East Asia Forum

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East Asia Forum
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Analysis of economics, politics and public policy in East Asia and the Pacific.

Promises of Indian foreign direct investment in South Asia go unfulfilled

Date: 12 September 2014

There have been promises of greater Indian investment in South Asia for a long time. A report produced by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2007 argued that India would play a key role in investing in South Asia and this in turn will stimulate intra-regional trade in the region. The report made special reference to the rapidly growing Indian IT industry and identified it as a potential investor in South Asia.

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BRICS creation of the New Development Bank called a landmark achievement

Date: 11 September 2014

The creation of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) to finance infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging economies is a landmark achievement. Developing nations have lost faith in the current system with its strict conditions on development finance and its inability to insulate countries from financial shocks.

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The case for coordinated monetary policies helping to curb global financial market volatility

Date: 10 September 2014

Since the onset of the North Atlantic financial crisis (NAFC) in 2008, central banks in the US and the other major advanced economies have pursued highly accommodative monetary policy, including through unconventional policy actions. Policy rates have been near zero in these economies for almost five years, and both short-term and long-term interest rates have touched historic lows.

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Asia's biggest powers being lured to Latin America

Date: 9 September 2014

Considered for most of the twentieth century as the United States’ backyard, Latin America is today a place where other major powers seek to exercise a growing influence and find a steady supply of energy and natural resources as well as markets and investment outlets. 

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Can Indonesia's manufacturing sector be helped with a new industrial policy?

Date: 5 September 2014

The World Bank and Asian Development Bank have recently advocated the importance of Indonesia’s manufacturing sector. Manufacturing is considered a key sector for the advancement of the country’s overall economy and as an important source of formal employment. The reality on the ground since the 1997–98 economic crisis, though, reveals a troubling picture about the sector. 

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Myanmar's foreign exchange market reform has a long way to go

Date: 4 September 2014

In April 2012, by abolishing the official pegging of the Myanmar kyat to the Special Drawing Right (SDR) of the IMF, Myanmar terminated the decades-old de facto multiple exchange rate system and moved to a managed floating exchange system. While noteworthy in its own right, this is merely the first step in an arduous journey of foreign exchange market reform. The Central Bank of Myanmar is now facing two interlinked challenges: establishing the institutions for a formal foreign exchange market and transferring informal market activities into the formal market. 

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Should the G20 have a global growth target?

Date: 3 September 2014

The global recovery is strengthening but remains weak. A global growth target, pursued by the G20, could significantly strengthen this recovery process. But such a macroeconomic target needs to be supported by microeconomic reforms. 

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Banking integration in ASEAN gathers pace

Date: 1 September 2014

The ASEAN Economic Community, planned to come into effect in 2015, is expected to liberalise goods, capital and skilled labour flows in the ASEAN region. While there has been considerable progress in the area of trade integration, financial integration still lags behind. The ASEAN Banking Integration Framework, which aims to liberalise the banking market by 2020, could help pave the way for further integration and the entry of ASEAN banks into regional banking market 

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Blowing the lid off food safety in China

Date: 28 August 2014

In July, Shanghai’s Dragon TV exposed illegal food handling practices by Shanghai Husi Food Co., a major meat supplier to multinational corporations such as McDonald’s and KFC.

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Coal Tax Increase Scales Up Indian Renewables

Date: 20 August 2014

India needs economic growth for sustainable development, which in turn requires access to clean, convenient and reliable energy. An estimated 400 million people still lack access to electricity, and blackouts are still common across the country. 

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Slower Growth for China on the Horizon

Date: 11 August 2014

China’s growth outlook is the focus of analysts and economic policymakers all around the world. Nobody can afford now to ignore the scale of the economy and its impact on the global growth outlook. China already accounts for more than 12 per cent of world output in nominal terms and that share continues to grow steadily.

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BRICS Lay Foundation, but Concrete Action is Questionable

Date: 31 July 2014

Unsurprisingly, the BRICS countries sixth annual summit in Brazil once again polarised public opinion. When the proposal for a BRICS development bank and currency swap arrangement was put forward in March 2012, the reaction was already divided. 

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Asia’s Economic Strategy Beyond Free Trade Agreements

Date: 11 June 2014

The launch of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (in APEC’s backyard led by the United States) and (later) the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) (under the umbrella of ASEAN) is dominating thinking about regional integration. These agreements are designed in part to leverage value out of the plethora of bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) negotiated over the past 15 years. Yet trans-regional FTAs, like the proposed TPP, are only a small step, incidental to realising the potential of Asian economic integration.

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Why Obama Should Abandon The Asian Pivot

Date: 12 May 2014

The U.S. pivot to Asia has undergone considerable challenges ever since it was first announced in November 2011. Ultimately it is highly unlikely to achieve its main aim – to compel China to accept U.S. leadership in the region.

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