Donald Trump has put anger at “globalism” at the heart of his campaign. Even Democrats have turned against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—an ambitious new agreement between 12 Pacific-rim countries, and one of Barack Obama’s signature second-term achievements. Hillary Clinton, once a backer, has withdrawn her support, while left-wing

Is consensus emerging on the South China Sea?

In July, the much anticipated Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) decision on the South China Sea was delivered in favour of the Philippines. While Chinese propaganda machines were in full gear denouncing the ruling and the PCA, there is so far no sign that China is overreacting to the ruling. China has also been quite

The Fed is rethinking one thing too many

OFFICIALS at the Federal Reserve, a few of them anyway, seem to be rethinking their views of the economy in some dramatic ways. In a new blog post, however, Ben Bernanke suggests that Fed watchers shouldn’t overstate the radicalism of the intellectual evolution within the Fed. Top policy-makers still have confidence in their mental model

What the end of the US arms embargo means for Vietnam

The United States’ complete lifting of the decade-long embargo on arms sales to Vietnam marked a historic milestone in US–Vietnam relations, paving the way for a strategic partnership between the two former foes. So what will this mean for Vietnamese security and domestic politics?   The removal of the embargo will not immediately lead to

South Korea’s THAAD risks rising tensions with China

  After hesitating for several years, South Korea decided to let the US-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system be deployed in North Gyeongsang Province. Seoul and Washington say the deployment is only targeted against North Korea, but the ability of the radar system to detect and track Chinese strategic missiles could pose

South China Sea ruling won’t improve regional security

  The Permanent Court of Arbitration’s (PCA) ruling in the South China Sea case filed by the Philippines has been labelled a ‘sweeping victory’ against China. It concluded that China has no legal basis to claim historic rights within the nine-dash line in the South China Sea and that none of the land features in

The desperation of independents

  LIKE many articles of faith, central-bank independence requires some suspension of disbelief. In most countries the central bank is a branch of government, which appoints its top officials and sets its goals. Yet in the decades after the 1980s, when governments began giving the institutions operational independence, that faith seemed to move mountains. The

Lithuania to Forge Ahead in Doing Business Rankings

Ranked 20th in the 2016 World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, Lithuania has outstripped its closest neighbours Latvia and Poland. Yet, possibilities of forging ahead as one of the most business-friendly economies are not fully exhausted. Indeed, Lithuania has high ratings for starting a business, registering property and enforcing contracts, but red tape and

Bargain hunt

AFTER years of economic stagnation and questionable lending, bad loans at Italian banks have piled up. The gross value of non-performing loans (NPLs) is around €360 billion ($406 billion), or almost one-fifth of Italian GDP. Hasty repairs and rescues have been arranged for troubled lenders—notably Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the third-biggest, in July. But

Emptying the tills

ONLY tourists pay in cash, says the young barista in Espresso House, a Swedish coffee chain, on Vasagatan in Stockholm. “They don’t understand we don’t use that anymore,” she rolls her eyes, gesturing to the card machine. The contactless “taps” that locals use are much faster, and she frequently runs out of change when foreigners

Brexit and the UK’s China Challenge

05 August 2016 Dr Tim Summers Senior Consulting Fellow, Asia Programme (based in Hong Kong) The debate over the Hinkley Point reactor highlights broader questions over the future of the UK−China relationship. Water pumped out from the Hinkley Point B nuclear power station. Photo by Getty Images. While the general assumption has been that, following

G20 Should Pursue a New Charter for Globalization

03 August 2016 Alan Wheatley Associate Fellow, International Economics September’s summit in China is the perfect opportunity to outline a code for fair growth and responsible capitalism. Hangzhou lights up skyline with flags of G20 members in preparation for September’s summit. Photo by Getty Images. A retreat from globalization is a clear and present danger

Three relationships for RCEP members to ponder

  Over the last few years, negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have provoked waves of criticism and suspicion in the Asia Pacific. Today, the kinds of criticism that burdened the TPP — that the negotiations were slow and tedious, and that the agreement needs more transparency and accountability — are being applied to the

EU-China Summit

The 18th EU-China summit that took place on 12-13 July in Beijing was held against the background of the landmark Hague ruling on the South China Sea (SCS) and the dispute on market economy status (MES). The Hague ruling, published during the actual summit, comprehensively rejected China’s claims to enjoy sovereignty over most of the SCS

ASEAN and the Brexit shock

  The European Union and ASEAN have very different models of economic integration. Yet ASEAN and its members worry about what Britain’s exit from the European Union may mean for the future of ASEAN. Brexit provides a powerful motivation to get the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) agenda right.   An important lesson that ASEAN takes

How Trump’s trade policy is dividing Republicans

  No issue better illustrates the agony and self-inflicted wounds in the Republican Party than the Trump-inspired clashes over the future of US trade policy.   While the Democratic Party has been wracked by deep divisions over trade for three decades — fuelled by opposition from key constituents such as labour and environmentalist organisations — Republicans

Turkey’s Post-Coup Reverberations Are Just Beginning

21 July 2016 Fadi Hakura Associate Fellow, Europe Programme President Erdogan’s harsh crackdown is causing severe damage to the country’s political and social fabric. People wave Turkish flags in front of a billboard displaying the face of Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a rally in Ankara on 17 July 2016 in Ankara. Photo by Getty Images.

Duterte drug killings erode Philippines rule of law

On the campaign trail earlier this year Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte shocked the world with his political strongman style, vowing to wipe out crime within six months. His formula for dealing with criminals and corrupt officials was simple: ‘kill them all’. He brushed aside domestic and international criticism of his record of extra-judicial killings and human

Can China lay its zombie firms to rest?

2016 began with international media attention drawn to the weakness of China’s economy. This prediction was validated on 9 May 2016 when the People’s Daily ran on its front page an article written by President Xi Jinping that expounded on the need for ‘supply-side structural reform’. One of the structural flaws driving China’s instability is the

The Changing Dynamics of the Australia-China Economic Relationship

Tue06 Sep Invitation Only Research Event The Changing Dynamics of the Australia-China Economic Relationship 6 Sep 2016 – 10:30 to 12:00 Add to Calendar iCalendar Outlook Google Yahoo Chatham House, London International Economics Department Participants Peter David Drysdale, Emeritus Professor of Economics and Visiting Fellow, Crawford School of Economics and Government, College of Asia and the

Duterte’s anti-drug crackdown poses risks to rule of law

Since his inauguration on 30 June, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has been true to his campaign pledge of cracking down on drugs. He has ignored objections from within the Philippines and abroad about extrajudicial killings of supposed drug pushers and users by police and unknown assailants, which have already amounted to over a thousand deaths.

Wiranto appointment raises new concerns in West Papua

In July, Indonesian President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo courted controversy by appointing a former New Order general who has been accused of human rights abuses, Wiranto, as Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs. As security and human rights have come to dominate the political dynamic in West Papua, the new appointment to the third

A storm of bullets, a wave of apathy rocks the Philippines

Duterte is gaining in the war on drugs, but at a terrifying cost to Filipino society. The Philippines is drowning in a wave of killings as the government of the newly proclaimed President Rodrigo Duterte combats the illegal drug trade. Except for a few human rights advocates, there has been no outcry from the population.

What ASEAN’s enterprises need to succeed

ASEAN member states do not count for much in the global economy on their own. Indonesia, the biggest economy in Southeast Asia, has a GDP of US$861 billion, but that is still smaller than the economy of Tokyo. Yet combined, the GDP of ASEAN member states is about US$2.6 trillion. If ASEAN was a single

Reforming Japan’s greying agricultural sector

In 2015, the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spearheaded a series of unprecedented amendments to the 1947 Agricultural Cooperative Law. These changes will loosen the stifling controls of the national and prefectural organisations of Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA) over local co-ops and farmers. The fact that the amendments were hammered out while Japan

Reconstructing China’s steel industry

China’s steelmaking capacity has expanded rapidly since the beginning of the 21st century. The scale of this expansion is unprecedented in the history of industrialisation in Europe, North America and East Asia. China’s annual production of crude steel reached 804 million tonnes in 2015, 6.3 times higher than the total production in 2000. It accounts

Augmented reality

IF A country’s fiscal deficit hit 10% of GDP five years running, you might reasonably conclude that its public finances were parlous. So it is understandable that China has bristled at suggestions that it is veering into such territory. Officially, China is a paragon of fiscal rectitude: its annual deficits have averaged just 1.8% in the past half-decade.

The fall-out from the Brussels terrorist attacks

What’s next in responding to terror threats in Europe? Original Source: European Policy Center

Nord Stream II – yes or no? – Political decision of a political Commission

Will this Commission be ready to defend EU principles and commitments when assessing Nord Stream II? Original Source: European Policy Center

Podcast: The Life and Death of John Birch

When most Americans hear the name John Birch, they immediately think of the John Birch Society: an anticommunist, right-wing advocacy group that flourished in the 1950s and 60s. But who was John Birch, and what did the society have to do with him? On this week’s Asia Unbound podcast I speak with Terry Lautz, visiting

Advisory Papers on Political Party Development IV

Our 4th edition of the Advisory Papers on “Guidelines for How Political Parties Can Effectively Use New Media in Their Public Relations and Communications Programs” is now available. Original Source: KAS Kambodscha

Survey Report on Waste Management Practices at Municipality/District Level

The NLC/S, supported by KAS Cambodia, has documented current practices and challenges related to waste management at the subnational level in Cambodia and in other selected countries. The results have been summarized in a report and are now available in English and Khmer. Original Source: KAS Kambodscha

High-Speed Railroad and Economic Geography: Evidence from Japan

Surging high-speed railroad investments may encourage the formation of megacities due to further agglomeration in service industries. This can have profound implications for urban policies on society, demographics, and environment. Original Source: Asian Development Bank

UK Unplugged? The Impacts of Brexit on Energy and Climate Policy

Project: Energy, Environment and Resources Department, Europe Programme26 May 2016   Antony Froggatt   Senior Research Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources   Thomas Raines   Research Fellow and Programme Manager, Europe Programme In the field of energy and climate change policy, remaining in the EU offers the best balance of policy options for Britain’s national interests.

Passages to India: Reflecting on 50 years of research in South Asia

Editors’ Note: How do states manage their armed forces, domestic politics, and foreign affairs? Stephen Cohen, senior fellow with the India Project at Brookings, has studied this and a range of other issues in Southeast Asia since the 1960s. In a new book, titled “The South Asia Papers: A Critical Anthology of Writings,” Cohen reflects

Integrity pacts: a how-to guide from practitioners

“Integrity Pacts” are a tool developed by Transparency International for tackling corruption in public procurement. They have been applied in many countries around the world for over 20 years. There are even countries in which the use of the Integrity Pact has become part of the law or governmental procedures, such as in India or

The Changing Dynamics of the Australia-China Economic Relationship

Tue06 Sep Invitation Only Research Event The Changing Dynamics of the Australia-China Economic Relationship 6 Sep 2016 – 10:30 to 12:00 Add to Calendar iCalendar Outlook Google Yahoo Chatham House, London International Economics Department Participants Peter David Drysdale, Emeritus Professor of Economics and Visiting Fellow, Crawford School of Economics and Government, College of Asia and the

Challenge and Uncertainty in a Volatile World: Japan-UK Perspectives

Wed12 Oct Thu13 Oct Invitation Only Research Event Challenge and Uncertainty in a Volatile World: Japan-UK Perspectives 12 Oct 2016 – 10:15 to 13 Oct 2016 – 14:45 Add to Calendar iCalendar Outlook Google Yahoo Tokyo, Japan Asia Programme, UK-Japan Global Seminar Series Download Results Overview This event will be the fourth in a series

Is the United States losing China to Russia?

Event Information July 26, 2016 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT Falk Auditorium Brookings Institution 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20036 Register for the Event Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin made his fourth visit to China since President Xi Jinping became top party leader in 2012. During this latest meeting, the two countries

China’s engagement in Africa: From natural resources to human resources

Event Information July 13, 2016 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM EDT Falk Auditorium Brookings Institution 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20036 Register for the Event Throughout the 2000s, Chinese demand for primary goods like oil, iron, copper, and zinc helped Africa reduce poverty more than it had in decades. Even so, China’s total investment

The Refugee Crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean: What Can We Learn from Lesbos?

Wed27 Jul Research Event The Refugee Crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean: What Can We Learn from Lesbos? 27 Jul 2016 – 12:00 to 13:15 Add to Calendar iCalendar Outlook Google Yahoo Chatham House, London Europe Programme Participants Christina Velentza, Academy Stavros Niarchos Foundation Fellow, International Law/Europe Programmes, Chatham HouseFotini Rantsiou, Field Advisor, Solidarity Now; Senior

Sustainability within the China-Africa relationship: governance, investment, and natural capital

Event Information July 11, 2016 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM CST School of Public Policy and Management Auditorium Brookings-Tsinghua Center Beijing, China Register for the Event On July 11, 2016, the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy is holding a forum on Sustainability within the China-Africa Relationship: Governance, Investment, and Natural Capital. The event will be

China’s economic bubble: Government guarantees and growing risks

Event Information July 11, 2016 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM EDT Saul/Zilkha Rooms Brookings Institution 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20036 Register for the Event China’s economy has achieved astonishing growth over the past three decades, but it may be undergoing its most serious test of the reform era. In his newly published book,

China’s 13th Five-Year Plan: Implications for Tibet

Mon04 Jul Invitation Only Research Event China’s 13th Five-Year Plan: Implications for Tibet 4 Jul 2016 – 12:00 to 13:00 Add to Calendar iCalendar Outlook Google Yahoo Chatham House, London Asia Programme Participants Gabriel Lafitte, Author, Spoiling Tibet: China and Resource Nationalism on the Roof of the World   Download Results Overview The speaker will discuss China’s latest

China’s economic and environmental challenges and their impact on the EU

The EU-Asia Centre, together with the WWF, invite you to a panel discussion on ‘China’s economic and environmental challenges and their impact on the EU’ at the Press Club, Rue Froissart 95, from 1430-1800 on 5 July. Original Source: EU-Asia Centre

Empowering Women for Economic Growth: The Smart Choice for the G20

Mon11 Jul Tue12 Jul Invitation Only Research Event Empowering Women for Economic Growth: The Smart Choice for the G20 11 Jul 2016 – 14:00 to 12 Jul 2016 – 19:30 Add to Calendar iCalendar Outlook Google Yahoo One Whitehall Place, 1 Whitehall Court, Whitehall, London SW1A 2HD International Economics Department, Putting Gender Equality on the