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We index full-text journals with open access platforms in our NEW Asia-Studies Full-Text Plus section. Here is the list of journals available.

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

October, 2016 Current Topics

 

Source

 

 

 

 

Asian Development Outlook 2016: Meeting the Low-Carbon Growth Challenge (Update, Highlights) covering Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and The Pacific. Growth has held up in developing Asia despite a difficult external environment. The region is expected to grow steadily at 5.7% in 2016 and 2017, the forecasts in this Update unchanged from Asian Development Outlook 2016. While global commodity prices have begun to rebound, inflation remains largely subdued. Consumer prices will likely rise by 2.6% in 2016 and 2.9% in 2017. Continued slow recovery in the United States, the euro area, and Japan presents a clear downside risk to the outlook. Uncertainty about the path of monetary policy in these economies, and the implications this has for capital flows, complicates macroeconomic management in developing Asia. Policy makers globally need to resist moves toward protectionism that would only undermine the recovery. By transitioning to low-carbon growth, developing Asia is poised to reap outsized rewards as an essential player in the global effort to contain climate change...

 

ADB

Asia Bond Monitor, September 2016. The report notes that yields for 2-year and 10-year local currency government bonds in emerging East Asia were mostly lower between 1 June and 15 August and stock markets in the region recorded gains as well, giving investor sentiment a lift. Over the same period, most East Asian currencies also appreciated against the US dollar, with the Korean won recording the biggest gain of 7.7%. The exception was the Chinese renminbi, which fell 0.9% during the period. While financial markets are calm, there are rising risks to emerging East Asia’s bond markets. As the sole major developed economy to show growth, the likelihood of a policy rate hike in the United States could prompt capital outflows from the region. Furthermore, the full impact of Brexit has yet to be seen and if the UK’s transition is marred by problems, volatility could return. Lastly, if negative interest rates in the EU and Japan continue, it will reduce monetary authorities’ flexibility in the event of another major financial shock. Negative rates also reduce banking profitability and can exacerbate capital inflows to emerging markets.

 

ADB

Spatial Estimation of the Nexus between the PRC’s Foreign Direct Investment and ASEAN’s Growth, September 2016. Forging closer economic relations between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) over the last 2 decades has contributed to building a stronger ASEAN economy. It is particularly important to know how the PRC’s foreign direct investment responds to ASEAN’s economic performance. This study investigates the causal relationship between the PRC’s foreign direct investment and economic growth among the 10 ASEAN member countries from 1995 to 2013. Panel unit root tests, a spatial panel vector autoregressive model, and spatial Granger causality are employed as empirical techniques for spatial panel estimation. The empirical results reveal that the PRC’s direct investment in ASEAN caused economic growth in ASEAN, and economic growth in ASEAN resulted in the PRC’s direct investment in ASEAN. This finding raises potentially interesting external investment policy implications.

 

ADB

Urbanization and Rural Development in the People’s Republic of China, September 2016. This paper presents research findings on how urbanization enhances productivity and economic growth in both urban and rural sectors. Through agglomeration effects, employment opportunities and income levels can largely increase. In addition, the mechanisms of sharing, matching, and learning are much stronger in cities, especially large cities. However, in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), urbanization lags far behind industrialization. Institutional barriers against rural-to-urban and interregional migration, such as the hukou system, have reduced the ability of urban growth to absorb rural labor. As for rural development, urbanization has propelled agricultural productivity, rural income, and consumption levels. Moreover, agricultural productivity is driven to a large extent by capital accumulation, through capital deepening and remittance. Agricultural organizations, urbanization, and outflow of migrant workers make it possible for large-scale production and agricultural mechanization to occur.

 

ADB

Is There a Size-Induced Market Failure in Skills Training? September 2016. A skilled and educated workforce can support the competitiveness of enterprises of all sizes. However, smaller firms may face greater challenges in developing human capital. We explore differences between smaller and larger firms in offering skills training and in hiring workers with more formal education. Drawing on a dataset of enterprises in five Asian countries, we find major size-based differences in education and training. While smaller firms train less, they also are less inclined to view an inadequately skilled workforce as a major constraint on their operations. It may be that smaller firms are content to occupy niches in a low-skills equilibrium. Our empirical results do offer the possibility, however, that a size-induced market failure in skills training may coexist with a lower regard for skills. The policy implications are not only that governments can reduce the costs for firms to train, but also that micro and small firms need to be sensitized to the benefits of skills upgrading.

 

ADB

Fiscal Equalization Schemes and Subcentral Government Borrowing, September 2016. Examining the cases of Canada, Germany, and Spain, the role played by fiscal equalization schemes in determining subnational borrowing was analyzed, and the link between regional governments’ primary fiscal balances and gross domestic product per capita was tested econometrically. The study results show that either poor or rich regions can display higher regional public borrowing on average, and these results can be linked to the institutional design of regional equalization systems in place. Particular elements, such as tax efforts and fiscal capacities, also play relevant roles in this regard. Reforms of these schemes can therefore prove instrumental in reducing regional heterogeneity in public borrowing.

 

ADB

Measuring Systemic Risk Contribution of International Mutual Funds, September 2016. This study provides new evidence of systemic risk contribution in the international mutual fund sector from 2000–2011. The empirical analysis tracks the systemic risk of 10,570 mutual funds investing internationally. The main findings suggest that the systemic risk contributions of international mutual funds are more than proportional given the fund’s size. Policy implications are discussed in terms of practicality of regulation, macroprudential approach, and risk-taking behavior of fund managers.

 

ADB

Working Conditions, Work Outcomes, and Policy in Asian Developing Countries, September 2016. This paper reviews academic studies of the causes and consequences of poor conditions in developing country garment factories with a special emphasis on causes and potential solutions for South Asia. This review provides an introduction to some of the leading academic literature and ideas that are important for understanding the persistence of poor labor practices and possible policies to address these conditions.

 

ADB

Skills and Activity Upgrading in Global Value Chains: Trends and Drivers for Asia, August 2016. This paper examines the main trends and drivers of upgrading by Asian countries in global value chains using the newly constructed ADB multiregion input–output tables in combination with occupation data. Our results suggest an ongoing specialization process in high-income Asian countries and in developing member countries toward high-skilled knowledge-intensive activities. The pace of upgrading differs across Asian countries. We use a structural decomposition method to account for the drivers of the trends observed. In particular, technological change in global value chains that is biased toward skilled activities is important in accounting for the trends observed.

 

ADB

Developing Local Currency Bond Markets in Asia, August 2016. This paper reviews the advances made in developing local currency bond markets in emerging Asia. While progress in Asian local currency markets has been remarkable, hurdles to developing the market for local currency corporate bonds remain large in the shape of market infrastructure and institutions, inconsistent policies and regulations, and—more broadly—in poor corporate governance; and cross-country variances are significant. The paper empirically investigates economic factors associated with expanding local currency bond markets and highlights the importance of macroeconomic performance and institutional strength as key areas for further reforms.

 

ADB

A Comparative Analysis of Tax Administration in Asia and the Pacific, Published 2016. The analysis and practical guidance provided in this report are based on surveys of revenue bodies conducted in 2014 and 2015, along with accompanying research of revenue bodies’ corporate documents, and guidance and diagnostic materials published by international organizations that seek to promote improvements in tax administration. The report series aims to help revenue bodies and governments identify opportunities for enhancing the operation of their tax systems by sharing internationally comparable data on aspects of tax systems and their administration. However, considerable care needs to be taken with international comparisons of tax administration setups and performance-related data...

 

ADB

Asian Development Review, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2016 (Full Report):
Special Issue on Potential Growth and Misallocation in Asia
. Asia’s future growth prospects are key to the evolution of the world economy. By the middle of this decade, Asia’s contribution to the world’s gross domestic product growth had surpassed 60%. The spectacular growth performance of the People’s Republic of China and the growth acceleration of India have had significant implications for poverty reduction and shifted the axis of the global economy toward Asia. Studying Asia’s future potential growth—including its determinants, obstacles, and policy influences—is essential to understanding the direction of the world economy.

  ADB

Asian Development Review, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2016 (Full Report). Topics discussed in this issue of the Asian Development Review include export performance of asian economies in ict-enabled services; foreign direct investment and terms of trade in south asia; preferential agreements on trade in services; monetary policy in the people's republic of china; dynamic effects of changes in the exchange rate system; international trade and risk sharing in the global rice market, and typhoon aid and development.

  ADB

APEC Workshop on Promoting the Development of Biomass Energy, September 2016. The APEC Workshop on Promoting the Development of Biomass Energy report summarizes the presentations and discussions on the state-of-play, development and trends of biomass energy development; views from various sectors on the development of biomass energy; and recommendations on the way forward...

 

APEC

A Comparative Study on Multi-field Applications of BMPV in the APEC Region, September 2016. The report compiles a comprehensive analysis of the completed project cases of BMPV application in the APEC region. It provides reviews of the experience and lessons from application of distributed BMPV systems in the region and compares their relevant policies, market development status, technical economy and typical cases, in an effort to explore the best practice for APEC economies for reference...

 

APEC

Food Industry Associations: Their Role and Value in Policy and Regulation, September 2016. This report takes a brief look at how food industry associations (or trade associations) provide a valuable mechanism for advising government on the practical and commercial implications of regulatory proposals, which can result in best practice regulation, assist government in protecting the public interest, and advance broader economic policy objectives.

 

APEC

Trends and Developments in Provisions and Outcomes of RTA/FTAs Implemented in 2015 by APEC Economies, September 2016. Following a similar report produced last year, as part of the APEC Information Sharing Mechanism on RTA/FTAs agreed in 2014, this report analyzes the evolution of the number of RTA/FTAs by APEC economies in the past two decades and examines the general structure of the RTA/FTAs that APEC economies put in force during 2015. Nine agreements were included in this report, namely: the Australia-China; Australia-Japan; Canada-Korea; Chile-Thailand; China-Korea; Korea-New Zealand; Korea-Viet Nam; Malaysia-Turkey and Mexico-Panama FTAs...

 

APEC

APEC's Ease of Doing Business - Final Assessment 2009-2015, August 2016. The final assessment of the APEC’s Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) initiative, which takes into account the period 2009-2015, looks at the performance of the APEC region using the indicators of the World Bank’s Doing Business in five priority areas, namely: 1) Starting a Business; 2) Dealing with Construction Permits; 3) Getting Credit; 4) Trading Across Borders; and 5) Enforcing Contracts...

 

APEC

Independent Assessment Report of the Telecommunications and Information Working Group (TELWG), August 2016. While TELWG has been operating for some 25 years since 1990, the last few years have seen some of the most rapid technological advances in the telecommunications sector ever. As TELWG worked towards the 2008 goal for universal access to broadband, access to, and use of smartphones, tablets and wireless devices has increased dramatically. Secure computer and mobile device networks connected to stable and reliable telecommunications infrastructure form the essential foundation for the development of the digital economy...

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #13: Is a New Entrepreneurial Generation Emerging in Indonesia?. The main actors in Indonesia’s business landscape have long been assumed to be the country’s Chinese minority. However, in the last decade, there has been a more visible, growing culture of entrepreneurship amongst the pribumi — “native” Indonesians. Democratic reforms, decentralization and the deregulation of certain sectors of the economy, facilitated by new information technology, have enabled a new generation of entrepreneurs to emerge outside the traditional system of political patronage. New forms of networking are taking shape within local and national business associations, networking forums, and the marketing and business media. While civil servant positions are still highly sought after, the idea of entrepreneurship and business as careers is becoming more and more popular, especially among young Indonesians. The challenge that the Joko Widodo administration faces is to encourage this new social dynamic without falling into the trap of constructing artificial support programmes. These showed themselves to be counter-productive in the past.

 

ISEAS

Asymmetric Threshold Vertical Price Transmission in Wheat and Flour Markets in Dhaka (Bangladesh): Seemingly Unrelated Regression Analysis, Published 2016. The analysis of price transmission for commodities requiring processing in vertical markets is challenged by fuzzy policy environments in the case of developing countries. However the analyses of threshold and asymmetries in price transmission at different levels of vertical markets provide a good indicator of market efficiency. The paper employs threshold cointegration that takes into account the asymmetric adjustment towards a long-run equilibrium and short-run price transmission. The paper investigates the non-linear price adjustment in short- and long-run in vertical markets of wheat and flour in Bangladesh...

 

ASARC

Assessing the South China Sea Award, August 2016. The Philippines had a major, if unenforceable, win against China in the 12 July South China Sea Arbitration under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. But the implications go beyond the bilateral dispute between China and the Philippines and it carries great legal weight as an authoritative ruling by an international judicial body. Bearing in mind that the award is legally binding only on the parties to the arbitration, there’s the question of what might this assertion mean for third countries who may opt to exercise navigational rights based on the Tribunal’s rulings on the status and maritime entitlements of features in the Spratlys...

 

ASPI

Uncertainty about Federal Reserve Policy and Its Transmission to Emerging Economies: Evidence from Twitter, September 2016. It is well known that a tightening or easing of the United States’ monetary policy affects financial markets in emerging economies. This paper argues that uncertainty about future monetary policy is a separate transmission channel. We focus on the taper tantrum episode in 2013, a period with an elevated uncertainty about monetary policy, and use a data set that contains 90,000 Twitter messages (“tweets”) on Federal Reserve tapering. Based on this data set, we construct a new index about monetary policy uncertainty using a list of uncertainty keywords...

 

ADB

Overview of Financial Inclusion, Regulation, and Education, September 2016. Financial inclusion is receiving increasing attention as having the potential to contribute to economic and financial development while at the same time fostering more inclusive growth and greater income equality. However, although substantial progress has been made, there is still much to achieve. East Asia and the Pacific and South Asia combined account for 55% of the world’s unbanked adults, mainly in India and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This analysis is based on studies of the experiences of Germany, the United Kingdom, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand...

 

ADB

Migration in the People’s Republic of China, September 2016. This report summarizes the characteristics of migration in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) after its reforms and opening up. Rapid urbanization in the PRC has resulted from recent decades of intense rural–urban migration. The scale of migration increased rapidly and long-term migration is the main characteristic. The population characteristics of migration are determined not only by a personal decision, but also a joint decision within households to send members with comparative advantages in manufacturing and services, usually male and young, to work in cities. Coastal regions where manufacturing and services are better developed, especially big cities, are the major destinations...

 

ADB

The Impact of Sex Ratios before Marriage on Household Saving in Two Asian Countries: The Competitive Saving Motive Revisited, August 2016. his paper estimates a household saving rate equation for India and the Republic of Korea using long-term time series data for 1975 to 2010, focusing in particular on the impact of the premarital sex ratio on the household saving rate. It finds that the premarital gender ratio (the ratio of males to females) has a significant impact on the household saving rate in both India and the Republic of Korea, even after controlling for the usual suspects such as the aged and youth dependency ratios and income...

 

ADB

Safety and Intelligent Transport Systems Development in the People’s Republic of China, Published 2016. This report identifies factors which contribute to collisions that can be addressed by intelligent transport systems technologies in the People’s Republic of China. It examines opportunities for establishing a policy framework for the development and implementation of C-ITS using connected vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-road-infrastructure technologies. Some C-ITS applications identified and relevant to the People’s Republic of China are cooperative hazard warning systems and enhanced driver awareness and control.

 

ADB

Outward Ripples: How Japan-Korea History Tensions Affect ASEAN, May 2016. Over the past decade, Japan-Korea tensions over their shared history have become a major cause for concern for analysts and practitioners of international relations. This working paper examines whether and how much Japan and Korea have "exported" their bilateral tensions to relations with member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); and the impact on Japan-ASEAN and Korea-ASEAN ties. This is done by analyzing the economic, political, and security ties between these nations, as well as public opinion and media coverage of Japan-Korea 'history issues' within ASEAN. This data is interpreted through a 'holistic constructivist' theoretical framework, which seeks to look at culture and social constructions as a causal factor in international relations...

 

EWC

Kyrgyzstan 2010: Conflict and Context, July 2016. Kyrgyzstan gained independence at the end of 1991 and immediately embarked on an ambitious program of economic reform. This was underpinned by a commitment to democratic ideals and the emergence of a thriving civil society. The international community was impressed and regarded Kyrgyzstan as an exemplary model for regional development. There were many Kyrgyz, especially among the educated, urban sector of the population, who shared this positive view. Consequently, it came as a shock when, in 2010, the country was engulfed by a terrible series of violent clashes. It was tempting to seek “instant” culprits and readily comprehensible “causes.” The easiest solution was to present the conflict as an internecine struggle between rival ethnic communities. However, as those with long first-hand experience of the region pointed out, this explanation was too simplistic...

 

ISDP

Reforming the International Protection Regime: Responsibilities, Roles and Policy Options for Australia, August 2016. The international protection regime is failing states and refugees alike. It may be too soon to reform its fundamentals, but the regime needs to be implemented more effectively, and straight away. It is in Australia’s national interest to drive reform, in order to prepare for future asylum flows, take advantage of the success of Operation Sovereign Borders, and fulfil its long-standing commitment to helping people in need. At the domestic level, Australia should set standards for responding fairly but effectively to asylum seekers, and prepare for environmental migration. At the regional level Australia needs to establish leadership credentials to promote protecting people closer to home. At the global level Australia should champion new approaches to refugees and migration, challenging an increasingly complacent regime...

 

Lowy

Making the Most of the G20, July 2016. At a time when multilateralism is in decline and many countries are turning inward, the G20 is needed. The premier forum for international economic cooperation has design flaws, but provides political leadership on global economic matters such as international tax, financial regulation and international financial institutions. In an uncertain world, it is the best means that the international community has to coordinate responses to global economic and financial crises. The G20 can also play an important role in countering growing anti-globalisation sentiment...

 

Lowy

Tourist Arrivals and Inclusive Growth, August 2016. This study contributes to tourism policy discussions in the APEC region in two ways. First, it examines the likely impacts of policies that can contribute to achieving the target of 800 million international tourist arrivals by 2025, a goal APEC tourism ministers announced in 2014. Second, it looks at the linkages between tourism development and the overall economy, in particular the linkages between tourism and macroeconomic indicators, inclusive growth, and MSME development. 

 

APEC

Peer Review on Low Carbon Energy Policies in Viet Nam, August 2016. The APEC Peer Review on Low Carbon Energy Policies (PRLCE) was endorsed by the APEC Energy Ministers at the 2010 Energy Ministerial Meeting. The review is an extension APEC’s Peer Review on Energy Efficiency and its guidelines. 

 

APEC

Workshop on Experiences and Plans to Double Renewable Energy Utilization by 2030 in the APEC Region, August 2016. This report highlights the findings from the workshop which targeted best practices and next steps to help APEC economies develop roadmaps for increasing the share of renewable energy in power generation and end-use technologies.

 

APEC

Import MRL Guideline for Pesticides, July 2016. This Guideline is intended to facilitate a greater degree of clarity and alignment around the application of assessment methodologies involved in considering import MRL requests, from the perspective of consumer protection, across the APEC region. The aim being to not only increase consumer confidence in the MRL setting process, but where practical and appropriate, also achieve greater regulatory convergence of MRLs, promoting greater alignment with international standards, while reducing the regulatory burden across APEC economies and facilitating trade.

 

APEC

APEC Oil and Gas Security Exercise - The Philippines Exercise, June 2016. This report provides the outcome of the Oil and Gas Security Exercise, which details the Philippines' responses to the three hypothetical emergency scenarios formulated for the said exercise. The report also presents comments and recommendations from the team of experts on the responses generated from each scenario.

 

APEC

APEC Energy Efficiency Policy Workshop Summary Report: Policy and Program Evaluation, June 2016. Evaluation of energy efficiency policy is essential to developing effective policy and to understanding the impacts of policy and program implementation. However, the practice of evaluation is lagging behind, especially in APEC developing economies. To support the development of this practice APERC coordinated the APEC Energy Efficiency Policy Workshop: Policy and Program Evaluation in Taichung City, Chinese Taipei on 12 April 2016.

 

APEC

Capacity Building Research on Customs Control of Cross-Border E-Commerce, February 2016. The report has formed a package of proposals for the APEC economies on the base of the results on the APEC seminar about customs control for CBEC. It not only cites the newest researches about Cross-Border E-Commerce (CBEC), analyzes its overall development, and outlines the legislation and regulatory model of APEC and the EU major economies in this field. In the light of Customs supervision and Risk Prevention and Control, it also summarizes experience and methods of the cooperation between customs and other partners, and proposes effective ways to improve the supervision.

 

APEC

Volatility Contagion across the Equity Markets of Developed and Emerging Market Economies, July 2016. Using variance risk premiums (VRPs) nonparametrically calculated from equity markets in selected major developed economies and emerging market economies (EMEs) over 2007‒2015, we document the correlation of VRPs across the markets and examine whether equity fund flows work as a path through which VRPs spill over globally. First, we find that VRPs tend to spike up during market turmoil such as the peak of the global financial crisis and the European debt crisis. Second, we find that all cross-equity market correlations of VRPs are positive, and that some economy pairs exhibit high levels of the correlation...

 

ADB

Credit Surety Fund: A Credit Innovation for Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises in the Philippines, July 2016. Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises are a backbone of the Philippine economy. One factor that hinders the growth of these enterprises is their difficulty in accessing finance from banks and other financial institutions. The Credit Surety Fund (CSF) was established to help these enterprises and other organizations become creditworthy and bankable. The CSF is a credit guarantee program initiated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas that enables enterprises and cooperatives to gain easier access to loans from banks without providing collateral...

 

ADB

Barriers to Innovation in Indian Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, July 2016. Innovation plays a critical role in shaping the industrial and firm competitiveness of any nation. Innovation is often discussed in the setting of developed countries, but the rise of emerging economies such as India has generated a new interest in understanding innovation in developing economies. This paper aims to study and present the current state of innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India. The focus of the paper is to bring out the key barriers SMEs face in the innovation process in the context of the existing government policy...

 

ADB

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Policy Notes:  

PIDS

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Development Research News:  

PIDS

Asian Ethnology 2011-2016  

Nanzan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced Manufacturing and China's Future for Jobs, August 2016. This paper explores how China's push into advanced manufacturing and services through robots and other new disruptive technologies might affect the country's future for jobs. After decades of rapid-fire growth, China's comparative advantage in manufacturing and the extraordinary size of its economy explain why China has not followed Dani Rodrik's pattern of "premature de-industrialization". However, China now has reached a level of development where catching up through an investment-driven "Global Factory" model is no longer sufficient to create long-term economic growth and prosperity...

 

EWC

Asia on the Medal Stand: Rio Olympic Forecasts, July 2016. This paper updates and extends forecasts originally contained in the working paper on "Asian Participation and Performance at the Olympic Games," with Kevin Stahler, May 2015. It was subsequently published as Noland, Marcus, and Kevin Stahler. 2016. Asian Participation and Performance at the Olympic Games. Asian Economic Policy Review 11:1 70-90.

 

EWC

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #12: Understanding Jokowi’s Foreign Policy. The foreign policy issue in the 2014 Indonesian presidential election was the rejection by both candidates, Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Prabowo Subianto, of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s high-profile globalism. Both promised instead a foreign policy directed to the real economic and social interests of the people. This raised concerns by Indonesia’s international partners that its new foreign policy would be more nationalistic and inward looking. A year and a half into Jokowi’s presidency, it is possible to make a preliminary assessment of the course of Jokowi’s foreign policy in relation to the goals that Jokowi the candidate set forth for Jokowi the president. Indonesia’s foreign policy under Jokowi, like his predecessor’s, is that suited to a rising middle power with a claim to regional leadership. Its operating principles have been unchanged since first enunciated in 1948: “bebas dan aktif” — independent and active — shaped pragmatically to existing situations...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #11: The Red Shirts and Their Democratic Struggle in Northern Thailand, April 2010 to May 2015. The political education of members of Thailand’s Red Shirt movement took place through the electoral process, and through learning how political institutions and the judiciary could be systematically used to topple the elected government. The main sources of instruction were the Red Shirt TV programmes followed by Bangkok rallies. In Chiang Mai Province, for example, Red Shirt activities centred around a radio station and participation in political gatherings. The former involved dissemination of information, the latter connected activists with those from other parts of Northern Thailand. The relationship between the United Alliance for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) and satellite Red Shirt groups was rather distant. The UDD leadership showed little interest in strengthening Red Shirt forces outside Bangkok and in turn, there was little participation by Red Shirt leaders from other provinces in Bangkok activities...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #10: Bipolarity and the Future of the Security Order in East Asia. ASEAN is in danger of becoming marginalized as East Asian security becomes increasingly shaped by such volatile flashpoints as a nuclear North Korea and a South China Sea increasingly dominated by quarrels over sovereignty and maritime security. Accordingly, the notion of “ASEAN centrality” is now being seriously challenged and is unlikely to prevail against the growing bipolar security environment shaped by China and the United States. ASEAN and other Asia-Pacific states could gravitate toward one of five alternative order-building scenarios: A Sino-American condominium that defines and accepts each other’s geopolitical sphere of influence; The replacement or substantial revision of the United States’ bilateral alliance system with the expansion of multilateral norms and instrumentalities; The gradual predominance of an “Asia for Asians” concept led by China but endorsed by a substantial number of Southeast Asian states...

 

ISEAS

Improving on Zero: Australia and India Attempt Strategic Convergence, August 2016. India no longer sees Australia as merely a strategic stooge of the US. And Australia is starting to accord India the importance India always saw as its right. Those are big changes in attitude and policy—and in the two countries’ understanding of each other’s interests. Strategy: The Australia–India strategic relationship was in zero territory—often in negative mode—for much of the 20th century; indeed, effectively since India’s independence. In the 21st century, though, Australia and India can reach for greater strategic convergence. People: Australia in the 21st century can have a set of relationships with India based on people as much as on economic and strategic need. Economics and trade: As China slows economically, Australia turns to India...

 

ASPI

Principled Engagement: Rebuilding Defence Ties With Fiji, July 2016. The geopolitics of the Pacific Islands region is changing, including the emergence of the new Pacific regionalism. The traditional regional security orthodoxy is also changing. The Russian arms deal to Fiji has underlined the extent to which Australia and New Zealand face competition for access and influence from external players in their relations with Fiji. Since the normalisation of relations in 2014, Australia and New Zealand have pursued a soft approach to engagement. Australia’s and New Zealand’s response to Cyclone Winston offered an opportunity to re-engage with Fiji’s military and test the potential for increased defence diplomacy. It is time for Australia and New Zealand to undertake a principled rebuilding of defence ties with Fiji.

 

Lowy

The Rise of Defense Diplomacy in the South China Sea, June 2016. Jacqueline Espenilla, Non-Resident WSD-Handa Fellow at the Pacific Forum CSIS, explains that “Countries like the Philippines and Vietnam are shrewdly using the power of defense diplomacy to link their navies and military to strategically interested countries, thereby getting tacit support for positions that conform to shared values [regarding] internationally acceptable behavior.”

 

EWC

Review of APEC Green Building Project, July 2016. The Project builds on work to-date carried out by APEC member economies to advance green building and building energy efficiency and was implemented through the APEC Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC).

 

APEC

Policy Review for APEC Low-Carbon Model Town Phase 5 Final Report, June 2016. The APEC Low-Carbon Model Town (LCMT) project seeks to promote low-carbon technologies in city planning in order to manage rapidly growing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in urban areas of the APEC region. This report presents the findings of Policy Review for Biting City, North Sulawesi Province, Indonesia.

 

APEC

Literature Survey Developing Solar-Powered Emergency Shelter Solutions as an Energy-Resilience Tool for Natural Disaster Relief in APEC Community, May 2016. This literature survey informs APEC forum Energy Working Group (EWG), specifically its sub-forum of Expert Group on New and Renewable Energy Technologies.

 

APEC

A Report on Enhancing Labour Mobility in the APEC Region, Published 2015. This report was commissioned to generate additional knowledge about labour mobility in the Asia-Pacific region, at present and over time, to inform APEC member economies’ deliberations about options to manage regional demand and enhance worker mobility to optimise potential benefits such as reducing unemployment, boosting productivity, addressing labour force imbalances, and contributing to economic development.

 

APEC

Asian Development Outlook Supplement - Asia's Growth Prospects Undimmed by Brexit Vote, July 2016. Growth in Central Asia is weaker than predicted, while expansion in the Pacific is now expected to be a touch higher. Forecasts are unchanged for East, South, and Southeast Asia. While the Brexit vote has affected developing Asia’s currency and stock markets, its impact on the real economy in the short term is expected to be small...

 

ADB

Knowledge Work on Securitization in the People’s Republic of China, July 2016. This working paper describes key features and mechanisms of securitization and practices of securitizing revenue streams from various classes of physical asset before and after the global financial crisis, and provides context information on how this could be relevant for the PRC. The aim is to deepen the understanding for securitization and contribute to ongoing discussions about reforming local government finances, infrastructure finance and project finance, and further diversifying financial sevices. Local governments in the PRC and their subsidiaries are still struggling with rapidly increasing debt levels but also have numerous physical assets on their balance sheets.

 

ADB

The Impact of a People’s Republic of China Slowdown on Commodity Prices and Detecting the Asymmetric Responses of Economic Activity in Asian Countries to Commodity Price Shocks, July 2016. This study carries out the analysis in two parts. First, noting the fact that commodity prices are characterized by structural breaks, a model based on a Flexible Fourier Form is employed to study the causal relations between a slowdown in the People’s Republic of China and different commodity prices. The second part investigates whether the response of emerging and developing Asian countries to a positive or negative shock is significantly different.

 

ADB

Effects of the People’s Republic of China’s Structural Change on the Exports of East and Southeast Asian Economies, July 2016. Asian economies which failed to export relatively more consumption goods to the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) suffered larger declines in overall exports to the PRC. In addition, Asian economies that exported relatively less parts and components to the PRC saw their shares of the PRC’s total imports decline. Overall, the PRC’s structural change is having a significant impact on the pattern of its trade with its neighbors.

 

ADB

Determinants of Consumer Price Inflation versus Producer Price Inflation in Asia, June 2016. The authors empirically examine and compare the determinants of producer and consumer price inflation in 10 major Asian economies—People’s Republic of China (PRC); Hong Kong, China; India; Indonesia; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Philippines; Singapore; Thailand; and Viet Nam—during 2000–2015. In this connection, they also investigate the pass-through of global oil prices, global food prices, and exchange rates to domestic producer and consumer prices. Overall, they find that cost-push factors such as oil and food prices are more important in explaining producer price inflation than consumer price inflation in the 10 Asian economies. On the other hand, for consumer prices, demand-pull factors still explain much of the inflation.

 

ADB

Pacific Economic Monitor, July 2016. Forecasts for global growth in 2016 have been lowered to 3.1%—the same rate as last year—due to weakness in demand, international trade, and capital flows, as well as demographic trends and lackluster productivity growth. Prospects for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have improved modestly during the first half of the year, with adjustment toward services and consumption—away from investment and manufacturing—but the IMF warns that the situation in many leading economies could further reduce global growth. Other major risk factors include the repercussions of the United Kingdom’s vote to exit the European Union, tighter credit conditions, major exchange rate fluctuations, and further weakness in commodity markets...

 

ADB

Bridging the “Missing Middle” between Microfinance and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Finance in South Asia, July 2016. With maturity in the microfinance market in South Asia, it is observed that some microfinance members’ needs grow beyond the boundaries of traditional microfinance group loans. In addition, there are other small enterprises whose needs are not met by microfinance institutions or commercial banks. It is important to address the financing needs of these firms given their employment potential, and hence this issue is on the policy agenda of the three countries studied in this paper: India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan...

 

ADB

Optimal Credit Guarantee Ratio for Asia, July 2016. Difficulty in accessing finance is one of the critical factors constraining the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Asia. Owing to their significance to national economies, it is important to find ways to provide SMEs with stable finance. One efficient way to promote SME financing is through credit guarantee schemes, where the government guarantees a portion (ratio) of a loan provided by a bank to an SME. This research provides a theoretical model and an empirical analysis of factors that determine optimal credit guarantee ratio.

 

ADB

Capital Inflow Surges and Consequences, July 2016. While capital flows to emerging markets bring numerous benefits, they are also known to create macroeconomic imbalances (economic overheating, currency overvaluation) and increase financial vulnerabilities (domestic credit growth, bank leverage, foreign currency-denominated lending). But are all inflows the same? In this paper, we examine whether the source of the inflow—residents repatriating foreign assets or nonresidents investing in the country—or the type of inflow (foreign direct investment, portfolio, other investment) makes any difference to the consequences of the capital flow...

 

ADB

Urbanization, Inequality, and Poverty in the People’s Republic of China, July 2016. Relying on the present literature, official statistics, and household survey data in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), this paper summarizes research findings on the relationship between urbanization, urban–rural inequality, and poverty, and provides further empirical evidence on the role of urbanization and government policies in urban poverty. Several conclusions can be drawn from this paper. First, urbanization has a significant effect on reducing both poverty of rural residents and poverty of migrating peasants, and, consequently, has a positive effect on narrowing the rural–urban income/consumption gap...

 

ADB

Commercial Bank Innovations in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Finance: Global Models and Implications for Thailand, July 2016. In Thailand, the government has long recognized the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the economy and has given a large amount of financial support to this sector. Still, SMEs are not able to catch up with larger enterprises and the constraints to SME financing remain the main topic of policy discussion today. Against this background, the important issue for Thailand may not be about the lack of financial assistance per se but about how to design an appropriate market-friendly business model and supporting scheme to help SMEs gain access to credit on a sustainable basis...

 

ADB

Small Firms, Human Capital, and Productivity in Asia, July 2016. The paper analyzes the link between human capital and firm-level productivity in five Asian countries. It draws on a dataset of over 4,000 enterprises and considers both the prior educational attainment of workers and in-service training programs of enterprises. Differences between small, medium-sized, and large enterprises and between countries are also presented. The key finding is that both preservice education and in-service training are positively correlated with labor productivity. The productivity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is enhanced by a higher level of skills and education of the workforce, just as it is with large firms

 

ADB

Finance for Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises in India: Sources and Challenges, July 2016. The key objective of the study was to identify various challenges faced by MSMEs in sourcing of finance during different stages of their life cycle. This study is a first-of-its-kind attempt to focus on these aspects. The study further explores whether the financial awareness of MSME entrepreneurs is a major limitation in the identification and utilization of sources of finance. Data was collected through personal interviews using a structured questionnaire from a sample of 85 MSMEs...

 

ADB

Dynamics of Innovation and Internationalization among Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Viet Nam, July 2016. This paper examines the bidirectional causality between innovation and internationalization in the context of developing countries. Using a dynamic bivariate probit model and adopting a broad definition of internationalization, this paper analyzes these issues using a panel dataset of small and medium-sized enterprises in Viet Nam. The results show a high persistence in process and product innovations and internationalization decisions...

 

ADB

Skills Training by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Innovative Cases and the Consortium Approach in the Republic of Korea, July 2016. This paper presents targeted government policies for promoting training in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to increase their contributions to economic development. It first discusses the role of SMEs in country development and the special challenges facing SMEs in developing human resources. It then surveys some innovative, targeted policies for promoting training by SMEs in Asia and Latin America...

 

ADB

Journal of Global Buddhism, Volume 17, 2016  

JGB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Eagle Has Landed: The US Rebalance to Southeast Asia, June 2016. Early in his administration, President Barack Obama announced the ‘Asia rebalance’, a US reorientation that became official policy in January 2012. This so-called ‘pivot’ explicitly recognises the need for America to re-embrace partner nations in Asia, leveraging their significant and growing capabilities to build a network of states that nurtures, strengthens and sustains a rules-based order that’s capable of effectively addressing regional challenges. The fundamental question is whether the US will continue with its current ASEAN-centric policy as part of a broader program of Asian engagement. Assuming that the rebalance survives, it’s clear that a central challenge will be convincing China that the return to Southeast Asia isn’t a thinly veiled strategy of Sino-containment but, rather, an effort to revitalise and strengthen partnerships in a key part of the world. The optimal and most sustainable outcome will be the emergence of a regional order that promotes risk-averse behaviour by Beijing and insulates against the type of unilateral action that could quickly escalate out of control to threaten American and local allied interests.

 

ASPI

ADF Capability Snapshot 2016: C4ISR-Winning in the Networked Battlespace, June 2016. This paper provides an assessment and overview of the ADF’s command, control, computing, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (known commonly as ‘C4ISR’) capabilities in the context of the ADF’s goal of pursuing a network-centric warfare capability. The paper is the final part of a series of ADF ‘capability snapshots’. The previous three (Navy, Army and Air Force) were released by ASPI in late 2015.

 

ASPI

Why Russia Is a Threat to the International Order, June 2016. Almost a quarter of a century after the demise of the USSR, Russia is back on the world stage and in a familiar, threatening manner. There can be no doubt that Putin’s Russia is now seeking to reassert itself as a major power. It seems set on a path to confrontation with the West and is now challenging the established post-World War II security order in Europe. This paper analyses Russia’s geopolitical ambitions, its military modernisation, the threat it poses to the international order and how the West should respond. It estimates the prospects for the Russian economy to assess how economic weakness might affect Russian behaviour. It concludes by addressing Moscow’s strategic priorities in the Asia–Pacific region and the implications of Russia’s rise for Australia.

 

ASPI

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #9: The Extensive Salafization of Malaysian Islam. The form of Islam normatively understood and practised in Malaysia, i.e. Malaysian Islam, has undergone myriad changes since the 1970s as a result of gradual Salafization. Powered by Saudi Arabian largesse and buoyed by the advent of the Internet, this new wave of Salafization has eclipsed an earlier Salafi trend that spawned the Kaum Muda reformist movement. Recent surveys suggest that there has been a rise in the level of extremism among Muslims in Malaysia. While the majority is far from being enamoured by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Wahhabi-Salafi doctrine that ISIS claims to represent in unadulterated form does appeal to many of them following the decades-long Salafization of Islam in the country. This tallies with media reports on increasing numbers of Malay-Muslim youth harbouring an attraction towards radical Islamist movements such as ISIS...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #8: Rural Thailand: Change and Continuity. Despite rapid industrialization in Thailand, the contribution of agriculture to GDP remains unusually high. The share of agricultural employment in total employment has also remained high, relative to the country’s income level, as has the share of the rural population relative to the total population. Agribusiness has grown significantly, and there has been a rise in the number of large and strongly financed commercial farms that are less labour intensive. Contract farming has also been developing. The introduction of a rice premium by the government obstructed the modernization of the agricultural rice sector and caused the rice share in GDP to steadily decline, while that for upland crops such as cassava, maize, sugarcane, and oil palm increased. However, rice remains the most important crop...

 

ISEAS

Asia Bond Monitor, June 2016. Bond yields in most emerging East Asian markets fell between 1 March and 15 May amid a weak global economy. The exceptions were the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Philippines, where yields generally picked up. In March, the Asian Development Bank forecasted that developing Asia’s growth would decelerate from 5.9% in 2015 to 5.7% in 2016 and 2017. In April, the International Monetary Fund cut its 2016 global growth forecast to 3.2%, down from 3.4% in January. Against this backdrop, bond yields in emerging East Asia generally decreased between 1 March and 15 May, including yields for 10-year local currency (LCY) government bonds...

 

ADB

Deflation in Asia: Should the Dangers Be Dismissed? July 2016.
The traditional view is that deflation can lead to a vicious cycle of falling demand and prices. However, another school of thought emphasizes the role of positive supply shocks and takes a more benign view. Using consumer prices, Borio et al. (2015) examine the relationship between deflation and economic growth, and find some evidence which casts doubt on the traditional view. Using both consumer prices and producer prices, the authors revisit the relationship and find stronger grounds for concern about the harmful effect of deflation on growth.

 

ADB

Understanding Recent Trends in Income Inequality in the People’s Republic of China, July 2016. The paper first identifies four key drivers of rising income inequality in the PRC since the mid-1980s: rising skill premium, declining share of labor income, increasing spatial inequality, and widening inequality in the distribution of wealth. It then provides evidence that the reversal of these drivers, with the exception of wealth inequality, could partly explain the decline in income inequality since 2008. The paper argues that since part of the reversal of these drivers is policy induced, it is important that the policy actions continue for income inequality to decline further. The paper further argues that a critical factor underlying the Kuznets hypothesis is that taxation and transfers play a bigger role in income redistribution as a country becomes more developed, while their role is still limited in the PRC, the future path of the country’s income inequality may not be one directional; and reducing income inequality

 

ADB

Technology and Innovation Policies for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in East Asia, July 2016. Policies for stimulating technological development and innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises can be divided into three groups. Supply-side policies aim at increasing firms’ incentives to invest in innovation by reducing costs. Demand-side policies are public actions to induce innovation and/or speed up the diffusion of innovation. Systemic policies focus on strengthening interactive learning between actors in innovation systems. Policies can be implemented through various instruments comprising tax incentives, grants or direct subsidies, low-interest loans, and the government’s direct equity participation. These instruments have pros and cons. The experiences of four late-industrializing East Asian economies—Taipei,China; Singapore; Malaysia; and Thailand—provide key lessons...

 

ADB

Does Internal and External Research and Development Affect Innovation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises? Evidence from India and Pakistan, June 2016. This study investigates the impact of internal and external research and development (R&D) on the innovation performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India and Pakistan. Micro-level data was obtained for 3,492 Indian and 696 Pakistani SMEs from the World Bank’s Enterprise Survey, and bivariate probit estimation techniques were used. The results show that internal and external R&D positively affects product and process innovations. However, this effect is stronger for Indian SMEs...

 

ADB

The Impact of Finance on the Performance of Thai Manufacturing Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, June 2016. This study sheds light on small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) financing and its performance in Thailand. It elaborates on the key sources of finance existing for Thai manufacturing SMEs and their importance for SME performance as measured by technical efficiency, export performance, and technological innovation. This study also examines the key factors enhancing SME access to external finance. Our results confirm that retained earnings are crucial to increase SME technical efficiency, but loans from unlicensed moneylenders deteriorate their export performance...

 

ADB

Catching Up, Structural Transformation, and Inequality: Lessons from Asia, June 2016. This paper investigates the effect of structural change on inequality in Asian economies. The authors empirically examine the effect of structural change on wage inequality in Asia, using industry-level data for three skill groups of workers. Their evidence indicates that structural change, pushed by productivity catch-up with advanced economies, capital deepness and the shift of the economic structures to more skill-intensive industries, has exacerbated inequality in the region. However, they also find that policy responses, especially investment in education matching the higher demand for skills and competitive exchange rates, can mitigate the increase in inequality.

 

ADB

Absorptive Capacity and the Impact of Commodity Terms of Trade Shocks in Resource Export-Dependent Economies, June 2016. This paper investigates the role of “absorptive capacity” to manage unexpected shocks to the real economy, with a focus on small, open natural resource-dependent economies. Empirical investigation suggests that levels of absorptive capacity, or the ability to use resource windfalls effectively, and foreign reserves begin to matter when the sample is restricted to resource-dependent countries. Two case studies from Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste support this claim, highlighting the challenges they face when confronted with a sudden influx of natural resource revenues and the capacity to effectively use fiscal revenues is limited.

 

ADB

Connecting Asia: Infrastructure for Integrating South and Southeast Asia, Published 2016. With a focus on the role played by infrastructure and public policies in facilitating this process, it provides a detailed and up-to-date discussion of issues, innovations, and progress. Country studies of national connectivity issues and policies cover Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, examining major developments in trade and investment, economic cooperation, the role of economic corridors, and regional cooperation initiatives...

 

ADB

Labor Market Rigidities and Macroeconomic Performance in the PRC, Published 2016. Based on a review of international experiences and the labor market situation in the PRC, this policy note provides policy recommendations on increasing macroeconomic efficiency through improving labor market flexibility without necessarily sacrificing protection for workers. In addition to strengthening job creation, supply-side government policies, such as those to help workers moderate income fluctuations (both cyclical and structural) and improve workers mobility, could help restore labor market flexibility in the PRC.

 

ADB

ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard Country Reports and Assessments 2014, Published 2016. The OECD Principles of Corporate Governance were used as the main benchmark for the ASEAN Scorecard. Many of the items in the Scorecard are international and regional best practices that may go beyond the requirements of national legislation. The ASEAN corporate governance experts also drew from the existing body of work and ranking initiatives in the region, including those of institutes of directors, shareholder associations, and universities, to guide the initial inclusion of items in the ASEAN Scorecard. The ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard Country Reports and Assessments 2014 is a joint initiative of the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum and the Asian Development Bank.

 

ADB

Hong Kong: High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2016Q3, July 2016. According to its High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecast, real GDP is estimated to grow by 0.5% in 16Q2, when compared with the same period in 2015, slower than the 0.8% growth in 16Q1. In 16Q3, real GDP growth is expected to improve slightly to 1.0% when compared with the same period last year. Slowed from the 2.4% growth in 2015, we forecast Hong Kong GDP will grow by 1.2% in 2016 as a whole, downward revised by 0.3 percentage points comparing to our previous forecast.

 

HKU

Turning Back? Philippine Security Policy under Duterte, June 2016. Rodrigo Duterte’s resounding victory in the presidential elections in May has shaken up the political landscape of the Philippines. His administration will be vastly different from that of his predecessor, President Benigno Aquino. Security policy under Duterte will likely be very different in focus and approach. Three key policies that involve significant foreign country support will change substantially if the Duterte administration follows through on his campaign promises: the Muslim Mindanao peace process; military modernisation; and maritime rights disputes with China...

 

Lowy

A Hawai‘i Venue and an Arctic Model for a Pacific Climate Resiliency Agreement, June 2016. Anukriti Hittle, Visiting Scholar at the East-West Center, explains that “[On the pending Pacific Region Climate Resiliency Agreement,] lessons can be taken from the Arctic Council, covering another vast and diverse area of the world, and applied to the Pacific region for countries to take concerted collective action.”

 

EWC

Nepal-China Connectivity and the Need for Regional Cooperation, June 2016. Anil Sigdel, Director of the International Studies Program at the Advanced Research and Training Institute-Nepal, explains that “The growing connectivity of South Asia with China is inevitable. Growing Chinese involvement in Nepal signifies that it will be increasingly hard for India to micro-manage domestic politics in Nepal.”

 

EWC

The Morning After: Australia, Japan, and the Submarine Deal that Wasn’t, June 2016. Nick Bisley and H. D. P. Envall, Professor of International Relations at La Trobe University and Research Fellow at The Australian National University, respectively, explain that “For reasons largely of poor diplomatic management, however, the two parties [Australia and Japan] allowed their more aspirational hopes for a major strategic relationship to get ahead of the complex realities of the biggest defense acquisition in Australian history.”

 

EWC

The Logic and Wisdom of Lifting the US Arms Embargo on Vietnam, June 2016. Lewis M. Stern, former Director for Southeast Asia in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, explains that “This was not an attempt to buy Vietnamese cooperation in some anti-China crusade in reaction to Chinese aggressive behavior in the South China Sea but part of a broader effort to urge and encourage Vietnam to be a … responsible example of rational modern governance.”

 

EWC

The 2016 Philippine Elections: Local Power as National Authority, May 2016. Patricio N. Abinales, professor in the School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the University of Hawai‘i-Manoa, explains that “That phrase [“all politics is local”] could very well explain part of why 39% of voters chose Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte as the 16th President of the Republic.”

 

EWC

At the Crossroads: The TPP, AIIB, and Japan's Foreign Economic Strategy, May 2016. In 2015, two mega-initiatives took shape that will affect economic relations in the Asia-Pacific region: the US-promoted Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Although they address different needs, both are expected to have profound effects on Asia's economic governance in the near future, and will shape economic norms in the Asia Pacific and beyond. Japan has joined the TPP but stayed out of the AIIB, decisions that might seem counterintuitive considering its history of resisting trade liberalization and of promoting infrastructure investment...

 

EWC

Non-Tariff Measures Affecting Small and Medium Enterprises in the Asia-Pacific Region, June 2016. It is widely recognized that the participation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in global trade will significantly help realize the APEC’s goal of inclusive growth, job creation and poverty eradication. This study zeroes in on the important hurdle faced by SMEs in non- tariff measures (NTMs).

 

APEC

Gender-related Constraints Faced by Women-owned SMEs, June 2016. Within APEC, four main categories of constraints that female SME owners face to access to markets have been identified. Firstly, it has been harder for female entrepreneurs to identify opportunities to expand and internationalize, in part due to lack of relevant skills and networking opportunities. Secondly, unequal access to financial resources from state-owned financial institutions and government agencies has been affecting negatively female entrepreneurs...

 

APEC

APEC Public-Private Dialogue on Facilitating Infrastructure Investment to Enhance Food Security, June 2016. APEC Public-Private Dialogue on Facilitating Infrastructure Investment to Enhance Food Security aims at creating a suitable platform for representatives from the public and private sectors to identify challenges, impediments of APEC member economies in agriculture infrastructure investment and development for sustainable agriculture to ensure food security. It also aims at exchanging, sharing experiences, best practices of APEC member economies (and non APEC member economies) in promoting agriculture infrastructure investment and development to ensure food security.

 

APEC

Independent Assessment Report of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts' Working Group, May 2016. This is a report of the independent assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of APEC’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts Working Group (ACTWG).

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monitoring Regional Economic Integration in Asia, June 2016. Given the diversity of Asia and the capacity constraints of countries in the region to manage integration, building an integrated Asian market is not easy. It requires not only the ability to implement initiatives to support the markets, but also a high level commitment by countries to ensure that policies are supportive of integration. Because regional economic integration is a complex process, there is a need to understand how the process works so that policy makers are better informed of its outcomes and to guide them in formulating integration-related policies. Hence, monitoring regional economic integration...

 

ADB

The Development Dimension of E-Commerce in Asia: Opportunities and Challenges, June 2016. E-commerce is the sale and purchase of goods and services through electronic networks and the internet, encompassing a broad range of commercial activity. While widespread adoption of e-commerce in advanced economies is evident, physical and institutional barriers to its application in developing countries must first be overcome. Governments, multilateral organizations, and the private sector must cooperate in fostering an environment that is conducive to its implementation...

 

ADB

Contingent Claims Analysis of Sovereign Debt Sustainability in Asian Emerging Markets, June 2016. Contingent claims analysis applied to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, and Thailand shows no particular vulnerability to sovereign debt distress during recent years. However, the highly volatile “distance to distress” measure suggests that any of these countries may fall victim to a sudden loss in market confidence. For example, the value of Indonesia’s sovereign assets dropped to just two standard deviations above its repayment obligations during the 2013 Fed taper tantrum, causing capital outflows and currency depreciation. Generally, we find that contingent claims analysis and market-based risk measures well complement conventional debt sustainability analysis for Asia...

 

ADB

Divergence of Human Capital in Cities in the People’s Republic of China: Exploring Complementarities and Spatial Agglomeration of the Workforce with Various Skills, June 2016. Complementarity between a low-skilled and a high-skilled workforce can promote and improve labor productivity in the cities in the People’s Republic of China. In cities, complementarity between a low-skilled and a high-skilled workforce can promote each other to improve labor productivity. In this study, we used earlier census data and 1% population survey data to examine the distribution of the skilled workforce in cities in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) along with its changes, and drew the following three conclusions...

 

ADB

The Pillars of Potential Growth and the Role of Policy: A Panel Data Approach, May 2016. This paper looks into possible determinants of potential output growth. Findings suggest that factors such as tertiary level education and the technology gap with the US, among others, significantly affect potential growth output. The authors use Bayesian Model Averaging on panel data for 70 economies to examine the robustness of possible determinants of potential output growth. The robust determinants are subsequently used to analyze their magnitude of impact on potential output growth...

 

ADB

High-Speed Railroad and Economic Geography: Evidence from Japan, May 2016. 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. We study whether high-speed railroad (HSR) polarizes or balances economic geography using the 1982 opening of two major HSRs in Japan (Shinkansen). We find that both agglomeration and decentralization could occur. While service industry tends to agglomerate toward the core city, manufacturing industry may decentralize toward peripheral cities...

 

ADB

Impact of Infrastructure Investment on Tax: Estimating Spillover Effects of the Kyushu High-Speed Rail Line in Japan on Regional Tax Revenue, May 2016. This paper analyzes the impact of infrastructure investment on tax revenues and on the regional economy by studying the effect of the Kyushu high-speed rail line (shinkansen train) in Japan. The effects of the Kyushu high-speed rail line on the economy has often been debated. We estimated its impact in the Kyushu region by using the difference-in-difference method, and compared the tax revenues of regions along the railway line with other regions that were not affected by it...

 

ADB

Manufacturing as the Key Engine of Economic Growth for Middle-Income Economies, May 2016. This paper revisits the role of the manufacturing sector during the middle-income stage. By exploiting a large dataset that covers internationally comparable sectoral information, we prove that the manufacturing sector is imbued with three important characteristics. First, for middle-income economies, manufacturing pulls along services, instead of the other way around. A decline in the manufacturing sector growth rate will negatively affect the growth rate of the services sector, in both the short-run and long-run meanings...

 

ADB

Reviving Lakes and Wetlands in the People's Republic of China, Volume 3: Best Practices and Prospects for the Sanjiang Plain Wetlands, Published 2016. The Sanjiang Plain in Heilongjiang Province is one of the People’s Republic of China’s richest areas in flora and fauna. However, the wetlands have shrunk to a fifth of their original size in the last 5 decades. The Sanjiang Plain wetlands are among the most important wetlands in the People’s Republic of China with unique habitats, species, and ecology. There is a considerable body of literature devoted to various aspects of the Sanjiang Plain wetlands including their ecological values...

 

ADB

Urban Development in the Greater Mekong Subregion, Published 2016. Urbanization is set to play an ever greater role in the development of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries, transforming their economies and providing support to green economic growth. With urbanization levels still averaging about 30% in Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries, gross domestic product contributions of towns and cities have already reached 50%–60%...

 

ADB

How Inclusive is Inclusive Business for Women? Examples from Asia and Latin America, Published 2016. Inclusive businesses are bringing positive change to women’s lives. However, companies need to understand and address systemic issues of gender inequality to maximize financial return and social impact. Inclusive businesses are commercially viable business models that provide in-scale innovative and systemic solutions to problems relevant to the lives of low-income people...

 

ADB

Pacific Energy Update 2016. The Pacific region faces a unique set of energy challenges. Its limited supply of domestic fossil fuel resources has led to a historical dependence on imported fuels and a corresponding vulnerability to fluctuating energy prices. At the same time, outdated power infrastructures, geographical constraints, small populations, and limited generation capacity lead to high electricity tariffs (or costly subsidies), transmission and distribution losses, and low electrification rates in a number of Pacific developing member countries...

 

ADB

Pacific Transport Update 2015. ADB is currently implementing transport projects and technical assistance in eight Pacific DMCs—Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu. Investing in infrastructure development in the Pacific region is a key priority, and the transport sector comprises the largest proportion of ADB’s Pacific portfolio. ADB’s Pacific Approach, 2010–2014 emphasizes the need to continue support in the transport sector to improve connectivity via multimodal networks, while recognizing the need to ensure that investments in the sector are made more resilient against natural disasters and the effects of climate change...

 

ADB

Selected Articles of Virginia Review of Asian Studies 2016 (Full Report):  

VRAS

Australia-India Relations: Trends and the Prospects for a Comprehensive Economic Relationship, Published 2016. Given the political will shown at the top level from both the governments for a Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement (CECA), it is imperative to study the trends and prospects for the investment and economic relationship between Australia and India.BETWEEN Australia-INDIA with India. This paper examines the sectors which need to be synergised for a comprehensive Australia-India economic relationship, namely the resources and energy, agriculture and food, education and tourism, health and medical, manufacturing and infrastructure sectors...

 

ASARC

Structural Transformation in South Asia, Published 2016. This paper models the evolution and determinants of the shares of agriculture, manufacturing and services to GDP for 4 South Asian countries (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan) for 55 years: 1960-2014. Determinants of these shares were classified into three broad categories “country fundamentals”, “policy” and “regional and reform dummies”. Several models including pooled OLS, GLS, panel and quantile regression are estimated. In general, the estimated models fit the data well...

 

ASARC

Agenda for Change 2016: Strategic Choices for the Next Government, June 2016. The defence of Australia's interests is a core business of federal governments. Regardless of who wins the election on July 2, the incoming government will have to grapple with a wide range of security issues. This report provides a range of perspectives on selected defence and national security issues, as well as a number of policy recommendations. Contributors include Kim Beazley, Peter Jennings, Graeme Dobell, Shiro Armstrong and ASPI analysts. ASPI produced a similar brief before the 2013 election. There are some enduring challenges, such as cybersecurity, terrorism and an uncertain global economic outlook. Natural disasters are a constant feature of life on the Pacific and Indian Ocean rim...

 

ASPI

Cyberspace and Armed Forces: The Rationale for Offensive Cyber Capabilities, May 2016. A serious approach to military modernisation requires countries to equip, train, and organise cyberforces for what has become an essential component of national defence and deterrence. A force without adequate cyber capabilities is more dangerous to itself than to its opponents. As nations move forward in rethinking the role and nature of their military forces, and as they study the problems of organisation, doctrine and use of cyber operations, they need to:

  • develop the full range of military cyber capabilities with both offensive and defensive application
  • create a centralised command structure for those capabilities, with clear requirements for political-level approval for action
  • embed those capabilities in doctrine and a legal framework based on international law.
 

ASPI

The Lion and the Kangaroo: Australia's Strategic Partnership With Singapore, May 2016. There is an enduring, two-way strategic underpinning to Australia’s interactions with Singapore, going beyond the recently agreed Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Canberra is enhancing its economic access to Southeast Asia in return for granting Singapore greater access to military training areas in Australia. Yet Singapore’s stock is also rising, for Australia, in the context of Southeast Asia’s growing strategic profile. The stark fact is that Australia needs Southeast Asia more than it needs Australia. As a fellow ‘odd man out’ in its region, Singapore may be the exception to this rule because of its defence interest in Australia as a source of strategic depth. The city state can also add strategic depth for Australia. Capabilities aside, the most important attributes to this partnership are non-material: a shared mindset and a willingness to commit for the long term...

 

Lowy

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #7: Thailand’s Hyper-royalism: Its Past Success and Present Predicament. Thailand’s political impasse in the past decade is partly attributable to the royalist dominance of the parliamentary system, a dominance developed and strengthened under the cultural condition of hyper-royalism. Hyper-royalism is the politico-cultural condition in which royalism is intensified and exaggerated in public and everyday life. It is sanctioned by legislation that controls expressions about the monarchy in the public sphere. Hyper-royalism began in the mid-1970s as a measure to counteract perceived communist threats. Despite the fact that these threats had disappeared by the early 1980s, hyper-royalism persisted and was strengthened to support royalist democracy. Hyper-royalism generates the concept of the ideology...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #6: China’s One Belt One Road: An Overview of the Debate. The debate over China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative has been lively and at times heated, both in China and internationally. In many ways, this is a reflection of the vagueness of the concept, and of its exceptionality. OBOR does not prioritize trade and investment concessions, which makes it essentially different from traditional regional economic cooperation models such as FTAs, the TPP and the RCEP. Instead, it emphasizes regional infrastructure connectivity. After China proposed the initiative, countries within the New Silk Road Economic Belt, especially the five Central Asian countries, responded enthusiastically and positively, while Southeast and South Asian countries, on the other hand, expressed more concerns and reservations about the initiative...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #5: The State of Local Politics in Indonesia: Survey Evidence from Three Cities. Decentralization reforms in Indonesia have empowered local government with substantial powers. Local politics therefore constitutes a privileged arena for the study of democratic consolidation in this country. Research on local Indonesian politics is based almost exclusively on case-study analysis and qualitative work. As a result, while we have accumulated considerable knowledge on political elites, we know little about ordinary voters. This paper analyses a rich, original dataset with survey data from the cities of Medan in North Sumatra, Samarinda in East Kalimantan, and Surabaya in East Java. These three surveys, fielded shortly after the implementation of local direct elections on 9 December 2015, offer an unprecedented opportunity to learn about how various aspects of local politics are experienced by voters...

 

ISEAS

APEC Energy Demand and Supply Outlook (6th Edition) - Volume 2: Economy Reviews, May 2016. Recognising the rapid changes underway across the energy sector, the 6th edition of the APEC Energy Demand and Supply Outlook examines the Business-as-Usual (BAU) Scenario (the reference scenario) against three alternatives. The BAU reflects current policies and trends within the APEC energy sector; thus, its projections largely extend the past into the future. The alternatives are target-based and demonstrate what could be achieved under different policy frameworks.

 

APEC

APEC Energy Demand and Supply Outlook (6th Edition) - Volume 1, May 2016. In this sixth edition of the APEC Energy Demand and Supply Outlook, the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (APERC) first assesses a Business-as-Usual (BAU) Scenario, examining the potential to meet these challenges if current energy-related trends continue unchanged to the year 2040 (the Outlook period). The results fall far short of the above objectives as well as APEC’s energy goals. To address this gap, APERC modelled three alternative pathways: the Improved Efficiency Scenario to support APEC’s energy intensity reduction goal of 45% between 2005 and 2035; the High Renewables Scenario to outline a pathway to double the share of renewables in APEC between 2010 and 2030; and the Alternative Power Mix Scenario which evaluates trade-offs among the use of cleaner coal, gas and nuclear energy in the electricity sector.

 

APEC

APEC Regional Trends Analysis: Reducing Trade Costs in the Asia-Pacific, May 2016. APEC Regional Trends Analysis is a new publication of the PSU, combining two former reports “APEC Economic Trends Analysis and Key Trends” and “Developments Relating to Trade and Investment Measures”. The theme chapter addresses the topic on reducing trade costs in the Asia-Pacific. While measurements show that trade costs in APEC economies have decreased significantly between 2010 and 2014, there is a need to further understand the nature of these trade costs and why they have been falling. APEC has made considerable efforts to reduce trade costs, and more can be done to enhance these efforts...

 

APEC

Study of APEC Best Practices in Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programs, May 2016. This work updates the APEC Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Compendium, assembled in 2010, with results of a new survey. APEC customs authorities were provided a survey questionnaire about their AEO program. Based on this new survey, a matrix was created to determine where APEC AEO programs converge with or diverge from each other. Respondents were subsequently given an opportunity to review and comment on preliminary drafts of this report, and to provide clarifying data and/or additional information. This final report incorporates and addresses all relevant comments from member economies, and suggests ways to improve APEC AEO convergence and regional economic integration.

 

APEC

Beyond Manufacturing: Developing the Service Sector to Drive Growth in the PRC, May 2016. As demand from global markets declines, slowing exports of manufactured goods from the People's Republic of China means the country must increasingly rely on domestic markets for growth. Unlike manufactured goods, services—those "intangible" products that include everything from transportation to scientific research to real estate services—are geared more toward domestic markets. Services, then, will be key to the rebalancing process. However, while the service sector has grown rapidly in the PRC, it continues to lag behind other countries at similar stages of development. In addition, the sector is dominated by traditional low-end types of services, rather than knowledge-intensive services...

 

EWC

Beyond Shared Interests: The US and the Evolution of Indian Military Strategy, May 2016. Arzan Tarapore, Asia Studies Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “While shared interests between the US and India are real – and while they have driven some marginal evolution of Indian military posture and doctrine – they have not prompted an alignment of US and Indian military strategies.”

 

EWC

How Growth Deceleration in the People’s Republic of China Affects Other Asian Economies: An Empirical Analysis, May 2016. The paper employs two empirical methodologies to examine the question of how growth deceleration in the People's Republic of China (PRC) affects other Asian economies. A single-equation approach that captures the trade channel and a global vector autoregressive model that captures the effects beyond just the trade channel. The results confirm the non-negligible effect of the PRC deceleration on other economies, especially on East and Southeast Asia. The effect, however, is not always the dominating factor...

 

ADB

Exploring Risk-Adjusted Fiscal Sustainability Analysis for Asian Economies, May 2016. The paper explores risk-based fiscal analytical approaches to deal with risk and uncertainty when conducting debt sustainability analysis. It examines the types of vulnerability faced by emerging Asian economies and reviews a range of stochastic methods to incorporate the risks in a framework of fiscal sustainability analysis...

 

ADB

Socioeconomic Inequity in Excessive Weight in Indonesia, May 2016. Exploiting the Indonesian Family Life Survey, this paper studies the transition of socioeconomic related disparity of excess weight, including overweight and obesity, from 1993 to 2014. First, we show that the proportions of overweight and obese people in Indonesia increased rapidly during the time period and that poorer income groups exhibited the strongest growth of excess weight. Using the concentration index we find that prevalence of overweight and obesity affected increasingly poorer segments of Indonesian society...

 

ADB

Housing Policies in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the United States: Lessons Learned, April 2016. We focus on these three countries mainly due to the marked differences in their institutional settings. The UK is characterized by fiscal centralization and an extraordinarily rigid planning system. The consequences of this setting, which make housing supply extremely unresponsive to changes in house prices, are a high degree of urban containment, a severe housing affordability crisis, and a housing shortage, particularly for the young...

 

ADB

International Journal of Korean Studies, Volume XIX, Number 2, 2015  

IJKS

Rush to Judgment: Western Media and the 2005 Andijan Violence, May 2016 and The May 2005 Andijan Uprising: What We Know, May 2016. On May 13, 2005, in the Uzbek city of Andijan, an armed confrontation took place between Islamic militants and troops from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In the course of the ensuing melee close to 200 persons from both sides were killed. There is no doubt that the militants initiated the confrontation by attacking local government offices and a maximum security prison, and that the appalling number of deaths was due to deliberate actions and poor judgment exercised by both sides. However, specific details on the day’s events were lacking at the time and, on some points, remain unclear and in dispute down to the present day...

 

ISDP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

  

 
 

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