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2015 Highlights

 

 

 

 

 
     

 

2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004

     

 

December, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russia's Asian Rebalance, December 2015. Russia’s ambitious decision to ‘rebalance’ its strategic orientation towards Asia is going relatively unnoticed, yet has the potential to generate significant regional effects. It is engaging in a large-scale military modernisation project with the intention of projecting power into Asia. Its relationship with China seems to have deepened considerably. And it is looking to consolidate new and existing partnerships in Australia’s regional area of interest in the Indo-Pacific. At the same time, Russia is seeking to tap its considerable energy and resource reserves in the Far East to become a major Asian energy supplier...

 

Lowy

Chinese Worldviews and China's Foreign Policy, November 2015. China’s growing assertiveness, particularly in the South China Sea, has resulted in greater scrutiny of Chinese intentions and led to a more intense debate about how the United States and its allies should respond. For some, the motives for China’s international behaviour are simply those of any emerging — or in China’s case, re-emerging — power. However, to gain a more nuanced understanding of what is motivating Chinese behaviour it is necessary to examine the narratives that underpin Chinese worldviews and China’s foreign policy behaviour...

 

Lowy

Implementing the Defence First Principles Review: Two Key Opportunities to Achieve Best Practice in Capability Development, December 2015. This paper proposes two key measures on which to judge the early success of Defence’s capability development reforms. First, the formation of an industry-standard program management office (PMO) to oversee the life cycle of all acquisition projects from inception to final operational capability as part of comprehensive and balanced programs. Second, the creation of a robust centralised branch to manage all test and evaluation (T&E), so that all projects have credible test results that underpin the PMO’s decision-making throughout the development and fielding of new capabilities.

 

ASPI

Chinese Investment in the Port of Darwin: A Strategic Risk for Australia? December 2015. Few strategic issues have galvanised public attention in Australia as the decision by the Northern Territory Government to lease key facilities in the Port of Darwin to a Chinese company, Landbridge. This Strategic Insights brings together items published on our blog The Strategist as well as articles by ASPI staff published in other media outlets such as The Australian and The Australian Financial Review...

 

ASPI

ADF Capability Snapshot 2015: Part 3 - Army, November 2015. The main focus of the Australian Army over the past 15 years has been on sustaining combat, training, stabilisation and peacekeeping operations in our near region and the Middle East and Afghanistan theatres. The demands of the ADF’s operational tempo have driven a major rethinking of the structure of the Army under Plan Beersheba. Now well advanced, the end state will be three essentially similar brigades, which will make rotational deployments easier to manage and sustain. Like the RAAF and the RAN, described in previous reports in this series, the Army needs a major recapitalisation of its equipment.

 

ASPI

ADF Capability Snapshot 2015: Part 2 - RAN, November 2015. This paper surveys the capability of the Royal Australian Navy and is an update of a previously published ADF capability review: Royal Australian Navy from 2008 and the Navy Capability Review 2010. Navy has made great strides in the past five years. Some smart acquisitions have helped, but there’s also been a better focus on managing the fleet and its people, and in working with industry to bring the various elements of capability together. There’s plenty of work to do, and the future submarine, minor vessel and frigate projects will require plenty of attention.

 

ASPI

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #20: Thailand’s Post-Coup Relations with China and America: More Beijing, Less Washington. During the Cold War, well-informed foreign journalists did not navely accept the Thai official narrative that the monarchy was strictly above politics. They were well aware of the influence and political power of the palace. However, they believed the institution was necessary for Thailand to survive the communist threat, oppressive military leaders and corrupt politicians. For decades, their coverage helped promote the benign image of the institution internationally. The intransigent crisis in Thailand since the coup dtat of 2006 inevitably affected foreign press coverage regarding the key players role in the conflict. Discussions of the role of the monarchy and the royalist elites have appeared more frequently than ever and become increasingly critical...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #19: Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia in 2014: The Political Economy of Discontent. During the 2014 presidential election, Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), an organization committed to creating a global Islamic caliphate that would replace democracy, rejected both Joko Widodos and Prabowo Subiantos candidacy. However, as in previous legislative elections, its members were allowed to vote for parliamentary candidates that would push for the application of Islamic law.HTI has been compelled to clarify its position regarding the emergence of support of IS in Indonesia. It clearly condemns ISs use of violence as a means of establishing the caliphate, but at the same time, it uses the issue to reinforce its anti-Western narrative...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #18: The Foreign Press’ Changing Perceptions Of Thailand's Monarchy. Since the Thai military seized power in May 2014, Thailand's relations with the United States have significantly deteriorated, while the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) has quickly emerged as the Kingdoms closest Great Power partner. U.S.-Thai defence cooperation has been the main casualty of the coup, and represents a setback for the Obama administrations pivot or rebalance towards Asia, the success of which depends in large part on strengthening bilateral alliances and increasing Americas presence in Asia. Even before the coup, the U.S.-Thai alliance was facing difficulties. Since Washington announced the pivot in 2011, neither civilian nor military leaders in Thailand have evinced genuine support for the strategy...

 

ISEAS

Asian Development Outlook December 2015 Supplement: Growth Holds Its Own In Developing Asia. The outlook for aggregate gross domestic product is unchanged from the Update at 5.8% expansion in 2015 and 6.0% in 2016, as subregional forecasts are unchanged except for slight downward revisions for Central Asia and the Pacific. The regional forecast is sustained in the face of a lower combined growth outlook for the major industrial economies of the United States (US), the euro area, and Japan. Sluggish recovery in the US and further contraction of gross domestic product (GDP) in Japan prompt downward revisions in the growth projections for these economies in 2015 and 2016.

 

ADB

The Impact of Infrastructure on Trade and Economic Growth in Selected Economies in Asia, December 2015. Infrastructure plays a key role in facilitating trade, especially since recent trade liberalization in Asia has resulted in significant tariff reductions. This study quantifies the impacts of both hard and soft infrastructure on trade volume for exporters and importers in the region as well as on various economic growth indicators.

 

ADB

Pacific Economic Monitor, December 2015. Expectations of faster global growth in 2015 failed to materialize due to lower-than-projected expansion in the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the United States (US). The consensus global growth forecast is now at 3.1% in 2015—down from 3.7%. This is projected to strengthen to 3.6% in 2016—below the start of year forecast (4.0%). Risks to this outlook include possible oil price shocks from conflicts in Syria and financial disruptions that may be triggered by monetary tightening in the US.

 

ADB

Asia Bond Monitor, November 2015. Yields for 10-year local currency (LCY) government bonds in emerging East Asia were mostly down between 1 September and 31 October. Investor confidence was buoyed as financial markets in the region stabilized and stock markets staged a recovery. The Philippines had the largest drop in 10-year bond yields in the region with a decline of 64 basis points (bps). The People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; and Singapore all saw 10-year bond yields decline by more than 30 bps. Only Indonesia experienced an increase of a marginal 7 bps. Emerging East Asia’s LCY bond market grew 5.8% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) and 14.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) in 3Q15 to level off at US$8,782 billion at the end of September. Both q-o-q and y-o-y growth rates were higher than in 2Q15.

 

ADB

Managing Capital Flows in Asia: An Overview of Key Issues, November 2015. Recent data show that the main impact of capital flows on the economies of East Asia is reflected in real effective exchange rates, equity prices, and accumulation of foreign exchange reserves. In particular, econometric results show the strong linkages between the United States bond markets and those in Asia, particularly the adverse impact of quantitative easing tapering on Asian economies. These findings support the important role of macroprudential policy, which can be implemented in the context of regional cooperation in order to reduce negative spillovers across economies in Asia.

 

ADB

Global Increase in Climate-Related Disasters, November 2015. Is there an ominous link between the global increase of these hydrometeorological and climatological events on the one side and anthropogenic climate change on the other? This paper considers three main disaster risk factors—rising population exposure, greater population vulnerability, and increasing climate-related hazards—behind the increased frequency of intense climate-related natural disasters. All are positively linked—with precipitation positively associated with hydrometeorological events and negatively associated with climatological events. Global climate change indicators also show positive and highly significant effects.

 

ADB

Roadmap for Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration and Deployment in the People’s Republic of China, November 2015. This report is an assessment of the potential, the barriers and the challenges in demonstrating and deploying Carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the People's Republic of China. It identifies unique low cost opportunities, recommends a gradual two phase approach to CCS deployment in the country and, provides complementary suite of policy actions to enable it...

 

ADB

Urban Systems and Urban Development in the People’s Republic of China, November 2015. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is experiencing a trend toward population concentration in its large coastal cities. However, at the same time, there is also a distortion of city size toward small cities in the country. That is to say, the urban population in the PRC should further concentrate in large cities rather than be more equally spread out. Cross-country analysis indicates that the population size of the primary city in the PRC is smaller than its predicted value. This paper suggests that the PRC government should adjust its policies on future urbanization for fewer restrictions on the further growth of megacities.

 

ADB

The Role of Community Colleges in Skills Development:Lessons from the Canadian Experience for Developing Asia, Published 2015. The purpose of this book is to describe the Canadian approach to skills development, the success it has achieved, and the implications of this success for policy toward skills development in Asian emerging economies.

 

ADB

International Trade and Determinants of Price Differentials of Insulin Medicine, November 2015. This paper examines the international trade and price of insulin using detailed trade data for 186 importing countries from 1995 to 2013. Empirical studies on pharmaceuticals pricing across countries have found evidence that prices vary according to per capita income. These studies are typically based on survey data from a subset of countries and cover only one year.

 

ADB

The Competitive Saving Motive: Concept, Evidence, and Implications, November 2015. We introduce the concept of competitive saving, i.e., saving to improve one’s status relative to other competitors for dating and marriage partners, and provide evidence of its existence across and within countries. We argue that sex ratio imbalances have driven the competitive saving motive, and have partly accounted for sustained high savings rates in many Asian economies.

 

ADB

Assessing Mandated Credit Programs: Case Study of the Magna Carta in the Philippines, November 2015. Three findings are highlighted. First, although total lending to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) grew slightly, MSME loan shares declined drastically from 30% in 2002 to 16.4% in 2010. Second, there was a sharp rise in noncompliance after loan targets increased in 2008. Third, there is increased heterogeneity in optimal loan portfolio across banks. Most surprisingly, total MSME lending by rural and cooperative banks declined since 2008. Abolishing Magna Carta target for medium-sized enterprise loans would most likely yield little adverse effects.

 

ADB

Developing Myanmar’s Information and Communication Technology Sector toward Inclusive Growth, November 2015.  This paper assesses Myanmar’s information and communication technology sector, identifies constraints the sector faces, and recommends policies that will help the government overcome them. Given limited public resources, Myanmar will need help translating its information and communication technology infrastructure needs into financially viable and bankable projects that can attract private sector financing.

 

ADB

Two Decades of Rising Inequality and Declining Poverty in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, November 2015. Over the last 2 decades the Gini coefficient for expenditure in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic has risen from 0.311 to 0.364, even though absolute poverty incidence has halved. When the data is decomposed into rural and urban areas, or by the ethnicity of the household head, the increase in inequality within groups dominates any changes between groups; indeed, inequality has increased throughout the country. In contrast, access to publicly provided services has become more equal.

 

ADB

The Asian Currency Unit, Deviation Indicators, and Exchange Rate Coordination in East Asia: A Panel-Based Convergence Approach, October 2015. This paper examines the existence and extent of convergence in the movements of East Asian currencies against the ACU. Empirical results reveal that intra-East Asian exchange rate movements have not converged to form a cohesive, unified bloc where currencies share homogenous movements, regardless of whether one examines the data on intra-East Asian exchange rate movements before or after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. Instead, a separate number of convergent clubs or blocs in the region have formed in recent years.

 

ADB

Power Sector Development in Myanmar, October 2015. This paper assesses Myanmar’s electricity sector and recommends several concrete policy options to enable government to address issues such as supply security, greater accessibility, and affordability, especially for the poor and disadvantaged. The paper also estimates infrastructure demand and the corresponding investment requirements to narrow the supply gap in the power sector.

 

ADB

The “Highway Effect” on Public Finance: Case of the STAR Highway in the Philippines, October 2015. In this study, we examine the impact of the STAR highway located in Batangas province, Philippines, on the public finance of the cities and municipalities through which it directly passes. Specifically, we exploit a unique, disaggregated dataset on tax (property and business taxes) as well as non-tax revenues (regulatory fees and user charges) of the cities and municipalities in the Batangas province.

 

ADB

An Impact Evaluation of Investment in Infrastructure: The Case of the Railway Connection in Uzbekistan, October 2015. The objective of this paper is to examine the nature and magnitude of the effects of infrastructure provision on regional economic performance. The empirical evidence of our analysis is based on difference-in-difference estimation linking the changes in the growth rate of regional-level economic outcomes in affected regions to the newly built railway connection in the southern part of Uzbekistan, conditioned on the regions’ time-invariant individual effects, time-varying covariates, and evolving economic characteristics.

 

ADB

Mongolia Reassesses Foreign Policy Strategies After 25 Years of Democracy, November 2015. Alicia Campi, President of the US-Mongolia Advisory Group, explains that “ex-communist Mongolia successfully reinvented itself as a free market, globally connected democratic nation that still has much to offer to its region.”

 

EWC

Implications for Southeast Asia of the New U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines, November 2015. Bhubhindar Singh, Associate Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, explains that "In light of the rising tensions in the South China Sea, the United States and Japan have strengthened cooperation to maintain regional stability and protect the security and economic interests of the regional states."

 

EWC

PACOM’s Role in Sustaining Indo-Asia-Pacific Security, November 2015. Paul Lushenko, Major in the US Army, and Jon Lushenko, Lieutenant Commander (sel) in the US Navy, explain that "PACOM needs to better resolve the tension between maintaining a credible deterrent and resolving human security challenges to sustain Indo-Asia-Pacific security."

 

EWC

Report on APEC Work on Services and Baseline Indicators, November 2015. The report is organized into three parts: The first part assesses services-related projects and programs across relevant APEC committees and working groups and reflects on how to improve the governance of services work in APEC; the second part proposes various services trade indicators and divides them into two groups – those that provide measurement of services trade in APEC and those that pertain to regulatory conditions that facilitate services trade; and finally, the last part provides some recommendations relating to the governance structure of services in APEC and towards improving services trade indicators so as to facilitate the future review of services.

 

APEC

Assessment of the APEC Leaders’ Growth Strategy, November 2015. The report discusses about the nature of the APEC Leaders’ Growth Strategy; the challenges to assess progress; the existing links among this strategy and other APEC initiatives; and the work reported by APEC committees and sub-fora related to the implementation of this strategy. The report also include specific sections concerning the five growth attributes identified in the APEC Leaders’ Growth Strategy, namely: 1) balanced; 2) inclusive; 3) sustainable (green); 4) innovative; and 5) secure growth.

 

APEC

2015 APEC Economic Policy Report. This 2015 APEC Economic Policy Report (AEPR) on Structural Reform and Innovation explores a question at the heart of this triad: How economies can stimulate innovation through implementing effective structural policies?

 

APEC

Factsheet: 2015 APEC Economic Policy Report. This is a 2 page factsheet of the 2015 APEC Economic Policy Report which focuses on Structural Reform and Innovation.

 

APEC

2015 APEC Economic Policy Report: Executive Summary. This is an executive summary of the 2015 APEC Economic Policy Report which examines the links between structural policy settings and firm-level innovation across APEC member economies of varying levels of development, and explores the ways in which these economies harness the growth potential that innovation can provide through implementation of effective structural policies.

 

APEC

2015 CTI Report to Ministers. The CTI Annual Report to Ministers for 2015 outlines the Committee’s accomplishments and recommendations in the key priority areas of APEC’s Trade and Investment Liberalization and Facilitation (TILF) agenda in support of APEC’s 2015 priorities under the theme of “Building Inclusive
Economies, Building a Better World”.

 

APEC

APEC Senior Officials’ Report on Economic and Technical Cooperation 2015. SCE’s agenda for 2015 dealt with various issues and situations of the fora. SCE reviewed and approved annual workplans and longer term Strategic Plans. The most important achievement was the adoption of APEC Capacity Building Policy. This report serves you as a summary and overview of the activities of SCE and the SCE fora.

 

APEC

Factsheet: 2015 APEC Senior Officials' Report on Economic and Technical Cooperation. This is a 2 page factsheet of the 2015 APEC Senior Officials' Report on Economic and Technical Cooperation.

 

APEC

Guidebook on Trade and Supply Chain Finance, November 2015. The Guidebook describes typical supply chains and which stages need financing and how they are financed. It discusses risks in the supply chains and various mitigation mechanisms whose availability and use depend on the presence of proper regulatory and legal infrastructures as well as the confidence of the market in them. The Guidebook also talks about financial instruments such as warehouse receipts financing, invoice finance, receivables finance, factoring, and forfaiting. Case studies of what had gone wrong in particular actual transactions are presented as examples and provide important insights on regulatory or institutional deficits that need to be bridged

 

APEC

Key Trends and Developments Relating to Trade and Investment Measures and their Impact on the APEC Region, November 2015. This report was presented at the APEC Ministerial Meeting in Manila, Philippines in November 2015. The first section of the report discusses the linkages between trade performance and inclusive growth and examines the role of policy to promote inclusive growth. The second section reports trade and investment trends in the APEC region covering 2014 to the first half of 2015, and lists recent trade and investment policies implemented by member economies.

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monetary Authority of Singapore: Macroeconomic Review, Volume XIV, Issue 2, October 2015 (Full Report, Presentation Slides for Briefing):  

MAS

Guidance on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Controls in Trade Finance and Correspondent Banking, October 2015. In the National Risk Assessment report published in January 2014, MAS had identified the anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (“AML/CFT”) controls for trade finance and correspondent banking as areas where there could be scope for improvement. Robust controls in these areas enable banks to better prevent and detect the risks associated with trade-based money laundering, proliferation financing and other sanctions compliance related issues. This paper aims to provide banks with guidance on the AML/CFT controls in trade finance and correspondent banking activities, assist them in their benchmarking against industry norms and in the implementation of sound risk management practices, and identification of control gaps...

 

MAS

Direct Life Insurers - Guidance on AML/CFT Controls, May 2015. This paper aims to provide direct life insurers (“insurers”) with guidance on strengthening their controls for preventing money laundering and terrorism financing (“ML/TF”). The observations in this paper were drawn from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”)’s review of the anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (“AML/CFT”) practices of insurers for the period from 2012 to 2014. The review focused on the risk assessment, key controls and customer due diligence processes of insurers for addressing ML/TF risks. Insurers should pay close attention to the sound practices highlighted in this paper and apply them in a risk-based and proportionate manner, taking into account the size, nature and complexity of their business...

 

MAS

2014 Singapore Asset Management Industry Survey, August 2015. Singapore’s assets under management (“AUM”) rose to S$2.4 trillion in 2014, a strong showing of about 30% year-on-year growth. The robust growth was derived largely from positive asset inflows arising from Asia’s growth dynamism and Singapore’s position as a pan-Asian asset management hub. Looking ahead, growth opportunities abound although there are also structural trends that could potentially transform the asset management industry...

 

MAS

APEC Economic Trends Analysis, November 2015.
  • Growth is expected to soften in 2015 and recover in 2016.
  • Growth prospects during the period 2015-2016 will be determined by three major factors: i) persistence of the downward trend of oil and non-oil commodity prices; ii) strength of China’s economy and stability of its markets; and iii) normalization of US monetary policy and its attendant risks.
  • Softening of growth prospects as challenges intensify require a concerted response. In 2015 and beyond, as economies rebalance economic growth towards strengthening domestic demand, they will need to consider implementing an appropriate mix of monetary and fiscal policies together with structural reforms to raise productivity and strengthen private consumption.
 

APEC

Services in Global Value Chains: Manufacturing-Related Services, November 2015. The objective of the study is to collect firm-specific insights on the contribution of manufacturing related services in their supply/value chain operations using a case-study approach. It also analyses how government policies affecting the production and trade of services – such as investment and investment-related policies, taxes and regulations – can have a significant implications on firm’s configuration, operation and location of value chains. During the study, case studies involving 22 firms based in 12 APEC economies were compiled. They cover different sectors ranging from automotive components and mining equipment to electrical appliances and watch.

 

APEC

APEC in Charts 2015. An annual PSU publication, APEC in Charts depicts the region’s economic, trade, investment and policy-related performance through the use of charts.

 

APEC

Regulatory Reform: Case Studies on Improving the Business Environment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), November 2015. The report includes four case studies evaluate the role of regulatory reforms in creating a proper business environment supporting SMEs. The case studies focus on the following areas: 1) dedicated agencies to assist SMEs with growth, development, compliance and internationalization; 2) agencies and institutions that specialize in supporting SME finance; 3) regulatory tiering; and 4) SME-friendly Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIA)...

 

APEC

Independent Assessment of the Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI), October 2015. This report contains an independent assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of APEC’s Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI).

 

APEC

Assessing the APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform (ANSSR) and Advancing the APEC Structural Reform Agenda Beyond 2015, October 2015. This report reviews the progress of the APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform (ANSSR). It begins with a discussion of the drivers of growth, according to the framework of the debate on middle income trap. This is followed by the outcome of review of the information provided by economies in the ANSSR 2015 templates, a commentary on capacity building, and some notes on the manner of reporting of projects. The final section contains a series of suggestions for consideration in the design of the next phase of the APEC structural reform agenda.

 

APEC

APEC Low-Carbon Model Town Development Model and Toolkit Study, October 2015. The low-carbon cities in the APEC region differentiate from each other in terms ways and focuses of development due to their distinctive natural conditions, economic development, industrial structure and cultural tradition. Drawing from the experiences from all the member economies, this report offers suggestions for the development models and toolkit of low-carbon cities.

 

APEC

Photovoltaic Communication and Cooperation Program, October 2015. Based on analysis and risk assessment of each link related in PV power station investment and construction including resource assessment, key devices selection, engineering construction, power station financing as well as operation and management, this report aims to establish an economic calculation model of PV power station with detailed presentation of its investment and construction process, coming up with a PV power station evaluation model that can be referred to by all APEC economies. Moreover, a communication and cooperation platform is expected to be established so as to provide services for future construction, investment and financing of PV power stations.

 

APEC

APEC Photovoltaic Application Roadmap and Model Study, October 2015. This report aims to bring up discussions on PV power station industry chain, technology application, PV power station accidents and issues and other aspects so as to come up with suitable circuit diagram and development mode for the APEC region.

 

APEC

APEC Photovoltaic System Best Practices and Latest Development Comparative Study, October 2015. The APEC region is where PV manufacturing, application and investment develops at the fastest pace. This report looks at the best practices of the photovoltaic system and the latest development in this area.

 

APEC

Summary Report of The Public Private Dialogue on Renewable and Clean Energy Trade and Investment, October 2015. APEC leadership has put climate mitigation and sustainable development as top priorities in the APEC Leaders' Declaration and Ministerial Meetings. The project aims to help to fulfil the APEC Leaders’ recognition that “…joint research, development, deployment and transfer of technologies will be crucial in our shared efforts to address climate change.”

 

APEC

Best Practices in Investigating and Prosecuting Corruption, September 2015. This handbook was elaborated under the scope of APEC project M SCE 01/12A-1 "Capacity Building Workshops on Designing Best Models on Prosecuting Corruption and Money Laundering Cases Using Financial Flow Tracking Techniques and Investigative Intelligence for Effective Conviction and Asset Recovery to Promote Regional Economic Integration."

 

APEC

New Ways of Thinking About the Global Arms Industry: Dealing with 'Limited Autarky', November 2015. This report attempts to explain why some countries produce arms on a limited scale, and what benefits they hope to accrue from that strategy. Decisions to produce arms—even to engage in niche production—need to be continually evaluated and re-evaluated for their costs and benefits. Even if a nation only wants to pursue limited self-sufficiency, that can still be a high-risk, low-reward undertaking...

 

ASPI

ADF Capability Snapshot 2015: Part 1-RAAF, November 2015. This paper reviews the capability of the RAAF, and concludes that the service has been remarkably successful in winning government support for its acquisitions. More importantly, the money has turned into real capability. There are a couple of areas where more work is required, the most important of those being anti-submarine warfare.

 

ASPI

Cyber Maturity in the Asia-Pacific Region 2015. The second edition of the International Cyber Policy Centre’s annual Cyber Maturity in the Asia Pacific is the culmination of 12 months research and analysis delving into the cyber maturity of 20 countries within our region. It is a usable, quick-reference resource for those in government, business, academia, and the wider cyber community who are looking to make considered, evidence-based cyber policy judgements in the Asia-Pacific. It provides a depth of information and analysis that builds a deeper understanding of regional countries’ whole of nation approach to cyber policy, crime, and security issues, and identifies potential opportunities for engagement...

 

ASPI

Methamphetamine: Focusing Australia's National Ice Strategy on the Problem, Not the Symptoms, October 2015. In this report, law enforcement isn't focused on arrests, prosecutions, custodial offences or seizures, as none of those will have a guaranteed impact on the problem. The focus is on means to reduce the availability of drugs, the disruption of user behaviour and the integration of education and health initiatives...

 

ASPI

Looking for Leadership in the Arab Middle East, October 2015. The Middle East is in an unprecedented state of flux. It is beset by a number of major security crises, from North Africa to the Arabian Peninsula. The Obama administration has signalled that it will limit America’s role in addressing these crises and that it expects its regional allies to do more of the heavy lifting themselves. Sunni states fear that Tehran is capitalising on both regional unrest and Washington’s recalibration of its policy in the Middle East to expand its influence and they fear Tehran’s position will further improve once sanctions on Iran are lifted...

 

Lowy

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2015 (Highlights, and Full Report):
  • Part I: A Smarter Future: Skills, Education, and Growth in Asia
  • Part II: Millennium Development Goals Trends and Tables
  • Part III: Regional Trends and Tables
  • Part IV: Global Value Chains: Indicators for International Production Sharing

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2015 covers 48 economies: Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Fiji Islands, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Taipei, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, and Viet Nam.

 

ADB

China's Hidden Obstacles to Socioeconomic Rebalancing, October 2015. The global financial crisis of 2008-09 led to a policy consensus in China that its socioeconomic development model needed rebalancing. China's rapid development has been based on extensive growth reliant on exports, low wages, environmental exploitation, and the manufacturing of cheap products. China's current plans identify paths to economic rebalancing through intensive growth driven by rising investment in new technologies and manufacturing processes, improved wages and skills, and improved worker and environmental protections...

 

EWC

India-Japan-U.S. Trilateral Dialogue Gains Additional Traction, October 2015. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan and Sylvia Mishra, Senior and Junior Fellows at the Observer Research Foundation, respectively, explain that "The growing convergence of regional and global interests of the U.S., Japan, and India on issues such as Indian Ocean and the evolving Asian security order is clearly driving the trilateral dialogue."

 

EWC

Sino-Myanmar Relations in Myanmar’s Election Year, October 2015. Yun Sun, Senior Associate at the Henry L. Stimson Center, explains that "While China is generally confident that no president of Myanmar will pursue a hostile policy toward China or completely ignore China's preferences, it also recognizes that his/her foreign policy will have major influence over China's interests."

 

EWC

President Park’s Visits to Beijing and Washington and Implications for Inter-Korean Relations, October 2015. Eunjung Lim, lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, explains that "The appearance of President Park, democratically elected head of American ally South Korea, watching an extravagant Chinese military parade that gave the image of targeting the US was perplexing and even frustrating to many Americans."

 

EWC

AICHR in October 2015 – Change or Continuity in the Diplomatic Club? October 2015. Naila Maier-Knapp, author of Southeast Asia and the European Union, explains that "because ASEAN governments have built trust towards the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights' opportunity to showcase their commitment to people-orientation, space for human rights discourse could increase in the years to come."

 

EWC

Realist Indonesia's Drift Away from ASEAN, September 2015. Vibhanshu Shekhar, Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that "The Indonesian leadership views ASEAN as too small, weak, and disunited to adequately represent the country's national interests in the Indo-Pacific region…[leading] to an increasingly marginal position of ASEAN in Jakarta's regional diplomacy."

 

EWC

Cambodia’s Special Economic Zones, October 2015. This study examines the role of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Cambodia, and finds that the SEZs have attracted significant levels of foreign investment that would not have been present otherwise. These investments have created around 68,000 jobs, with equal or better pay and better prospects than the alternatives. By leaving it to the private sector, Cambodia has avoided the large and sometimes wasteful public sector set-up costs associated with SEZ establishment in many other countries.

 

ADB

What Accounts for the Growth of Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Advanced and Emerging Economies? The Role of Consumption, Technology, and Global Supply Chain Trade, October 2015. This paper examines the changes in territorial carbon dioxide emissions due to changes in energy intensity within global production networks, supply chain participation, and domestic and foreign consumption. It finds that a substantial share of emissions growth in emerging economies is explained by higher participation in global production networks that serve expanding foreign consumption. However, even for countries that most rapidly integrated in global production networks, such as the People’s Republic of China, rising domestic consumption accounts for the bulk of territorial emissions. Improved energy efficiency partially stemmed the spike in emissions from higher consumer demand.

 

ADB

The Impact of Financial Factors on the Output Gap and Estimates of Potential Output Growth, October 2015. The authors examine the impact of financial factors on estimates of the output gap and potential output growth for the G-5 and 10 high- and middle-income Asian economies. Using a state-space model of the output gap with exogenously determined financial factors as regressors, they employ Bayesian methods to estimate the model parameters, and subsequently employ the Kalman filter to obtain estimates of potential output and potential output growth. They find that financial factors have positive and statistically significant effects on the output gap of the G-5 and high-income economies in Asia, but do not affect those of middle-income Asian economies. By accounting for the effects of financial factors on the output gap, the authors obtain finance-neutral estimates of potential output growth.

 

ADB

A Darwinian Perspective on “Exchange Rate Undervaluation”, October 2015. The paper provides both a theory and evidence that status competition in the marriage market can affect the real exchange rate. In theory, this happens through a combination of a savings channel and a labor supply channel. Suggestive evidence from both a cross-country analysis and with the People’s Republic of China is presented.

 

ADB

The SelectIon of Trade Integration Indicators: Intraregional Share, Intensity, Homogeneous Intensity, and Introversion Index, October 2015. The paper reviews four types of indicators (share, intensity, homogeneous intensity, and introversion index) and argues that the introversion index is the most suitable indicator for the comparison of the level of trade integration, both in terms of cross-regional comparisons and time series analyses.

 

ADB

Climate Change, Food Security, and Socioeconomic Livelihood in Pacific Islands, Published 2015. Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands need to invest in the agriculture and fisheries sectors to improve their ability to combat the detrimental effects of climate change on food security and poverty. The results of the study indicate that climate change will likely have significant negative impacts on agricultural output in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands. Even relatively positive projections suggest that the fishery sector of the three study countries cannot be relied upon to counterbalance the food security challenges brought about losses in agricultural output...

 

ADB

Pacific Trade: Dynamics in a High-Cost Region, October 2015. Key Points: Trade costs are falling, but remain high, which constrains SME growth; Niche product exports have socioeconomic spillovers by capturing both value and community; E-commerce leapfrogs the cost of distance; Women-led firms thrive online; Trade with Asia is on the rise among Pacific export.

 

ADB

A Framework of Trade Policy for Bhutan: Compatible with the Gross National Happiness, September 2015. One of the most urgent tasks facing Bhutan is to raise general living standards. But is the open trade policy needed to grow the economy compatible with the country's gross national happiness guidelines? The paper explores trade and industry policy that is compatible with the gross national happiness guidelines. It also points out that the structure of the Government of Bhutan is seemingly less oriented to trade policy than its neighbors, and suggests a new organization for promoting a more active and open trade policy.

 

ADB

Bhutan’s Indian Rupee Shortage: Macroeconomic Causes and Cures, September 2015. With over 74% of Bhutan’s trade taking place with India, ample holdings of Indian rupee reserves are critical for trade. In 2011, pressures on rupee holdings extended to levels unable to be matched by official rupee holdings, resulting in liquidity or rupee crisis. This paper analyzes the causes and cures of the Indian rupee crisis and finds that excessive monetary growth, inflation differentials between India and Bhutan, and terms of trade imbalances were key factors in the Bhutanese liquidity crisis. It also provides recommendations for the ongoing management of rupee reserve holdings.

 

ADB

Sustainable Energy for All: Tracking Progress in Asia and the Pacific - A Summary Report, Published 2015. Asia and the Pacific economies are on track in meeting the goal of sustainable energy for all (SE4All), but whether the pace is sufficient to reach the SE4All targets by 2030 remains to be seen. This first attempt of the SE4All Asia-Pacific Regional Hub to monitor the performance of Asia and the Pacific revealed progress in achieving the objectives of universal energy access and improved energy efficiency...

 

ADB

Review and Assessment of Programs Offered by State Universities and Colleges, Published 2015. The state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the Philippines have always been a major issue mainly because of the poor quality of education that most of them offer, the undeveloped management and financial systems, and the inequality of access...

 

PIDS

Promoting Inclusive Growth through the 4Ps, Published 2015. The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Philippines marks its fifth year of implementation in 2013 since its inception in 2008. The first batch of 4Ps beneficiaries will graduate from the program in several months while the government continues to expand its implementation, devising along the way several variants that it deems necessary to address the many facets of poverty...

 

PIDS

Bottom-up Budgeting: People's Participation at Work, July 2015. As part of the government's effort to pursue sustained and inclusive growth and, at the same time, promote good governance at the local level, the Bottom-up Budgeting (BUB) exercise--also called the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB) process--was initiated in 2012. It is a reform measure that aims to make the national budget a participatory process...

 

PIDS

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Policy Notes:  

PIDS

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Development Research News:  

PIDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Improving Interchanges: Introducing Best Practices on Multimodal Interchange Hub Development in the People’s Republic of China, Published 2015. High-speed rail stations can be designed as large-scale multimodal transport hubs that serve as the gateway to the city and as a central element of an integrated urban transport system. Multimodal interchange hubs are vital for achieving sustainable transport systems. They stitch together different modes of transport and serve as the gateway to mobility and greater accessibility. This publication presents planning and design ideas to improve interchanges and the overall journey experience of passengers. It highlights how hubs can be a place not only of transport connection, but also of social interaction. The lessons and recommendations presented here may be used to build the next generation of multimodal hubs in the People’s Republic of China...

 

ADB

Reviving Lakes and Wetlands in the People's Republic of China (Vol. 2), Published 2015. Chao Lake is the fifth largest freshwater lake in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Recent lessons in its rehabilitation add to the growing knowledge on lake and wetland rehabilitation in the PRC. This publication continues the ADB’s analysis of lake and wetland rehabilitation in the People’s Republic of China and examines how the current situation in the Chao Lake Basin compares with international thinking on the conditions necessary for sustainable management of lake basins...

 

ADB

Integrating SME's into Global Value Chains: Challenges and Policy Actions in Asia, Published 2015. Globalized production networks, or global value chains, provide an opportunity for small and medium enterprises to upscale their business models and to grow across borders, though with global opportunities also come global risks. The opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in global value chains are enormous. Participation in value chains exposes them to a large customer/buyer base, as well as opportunities to learn from large firms and from engaging and surviving in the hotly contested sectors of the global marketplace. This process can enhance SME competitiveness, create more jobs, and promote inclusive growth in developing Asia...

 

ADB

Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Thailand: Trends, Impacts, and Reforms, October 2015. Fossil fuel subsidies are a prominent feature of many Asian economies, including Thailand, which has arguably achieved the most success in gas and electricity tariff reform. Heavily dependent on imported energy sources, significant subsidies on fossil fuels present a heavy burden on public finances in Thailand. This study measures the size of fossil fuel subsidies such as tax breaks for diesel and natural gas, market price support for natural gas for vehicles, and free electricity for low-income consumers as well as the potential economic, energy, and environmental impacts of reducing them...

 

ADB

Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Indonesia: Trends, Impacts, and Reforms, October 2015. Fossil fuel subsidies are a prominent feature of many Asian economies, however they contribute to fiscal imbalances in many countries and restrict public expenditure on development priorities such as education, health, and infrastructure. Subsidized energy is provided to all Indonesian citizens as a public service obligation. This study measures the size of fossil fuel subsidies such as underpricing of petroleum products and electricity, tax exemptions, and subsidized credit; examines the potential economic, energy, and environmental impacts of reducing them; and discusses options for social safety nets to mitigate the impacts of the reforms...

 

ADB

Role of the Credit Risk Database in Developing SMEs in Japan: Lessons for the Rest of Asia, October 2015. This paper discusses the importance of collecting data on SMEs, drawing on the example of Japan’s Credit Risk Database. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in Asian economies as they contribute to high shares of employment and output. However, SMEs generally have limited access to finance compared to large enterprises. Given the bank-dominated financial systems in Asia, banks are the main source of financing for SMEs...

 

ADB

Macroeconomic Effects of Oil Price Fluctuations on Emerging and Developed Economies in a Model Incorporating Monetary Variables, October 2015. This paper examines the impact of oil price movements on macro variables in the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the United States. The goal of this paper is to examine the impact of crude oil price movements on two macro variables, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate and the consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate, in three countries, the People’s Republic of China (an emerging economy), Japan, and the United States (developed economies), in a model incorporating monetary variables (money supply and exchange rate)...

 

ADB

ASEAN Economic Integration through Trade and Foreign Direct Investment: Long-Term Challenges, October 2015. This paper explores the long-term challenges for trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The region has emerged as an important production base for multinational corporations by joining East Asia’s supply chains. While proceeding to establish the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of 2015, ASEAN has also forged five major free trade agreements (FTAs) with its dialogue partners (People’s Republic of China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, and Australia–New Zealand) and is currently negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)...

 

ADB

APEC’s Bogor Goals Dashboard, October 2015. This Dashboard was compiled by the Policy Support Unit and includes indicators gathered from respectable public sources for the period 2008-2014. The purpose of the Dashboard is to provide easy-to-understand figures to track the advances in areas critical to promoting greater regional economic integration, such as liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment. The intention is to display a set of harmonized indicators laying out the evolution across time of certain aspects of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation in quantitative terms, and to complement the Bogor Goals Progress Reports as part of the assessment to determine APEC’s progress towards these goals.

 

APEC

Good Practices for Securing Drinking Water and Conserving of Water Environment, September 2015. This Public-Private Dialogue welcomed 122 Participants including government and private sectors and experts from eight economies. In the dialogue, Good Practices on water were shared, and its result was reported to Friends of the Chair on Urbanization 3 September 2015 and Third Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) on 5-6 September 2015.

 

APEC

SMEs, Competition Law and Economic Growth, September 2015. This issues paper provides a brief synthesis of what is known in the research literature, by examining the theoretical and empirical relationships between SMEs, competition law and economic growth. It begins with a discussion of the nature and role of SMEs in the APEC region. This is then followed by an examination of the role of SMEs in economic growth, and whether competition law has an effect on the SME role in economic growth.

 

APEC

Independent Assessment of the Small & Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG), September 2015. This report is an independent assessment of the Small and Medium Enterprise Working Group (SMEWG) covering the years 2011 to 2014.

 

APEC

Trends and Developments in Provisions and Outcomes of RTA/FTAs Implemented in 2014 by APEC Economies, September 2015. This report analyzes the general structure of six RTA/FTAs implemented by individual APEC economies in 2014: Australia-Korea; Canada-Honduras; Chile-Hong Kong, China; China-Iceland; China-Switzerland; and Singapore-Chinese Taipei. In addition, the report examines the provisions of the aforementioned RTA/FTAs in the Investment, Customs Administration and Trade Facilitation, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Competition Policy and Environment chapters to identify possible common patterns or recent trends. Where possible, the report compares those provisions with the APEC RTA/FTA model measures endorsed in 2008 and examines the WTO-plus commitments included in those agreements.

 

APEC

APEC’s Ease of Doing Business - Interim Assessment 2009-2014, September 2015. Since 2011, the APEC Policy Support Unit, in collaboration with the APEC Economic Committee, has been preparing annual interim assessment which measures APEC’s progress in the APEC Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) initiative. The initiative aims to improve APEC’s performance by 25 percent in five priority areas between 2009 and 2015. The five priority areas are: 1) Starting a Business; 2) Dealing with Construction Permits; 3) Getting Credit; 4) Trading Across Borders; and 5) Enforcing Contracts. This report analyzes the accumulated progress of the APEC region during the period 2009-2014. Using the World Bank’s database...

 

APEC

The APEC Women and The Economy Dashboard 2015, September 2015. The APEC Women and the Economy Dashboard is an initiative that seeks to provide a snapshot of the status of women in APEC, by looking at a set of indicators in recent years, which allows measurement of the progress of women’s participation in economic-related activities and women’s inclusion in several aspects of life. The Dashboard is comprised of almost 80 indicators for each APEC economy and the APEC region as a whole. Those indicators are classified in five areas previously identified as priorities by the APEC Policy Partnership of Women and the Economy (PPWE): 1) access to capital and assets; 2) access to markets; 3) skills, capacity-building and health; 4) leadership, voice and agency; and 5) innovation and technology.

 

APEC

Promoting Products Contributing to Sustainable and Inclusive Growth through Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation, August 2015. This study responds to the call of APEC Ministers in 2013 by providing a framework to analyze the linkages between trade in certain products and the promotion of rural development and poverty alleviation, as a way to contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth. The study shows that the discussion of the list of nominated products by APEC economies is relevant from both the trade and tariff perspectives. It shows that many of the nominated products have trade potential in world markets and enjoy comparative advantages...

 

APEC

Enhancing the Global Supply Chain Efficiency, December 2014. This project aims at reviewing the related policies and regulations, investigating the current maritime manifest processes, and evaluating the impacts on the stakeholders, to provide recommendations and suggestions to APEC member economies to promote the supply chain efficiency, in order to build an interconnected, standardized, and efficient APEC region.

 

APEC

APEC SME Disaster Policy Resilient Policy Framework, November 2014. This framework is based on an in-depth look on the needs and current conditions of SMEs in the Asia-Pacific region in response to natural disasters and proposes policy tools for SMEs regarding disaster prevention, contingency measures and rebuilding in the event of a natural disaster.

 

APEC

Scientific Cooperation in the South China Sea: Another Lever for China? October 2015. Security issues in the South China Sea are often studied, whereas analysis of scientific cooperation in those waters is rare, thinly spread and short. This paper looks at shared priorities, China's leading role in launching scientific programs, implications for the environment, and the use of scientific cooperation as a power vector. The research space is increasingly well controlled, but that control isn’t the product of scientific cooperation. It’s the result of China leading research programs. Scientific cooperation hasn’t reduced mistrust, and common interests don’t prevail. In relations between Southeast Asia and China, the fulcrum is asymmetry. The differences in scientific cooperation noted in this paper demonstrate that asymmetry and its serious long-term consequences for neighbouring countries.

 

ASPI

A Web of Harms: Serious and Organised Crime and Its Impact on Australian Interests, August 2015. This report analyses serious, transnational and organised crime and the harms it causes to Australia’s interest, with the aim of reinvigorating a discussion of this critical matter amongst Australians. This web impacts on our national interests to the sum of an estimated $15 billion per year. That very conservative estimate includes costs to government through denied revenue and increased law enforcement costs. But there are also social, health and economic harms to individuals, community and business. The report poses a series of questions to be considered by the community, business and government.

 

ASPI

Congress and Asia-Pacific Policy: Dysfunctionand Neglect, September 2015. While partisan gridlock in Congress has hindered the execution of US foreign policy overall, it has disproportionately affected US policy towards the Asia Pacific because the region has had few champions in either house in recent years. To the extent individual members have focused on the region in recent years, it has often been in pursuit of narrow objectives focused on a single country or issue area, without reference to a broader strategy. Though there are signs of increased interest in the region among more junior members of the current Congress, the nature of that interest and whether it can be sustained will depend on how the Obama administration and its partners in the region engage them.

 

Lowy

Hong Kong: High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2015Q4, October 2015. The APEC Studies Programme of the Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) released its quarterly Hong Kong Macroeconomic Forecast today (October 6). According to its High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecast, real GDP in 15Q3 is estimated to grow by 2.2% when compared with the same period in 2014. This upward revision from the previous forecast release of 1.7% (July 7) partly reflects the stronger-than-expected growth in private consumption in 15Q2. In 15Q4, real GDP growth is forecast to be 1.9% when compared with the same period last year.

 

HKU

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #17: Retired Military Officers In Myanmar's Parliament: An Emerging Legislative Force?. Retired military officers continue to wield considerable influence in Myanmar’s post-junta politics. As former soldiers, they have developed a particular mindset and a specific view of society as well as of the place and policy role of the armed forces (or Tatmadaw). The first post-SPDC legislature (2010–2015) has, however, not been entirely dominated by Tatmadaw retirees, as often perceived. These form only a minority in the Union parliament (or Pyidaungsu Hluttaw): less than 9 per cent of the legislators — or 12 per cent of the elected representatives — have a military background. The lower house (or Pyithu Hluttaw) gathers more prominent retired officers than the upper house (or Amyotha Hluttaw): forty-one of them, including eighteen former generals can be spotted in the lower house, while seventeen, including three ex-generals, sit in the upper house...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #16: Chinese Investment and Myanmar's Shifting Political Landscape. China has targeted Myanmar’s resources to enhance and provide resources for its economic growth. Myanmar’s proximity and pariah status (before 2010) made it both feasible and convenient for this purpose. Chinese investment in Myanmar intensified in the mid-2000s and has continued to increase. The largest increase in approved and actual Chinese FDI over the years has taken place in the energy (oil and gas) and mining sectors. The considerable rise in Chinese investment in the mid-2000s applies to the other Southeast Asian countries as well. If we exclude Singapore, China’s stock in Myanmar was the highest between 2009 and 2012, but this was overtaken by stock in Indonesia in 2012...

 

ISEAS

(De)centralization and the Missing Middle in Indonesia and Malaysia, September 2015. Indonesia and Malaysia were both initially characterized by a powerful, centralized state apparatus and “soft authoritarianism”. Following the Asian Financial Crisis, they have had very different trajectories. In tandem with a transformative political liberalization process, Indonesia has implemented far-reaching decentralization reforms. Malaysia’s political context has remained relatively static, and it has proceeded to centralize important aspects of governance. Notwithstanding this initial difference, both cases display a notable similarity – the re-scaling of state power has occurred at the expense of the meso-level – provinces in Indonesia and states in Malaysia...

 

ISEAS

AEC Vision Post-2015: Is an ASEAN Customs Union Feasible? February 2015. This paper explores the feasibility of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) moving forward to the next step of economic integration, i.e. towards an ASEAN Customs Union (ACU) post-2015. Effectively, the way to progress towards an ASEAN custom Union is by forming it among ASEAN-9 members with Singapore maintaining its existing zero tariff against non-members, thereby creating a Partial ACU. Using applied general equilibrium modelling exercise based on GTAP, the findings suggest that there are potential net positive welfare gains to be collectively reaped by ASEAN if it moves from an AFTA to a partial ACU post-2015. However, not all ASEAN members will individually gain from such an ACU and members may need to potentially devise a mechanism wherein some member country welfare losses in an ACU can be compensated by the members who gain...

 

ISEAS

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership: New Paradigm or Old Wine in a New Bottle? November 2014. ASEAN is currently negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement with its six trading partners. The RCEP has the potential to expand into a Free Trade Agreement of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) as it intends to harmonise rules and regulations across multiple overlapping trade agreements in the region. However, it faces challenges. The mention of a flexibility principle and the “ASEAN Way” of decision-making has led many to believe that the RCEP will be yet another low-quality trade agreement in the region. As such, the RCEP presents all ASEAN members an opportunity to take a central role in setting the agenda for a region-wide agreement. Hence, ASEAN must make efforts to attain an attractive RCEP vis-a-vis other competing regional agreements. Accordingly, this paper highlights what the RCEP is, how it has emerged and the issues that might affect the agreement’s final quality in order to evaluate it as a new paradigm or a repackaged version of ASEAN’s existing trade agreements.

 

ISEAS

The Evolution of the Electronics Industry in the SIJORI Cross Border Region, September 2014. In the early 1990s, Singapore, the Malaysian state of Johor, and the Indonesian island of Batam sought to leverage their proximity, differing comparative advantages, and good logistics connections to market themselves as an integrated unit. After an initial phase of enthusiasm and considerable investment from electronics multinationals, attention regarding the cross-border region waned in the wake of the Asian Financial Crisis. Using data from investment authorities in Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as a number of firm interviews, this paper traces the evolution and current status of the electronics industry in Batam and Johor.

 

ISEAS

The Exporting and Productivity Nexus: Does Firm Size Matter? August 2014. The main purpose of this study is to examine whether the relationship between exporting and productivity differs across firm sizes in the Malaysian manufacturing sector. A firm-level panel data from the Study on Knowledge Content in Economic Sectors in Malaysia (MyKE) is used in the study. Overall, exporters were found to be more productive than non-exporters. This productivity gap becomes less important as firms become larger. There is evidence that the selection process for exporting is binding only for small firms. Policies that are meant to encourage small firms to export need to focus on enhancing human capital and foreign ownership.

 

ISEAS

Asian Development Outlook 2015 - Enabling Women, Energizing Asia: Update and Highlights covering Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. Growth in developing Asia faced strong headwinds in the first half of 2015. Regional growth is forecast to slow from 6.2% in 2014 to 5.8% in 2015, with a slight rebound to 6.0% in 2016. The region must strengthen its ability to respond to external shocks. Emerging markets are facing receding capital flows and depreciating currencies—a trend that may be exacerbated by the upcoming rise in US interest rates. Implementing macroprudential policies and developing local currency bond markets can bolster financial system resilience and mitigate risks to borrowers...

 

ADB

Financial Soundness Indicators for Financial Sector Stability: A Tale of Three Asian Countries, Published 2015.This report presents country-case studies for Bangladesh, Georgia, and Viet Nam focusing on growing evidences in the development of financial soundness indicators to effectively monitor the financial performance of the country.

 

ADB

Constructing a Bias-Free Trade Governance Indicator: Revealing the Biases of Existing Survey Indicators, September 2015 . Trade Governance Indicator (TGI) has the potential to improve economic analysis of trade and beyond. By avoiding the endogeneity problem, we can assess the true impact of governance on trade using TGI. Governance is one of the key factors that shape the economic performance of an economy in terms of economic and trade growth. However, accurately measuring the quality of governance is not an easy task. Research typically uses governance indicators from surveys, which may have biases and inherent errors...

 

ADB

Global Agrifood Value Chains and Local Poverty Reduction: What Happens to Those Who, September 2015. Supermarket retailing has transformed food production in developing countries including Indonesia. However, little attention has been paid to how this affects farmers who continue to sell to traditional market channels. Our research suggests that in regions where there are both modern and traditional buyers, competition effects can negatively affect farmers who continue to sell to traditional markets...

 

ADB

Institutional Quality, Trade Openness, and Financial Sector Development in Asia: An Empirical Investigation, September 2015. Findings suggest that better governance and institutional quality foster financial development in developing economies while economic growth and trade openness are key determinants of financial depth in developed economies. Financial development has been well established in the literature as an important source for economic growth and development; implementing policies to promote the finance sector requires an understanding of the determinants of its development..

 

ADB

Taper Tantrum and Emerging Equity Market Slumps, September 2015. Virtually all emerging market equity markets were affected by the taper tantrum, highlighting the need for emerging market authorities to remain vigilant about the effects of advanced economy monetary policies on their financial stability. In the postglobal financial crisis period, the central banks of the advanced economies pursued unconventional monetary policies, such as the United States (US) Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE)...

 

ADB

The Financial Systems of Financially Less Developed Asian Economies: Key Features and Reform Priorities, September 2015. Developing Asia’s financial depth as a whole compares favorably with other parts of the developing world, but there are wide variations across subregions and economies.This paper examines the key features and reform priorities of the financial systems in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Georgia, Mongolia, and Papua New Guinea...

 

ADB

Financial Inclusion in Asia: An Overview, September 2015. In terms of financial inclusion, fewer than 27% of adults in developing Asia have an account in a formal financial institution, and only 33% of enterprises report having a line of credit or a loan from a financial institution. Despite economic growth, the delivery of financial services at affordable costs to disadvantaged and low-income segments of society remains an issue across Asia and the Pacific...

 

ADB

Crop Monitoring for Improved Food Security, Published 2015. Over fifty experts gathered at the Expert Meeting on Crop Monitoring for Improved Food Security in February 2014 at Vientiane, Lao PDR to deliberate on best practices and methodological issues, and to identify challenges for future research. Estimates and forecasts of crop area and yield are of critical importance to policy makers for the planning of agricultural production and monitoring of food supply...

 

ADB

Improving Energy Efficiency and Reducing Emissions through Intelligent Railway Station Buildings, Published 2015. This report aims to support the People’s Republic of China (PRC) national carbon emission reduction plan in railway station buildings; to learn and make use of the advanced technologies in international building management; and to ensure energy savings, safety, and comfort in railway station buildings in a cost-efficient way from the perspective of energy management, with expected energy savings of 20% through implementation of intelligent building control...

 

ADB

China’s Non-Military Maritime Assets as a Force Multiplier for Security, September 2015. Justin Chock, a Summer 2015 researcher at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that "[China's] growing civilian merchant marine and fishing fleets are more likely to be deployed before military units since they greatly enhance surveillance, logistics, and even physical defense capabilities with less risk of conflict escalation. As a result, these non-military maritime fleets deserve greater attention within the study of China's maritime capacities and interests."

 

EWC

Building Japan-ROK Relations through East Asian Maritime Security, September 2015. Amanda Conklin, Sora Chung, Grace Kim, and Nicole Goertzen-Tang, recent graduates from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, explain that "Maritime hotspots in the South China Sea have created an opportunity for Japan and South Korea to work together with the U.S. to establish a more stable region." The authors would like to thank all the policymakers and academics whose interviews were indispensable to the development of these policy recommendations.

 

EWC

A Long Way from Sharing a Mountain: Japan-China Relations and the Creation of the AIIB, September 2015. Dr. Aki Sakabe-Mori, Assistant Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Tsukuba, explains that "Without progress on overall political relations, the political conditions do not exist that would enable the Abe administration to make the decision to join the AIIB as a founding member."

 

EWC

The ASEAN Economic Community: What Stands in the Way? September 2015. At the end of 2015 the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will announce the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). In theory, this agreement should produce an association-wide economic integration. However, following the announcement, and for the foreseeable future, ASEAN member states will continue in significantly less than full regional economic integration. Why? Some observers believe that the AEC plans involve an "overly ambitious timeline and too many ill-thought-out initiatives." Others point to ASEAN's traditional aversion to legally binding agreements...

 

EWC

Southeast Review of Asian Studies, Volume 36, 2014

 

SERAS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asia Bond Monitor, September 2015. Emerging East Asia’s bond markets have seen rising yields as investors shift away from emerging markets. Weaker growth and depreciating currencies have combined to make emerging market bonds less attractive to investors. Bond yields in advanced economies have remained broadly stable, with inflationary pressures muted amid hesitant economic recoveries. Falling oil prices have further dampened inflationary pressures. The brighter economic outlook in the United States (US) suggests that the Federal Reserve could be poised to raise interest rates as early as September. However, recent weakness in developing economies and declining oil prices may make the Federal Reserve more cautious in raising interest rates...

 

ADB

Nuclear-Armed Submarines in Indo-Pacific Asia: Stabiliser or Menace? September 2015. In their quest for regional security, rising powers China and India are seeking a powerful deterrent — nuclear weapons on submarines. In theory, this could reduce the risk of a major war in Indo-Pacific Asia, as no adversary would want to strike first against a country with so invulnerable a nuclear arsenal. Ballistic missile submarines are widely considered to have helped keep the peace during the Cold War, and continue to be the mainstay of US, Russian, French and British defence...

 

Lowy

APEC Policy Support Unit Policy Brief Issue 13, September 2015.This policy brief examines the questions of what drives GDP growth and what should be done to achieve resilient and inclusive growth in the APEC region.  Based on the data, trade growth doesn’t seem to be the driver of GDP growth that it used to be. The slowdown in the responsiveness of GDP growth to trade is not cyclical but structural...

 

APEC

APEC Workshop on the Climate Change Impact on Oceans and Fisheries Resources, September 2015. This report is based on a workshop which focused on climate change mechanism, environmental implications and the impact on ocean and coastal ecosystem. This includes ocean warming, rising sea level, distribution changes of living marine resources and the integrity of marine ecosystem. It also discusses on sustainable marine use.

 

APEC

Report for Independent Assessment of the Ocean and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG), August 2015. The APEC Ocean and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) is an active APEC working group reporting to the Senior Officials Steering Committee on ECOTECH (SCE). The Independent Assessment provides recommendations and findings on the group's outputs, including projects and publications in accordance with relevant APEC Leaders’ and Ministerial Statements, Declarations and instructions.

 

APEC

APEC Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) Readiness in ISO 50001, August 2015. The project aims to build the capacity to enable APEC economies to promote the concept of energy efficiency for the reduction of energy use.

 

APEC

Independent Assessment of the APEC Emergency Preparedness Working Group, June 2015. This independent assessment was commissioned with the aim of ensuring that the Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) is responsive to the current priorities of APEC and contributing to the achievement of APEC’s overall vision and objectives

 

APEC

Scientific Workshop on Measurement and Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases in Livestock Systems for Green Production and Environment of APEC Members, December 2014. A scientific workshop on measurement and mitigation of greenhouse gases in livestock systems for green production and environment of APEC members was held in December last year. The workshop discussed issues covering the diversity of livestock management systems in APEC member economies, the greenhouse gas emissions and the special characteristics of those systems. A key goal of the workshop was to identify opportunities for future collaboration and coordinated capacity building activities in livestock mitigation research across member economies. This report highlights the findings and recommendations from the workshop.

 

APEC

Financial Inclusion, Financial Education, and Financial Regulation in the United Kingdom, September 2015. The United Kingdom (UK) has one of the largest financial services sectors in the world, and strong consumer protection regulation. Yet, despite nearly 2 decades of financial inclusion policymaking, persistent problems remain. Many individuals, often the most vulnerable, are unable to get financial products and services that meet their needs at affordable prices. New forms of exclusion are emerging as digital technology advances and risk profiling becomes increasingly sophisticated. The self-employed face particular problems, having high levels of unsecured debt and being less likely to have pension savings than employees...

 

ADB

Bond Market Development in Developing Asia, August 2015. Analysis suggests that high inflation volatility presents a serious obstacle to bond market development. The paper compares salient features of bond market development in developing Asia and other regions. It highlights key drivers and constraints of bond market development in developing Asia, particularly in smaller economies, as well as key implications for policy makers. This paper was prepared as a background paper for the Asian Development Outlook 2015.

 

ADB

Interrelation between Growth and Inequality, August 2015. This paper highlights the importance of “broad-based growth” as a framework to support economic growth and inclusiveness at the same time. Different countries show different dynamics between economic growth and inequality depending on diverse development, social, and economic contexts. If a growth pattern worsens inequality, renewed attention should be paid to curbing inequality. Those countries showing an inclusive growth pattern are encouraged to further promote growth with a lower risk of sacrificing equity.

 

ADB

Mortgage Lending and Financial Stability in Asia, August 2015. This paper presents estimates of the effect of the share of mortgage lending by individual banks on two measures of financial stability—the bank Z-score and the nonperforming loan ratio. The sample covers 212 banks in 19 emerging Asian economies for 2007–2013 from the Bankscope database. The findings suggest that mortgage lending is positive for financial stability, specifically by lowering the probability of default by financial institutions and reducing the nonperforming loan ratio, at least in noncrisis periods, for levels of mortgage shares up to 30%–40%. For higher levels of mortgage lending shares, the impact on financial stability turns negative. Mortgage lending can also be a useful measure of both financial development and financial inclusion.

 

ADB

Enhancing Agricultural Productivity of CLMV Countries: Challenges and Agenda for Reforms, August 2015. Responding positively to economic reforms, the economies of Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV) have shown tremendous growth since the mid-1980s, including in their respective agriculture sectors. Recent developments, however, have brought into question the CLMV countries’ ability to sustain further increases in agricultural productivity given the slow pace of reforms and emerging challenges. Going forward, the reform agenda must go beyond the traditional view of expanding yields and supply of agricultural products for development gains in the sector to contribute to inclusive growth, poverty alleviation, and food security. This will require changing the market structures and regulatory policies that govern the sector.

 

ADB

US Global Economic Leadership: Responding to a Rising China, August 2015. The rise of the Chinese economy means that China and the United States must share a role, although not necessarily an equal one, in shaping global economic rules. The United States is struggling to accommodate China’s desire for a greater say in the way that the global economy is run, as reflected in the US approach to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Trans-Pacific Partnership and IMF governance reform. Unless the United States shares economic governance with China, it will undermine US economic leadership and have a negative impact on the management of the global economy.

 

Lowy

G20 Monitor: From Turkey to China - What Lies Ahead for the G20 in 2016?. The G20 is making headway on Turkey’s priorities of investment, implementation, and inclusiveness. Turkey appears to be particularly focused on inclusiveness through promoting opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises and low-income developing countries. The 2016 Chinese G20 Presidency is highly anticipated. China should encourage the G20 to implement past commitments, push forward unsolved issues on the economic agenda, and react to new global developments. China should also seek to use its G20 Presidency as an opportunity to advocate for longer-term governance reform, particularly in multilateral trade and energy governance.

 

Lowy

Security through Aid: Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism with Australia’s Aid Program, August 2015. The paper argues that countering violent extremism (CVE) and terrorism are international security and development issues. Australia’s foreign aid should be used to strengthen resilience to violent extremist ideologies. Improving governance in weak states can help to deny terrorists the easy recruiting grounds of lawless communities. The ASPI report argues that there are several ways to better leverage our foreign aid program to counter terrorism and violent extremism...

 

ASPI

A Web of Harms: Serious and Organised Crime and Its Impact on Australian Interests. This report analyses serious, transnational and organised crime and the harms it causes to Australia’s interest, with the aim of reinvigorating a discussion of this critical matter amongst Australians. This web impacts on our national interests to the sum of an estimated $15 billion per year. That very conservative estimate includes costs to government through denied revenue and increased law enforcement costs. But there are also social, health and economic harms to individuals, community and business. The report poses a series of questions to be considered by the community, business and government.

 

ASPI

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #15: Establishing Contemporary Chinese Life in Myanmar. From 1985 — when Western democracies sought to limit the range of links that their people had with Myanmar — the Chinese government adopted a proactive policy of engaging with Myanmar and encouraged its people to do the same. China has thus played a major role in Myanmar’s recent evolution, especially with respect to the number of its citizens and former citizens living in the country and working to transform its economy. A long, porous border unites Myanmar and China and serves as “back door” to both countries. It is through this land border that Myanmar and China face one another. This contrasts with western countries that have tended to view both China and Myanmar from the vantage of the sea...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #14: Indonesia-China Energy and Mineral Ties Broaden. Bilateral energy cooperation between China and Indonesia is not new. It can be traced back to the 1980s. Although the share of Chinese overseas oil and gas upstream acquisitions in Indonesia and the inflow of investment from China were minor, China’s recent investment flow to Indonesia’s mining sector has been increasing rapidly. The reason for the increase of China’s FDI in the mining sector is mainly China’s increased demand for coal. When China became a net importer of coal in 2007, it shifted its focus to Indonesia. Coal from Indonesia has become increasingly attractive to the prosperous coastal regions of China, potentially displacing domestic Chinese production that must be transported by rail and shipped long distances from Shanxi and Mongolia...

 

ISEAS

Misinformation Hinders Debate on THAAD Deployment in Korea, August 2015. Dr. Woo Jung-Yeop and Eileen Block, Director and Assistant Director, respectively, of the Washington, DC office at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, explain that "Rather than focus only on China's reactions, South Korean policymakers and the public need to pay more attention to issues of THAAD feasibility and cost."

 

EWC

Opening Australia's "Black Box": The Domestic Debate over Submarine Production, August 2015. Mina Pollmann, recent graduate of Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, explains that "Abbott faces [in the submarine decision] the daunting task of balancing the demands of his domestic constituents and the manufacturing industry, the strategic needs of the navy, and the requirements of their ultimately chosen international partner."

 

EWC

Transforming the Regional Architecture: New Players and Challenges for the Pacific Islands, August 2015. Growing debates over the mandate and capacity of regional institutions in the Pacific highlight the complex and cluttered agenda facing island leaders. The Pacific Islands Forum, with a new secretary general and Framework on Pacific Regionalism, is working to forge collective positions among its 16 members. But fundamental policy differences over climate change, trade, and decolonization reinforce the sentiment among islanders that Australia and New Zealand should play a less dominant role within the Forum...

 

EWC

Papua's Insecurity: State Failure in the Indonesian Periphery, Published 2015. West Papua is the most violent area of Indonesia. Indonesian security forces battle the country's last active separatist insurgency there. The majority of Indonesia's political prisoners are Papuans, and support for independence is widespread. But military repression and indigenous resistance are only one part of a complex topography of insecurity in Papua: vigilantism, clan conflict, and other forms of horizontal violence produce more casualties than the vertical conflict that is often the exclusive focus of international accounts of contemporary Papua...

 

EWC

Journal of Bhutan Studies, Volume 29, Winter 2013 (Published 2015)  

Bhutan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Noodle Bowl Effect: Stumbling or Building Block? August 2015. This paper explores an economy’s incentive for entering a free trade agreement (FTA) rather than anticipating a global trade regime. Using basic game theories, it shows that in order for an equilibrium number of FTA participants to be obtained, the negative impact of FTAs should be significant. Globally, the side effects of FTAs—centered on noodle bowl effects—could contribute to inducing a global free trade regime and also increase the viability of a global trade regime once established...

 

ADB

An Empirical Estimation of Asia's Untapped Regional Integration Potential Using Data Envelopment Analysis, August 2015. This paper presents findings that provide answers to two important questions in this context. How integrated are Asian regions compared with other regions in the world, when looking at multiple dimensions of economic integration? And how large is the untapped potential of Asia’s regions for further integration, based on currently available resources and institutional conditions?

 

ADB

Financial Integration in Asset and Liability Holdings in East Asia, August 2015. This paper examines the evolution of intra-East Asian financial integration from 2001 to 2013. Most existing studies on this topic look primarily at asset holdings; but this examines liability holdings as well. Using the International Monetary Fund’s Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey data for equities, long-term debt, and short-term debt, analysis generally supports the conventional wisdom that East Asian countries are more financially integrated with global financial centers than they are with each other...

 

ADB

Enhancing Bank Supervision in Asia: Lessons Learned from the Financial Crisis, August 2015. This study highlights the key attributes of effective supervision and regulation needed to enable developing Asia’s banking systems to support sound, sustainable growth and development. The last major episode of cross-border financial instability and banking crisis in developing Asia occurred more than 17 years ago. To extend this impressive record of relative calm, bank supervisory authorities in the region need to assess their supervisory systems, infrastructure, and actual practices. If the assessment reveals that changes, enhancements, or remedial action are needed, a definitive plan should be crafted and implemented in a timely way...

 

ADB

Financial Development, Financial Openness, and Economic Growth, August 2015. This paper explains the importance of financial development and openness. It sifts through the literature on the relationship between both variables and economic growth. It then reports the results and discusses some original empirical analysis. In addition to using more updated data, which extend the sample period to include some postcrisis years, the analysis examines whether country characteristics and factors such as the exchange rate regime affect the finance–growth nexus...

 

ADB

Retribution and the Rule of Law: The Politics of Justice in Georgia, June 2015. Over the last several years a gradual politicization of justice in Georgia has put into question the country’s democratization progress. Most attention has centered on the judicial campaign launched beginning in late 2012 against a number of former government officials, including former President Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been ordered to pre-trial detention in absentia. This policy of selective justice has resulted in domestic as well as international criticism and raises important questions with regard to the independence of the judicial structures and, overall, the current state of the rule of law in Georgia...

 

ISDP

Creative Tension: Parliament and National Security, August 2015. This paper argues that enhancing parliament’s role in national security will reinforce Executive accountability, improve the quality of public debate over national security and serve to strengthen the foundations of Australia’s parliamentary democracy. There are several measures that would materially improve parliament’s role in the conduct of national security...

 

ASPI

Beyond 2017: The Australian Defence Force and Amphibious Warfare, July 2015. The delivery of Australia’s new amphibious warships, HMAS Canberra and Adelaide, is an important milestone in the ADF’s quest to develop a strategically relevant amphibious warfare capability. Australia’s position in the world makes the effort a strategic imperative, but the ADF still has a long way to go and many critical decisions ahead if it’s to develop an amphibious warfare capability that’s ready for future challenges. The resources committed to the effort and the associated opportunity costs have been and will be substantial, and the overall need for the capability must be weighed against other priorities, but if Australia’s going to do it, we should do it properly...

 

ASPI

Trade Protectionism in Indonesia: Bad Times and Bad Policy, July 2015. Difficult economic circumstances have historically led Indonesian leaders to enact economic reforms, leading some to argue that bad times have resulted in good policy. But as Indonesian growth has slowed over the past year, the government has departed from this pattern, and is instead ratcheting up protectionist measures in the form of a variety of non-tariff barriers. These measures are likely to drive up prices for Indonesian consumers at a time when their purchasing power is declining, and undermine the competitiveness and productivity of Indonesian firms...

 

Lowy

Asian Development Outlook 2015 Supplement: Growth Prospects Soften for Developing Asia. Growth projections for developing Asia are revised down from those in March as slower-than-expected recovery in the United States and moderating growth in the People’s Republic of China weigh on the region's prospects. The region is now projected to grow at 6.1% in 2015 and 6.2% in 2016, downgrades of 0.2 and 0.1 percentage points from ADO 2015 forecasts. Growth projections are revised down for East and Southeast Asia for both years. In Central Asia and the Pacific, forecasts are unchanged for 2015, but for 2016 slightly downgraded for Central Asia and upgraded for the Pacific, and for South Asia upgraded for 2015 and retained for 2016...

 

ADB

Asia Bond Monitor, June 2015. Emerging East Asia’s bond markets were volatile due to rising global concerns over the unresolved Greek debt crisis and possibility of an interest rate hike in the United States (US). Global interest rates, which had been falling up until April, started picking up in early May. Contributing factors to the recent increases include protracted negotiations over the Greek debt crisis, firmer oil prices, improving economic indicators in the US in April–May, and faster first quarter of 2015 (1Q15) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the eurozone. As a result, the region’s bond yields have also moved upward since the beginning of May...

 

ADB

Pacific Economic Monitor, July 2015. This issue of the Pacific Economic Monitor updates the 2015 and 2016 GDP growth and inflation projections for ADB's Pacific developing member countries. The policy briefs included in this issue focus on disasters in the Pacific. The impacts of severe weather events last March are seen to impede growth in the economies of the Federated States of Micronesia and Vanuatu this year. However, average growth in the Pacific region is still projected to accelerate to 9.9%, driven mainly by the first full year of liquefied natural gas exports from Papua New Guinea (PNG)...

 

ADB

Basic Statistics 2015. Basic Statistics 2015 covers the indicators of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) such as the proportion of population living below $1.25 (PPP) a day, infant mortality rate, carbon dioxide emissions. It also contains data on basic economic indicators such as the gross domestic product (GDP), inflation rate, trade balance, external debt, fiscal balance, and others...

 

ADB

Economic Growth, Financial Development, and Income Inequality, August 2015. The paper's central objective is to empirically examine the relationship between financial development and income inequality. Theoretically, there are grounds for both a positive and negative relationship between the two variables. The main finding is that financial development contributes to reducing inequality up to a point, but as financial development proceeds further, it contributes to greater inequality...

 

ADB

The Recent Convergence of Financial Development in Asia, July 2015. An index of financial development for 23 Asian economies finds evidence that economies with weaker financial systems are catching up to the Asian benchmark economies. We construct an index of financial development for 23 Asian economies based on subindices of access, depth, and efficiency of financial institutions and markets, and find evidence that economies with weaker financial systems are catching up to the Asian benchmark economies...

 

ADB

Effectiveness of Macroprudential Policies in Developing Asia, July 2015. This paper presents an empirical framework for analyzing how effective macroprudential policies control credit growth, leverage growth, and housing price appreciation. It also finds that broadly, macroprudential policies can indeed promote financial stability in Asia, and more specifically, different types of macroprudential policies are more effective against different types of macroeconomic risks.

 

ADB

Myanmar: Unlocking the Potential - A Strategy for High, Sustained, and Inclusive Growth, July 2015. This paper briefly reviews Myanmar’s history and its legacy, examines the economy and some of the main policy reforms undertaken since 2011, assesses development potential, and outlines medium- and long-term growth strategy based on the country’s specific context and international best experiences and practices.

 

ADB

Re-examining the Middle-Income Trap Hypothesis: What to Reject and What to Revive? July 2015. This paper looks at why some economies grow faster than others. Using a transition matrix analysis on decade-level growth rates, we find that the data clearly rejects the idea that middle-income economies either have a high absolute probability of being stuck where they are or have a higher relative probability of being stuck than the low- or high-income groups...

 

ADB

Public Service Spending: Efficiency and Distributional Impact -Lessons from Asia, July 2015. The paper describes public expenditure trends in health, education, and social protection in the region. Following Herrera and Pang (2005), a formal efficiency benchmarking exercise is conducted using Data Envelopment Analysis and available input and output data from World Development Indicators, Government Finance Statistics, and ADB databases to deconstruct each member economy’s efficiency changes in health and education spending...

 

ADB

Fiscal Management in Myanmar, June 2015. The Government of Myanmar now has to prioritize how best to implement these fiscal objectives while strengthening long-run fiscal discipline. This paper provides a broad range of recommendations on how this can be achieved, using analysis of Myanmar’s present and past fiscal situation alongside insights provided by the experience of other countries.

 

ADB

Who Gains More from Which Infrastructure in Rural People’s Republic of China? July 2015. The importance of infrastructure in economic development has been increasingly recognized by governments, development institutions, and the research community. Despite a sizable literature on its efficiency and growth effects, the distributive impacts of infrastructure have been largely overlooked, with a few recent exceptions...

 

ADB

Oil Price Fluctuations and Oil Consuming Sectors: An Empirical Analysis of Japan, July 2015. In this research, we try to shed light on the impact of crude oil price volatility on each sector in Japan, the world’s third-largest crude oil consumer...

 

ADB

Income Polarization in the People’s Republic of China: Trends and Changes, July 2015. This paper estimates income polarization in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from 1978 to 2010 and decomposes the estimated polarization by population subgroup...

 

ADB

Financial Inclusion, Financial Regulation, and Financial Education in Thailand, July 2015. This paper addresses the issue of financial inclusion in Thailand through the lens of an institutional analysis, which takes into consideration the desired outcomes, the service providers and enabling agencies...

 

ADB

Financial Inclusion, Education, and Regulation in the Philippines, August 2015. This paper discusses the current status of financial inclusion, education, and regulation in the Philippines and measures to foster financial inclusion...

 

ADB

Local Currency Bonds and Infrastructure Finance in ASEAN+3, Published 2015. The Asian Development Bank is working closely with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea—collectively known as ASEAN+3—to develop local currency bond markets and facilitate regional bond market integration under the Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI)...

 

ADB

Reforming the Financing System for the Road Sector in the People’s Republic of China, Published 2015. An analysis of the implications of the Fuel Tax Reform in 2009 suggests the People’s Republic of China should form a central road authority along with a trust fund to finance the operation and maintenance of ordinary roads...

 

ADB

Business Models to Realize the Potential of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in the Greater Mekong Subregion, Published 2015. The report provides outlines of business models relevant to pursuing the renewable energy and energy efficiency targets adopted by the five Greater Mekong Subregion countries: Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam...

 

ADB

Indian Navy Role in Yemen and Beyond Highlights Range of Objectives, July 2015. Sarosh Bana, Executive Editor of Business India, explains that "India's naval build-up and maritime outreach are marshalled primarily for sea denial and securing territorial waters. But they are increasingly being used for peace-keeping and humanitarian purposes, not only close to shore, but also across the seas."

 

EWC

Asian Participation and Performance at the Olympic Games, May 2015. This paper examines Asian exceptionalism at the Olympics. Northeast Asian countries conform to the statistical norm while the rest of Asia lags, but this result obscures underlying distinctions. Asian women do better than men. Non-Northeast Asia's relative underperformance is due to the men. Asian performance is uneven across events, finding more success in weight-stratified contests, perhaps due to the fact that competition is more "fair" physiologically. The models imply that China, Japan, and South Korea will place among the top ten medaling countries at the 2016 Games, while China will continue to close the medal gap with the United States.

 

EWC

Myanmar: Cross-Cutting Governance Challenges, March 2015. Since 2010, Myanmar has been in the midst of a multifaceted transition, involving economic reforms, the resolution of multiple long-standing civil conflicts, and a nascent transition to democratic rule. These transitions are coinciding with a resource-led economic boom. We assess the current status of governance institutions, as well as their performance in comparison to ASEAN and selected other countries. Specifically we discuss outstanding problem areas related to economic governance, particularly in the legal system, the business regulatory framework, and bureaucratic capacity, as well as the potential use of external policy anchors, particularly in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) process, to strengthen Myanmar's ongoing reform effort.

 

EWC

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #13: Crown Property Bureau in Thailand and Its Role in Political Economy. The Crown Property Bureau (CPB) has long been ignored in Thai economic literature. However, the Bureau is a huge conglomerate and holding company, with an income in excess of 10 billion baht, and with links throughout the economy. It is also the largest landholder in the country. The history of the Bureau can be traced back to 1890, and by 1913 the two largest holdings were the Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) and the Siam Cement Company (SCC). These two enterprises remain the main sources of Bureau income, and, together with landholdings, form two of the three main financial pillars of the Bureau...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #12: Yunnanese Chinese in Myanmar: Past and Present. There is a long history of Chinese activities in Myanmar. The largest wave of Chinese migration to Myanmar (then British Burma) occurred in the nineteenth century; it brought two major regional groups of immigrants: the Hokkien/Cantonese who took the maritime route and the Yunnanese who took the overland route across the border. The Yunnanese community in Mandalay has been well established at least since the mid-eighteenth century, mainly due to cross-border trade. Mandalay remains an important centre for Yunnanese Chinese in northern Myanmar...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #11: Democracy Thwarted: The Crisis of Political Authority in Thailand. The coup in Thailand of 22 May 2014, led by General Prayuth Chan-ocha, ended the country’s latest attempt to establish a democratic political order. This coup was but the latest intervention by the Thai military dating at least to the 1950s to prevent any true democratic system developing in Thailand. Instead of a democratic order, the military in alliance with the monarchy, the bureaucracy, and many of the most influential business interests have preferred a system of “despotic paternalism” first introduced in the late 1950s by Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #10: The Politics of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Asia needs US$8.22 trillion to fund its infrastructure investment from 2010 to 2020, and existing lending institutions such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) are unable to meet these requirements. Asia’s annual funding requirement of US$747.5 billion is 4.5 times more than the ADB’s subscribed capital. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) can potentially provide up to US$30 billion of funding a year. This would be on average three times more than the loans approved by the ADB in 2011–13. Every geographical region — except North and Central America — is represented in the AIIB. The United States and Japan are the only East Asia Summit members not in the AIIB. Japan is also the only major Asian economy that has not committed to joining...

 

ISEAS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Perception Gap: Reading China's Maritime Objectives in Indo-Pacific Asia, June 2015. As China’s power grows, it is perceived by others as a potentially destabilising force. This raises the stakes for strategic competition and increases the potential for conflict especially in the Indo-Pacific maritime domain. This Report seeks to identify both the real differences in interests between China and other powers in the Indo-Pacific, and also the sharp divergences in perceptions regarding China’s maritime strategic objectives...

 

Lowy

Good Practices on Economic Empowerment of Women in Post-Disaster Reconstruction in Tohoku and the Asia-Pacific, July 2015. In light of ongoing global and regional discussions and commitments, this report intends to highlight good practices aimed at empowering women economically, particularly through entrepreneurship and innovation, drawing lessons for collective learning.

 

APEC

Best Practices Guidebook - Capacity-Building to Ensure Appropriate and Prompt Consideration of Investors' Complaints to Improve the Investment Climate within APEC, June 2015. The guidebook looks at building capacity to ensure appropriate and prompt consideration of investors' complaints to improve the investment climate within APEC.

 

APEC

Guidebook on PPP Frameworks in the APEC Region, May 2015. The aim of this guidebook is to compile information on PPP frameworks in APEC member economies into a single information as a facilitatory tool for investment. The guidebook will provide a general overview of the process and requirements within PPP frameworks in order to establish a PPP project.

 

APEC

Case Study Report on the Best Practice of Sustainable Investment in APEC Region, February 2015. This report is one of the final results and outputs of the project “Case Studies on the Best Practice of Sustainable Investment in APEC Region (CTI 18 2013T)” which is supported by Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI)/ Investment Experts' Group (IEG), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). The project is designed to, through holding a series of case studies, raise understanding and awareness of opportunities for inclusive development within APEC economies; share experience, lessons and opinions on balancing investment, environmental, and social objectives to increase the public support for free and open trade and investment, thereby creating more new demand and jobs; and share experience on improving the living environment and community livelihood.

 

APEC

Pacific Opportunities: Leveraging Asia's Growth, Published 2015. This book represents an initial effort to analyze and discern some of the main trends driving economic relations between Asia and the Pacific. It aims to assess how the Pacific developing member countries can better tap into opportunities arising from Asian growth, and overcome constraints to mutually beneficial economic ties between the two regions...

 

ADB

Connecting South Asia and Southeast Asia, Published 2015. This book analyzes how closer regional connectivity and economic integration between South Asia and Southeast Asia can benefit both subregions, with a focus on the role played by infrastructure and public policies in facilitating this process. It examines major developments in South Asia–Southeast Asia trade and investment, economic cooperation, the role of economic corridors, and regional cooperation initiatives...

 

ADB

Global Shock, Risks, and Asian Financial Reform, Published 2014. The book expertly examines what this episode means for Asia's financial sector and its stability, and what the implications will be for the region's financial regulation. By focusing on legal and institutional frameworks, the book also elaborates on various issues and challenges in terms of how financial liberalization can maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of crisis...

 

ADB

New Global Economic Architecture: The Asian Perspective, Published 2014. This book addresses how a regional architecture in Asia can induce a supply of regional public goods that can complement and strengthen the distribution of global public goods in the global economic architecture. The traumatic experiences of the first half of the 20th century helped shape the postwar global architecture, which saw the creation of the IMF, the GATT, and the World Bank....

 

ADB

SME Credit Risk Analysis Using Bank Lending Data: An Analysis of Thai SMEs, July 2015. This paper examines how a credit rating scheme for SMEs can be developed, when access to other financial and non-financial ratios is not possible, by using data on lending by banks to SMEs...

 

ADB

Medium-Term Growth in EMEAP Economies and Some Implications for Monetary Policy, July 2015. EMEAP economies have grown robustly over the last two decades, registering an average growth rate of about 5% per annum. The post-crisis environment, however, has posed new uncertainties over the sustainability of growth in the medium term, and brought to the fore important shifts in the supply-side determinants of potential growth. In the decade ahead, unfavourable demographics will pose a drag on growth in most EMEAP economies...

 

MAS

An Enterprise-Level Naval Shipbuilding Plan, July 2015. This paper reviews the past performance of Australian naval shipbuilding, describes the pros and cons of a rolling production model, and unpicks the issues that the government will have to take into account. It concludes that we’re likely to see a bigger surface navy—potentially a much bigger one—as well as the sell-off of at least part of the currently government-owned ASC Pty Ltd. The paper also looks at strategies to manage the risks in the likely course of action and recommends mitigation strategies.

 

ASPI

The Not-Quite-Quadrilateral: Australia, Japan and India, July 2015. The paper concludes that an alignment of the political stars, a diplomatic consensus on China, tightening bilateral relations and coalescing strategic, defence and security interests mean that Australia should now lean forward to fortify our trilateral dialogue and cooperation with Japan and India. A coalition of like-minded Asia–Pacific maritime democracies would seek to balance against China, further complicate China’s strategic calculus and encourage Beijing to engage as a responsible stakeholder in the stable and open regional order.

 

ASPI

The Future of Jihad: What Next for ISIL and Al-Qaeda? June 2015. The report examines what the rise of ISIL means for al-Qaeda and how will it react. How will al-Qaeda seek to regain the oxygen of publicity that’s central to terrorist organisations if they’re to recruit, grow and, ultimately, challenge their enemies? Does the rise of ISIL signal the end of al-Qaeda or might al-Qaeda merge with ISIL, confront it head on or take some other course of action? The authors explore four alternative futures for al-Qaeda and ISIL and conclude that a worrying scenario of ‘one-upmanship’ is likely to take place between the two organisations in which al-Qaeda pursues a campaign of international attacks in order to regain the limelight.

 

ASPI

Gen Y Jihadists: Preventing Radicalisation in Australia, June 2015. In September 2014 the terrorism threat level was raised from ‘medium’ to ‘high’ – the first change in 13 years. This year, the government estimated that the number of high risk terrorist threats being monitored by security agencies had doubled and that more than 100 Australians were fighting for groups in Syria and Iraq. A team of ASPI analysts has examined the scope and nature of terrorism motivated by violent Islamist extremism in Australia through a comprehensive database of the high-profile Australians identified as foreign fighters and those that have come to the attention of authorities in Australia. Based on the findings from this research, the paper assesses the policy responses by the government to date and offers recommendations.

 

ASPI

Hong Kong: High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2015Q3, July 2015. Real GDP in 15Q2 is estimated to grow by 2.0% when compared with the same period in 2014. This is a downward revision from the previous forecast release of 2.4% (April 9). This revision mainly reflects the slowdown in external demand. In 15Q3, real GDP growth is forecast to be 1.7% when compared with the same period last year.

 

HKU

Next Steps for U.S.-South Korea Civil Nuclear Cooperation, July 2015. James E. Platte, Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that "the new 123 Agreement is a step forward for U.S.-South Korea civil nuclear cooperation [but] developments, such as spent fuel storage problems or more reactor export deals for South Korea, may also spur new talks over enrichment and reprocessing."

 

EWC

How the ASEAN Economic Community Will Benefit American Companies, June 2015. Asad Latif, Associate Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore, explains that "The AEC's strategic purpose benefits a country such as the United States, which has long been associated with open and liberal economic regimes that reject protectionism and seek to curb corruption and intellectual property rights abuses."

 

EWC

Claimant Tactics in the South China Sea: By the Numbers, June 2015. Christopher Yung and Patrick McNulty, former researchers at National Defense University in Washington, explain that "The Chinese argue that the U.S. 'pivot' to Asia emboldened China's rivals to act provocatively in the region, thus triggering Chinese actions...[but this] is not borne out by the data."

 

EWC

Financial Inclusion, Financial Education, and Financial Regulation: A Story from Indonesia, June 2015. This paper examines the shift in Indonesia’s national economic development strategy from its “exclusive” orientation during the New Order era before the Asian financial crisis, to its “inclusive”. Many reforms have taken place in Indonesia following the Asian financial crisis of 1997–1998. The government has embarked upon institutional transformation, making the country one of the region’s most vibrant democracies. In social, economic, and political areas, Indonesia has seen much progress. Wide reforms have been carried out in all areas of governance, including in the financial sector, and a new development strategy has been adopted for “inclusive” economic development...

 

ADB

Financial Education in Asia: Assessment and Recommendations, June 2015. This paper assesses the case for promoting financial education in Asia. It argues that the benefits of investing in financial education can be substantial. Data are limited, but indicate low financial literacy scores for selected Asian countries. As economies develop, access to financial products and services will increase, but households and small and medium-sized enterprises need to be able to use the products and services wisely and effectively...

 

ADB

Impacts of Universal Health Coverage: A Micro-founded Macroeconomic Perspective, June 2015. This paper studies the impact of tax-financed universal health coverage schemes on macroeconomic aspects of labor supply, asset holding, inequality, and welfare, while taking into account features common to developing economies, such as informal employment and tax avoidance, by constructing a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents...

 

ADB

Comparison of Static and Dynamic Analyses on Exchange Rate Regimes in East Asia, June 2015. This paper compares three methods of analyzing exchange rate regimes in East Asia: static analysis, conventional dynamic analysis, and dynamic transition analysis. First we provide quantitative results that both estimated parameters for Thailand and time intervals are applied symmetrically across the three approaches. Our comparable simulation results illustrate how these three analyses are mutually related...

 

ADB

Optimal Fiscal Policy Rule for Achieving Fiscal Sustainability: A Japanese Case Study, June 2015. This paper will show that the Domar condition is obtained only from the government budget constraint (namely the supply of government bonds) and does not take into account the demand for government bonds. Japan’s debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio is the highest among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. This paper will firstly answer the question of whether Japanese government debt is sustainable...

 

ADB

Exchanging Information to Combat Tax Evasion, May 2015.
Tax evasion is a global concern that reduces government revenue and undermines trust in the tax system. International cooperation among national tax authorities, through the exchange of information (EOI) on taxpayer-related information including cross-border transactions and taxpayers’ foreign assets, is an important tool for combatting the problem. Many Asian countries are upgrading their capacity to handle EOI by meeting the international standards set by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes...

 

ADB

Global Value Chains along the New Silk Road, May 2015.
Central Asia is opening up rapidly with the completion of new transport corridors. Providing a passageway for goods between east and west, however, cannot be its main goal. It needs to attract investment to diversify its economies from petroleum and other natural resources. Other parts of Asia have developed by linking with global value chains. This may be an option for Central Asia, but it must overcome some serious barriers to make that a reality...

 

ADB

Ensuring the Triple Win of Labor Migration in Asia, April 2015.
Labor migration is a large and growing phenomenon in Asia as workers in origin countries seek better paying jobs and employers in destination countries endeavor to fill employment gaps. Domestic policies and bilateral agreements are necessary to support efficient job matching, eliminate abuses in the recruitment process, and protect the rights of workers abroad...

 

ADB

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #09: Managing Migration in Myanmar and Thailand: Economic Reforms, Policies, Practices and Challenges.  The migrant workforce in Thailand, the majority of whom are from Myanmar, is an integral part of the economy. The changing economic and political landscapes in both Myanmar and Thailand demand an assessment of the impact these changes will have on the migration patterns of Myanmar nationals. Over the last two decades, the ineffective and ambiguous registration programmes — Thailand’s main policy tool to manage foreign migrants — have produced gaps between policy goals and outcomes...

 

ISEAS

Social Impacts of Oil Palm in Indonesia: A Gendered Perspective from West Kalimantan, Published 2015. Oil palm plantations and smallholdings are expanding massively in Indonesia. Proponents highlight the potential for job creation and poverty alleviation, but scholars are more cautious, noting that social impacts of oil palm are not well understood. This report draws upon primary research in West Kalimantan to explore the gendered dynamics of oil palm among smallholders and plantation workers. It concludes that the social and economic benefits of oil palm are real, but restricted to particular social groups...

 

CIFOR

Managing Oil Palm Landscapes: A Seven-Country Survey of the Modern Palm Oil Industry in Southeast Asia, Latin America and West Africa, Published 2015. This study comprises a review of oil palm development and management across landscapes in the tropics. Seven countries have been selected for detailed analysis using surveys of the current literature, mainly spanning the last fifteen years. Indonesia and Malaysia are the obvious leaders in terms of area planted and levels of production and export, but also in literature generated on social and environmental challenges...

 

CIFOR

Systematic Review of Effects on Biodiversity from Oil Palm Production, Published 2014. The searches returned 9143 articles after duplicate removal of which 25 met the published inclusion criteria and were therefore accepted for the final review. Twenty of them had been conducted in Malaysia and two thirds were on arthropods. Overall, oil palm plantations had reduced species richness compared with primary and secondary forests, and the composition of species assemblages changed significantly after forest conversion to oil palm plantation...

 

CIFOR

Virginia Review of Asian Studies 2015  

VRAS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testing the Link between Accessible Export Finance and Insurance, and Regional Trade Growth in Africa and Asia: A Role for Regional Export Credit and Investment Guarantee Agency (ECIGA), June 2015. Using panel data regressions, this paper analyzes the effect of imperfections in the formal export credit and insurance market on trade growth in the regions of Africa and Asia. The author identifies a significantly positive effect on trade from the reinforcing interaction of the export and insurance market and export diversity.

 

ADB

Realizing an ASEAN Economic Community: Progress and Remaining Challenges, May 2015. Fulfilling these commitments would promote predictability in ASEAN, as well as strengthen its credibility. But is ASEAN likely to meet this deadline? This paper finds that although ASEAN has come a long way towards realizing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the remaining challenges suggest that the deadline will be missed...

 

ADB

Financial Inclusion, Regulation, and Education in Germany, June 2015. Germany’s bank-based financial system provides a high level of financial inclusion, measured by bank outreach and use of financial services. However, the most vulnerable individuals and small enterprises in Germany tend to be excluded or credit constrained. The quality of financial inclusion is impaired by a low level of financial literacy, which is also concentrated among specific population subgroups...

 

ADB

Trying to Follow the Money: Possibilities and Limits of Investor Transparency in Southeast Asia's Rush For "Available" Land, Published 2015. This study uses publicly available financial and spatial data to examine the geography of land-intensive investment in Southeast Asia, and to identify the limits imposed by problems with data availability. It focuses on three regions where land has been widely seen to be available for new investment: Indonesias outer islands; the development triangle where Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam meet; and the Golden Quadrangle region which comprises the borderlands of northeastern Myanmar, northwestern Laos, southern and western Yunnan, and northern Thailand...

 

CIFOR

Reworking the Land: A Review of Literature on the Role of Migration and Remittances in the Rural Livelihoods of Southeast Asia, Published 2015. This paper reviews the literature on migration within and from rural areas of Southeast Asia to examine the effects of redistribution of labor and remittances on livelihoods and land-use practices, as well as contexts in which migration drives, yet is also driven by, social and environmental change. Gaps in the literature and areas of contention and debate are highlighted, informing an agenda for further research...

 

CIFOR

Deforestation-Free Commitments: The Challenge of Implementation - An Application to Indonesia, Published 2015. The deforestation-free movement (or zero-deforestation) has emerged recently in a context of lower state control, globalization and pressure on corporations by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) through consumer awareness campaigns, acknowledging the essential role of agricultural commodities in deforestation. It takes the form of commitments by corporations to ensure that the products they either produce, process, trade or retail are not linked to forest conversion. This movement has particular relevance for Indonesia...

 

CIFOR

Land-Based Investment and Green Development in Indonesia: Lessons from Berau District, East Kalimantan, Published 2015. Growing global concern about the environmental costs of economic development resulting from natural resource extraction has sparked interest in a new economic paradigm known as green development. Indonesia is currently experimenting with the green development paradigm and trying to define its meaning and better understand its potential applications. So far, this process has meant a refinement and realignment of existing policy measures that seek to reduce deforestation and GHG emissions. These regulations often face contradictory economic development strategies...

 

CIFOR

APEC Economic Trends Analysis, May 2015. The PSU’s APEC Economic Trends Analysis provides an overview on emerging trends underlying the region’s economic prospects by providing in-depth analysis on recent macroeconomic and financial developments in the APEC region. The key messages from this issue are:

  • APEC economies proved resilient in 2014 amid challenging external conditions.

  • Near-term outlook points to higher GDP growth for the APEC region, even as the varying impact of falling oil prices on oil importers and oil exporters is expected to result in diverging growth paths for APEC economies.

  • Sound macroeconomic fundamentals afford APEC economies the opportunity to address policy challenges that could boost medium-term growth prospects.

 

APEC

Key Trends and Developments Relating to Trade and Investment Measures and their Impact on the APEC Region, May 2015. This report was presented at the Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Boracay, Philippines in May 2015. The theme section of the report briefly assessed the correlations between APEC members’ FTAs and exports. The preliminary results indicate that despite FTAs being considered as second-best option, FTAs have significant effect on trade. The effect of FTAs, however, depends on the size, and importantly, on the quality of the trade agreement. As for APEC’s trade and investment, the report reveals that export growth among APEC economies in 2014 was relatively robust, and FDI inflows into APEC continued to perform strongly with the APEC region remaining as the top destination for FDI.

 

APEC

Enhancing Cross-Border Higher Education Institution Mobility in the APEC Region, May 2015. This report presents findings of a study of the policy context around higher education institution (HEI) mobility in eight APEC economies – China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore and Viet Nam.

 

APEC

APEC Workshop on Environmental Services in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainability, May 2015. This report looks at how the discussion over key issues, challenges and opportunities posed for environmental services, in addition to the sharing of current and best practices in environmental services and environmental services industries facilitated the development and liberalisation of environmental services in APEC member economies in the promotion of environmentally-responsible economic growth.

 

APEC

Guide to Performance Metrics and BIM to support Green Building Objectives, May 2015. This Guide expands and extends the scope of the Start-up Guide with special emphasis on the value of BIM to improve Green Building outcomes, and support the standardization and measuring of Green Building accomplishments. It provides further guidance for selection and development of policies, programs, standards, technologies, and tracking mechanisms specific to support Green Building initiatives.

 

APEC

Is China Driving PM Modi's "Good Neighborly" Foreign Policy? June 2015. Professor & Chair of the Centre for International Politics, Organisation and Disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, explains that "China seems to have been Modi's other major preoccupation, since even before he took office."

 

EWC

Japan Needs a New Mechanism to Bridge the Public and Private Sectors, June 2015. Visiting Researcher at the Institute for Comparative Research in Human and Social Sciences, Tsukuba University, Japan, explains that "Japan needs a new mediating organization that can represent the fresh voices of emerging business sectors and convey them to policymakers, thereby bridging the public sector and core elements of today's industrial sector."

 

EWC

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #08: Strategic Possibilities and Limitations for Abe's Japan in Southeast Asia.  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s desire for Japan to play a more proactive role in strategic affairs stems largely from not just his concern about the nature of China’s rise but the challenge to the post-war liberal regional order that the latter’s rise and behaviour presents. Any disruption to that order is perceived to be extremely detrimental to Japan’s core national interest. The concern with reinforcing and strengthening the existing regional order is causing Japan to take far greater strategic interest in Southeast Asia – and also reflects lessons learnt from Abe’s first time in office (2006–07)...

 

ISEAS

Rethinking North Korea's Denuclearization: Approaches and Strategies, June 2015. The North Korean nuclear issue has become increasingly intractable. The Six Party Talks have stalled since December 2008, while North Korea’s nuclear program has continued apace. On the one hand, the international community—led by the United States and South Korea—demands meaningful action on the part of North Korea to undertake denuclearization measures before Six Party Talks can resume. On the other hand, North Korea points to the need for security assurances and the cessation of the U.S. “hostile policy,” which it claims is the main reason for its nuclear program. This Gordian Knot on the Korean Peninsula continues to vex policy makers and analysts alike. In a situation of deadlock...

 

ISDP

International Journal of Korean Studies, Volume XIX, Number 2, 2014  

IJKS

The Response of Macro Variables of Emerging and Developed Oil Importers to Oil Price Movements, June 2015. This paper assesses the impact of crude oil price movements on two macro variables—the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate and consumer price index inflation rate—in the developed economies of the United States and Japan, and an emerging economy, the People’s Republic of China (PRC). These countries were chosen for this research because they are the world’s three largest oil consumers. The main objective of this study is to see whether these economies are still reactive to oil price movements...

 

ADB

Learning from History: Some Strategic Lessons from the 'Forward Defence' Era, May 2015. Australia is currently engaged in a major reassessment of its strategic policy. Those in and around the policymaking process are trying to define the nation’s core values and interests, to identify the most likely threats, and to frame a strategy that will best protect and promote our national security. This is happening at a time when many defence budgets are severely constrained...

 

ASPI

Reviews and Contestability: New Directions for Defence, May 2015. The First Principles Review of Defence is arguably the most significant review of the defence establishment since the 1973 re-organisation led by Sir Arthur Tange. This Strategic Insights brings together a series of contributions to ASPI’s blog The Strategist written by ten experts with long experience and broad knowledge of Australia’s defence bureaucracy. They bring a wealth of different perspectives and point to significant challenges ahead for Defence if the reforms proposed by the First Principles Review are to succeed.

 

ASPI

Reassessing Malcolm Fraser, May 2015. Malcolm Fraser, Australia’s 22nd Prime Minister, died on 20 March 2015 aged 84. This Strategic Insights, drawn from posts on ASPI’s blog The Strategist, examines Fraser’s foreign policy record as well as his approach to defence policy making and his evolving attitude to the US alliance. Fraser reorganised Australia’s defence establishment and the 1976 defence white paper foreshadowed the move towards the defence of Australia strategy adopted by the Labor government in the 1980’s. Fraser’s strong commitment to human rights and his support for the Commonwealth as a useful multilateral forum were enduring features of his prime ministership.

 

ASPI

North Korea and the Sony Hack: Exporting Instability Through Cyberspace, May 2015. The North Korean cyber attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment in connection with the planned release of The Interview raised important questions about the feasibility of deterrence in cyberspace, the protection of First Amendment values, and the responsibility of the US government to safeguard private networks. It also resulted in the unprecedented attribution of responsibility for a cyber attack to a nation state by a US president, despite public controversy over the evidence. North Korea has long engaged in provocative behavior on the Korean peninsula, recently including cyber attacks, but the probability of general war with South Korea remains quite low...

 

EWC

How to Deepen Asia-Latin America Economic Relations, May 2015. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Advisor in the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department at the Asian Development Bank, explains that "Trade between [Asia and Latin America] has grown significantly, reaching a historic high of over half a trillion dollars in 2013,... projected to increase to $650 billion by 2020. Increased trade has gone hand in hand with a flurry of diplomatic activity."

 

EWC

The Third Way: Japan's Policy on Nuclear Energy, May 2015. Shinsuke Tomotsugu, Associate Professor at the Institute for Peace Science at Hiroshima University, explains that "Japan's decision to restart its nuclear power plants is rational, assuming these reactors meet strict safety standards."

 

EWC

Loan-to-Value Policy as a Macroprudential Tool: The Case of Residential Mortgage Loans in Asia, May 2015. Credit creation in the housing market has been a key source of systemic financial risk, and therefore is at the center of the debate on macroprudential policies. The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is a widely used macroprudential tool aimed at moderating mortgage loan creation, and its effectiveness needs to be estimated empirically. This paper is unique in that it analyzes the effect of LTV on mortgage lending, the direct channel of influence, using a large sample of banks in 10 Asian economies...

 

ADB

From the Chiang Mai Initiative to an Asian Monetary Fund, May 2015. Following the 1997–1998 Asian financial crisis, financial authorities in ASEAN+3 embarked on several new initiatives for East Asia's financial cooperation, including: (i) regional economic surveillance led by the Economic Review and Policy Dialogue (ERPD); (ii) a regional liquidity support facility, called the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI); and (iii) local-currency bond market development. The global financial crisis of 2007–2009 demonstrated the need to further strengthen East Asian financial cooperation. This paper summarizes and evaluates the progress of regional financial cooperation, particularly the ERPD, the CMI and its subsequent multilateralization (CMIM), and the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO)...

 

ADB

The March 2015 Bombings of Yunnan and the Decline in Sino-Myanmar Relations, April 2015. Myanmar’s accidental bombings of China’s Yunnan province on 8 and 13 March 2015 are symptomatic of a recent decline in Sino-Myanmar relations. This article will first examine the recent unrest in Myanmar’s Kokang region that led to the bombings of Yunnan. The relationship between China and the Communist Party of Burma will be shown to connect the unrest in Kokang with the Myanmar government’s long-term suspicions of China...

 

APJ

Repatriation But Not "Return": A Japanese Brazilian Dekasegi Goes Back to Brazil, April 2015. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Japan dispatched well over one million citizens beyond its archipelago in an effort to relieve perceived problems of scarce resources, overpopulation, and social unrest. The majority of emigrants who relocated to Japan’s Asian empire were repatriated after 1945. However, approximately half a million remained more or less permanently in the Americas, giving rise to Japan’s most significant contemporary diaspora...

 

APJ

Womenomics for Japan: Is the Abe Policy for Gendered Employment Viable in an Era of Precarity? March 2015. Womenomics is a theory that advocates the empowerment of women, arguing that enabling women to have access to equal participation in an economy and society will result in economic benefits and social progress. The need for Japan to implement womenomics was first advocated by Kathy Matsui in 1999, and since 2013 Prime Minister Abe’s government has pledged to promote womenomics as policy...

 

APJ

"All Japan" versus "All Okinawa" - Abe Shinzo's Military-Firstism, March 2015. A grand, and massively unequal, struggle over the future of Japan is underway. At sea, a miniscule flotilla of canoes and kayaks confronts a solid wall of National Coastguard ships and on land a few hundred protesters face off 24 hours a day against riot police outside Camp Schwab Marine Corps base, trying in vain to halt the delivery of materials for the construction of a new Marine Corps base on Oura Bay...

 

APJ

The Greening of China's Black Electric Power System? Insights from 2014 Data, March 2015. While China’s energy system is still largely a “black” system depending on fossil fuel inputs, the electric power system is greening at the margins. We demonstrate, using 2014 data on additions to China’s electric power system, that the system is greening– with powerful implications for the future of the country’s energy profile...

 

APJ

Africa and China's 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, March 2015. This paper considers Africa’s place in China’s 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The Maritime Silk Road is a major component of the “Belt and Road” development framework announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in late 2013. While the People’s Republic of China has been actively engaged in Africa since 1960, the Maritime Silk Road promises an intensification of Chinese investment on the continent, especially in infrastructural projects including the construction of railways, airports and deepwater ports...

 

APJ

In the Face of American Amnesia, The Grim Truths of No Gun Ri Find a Home, March 2015. On the 70th anniversary of the division of the Korean peninsula, the Korea Policy Institute, in collaboration with The Asia-Pacific Journal, is pleased to publish a special series, “The 70th Anniversary of the U.S. Division of the Korean Peninsula: A People’s History.” Multi-sited in geographic range, this series calls attention to the far-reaching repercussions and ongoing legacies of the fateful 1945 American decision, in the immediate wake of U.S. atomic bombings of Japan and with no Korean consultation, to divide Korea in two. Through scholarly essays, policy articles, interviews, journalistic investigation, survivor testimony, and creative performance, this series explores the human costs and ground-level realities of the division of Korea...

 

APJ

The Post-3/11 Quest for True Kizuna – Shi no Tsubute by Wagō Ryōichi and Kamisama 2011 by Kawakami Hiromi, February 2015. The reconstruction efforts following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami (3/11) have sparked a rediscovery of the concept of kizuna (literally, “bonds between people”). Some Japanese authors, however, are contesting and expanding on this notion as a way of coming to terms with the disaster. Through the analysis of two literary works, I argue that 3/11 literature provides a model for Japan’s emotional and physical reconstruction through its resourcefulness and alternative vision of kizuna.

 

APJ

The Internet and Personal Narratives in the Post-Disaster Anti-Nuclear Movement, February 2015. In this essay I explore the way the internet has facilitated people’s participation in anti-nuclear activism in Japan. After contextualising the use of the internet in the anti-nuclear movement which developed after the compound disaster of “3/11”, I present a case study focused on the tweet messages of one twitter user. By undertaking content analysis, tracing tweets over time, and tracing the connections between particular vocabulary items, and an interview, we gain a picture of how one participant in the anti-nuclear movement developed a political consciousness through participating in internet-facilitated activism.

 

APJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #07: Chinese Engagement in Laos: Past, Present, and Uncertain Future.  During the colonial period, Laos welcomed the smallest overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia, communities that almost disappeared after the communist forces seized power in Laos in 1975. Yet, this landlocked country shares a long history with China and even experienced a Golden Age thanks to the thriving caravan trade between Yunnan and mainland Southeast Asia. The Greater Mekong Subregion programme, launched by the Asian Development Bank, has revitalized these historical trade routes, causing thousands of Chinese migrants to pour onto the new roads of Laos, channelled through the North–South Economic Corridor linking Kunming to Bangkok...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #06: Vietnam's Alliance Politics in the South China Sea. Vietnam has long maintained “no alliance” as a core principle in its foreign policy. However, as China becomes increasingly assertive in the South China Sea, there are indications that Vietnam is moving towards “alliance politics”, or efforts to forge close security and defence ties short of formal, treaty-bound alliances with key partners, to deal with the new situation. The need for such a shift in Vietnam’s China strategy became more relevant after the 2014 Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig crisis displayed the limitations in Hanoi’s hedging strategy. It deepened Vietnam’s perception of China as a serious threat and highlighted the irreconcilability between its twin goals of maintaining good relations with China and protecting its interests in the South China Sea...

 

ISEAS

Monetary Policy and Foreign Exchange Management: Reforming Central Bank Functions, May 2015. These priority areas entail a three-front effort: dismantle nonmarket arrangements, especially in the finance sector; implement a monetary policy framework and operational procedures, including financial markets development; and enhance central bank policy capacity. The latter includes elevating the policy process, central banking functions, and institutional roles to match the tasks of a modern monetary authority in a market-based economy.

 

ADB

APEC Green Building Code Infrastructure Guide, May 2015 proposes a framework to support code requirements in the marketplace to achieve desired outcomes. While specific goals and drivers for green buildings will vary among economies, the basic concepts of infrastructure are “driver-neutral” and, at the same time, heavily economy-specific in practice. The proposed framework is flexible and can be customized to leverage the strengths and accommodate the realities of individual economies.

 

APEC

Strategic Human Resource Management for Successful Foreign Direct Investment in APEC, April 2015. This report aims to identify HRM issues for improving performance in a company’s foreign affiliates and develop a prototype Guide to Strategic HRM for FDI.

 

APEC

Research Outcomes: Summary of Research Projects 2014, April 2015. This publication provides the key findings and/or recommendations from research projects that were undertaken during 2014.

 

APEC

2014 PSU Annual Report, April 2015. The annual report summarises the operations and activities of the APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU) for the calendar year of 2014. It provides an overview of projects and activities undertaken in the year including a list of completed and current projects, and the audited financial statements.

 

APEC

Research and Assessment of Prospects for Development of an Integrated Information Tool to Stimulate Involvement of SMEs of the Asia-Pacific Region into the Global Trade System, Global Production and Supply Chains, March 2015. This project aims to develop an integrated and unified resource of information to promote international cooperation and integration of SMEs based on a combination of analytical and organizational activities and the proposal of action plan for its effective implementation in SMEs in APEC economies.

 

APEC

Australia and the 1951 Refugee Convention, April 2015. In this Analysis, Khalid Koser argues that the implementation of the 1951 Refugee Convention is failing the interests of both states and refugees. Koser argues that Australia is well-placed to lead an international effort for reform...

 

Lowy

Australian Foreign Fighters: Risks and Responses, April 2015. In this Analysis, Andrew Zammit argues that Australians fighting in Iraq and Syria pose a threat to Australia’s security and examines the options for responding to that threat, including through non-coercive means...

 

Lowy

Fiji's Election and Australia: The Terms of Re-Engagement, September 2014. In this Lowy Institute Policy Brief, Melanesia Program Director Jenny Hayward-Jones examines the significance of Fiji’s elections on 17 September for Australian policy towards Fiji. She argues that the election will only be the first step in Fiji’s transition to democracy after eight years of...

 

Lowy

The G20 Needs a Growth Strategy, February 2014. In this Lowy Institute Policy Brief, Director of the G20 Studies Centre Mike Callaghan AM argues that the G20 needs to develop a comprehensive growth strategy to lift global growth and create jobs. Callaghan outlines the steps required to develop such a strategy by the Brisbane G20 Summit.

 

Lowy

Making Strategic Policy: What's Involved, May 2015. With preparations for the Defence White Paper 2015 well underway, both government and the public are probably more interested than usual in the esoteric topic of Australia’s strategic policy. In this paper, the author unpacks some thoughts about that by talking most about how strategic policy is—ideally—made. Making strategic policy means solving a puzzle in three parts: understanding an environment largely not of our own making; determining our own global and regional role; and acknowledging a set of constraints that bound that role...

 

ASPI

No Exit: Next Steps for Promoting South Pacific Peace and Prosperity, April 2015. As Australia focuses on its global interests in a changing and challenging international environment, there’s a danger that we’ll lose sight of important constants of history and geography. We don’t have an either/or choice to focus on near or distant security imperatives. While the Australian Government’s decision to lift defence funding will help with this, cutting aid to help offset that boost may prove counterproductive...

 

ASPI

Sounding the Alarm: Terrorism Threat Communications with the Australian Public, April 2015. On 12 September last year, the national terrorism advisory was raised by Prime Minister Abbott from medium to high on the advice of outgoing ASIO Director-General, David Irvine. Since September 12, 2001, we’d been on a medium level alert. This paper suggests five immediate changes which could help make our terrorism warning system better meet the public’s expectation that the government will provide useful information on terrorist threats and advice about required changes to behaviour...

 

ASPI

Developing Myanmar's Finance Sector to Support Rapid, Inclusive, and Sustainable Economic Growth, April 2015. The finance sector is the lifeblood of any economy and its smooth and efficient functioning is central to strong economic growth and development. The Government of Myanmar has made swift progress in reforming the policy and institutional environment for the finance sector since the launch of broad economic reforms...

 

ADB

Myanmar Long-term Scenarios for Sustained Macroeconomic Growth, April 2015. Simulation results from the use of a dynamic economic forecasting model to evaluate Myanmar’s growth drivers suggest a broad horizon of opportunity for promoting rapid and inclusive economic growth...

 

ADB

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #05: Islamization Policy and Islamic Bureaucracy in Malaysia. The history of Islamization in post-independence Malaysia covers dakwah (propagation of Islam) processes in projecting the doctrine of Sunni Islam. The implementation of Islamization policy, since independence in 1957 and aggressively pursued since the 1980s, has promoted the institutionalization of Sunni Islam in Malaysia. It has led to the expansion of the Islamic bureaucracy including the judiciary and security sectors...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #04: Explaining China's 2+7 Initiative Towards ASEAN. China’s 2+7 Initiative towards ASEAN aims to create an economic, security and political partnership that will be deeper than ASEAN’s partnerships with other external powers. This partnership would be inherently unequal and China’s effort to secure this relationship should be seen in the context of China’s agenda to achieve great power status. China seeks Southeast Asian followers within a larger China-centred Eurasian community...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #03 - China's New Maritime Silk Road: Implications and Opportunities for Southeast Asia. In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled plans for two massive trade and infrastructure networks connecting East Asia with Europe: the New Silk Road and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (“one belt one road”). The plans aim to reinvigorate the ancient Silk Roads with a modern network of high-speed rail, motorways, pipelines and ports stretching across the region...

 

ISEAS

Hard Pegs versus Intermediate Currency Arrangements in the Pacific, April 2015. The 14 Pacific developing member countries (DMCs) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have opted for very different exchange rate regimes with varying degrees of flexibility. Whereas several microstates have adopted an external currency as their legal tender, others have decided to use a basket currency and yet others have chosen a managed float. The choice of exchange rate regime can have far reaching economic consequences...

 

ADB

Health and Home Ownership: Findings for the Case of Japan, April 2015. The research objective of this paper is to test whether health conditions and health behavior are related to home ownership. This question has not yet been examined quantitatively in the existing literature. Our estimation results show that homeowners consistently report better health and less physical problems. The significance of home ownership remains even after controlling for financial assets and housing conditions...

 

ADB

Housing Policies for Asia: A Theoretical Analysis by Use of a Demand and Supply Model, April 2015. The main objective of this paper is to give an overview of the most commonly used housing policies and to illustrate their economic impact. To facilitate the analysis, we first introduce a simple two-period housing demand model for owner-occupied houses and rental houses. We then add a standard stock-flow housing supply model...

 

ADB

Slow Pace of Reforms Inhibits US-India Agricultural Trade, April 2015. Surupa Gupta, Associate Professor at the University of Mary Washington, explains that "In the face of multiple challenges such as low productivity, low income, and low growth in the farm sector at the beginning of the 2000s, the [Indian] central government advocated that Indian agriculture was in dire need of liberal reforms."

 

EWC

An Australian Perspective on the "Utility of Unity" in ASEAN, April 2015. John Blaxland, Senior Fellow at Australian National University's Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, explains that "United States policy makers should consider the significance and utility of Australia's military commitment in the Middle East compared to its ability to help foster regional security and stability in Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific: it cannot readily do both well."

 

EWC

South Korea's Policy Choices in the TPP Era, April 2015. June Park, Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that "without clear goals, South Korea will face difficulties in achieving an optimal outcome [from the TPP], and may be 'outcompeted' by countries that have set their priorities to maximize competitive advantage."

 

EWC

Searching for the "Strategic" in the UK-Japan "New Type of Alliance", March 2015 . Philip Shetler-Jones, Brussels-based security consultant, explains that "important policy and strategic developments unfolding in 2015 will test the rhetoric and indicate whether the UK and Japan's relationship has the potential to produce something like a 'new type of alliance'."

 

EWC

Wrongful Convictions and the Culture of Denial in Japanese Criminal Justice, February 2015. The release of Hakamada Iwao from death row in March 2014 after 48 years of incarceration provides an opportunity to reflect on wrongful convictions in Japanese criminal justice. My approach is comparative because this problem cannot be understood without asking how Japan compares with other countries: to know only one country is to know no country well...

 

APJ

Will Wrongful Convictions Be a Catalyst for Change in Japanese Criminal Justice? February 2015. The Asia Pacific Journal presents a link to an extraordinary 12-minute video by Matthew Carney of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation discussing the death penalty and the problem of wrongful convictions in Japanese criminal justice. This video explains what went wrong in three cases involving men who were victimized in the worst kind of way by Japan’s criminal justice system, and it raises the possibility that these cases could stimulate reform in Japan’s system of capital punishment and in the criminal justice system more generally...

 

APJ

Australia's "Asian Century": Time, Space and Public Culture, February 2015. In late September 2013, Australian news media reported on two very different events related to journeys across the ocean straits that separate Australia from Indonesia. On the evening of September 26th, an Indonesian fishing boat carrying eighty refugees from northern Lebanon who intended to seek asylum in Australia foundered off a West Java beach. The boat sank the following day. Thirty-one people who had been onboard drowned. Some of those who survived claimed that when the boat’s engine failed, passengers had contacted Australian authorities, but according to official reports, the Border Protection Command aircraft that was dispatched could not locate the vessel...

 

APJ

Komatsu, Smart Construction, Creative Destruction, and Japan's Robot Revolution, February 2015. Japanese multinational construction giant Komatsu is a front-runner, in Japan as well as globally, in the development and deployment of renewable energy, efficiency, automation and robotics. It is also a repeat winner of the coveted Deming Prize and numerous other awards for excellence, innovation and environmental protection...

 

APJ

Sink the Asahi! The 'Comfort Women' Controversy and the Neo-nationalist Attack, February 2015. Before last year it is doubtful that many Japanese knew the location of Glendale, California – an L.A. suburb with a population of 200,000 known for its large Asian population and the Big Boy fast-food chain. That’s changed, thanks to an unimposing bronze statue of a young woman installed last year in a local park that has become a microcosm of the toxic history war between Japan and South Korea...

 

APJ

'Only a disciplined people can build a nation': North Korean Mass Games and Third Worldism in Guyana, 1980-1992, January 2015. As the 1970s drew to a close, Forbes Burnham (1923-85), Guyana’s controversial leader of 21 years, received Pyongyang’s assistance in importing the North Korean tradition of Mass Games, establishing them as a major facet of the nation’s cultural and political life during the 1980-92 period. The current study documents this episode in Guyanese history and seeks to explain why the Burnham regime prioritized such an experiment in a time of austerity and crisis, its ideological foundations, and how Guyanese interpreted and responded to Mass Games...

 

APJ

Storm Ahead: Okinawa's Outlook for 2015, January 2015. If 2014 was a year of consolidation on the two opposing sides of the long-running Okinawan saga over US military base hosting plans, 2015 promises to be one of intense, perhaps decisive struggle. By 2014, civic groups had established a strong institutional power base in the city administration in Nago and the prefectural one in Naha, while resistance continues also at Takae in the Yambaru forest...

 

APJ

Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience as Structural Reform in Abenomics, January 2015. In the waning days of 2014, by far the hottest year humans have ever measured, Bloomberg News warned that the foreign investors who control roughly 70% of volume traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange “have had just about enough of Abenomics.” Decrying that there is no Japanese Facebook or Google, and that the “Japanese have lost their place as global leaders,” punters slashed their 2014 investment in Japanese stocks a stunning 94% compared to the previous year...

 

APJ

The Erosion of Democracy in South Korea: The Dissolution of the Unified Progressive Party and the Incarceration of Lee Seok-ki, December 2014. On December 19, 2014, South Korea’s Constitutional Court delivered an unprecedented ruling to dissolve the opposition Unified Progressive Party and disqualify all five of its representatives from the National Assembly. The ruling was in response to a petition filed by the Park Geun-hye government in November 2013 to dissolve the party based on allegations that it was under orders from North Korea to subvert the South Korean state through violent revolution...

 

APJ

Stranger than Fiction: The Interview and U.S. Regime-Change Policy Toward North Korea, December 2014. Representations of North Korea as a buffoon, a menace, or both on the American big screen are at least as old and arguably as tired as the George W. Bush-era phrase, “the axis of evil.” Along with the figure of the Muslim “terrorist,” hackneyed Hollywood constructions of the “ronery” or diabolical Dr. Evil-like North Korean leader bent on world domination, the sinister race-bending North Korean spy, the robotic North Korean commando, and other post-Cold War Red/Yellow Peril bogeymen have functioned as go-to enemies for the commercial film industry’s geopolitical and racist fantasies....

 

APJ

China's Global Dam Builder at a Crossroads, December 2014. Since the turn of the century, Sinohydro has become the world’s dominant dam builder. The company is engaged in an ongoing dialogue with International Rivers, having prepared a strong environmental policy framework in 2011. Yet Sinohydro is now considering building a series of highly destructive dam projects. The world’s biggest hydropower contractor is at a crossroads...

 

APJ

US Strategic Negligence, North Korea and the Sony Slideshow, December 2014. The imbroglio over the new Sony film The Interview is a sideshow that reveals that the Obama Administration, like the Bush Administration before it, has lost the plot with regard to North Korea. The real game is to stop, reverse and end North Korea’s nuclear weapons breakout. Its handling of The Interview has managed to distract the US government from this strategic imperative, increase the risk of war, including nuclear war, and made it harder than ever to advance American vital security interests in relation to North Korea’s nuclear threat...

 

APJ

'Distancing Acts': Private Mercenaries and the War on Terror in American Foreign Policy, December 2014. His bulging left bicep featuring a tattoo of a Panther and his right one of the Grim Reaper, Wolf Weiss was a heavy metal guitarist from Los Angeles with fifteen years’ military experience who embodied the new type of warrior for the 21st century. Styled “the Heavy Metal Mercenary” by Rolling Stone Magazine, Weiss was hired by a private contractor...

 

APJ

Japan's 'National Resilience Plan': Its Promise and Perils in the Wake of the Election, December 2014. This article highlights Japan’s National Resilience (“Kokudo Kyoujinka”) strategy, a very important, multi-trillion-yen initiative that was (incredibly) ignored during the campaign preceding the December 14 election and continues to be. Like most countries’ efforts to bolster resilience against accelerating climate change and other patent threats, the content of Japan’s plan is a work in progress. But the scale and scope of Japan’s strategy is unparalleled, as it is slated to grow from YEN 3.6 trillion in FY 2014 to YEN 4.54 trillion in FY 2015...

 

APJ

China's Triangle Diplomacy, December 2014. Back in the days of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, the “strategic triangle” with the Soviet Union and China was the great game. The idea was to play off the two communist powers against one another, relying on their ideological warfare under Mao, deep cultural differences, and open conflict in border regions to sustain their mutual suspicions and fears of attack. Now the shoe is on the other foot, so to speak: China seems to be in charge of the game, using US-Russia enmity and its own on-again, off-again competition with the US to keep both those countries cooperative with and in need of Beijing...

 

APJ

Australia in America's Third Iraq War, December 2014. Little more than two months after the start of bombing operations, Australia’s new war in Iraq is following the path of its predecessor, a path marked by Australian subordination to American interests, irrelevance to Australian national interests, casual disregard for Iraqi sovereignty and law, increasingly severe restriction of information provided to the Australian public, and an inclination to escalation...

 

APJ

Japan's Resilient, Decarbonizing and Democratic Smart Communities, December 2014. On December 1, 2014 the rapidly expanding domain of renewable energy burst through a stubborn bottleneck of vested interests and outmoded ideas. Germany’s biggest utility, E. ON, announced it would abandon fossil fuel and nuclear power to create “a new business model based on renewables, intelligent grid systems, energy management and other services...

 

APJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asian Development Outlook 2015: Financing Asia's Future Growth (Highlights, Full Report). The drop in international oil prices is taking pressure off of consumer prices. Inflation will slow from 3.1% in 2014 to 2.6% in 2015. As low oil prices are supporting growth in developing Asia, a sudden sharp reversal could undermine the outlook and require policy response. Similarly, while capital inflows to the region have been beneficial for growth, policy makers must carefully manage credit expansion to ensure that it does not lead to excessive leverage and asset price bubbles. Developing Asia needs a deep, robust financial sector to sustain growth. Policy makers will be challenged to ensure that financial sector development is inclusive, providing broad access to households and firms. Financial stability must also be maintained to enhance growth and equity.

 

ADB

Asia Bond Monitor, March 2015 reviews recent developments in East Asian local currency bond markets along with the outlook, risks, and policy options. This issue includes a special section on Oil and Gas Companies’ Bonds in Asia. Local currency (LCY) bond markets in emerging East Asia started the year well despite uncertainties over the Greek debt crisis and the end of quantitative easing in the United States (US). Bond yields in most emerging East Asian economies were pushed down by a reduction in inflationary expectations amid a fall in oil prices...

 

ADB

Asian Development Review, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2015 (Full Report):
Special Issue on the People's Republic of China
  ADB

Regional Economic Integration and Multilateralism: The Case of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA and the Malaysia-New Zealand FTA, April 2015. Regional economic integration is back in vogue following the "stumble" in the Doha Round in July 2008. Preferential trade agreements (PTAs) are driving this trend in Asia and the Pacific as well as in Central and South America, and the sheer volume of PTAs is striking. In the 1990s there were barely five PTAs in force, but now there are more than 200 either under negotiation or in force. In this regard, Asia and the Pacific has developed a rapidly evolving regional economic architecture that spans two major plurilateral agreements, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (or ASEAN+6 RCEP), as well as the putative Free Trade Agreement of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), which received a new lease on life through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' meeting in Beijing late last year. ASEAN, as a group or individually, has been particularly busy in this sphere, deliberately using PTAs as a supplement to its own regional integration process...

 

ADB

Japan's Lost Decade: Lessons for Other Economies, April 2015. Japan has suffered from sluggish economic growth and recession since the 1990s, a phenomenon dubbed "Japan's Lost Decade." The People's Republic of China, many countries in the eurozone, and the United States may face similar problems in future and they have been concerned by Japan's long-term recession. This paper will address why Japan's economy has stagnated since the bursting of its economic bubble. Our empirical analysis challenges the beliefs of some western economists, such as Paul Krugman, that the Japanese economy is in a liquidity trap. We argue that Japan's economic stagnation stems from a vertical IS curve rather than a liquidity trap...

 

ADB

Investment Finance and Financial Sector Development, March 2015. Investment in infrastructure for increasing trade and connectivity in South Asia and Southeast Asia has been impacted by a reduction in commercial bank participation in project financing, which has significantly increased the role of multilateral financial institutions and export credit agencies. The financing model needs to change to more sustainable local market and local currency financing by harnessing domestic savings, and this will be crucial if the region is to procure investments of an estimated $3.6 trillion by 2020 for financing of its infrastructure and connectivity projects...

 

ADB

Connecting South Asia and Southeast Asia, Published 2015. This book analyzes how closer regional connectivity and economic integration between South Asia and Southeast Asia can benefit both subregions, with a focus on the role played by infrastructure and public policies in facilitating this process. It examines major developments in South Asia–Southeast Asia trade and investment, economic cooperation, the role of economic corridors, and regional cooperation initiatives. In particular, it identifies significant opportunities for strengthening these integration efforts as a result of the recent opening up of Myanmar in political, economic, and financial terms...

 

ADB

Ecosystem Based Adaptation to Address Climate Change Challenges in the Greater Mekong Subregion, Published 2015. Greater Mekong Subregion countries need to strengthen the resilience of their natural and human systems to safeguard the region’s natural wealth and development gains in the face of climate change challenges. The publication summarizes the current state of Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) knowledge and experience on ecosystem-based approaches. It draws upon work of the GMS Core Environment Program and partner institutions, including findings from the regional workshop “Mainstreaming an Ecosystem-based Approach to Climate Change into Biodiversity Conservation Planning,” which took place 15–16 October 2013 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam...

 

ADB

Unlocking Indonesia's Geothermal Potential, Published 2015. This report produced jointly by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank is based on a series of technical assistance activities conducted during 2013-2014. The study documents key issues that have constrained the development of Indonesia's geothermal power development sector, including tariffs, tendering processes, financial considerations, permitting, and inter-agency coordination. The report then makes a set of comprehensive recommendations to unlock the potential of the sector, including a new tariff regime, improvements to the tendering process, re-negotiation of power purchase agreements, and innovative modes of financing and project de-risking...

 

ADB

NARBO: A Decade of Achievements (2004-2014) : Promoting Integrated Water Resources Management and Improving Water Governance, Published 2015. In order to address Asia's water security issues, an integrated and comprehensive approach for better water resources management is essential. The Network of Asian River Basin Organizations (NARBO) was launched in 2004 to promote integrated water resources management (IWRM) and improve water governance in the region...

 

ADB

The PLA's Evolving Global Role and New Security Initiatives, March 2015. China’s increased openness, accelerating economic development, and the emergence of new security challenges and relationships in the post-Cold War world have cast the Chinese military and its role in a new light. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has adapted accordingly, and has become an important actor in international security affairs, shedding its prior isolation. This paper outlines the various international and regional security initiatives the PLA takes part in today, and links these to an evolution of the Chinese national security concept.

 

ISDP

SME Internationalization and Measurement, March 2015. This policy brief examines different forms of SME internationalization, and discusses methods to measure the degree of internationalization of SMEs. It also explores feasible ways for APEC to measure SME internationalization in the region

 

APEC

Value Chain Resilience in the Asia Pacific: A Synthesis Report, March 2015. The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Policy Support Unit (APEC PSU), in consultation with the Committee of Trade and Investment (CTI), conducted four studies to deepen understanding and increase awareness of the emerging systemic risks and value chain resilience (VCR) by evaluating three elements of resilience—value chain risks, strength and connectedness—quantitatively and estimating their impact on the APEC region’s trade and investment. This synthesis report attempts to summarize the main findings of those studies as well as the policy implications and the way forward.

 

APEC

Education Guideline 5: Inspiring the Next Generation of Standards Professionals - Towards Job Profiling in Today's Global World, March 2015. This project aims to explore the skill-set required by standards professionals to meet the needs of businesses, government agencies, education institutes, and standards-related organization in the APEC region.

 

APEC

Hong Kong: High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2015Q2, April 2015. Clouded by the risk of interest rate hike and the US dollar appreciation, we remain optimistic in the short term. In the short run, we expect Hong Kong to have another modest growth year in 2015, supported by local demand throughout 2015 and external demand in the latter part of 2015. Hong Kong’s real GDP is expected to grow by 2.8% in 2015 for the year as a whole, likely between 2.5% and 3.1%, slightly higher than the 2.3% growth in 2014.

 

HKU

The Strategic Dimension of 'Option J': Australia's Submarine Choice and Its Security Relations with Japan, March 2015. There’s a possibility that Australia’s future submarine (FSM) will be based on a Japanese design. The government has explicitly kept that option open, along with the possibility of buying the boats from Germany or France. Wherever the FSM is designed, built, or both, the supplier’s political reliability and technological suitability are vital, as is establishing trust in the ability of both sides to work together effectively and efficiently on such a complex capability. This paper examines what a possible Australian–Japanese submarine deal would mean for the wider relationship between the two countries, as well as the geostrategic implications.

 

ASPI

Thailand's Economic Integration with Neighboring Countries and Possible Connectivity with South Asia, April 2015. This paper reviews the current stages of Thailand's intra-regional trade, physical connectivity, trade facilitation, energy cooperation, and infrastructure funding as there are projects planned in these areas that could impact Thailand and its links to Southeast Asia and beyond to South Asia. However, Thailand's political instability impedes the progress and implementation of such projects. The paper also examines the current financing mechanism of Thailand's infrastructure projects that relies heavily on public spending...

 

ADB

The Middle-Income Transition around the Globe: Characteristics of Graduation and Slowdown, March 2015. The paper investigates the situation of middle-income economies around the world. Since 1965, only 18 economies with a population of more than 3 million and not dependent on oil exports have made the transition to being high income. Many more have not been able to move beyond the middle-income stage...

 

ADB

Journal of Global Buddhism, Volume 16, 2015  

JGB

Australia and Climate Change Negotiations: At the Table, or on the Menu? March 2015. In this Analysis, Howard Bamsey and Kath Rowley argue that any failure to pay proper, high-level attention to the current international climate change negotiations raises several risks to the national interest. Strong, constructive engagement in those negotiations by Australia would serve climate...

 

Lowy

Full Spectrum Defence: Re-Thinking the Fundamentals of Australian Defence Strategy, March 2015. In this Analysis, Alan Dupont argues that successive Australian governments have failed to define an effective national defence strategy. Australia needs a defence strategy that counters threats across multiple domains, is based on more diverse regional defence relationships, and is underpinned by...

 

Lowy

MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters, March 2015. The MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters provides a summary of forecasts of Singapore's key economic indicators by economists and analysts. The survey is conducted quarterly following the release of economic data for the previous quarter by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

 

MAS

Adjustments of Capital Account Restrictions and Exchange Rate Regimes in East Asia, March 2015. This paper discusses adjustments of capital account restrictions and exchange rate regimes in East Asia. Monetary authorities have two options for these adjustments: gradual adjustments or rapid adjustments. We analyze the costs and benefits for both adjustment options in each area, i.e., capital account restrictions and exchange rate regime. The paper provides prominent country cases for each adjustment option to emphasize the benefits for policymakers. We then propose four transition policy options for East Asian countries aiming to relax capital account restrictions and increase flexibility in exchange rates from fixed regimes with capital account controls.

 

ADB

Myanmar: Cross-cutting Governance Challenges, March 2015. Specifically, the paper discusses outstanding problem areas related to economic governance, particularly in the legal system, the business regulatory framework, and in bureaucratic capacity as well as the potential use of external policy anchors, particularly in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) process, to strengthen Myanmar’s ongoing reform effort...

 

ADB

An Emerging 3rd Pillar in Asian Architecture? AIIB and Other China-led Initiatives, March 2015. Cheng-Chwee Kuik, Associate Professor, Strategic Studies and International Relations at the National University of Malaysia, explains that “the emerging institutional pole is China-centered [and] anchored on remuneration-calculated and identity-based ‘common security’.”

 

EWC

A Little Help from Our Friends: Security Partnerships and the Rebalance, March 2015. Marvin Ott, senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, and Julia Allen, strategic studies major at Johns Hopkins University, explain that "the Rebalance will be unsustainable without heavy reliance on tangible expressions of regional support [from critical partners] Australia, the Philippines, and Singapore."

 

EWC

Anchors and Antidotes: The Japan-Australia Strategic Partnership, March 2015. Malcolm Cook, senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, and Thomas Wilkins, senior lecturer at the University of Sydney, explain that "The rapid development of the Japan-Australia security partnership over the last decade and into the future is anchored in their respective alliance relationships with the United States and support for US regional leadership."

 

EWC

Global Strategic Patenting and Innovation--Policy and Research Implications, February 2015. As an exclusionary property right, patents invite their use as a strategic weapon to shape markets and to reap monopoly rents through patent monetization. The increasing variety and global reach of strategic patenting strategies pose new and under-researched challenges for the international distribution of innovation gains. This think piece explores the proliferation of strategic patenting strategies, and highlights the growing complexity and uncertainty of the international patent system that result from the increasing use of patents as market deterrents and as a new asset class...

 

EWC

Reinventing Asian Populism: Jokowi's Rise, Democracy, and Political Contestation in Indonesia, Published 2015. Around the globe, populists have used the decline of established political parties and widespread societal fears of globalization to launch increasingly successful electoral campaigns. Indonesia is no exception. In the 2014 presidential elections, two populists even competed against each other—albeit with vastly different concepts of populism. Prabowo Subianto, the wealthy former son-in-law of ex-autocrat Suharto, offered a classic populist paradigm based on anti-foreign rhetoric, condemnation of the status quo, appeal to the poor, and neo-authoritarian reform plans. By contrast, his opponent, the down-to-earth former carpenter and Jakarta governor...

 

EWC

Making Timber Plantations an Attractive Business for Smallholders, March 2015. The businesses of most smallholder timber growers are not strictly market-oriented. Consequently, opportunities to make better income from timber selling are often lost. Timber plantations generate important additional income for farmers. In Gunungkidul district, Indonesia, where smallholder teak plantations are grown, timber selling contributes about 15% of farmers total income...

 

CIFOR

Do Tree Plantations Support Forest Conservation? January 2015. Tree plantations potentially support natural forest conservation. The main hypothesis for this effect is that tree plantations substitute natural forests for production, especially when plantations achieve high productivity. An exhaustive review of the published literature shows a diversity of analytical approaches with theoretical modeling, econometrics or descriptive statistics as main categories...

 

CIFOR

Port Congestion and Underutilization in the Greater Capital Region: Unpacking the Issues, March 2015. This Policy Note presents the key findings of a study that investigated the causes behind the congestion in the Port of Manila and the underutilization of Batangas and Subic Ports. Using survey and focus group discussion, the study looked into the factors that affect the decision of shippers, freight forwarders, logistics services providers, and truckers on their choice of port and their satisfaction ratings of their chosen port. The Note ends with some short-, medium-, and long-term measures to address the congestion and underutilization issues.

 

PIDS

K to 12 Reform: Implications of Adding Grades 11 and 12 on the Higher Education Subsector, March 2015. This Policy Note does an initial assessment of the K to 12 program`s effects on the supply of classrooms and teachers vis-a-vis the projected demand. It points to some windows of opportunities that may be considered as possible solutions, such as allowing higher education institutions to absorb the additional demand for places in SHSs.

 

PIDS

Promoting Women`s Participation in the APEC Economies: Some Recommendations, February 2015. At the level of the national economy, efforts must now be taken to ensure that women`s economic opportunities are not eroded and that women are prepared to cope with the challenges of the new order. Women enterprises should be strengthened to prepare them to compete in the global marketplace amid environmental and business challenges. At the regional level, APEC has implemented a number of women-related directives and initiatives. One of the recommendations is more involvement of women in the business sector...

 

PIDS

Choke Points and Opportunities in the Supply Chain of ASEAN Agricultural Products: A Philippine Country Study, Published 2014. This study identifies and examines "choke points" in the supply chain of two selected commodity groups that are of interest to the region of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations: crude coconut oil (which belongs to the HS15 group), and fish and crustacean, mollusks, and other aquatic invertebrates (which belong to the HS03 group)...

 

PIDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASEAN Ascending: Achieving 'Centrality' in the Emerging Asian Order, March 2015. One factor that’s likely to bear heavily on the future trajectory of the proposed ASEAN Community is the influence of an increasingly assertive government in Beijing. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is now the pre-eminent power in Southeast Asia. To be successful, the ASEAN Community will also require considerable backing from the US—the other major power in Southeast Asia. Ultimately, it will be up to ASEAN itself to achieve centrality and thereby remain a relevant player in the emerging Asian order.

 

ASPI

Nuclear Latency and the Future Strategic Environment, March 2015. Since the 1946 ‘Report on the International Control of Atomic Energy’ and the closely associated Baruch Plan formulated by the United States, ‘nuclear latency’ —put simply, the potential for countries to obtain nuclear weapons capability—has been a factor threatening to undermine strategic equilibrium on the world stage. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and resulting nonproliferation regime may have allayed mid-20th century concerns about the rate of spread of nuclear weapons, but the notion of nuclear latency has by no means become obsolete...

 

ASPI

Australia, Indonesia and the Prisoner's Dilemma, March 2015. The bilateral relationship between Australia and Indonesia has long been a fraught one. The latest tussle, over the imminent execution of two Australian prisoners in Indonesia, prompted a series of posts on ASPI’s blog, The Strategist, framing the broader relationship in the context of the Prisoner’s Dilemma model from game theory...

 

ASPI

Dynamic Effect of a Change in the Exchange Rate System: From a Fixed Regime to a Basket-Peg or a Floating Regime, March 2015. This paper theoretically evaluates the dynamic effects of a shift in an exchange rate system from a fixed regime to a basket peg, or to a floating regime, and obtains transition paths for the shift based on a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of a small open economy. We apply quantitative analysis using data from the People's Republic of China and Thailand and find that a small open country would be better off shifting to a basket peg or to a floating regime than maintaining a dollar-peg regime with capital controls over the long run.

 

ADB

Price Discovery and Foreign Participation in the Republic of Korea's Government Bond Cash and Futures Markets, March 2015. Using daily data from the over-the-counter market for cash and the Korea Exchange for futures transactions, the results show that foreign trading in the KTB futures market leads the price discovery process for the underlying bonds. Specifically, foreigners’ daily net long positions in the futures market exert significant influence in both KTB cash and futures prices. The empirical findings also indicate that it is the unexpected component of foreign investors’ net long futures positions that explains a significant share of the pricing effects.

 

ADB

IFAP Implementation in Facilitating Investment for the Asia Pacific Region: 2014 Update, March 2015. This report analyzes the progress of five APEC member economies have made toward reaching IFAP implementation goals. The Policy Support Unit (PSU) was asked to assist the Investment Experts’ Group (IEG) in preparing an analysis of the progress that APEC has made in implementing the agreed-upon IFAP principles and a review of APEC completed projects that are related with IFAP.

 

APEC

APEC Public-Private Dialogue on Identifying and Addressing Impediments to Improve a Business-Friendly Infrastructure Investment in the APEC Region, February 2015. The Dialogue sought to create a suitable platform for the representatives from public and private sector to discuss and to identify unnecessary impediments with regard to the Infrastructure Investment in the APEC Region.

 

APEC

APEC at a Glance, 2015. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum was established in 1989 to capitalize on the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies. This handy publication lists APEC's goals, modus operandi and member economies.

 

APEC

Study Report of APEC Low Carbon Model Town Development Index System, February 2015. Recognizing the importance of environmental and energy issues, the international community has convened several international conferences on reducing the emission of greenhouse gas, energy saving and development of alternative energy and exploring strategies for sustainable development. This report looks at the index system for APEC Low-Carbon Model Town development in China.

 

APEC

Requesting Mutual Legal Assistance in criminal matters from APEC Economies: A Step-by-Step Guide, Published 2014. This guide provides concise, step-by-step instructions on how to initiate and successfully conduct requests for mutual legal assistance made within the APEC region.

 

APEC

Promoting Infrastructure Investment in APEC Region through Public-Private Partnerships, August 2014. This publication, entitled “Promoting Infrastructure Investment in the APEC Region through Public-Private Partnership” is a research report on the 2014 APEC Investment Experts' Group Public-Private Dialogue held in Beijing, China.

 

APEC

Policy Enablers for New Wind Energy Markets, March 2015. This paper focuses on wind energy policies in the emerging wind energy markets and provides lessons learned from developed wind markets and three new markets—Mongolia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. It is based on the work done by the Quantum Leap in Wind Power Development in Asia and the Pacific (QLW), a project funded by the Asian Development Bank to facilitate wind power sector development in developing countries...

 

ADB

Paper-Free Trade for Smallholder Farmers: A Pilot Study of a Coffee Association in the Lao People's Democratic Republic, February 2015. The time and money savings obtained by the coffee producer organization in document handling demonstrate to governments and small businesses the wider benefits of online information transfer and provide impetus for streamlining the approval of cross-border trade documents...

 

ADB

Proceedings of the Second South Asia Judicial Roundtable on Environmental Justice Thimphu, Bhutan 30-31 August 2013, Published 2015. This publication documents the proceedings of the Second South Asia Judicial Roundtable on Environmental Justice, held on 30–31 August 2013 in Thimphu, Bhutan. It brought together chief justices, senior judges, and experts from various fields to consider common environmental challenges in the region, share experiences, and discuss opportunities for cooperation between judiciaries to enhance environmental adjudication and enforcement...

 

ADB

Building Human Capital through Labor Migration in Asia, Published 2015. This report is a summary of the major policy issues raised at discussions at the Fourth Roundtable on Labor Migration. It outlines the trends in labor migration in Asia and reviews the links between migration and human capital development. It also includes an overview of national initiatives and bilateral agreements on this issue as well as an examination of the impact of migration on family members, especially children, "left behind."...

 

ADB

Labor Migration, Skills and Student Mobility in Asia, Published 2014. This report is a summary of the major policy issues raised at discussions at the Third Roundtable on Labor Migration. It highlights the trends and outlook for labor migration in Asia and assesses the labor market requirements for foreign workers, with a focus on building a skills mobility area among the ASEAN member states, links to education, as well as management of low-skilled migration and promotion of decent work opportunities for labor migrants...

 

ADB

ASEAN, PRC, and India: The Great Transformation, Published 2014. This book focuses on the prospects and challenges for growth and transformation of the region's major and rapidly growing emerging economies to 2030. It also examines the drivers of growth and development in the ACI economies and the factors that will affect the quality of that development. It explores links among the ACI economies and how these may shape regional and global competition and cooperation...

 

ADB

ASEAN 2030: Toward a Borderless Economic Community, Published 2014. This book investigates long-term development issues for members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It finds that with a proper policy mix including domestic structural reforms and bold initiatives for regional integration, by 2030 ASEAN has the potential to reach the average quality of life enjoyed today in advanced economies. Through closer integration, ASEAN can form a partnership for shared prosperity, regionally and globally...

 

ADB

Trade Policy in Asia: Higher Education and Media Services, Published 2014. The provision of education and media services involves extensive public sector participation and significant domestic regulation. At the same time, they are dramatically affected by the information and communication technology revolution. This book provides readers with a comprehensive and consistent treatment of policy in the higher education and media services sector across Asia, identifying common elements and highlighting critical implications for trade policy...

 

ADB

Connecting Central Asia with Economic Centers, Published 2014. This report by the Asian Development Bank Institute offers a macroeconomic overview of Central Asia from 1990 to the present; examines trade ties between Central Asia and economic centers; analyzes foreign direct investment links; examines finance, infrastructure, migration, institutions, and other linkages; and provides key policy recommendations for Central Asia's regional and global economic connectivity...

 

ADB

Connecting Central Asia with Economic Centers: Interim Report, Published 2014. This is the interim report of the ADBI study on Connecting Central Asia with Economic Centers, focusing on Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The aim of the study is to examine the pattern of economic relationships between these economies and major economic centers, highlight emerging challenges, and explore policy implications. It considers trade ties, foreign direct investment and financial flows, migration and remittances, and institutional cooperation between Central Asian economies and major economic centers...

 

ADB

Financial Inclusion in Asia: Country Surveys, Published 2014. This book surveys the efforts to broaden financial inclusion in five major economies: the People's Republic of China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. While much progress has been made, the challenge of providing universal access remains a daunting one. Ensuring that every household has a deposit account is a first step but more is required, including access to credit and insurance as well as efficient methods to transfer money, such as remittances...

 

ADB

Operationalizing Economic Corridors in Central Asia: A Case Study of the Almaty–Bishkek Corridor, Published 2014. Under recently approved plans of the Government of Kazakhstan, regional development within the country will be focused on increased size and economic density of urban clusters through agglomeration, combined with good links between urban clusters and smaller cities and rural areas. This ambitious agenda, if realized, will contribute to significant growth of Almaty’s economy. Although the information available for Bishkek’s development plans is less specific on investments, it indicates a strategic thrust toward enhancing the business climate, greater transparency, and improved governance to attract private investments into the city...

 

ADB

Handbook for Rooftop Solar Development in Asia, Published 2014. Drawing on ADB’s experience, this handbook aims to demystify the process of developing solar photovoltaic projects in urban areas, providing detailed descriptions and guidance for all stages of development, including initial prefeasibility assessment, design, financing, procurement, and operations and maintenance...

 

ADB

A Western Strategy for the South Caucasus, February 2015. The Caucasus is key to any Western efforts to shape future interactions between Europe and the Middle East, and to Western commercial and strategic interests in Eurasia. At a time when the two most salient challenges to the transatlantic alliance are Russia’s aggressive expansionism and the Islamic radicalism in the Middle East, the Caucasus is a strategically important pressure point in both directions. This alone should dictate a growing American and European engagement with the states of the Caucasus, but instead Western influence in the region is at an all-time low. As Western influence has declined, the region’s development has stagnated, threatening its long-term viability and eroding Western interests...

 

ISDP

The PLA and Student Recruits: Reforming China's Conscription System, January 2015. China’s conscription system has come into focus in recent years amidst changes in the regulations governing the enlistment of college student recruits into the country’s military forces. In 2001, in accordance with the amended Regulations on Conscription Work, the People’s Liberation Army began to enlist college students with 2,000 students being conscripted that year. Since then, the number has grown significantly to a yearly intake of nearly 150,000 in 2014. This paper accordingly examines the content of these changes, the reasons behind them, and their implications. The author argues that the driving force behind the change in the system is that the enlistment of college students is urgently needed to rapidly advance the modernization of China’s national defense and the armed forces...

 

ISDP

Putin's Grand Strategy: The Eurasian Union and Its Discontents, Published 2014. Bringing together a group of leading American and European experts, this is the first book-length study of Russian President Vladimir Putin's effort to create a Eurasian Union. The book indicates the ideological origins and character of this project; focusing not only on Putin's strategic objectives but the tactics he employs to achieve them. The volume stresses the high degree of coordination that has been achieved among sectors of the Russian state that are accustomed to function as sovereign bureaucracies...

 

ISDP

Iranian Foreign Policy under Rouhani, February 2015. In this Lowy Institute Analysis Rodger Shanahan examines changes in Iranian foreign policy under President Rouhani. He argues that while the Iranian President has changed the tone of Iranian foreign policy, changing the substance will prove much more difficult...

 

Lowy

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #02: The Armed Forces in Myanmar Politics: A Terminating Role?. While the constitution under which the current government of President Thein Sein was created in 2011 has all the characteristics expected of a modern republic, the continued autonomy and political role of the armed forces are perceived by opponents of the regime as an anomaly. Despite this apparent anomaly, the speed and thoroughness with which the transition from military authoritarian rule to most, if not all, of the features expected of a system of “democratic” rule has surprised most observers and analysts of the current Myanmar situation...

 

ISEAS

The Conflict in Northern Myanmar: Another American Anti-China Conspiracy? February 2015. Yun Sun, fellow of the Stimson Center and the Brookings Institution, explains that "Great powers like China and the U.S. should be particularly careful and guarded against manipulations from local players. Washington and Beijing are seeking cooperation on many important fronts and progress in Myanmar should not be sabotaged by manufactured stories about each other's policies."

 

EWC

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership: New Paradigm or Old Wine in a New Bottle? February 2015. Sanchita Basu Das, ISEAS Fellow and Lead Researcher at the ASEAN Studies Centre, explains that, "Although RCEP could be an easier negotiating path for the ASEAN nations and others, there is a high chance that it may lose sight of its strategic goals, such as maintaining centrality, that make it an attractive proposition in the first place."

 

EWC

India's Economic Potential in Looking East, February 2015. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Director of Research at the Asian Development Bank Institute in Tokyo, explains that "India has a comparative advantage in services sectors and RCEP provides inroads for Indian services in China and the rest of East Asia."

 

EWC

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Policy Notes:

 

PIDS

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Discussion Paper Series:

 

PIDS

Philippine Agriculture Saddled by Poor Irrigation Systems, October-December 2014. The main feature in this issue dwells on the critical policy issues in irrigation development confronting the agriculture sector. In particular, it discusses the unsuitable design of irrigation systems arising from poor assumptions and technical calculations, the trade-offs between construction of new systems and rehabilitation of existing ones, operational and maintenance issues, and financing and cost recovery...

 

PIDS

Amending the Economic Provisions of the 1987 Constitution, December 2014. Amending the Constitution`s economic provisions is an ideal recourse for the Philippines if it wants to benefit from the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015. The country needs to be competitive in order to take advantage of the growing marketplace of opportunities, especially for small and medium enterprises. Platforms like the AEC and other free trade agreements are gaining more success in terms of reducing or removing market entry and access issues.

 

PIDS

Examining How Long Fallow Swidden Systems Impact upon Livelihood and Ecosystem Services Outcomes Compared with Alternative Land-Uses in the Uplands of Southeast Asia, Published 2015. Swidden agriculture or shifting cultivation has been practised in the uplands of Southeast Asia for centuries and is estimated to support up to 500 million people most of whom are poor, natural resource reliant uplanders. Recently, however, dramatic land-use transformations have generated social, economic and ecological impacts that have affected the extent, practice and outcomes of swidden in the region...

 

CIFOR

To What Extent Does the Presence of Forests and Trees Contribute to Food Production in Humid and Dry Forest Landscapes?: A Systematic Review Protocol, Published 2015. This review assesses the strength of the evidence that reports how forests and trees contribute to agricultural (food) production in order to prioritize further research for better decision-making. The search strategy employs terms from studies on forests, agroforestry, ecosystem services and agriculture across a range of bibliographic databases, internet and specialist search engines and an open call for gray literature...

 

CIFOR

Does Production of Oil Palm, Soybean, or Jatropha Change Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functions in Tropical Forests, Published 2014. Biofuels, or fuels derived from transformation of biological matter, are hailed by some as a promising source of renewable energy potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A widespread adoption of biofuels will however present its own set of challenges and consequences...

 

CIFOR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Towards "Trade Policy Analysis 2.0": From National Comparative Advantage to Firm-Level Trade Data, February 2015. This paper makes the case for the need to "upgrade" current analytical tools used for trade policy analysis and complement them with more detailed firm-level data. Such an upgrade should be based on the latest intellectual advancements in trade theories and the latest firm-level trade statistics that are now becoming widely available. An upgraded "Trade Policy Analysis 2.0" could contribute to several trade policy priorities and to a better understanding of the benefits from international trade for firm competitiveness, job creation, and consumer welfare.

 

ADB

SME Internationalization through Global Value Chains and Free Trade Agreements: Malaysian Evidence, February 2015. Growing internationalization of firms in Asia through participation in global value chains (GVCs) and free trade agreements (FTAs) has focused attention on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Yet there is scant literature on the characteristics of SMEs involved in GVCs and FTAs. Malaysia is reputed for its engagement in GVCs and is actively pursuing FTAs. Drawing on a survey of Malaysian enterprises, this paper examines the characteristics of SMEs in GVCs and FTAs and explores the policy implications. It finds that even among SMEs, firm size matters for participation in GVCs and FTAs...

 

ADB

Dynamic Shift to a Basket-Peg or Floating Regime in East Asian Countries in Response to the People's Republic of China's Transition to a New Exchange Rate Regime, February 2015. This paper analyzes a desirable transition path for East Asian countries given the People's Republic of China's (PRC's) transition to a new exchange rate regime. It attempts to answer two main questions: (i) Would these countries be better off shifting to either a basket peg or a floating regime following the PRC's transition to a basket peg regime? (ii) How and when should these countries shift to the desired regime...

 

ADB

Trilemma Challenges for the People's Republic of China, February 2015. This paper first reviews recent developments in exchange rate regimes, capital account liberalization, interest rate liberalization, and monetary policymaking in the People's Republic of China (PRC). It then observes that the PRC's monetary policy autonomy may have been reduced with falling capital control effectiveness and a rigid exchange regime that is still tightly managed against the United States (US) dollar...

 

ADB

Financial Inclusion, Poverty, and Income Inequality in Developing Asia, January 2015. This paper presents a broad-based financial inclusion indicator to assess various macroeconomic and country-specific factors affecting the degree of financial inclusion for 37 selected developing Asian economies. Using the newly constructed financial inclusion indicator, this paper finds that per capita income, rule of law, and demographic structure are highly correlated with financial inclusion. Empirical findings also show that financial inclusion is significantly associated with lower poverty and income inequality in the region.

 

ADB

MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters, December 2014. The MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters provides a summary of forecasts of Singapore's key economic indicators by economists and analysts. The survey is conducted quarterly following the release of economic data for the previous quarter by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

 

MAS

MAS Financial Stability Review, November 2014. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) conducts regular assessments of risks and vulnerabilities arising from developments in Singapore and the global economy, and assesses their implications for the soundness and stability of Singapore’s financial system. The analyses and results are contained in the Financial Stability Review (FSR), which aims to contribute to a greater understanding among market participants, analysts and the public on issues affecting Singapore's financial system.

 

MAS

Hong Kong: High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2015Q1, January 2015. According to its High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecast, real GDP in 14Q4 is estimated to grow by 2.5% when compared with the same period in 2013. This is an upward revision from the previous forecast release of 2.1%. This revision reflects the stronger-than-expected private consumption. In 15Q1, real GDP growth is forecast to be 2.4% when compared with the same period last year...

 

HKU

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #01: China's Quest for Energy in Southeast Asia: Impact and Implications. Energy cooperation between China and ASEAN countries since its initiation in the late 1970s has been viewed as an important part of China-ASEAN relations. As China expanded its FDI to Southeast Asia after the global financial crisis in 2008, cooperation in this field developed to a new level, extending from energy trade to energy resource exploration and related infrastructure-building. However, while some momentum exists towards continued cooperation, several factors are pushing the region towards competition and conflicts...

 

ISEAS

Jordan's Youth after the Arab Spring, February 2015. Despite the lack of a full-scale uprising, protests in Jordan and unrest across the Arab world convinced Jordan’s King Abdullah to announce a series of political reforms. Yet while the result of these reforms has been underwhelming, popular and youth pressure for change since November 2012 has declined. In particular, youth activists in Jordan have stepped back from public demonstrations demanding broad socio-political change. Observing the disastrous aftermath of the Arab Spring in Syria and Egypt in particular, Jordanian youth are caught between a desire for political reform and a fear of instability...

 

Lowy

International Journal of Korean Studies, Volume XVIII, No. 1, 2014  

IJKS

Why Australia Should Build Its Own Submarines, January 2015. This paper considers the design and build of Australia’s future submarine including the possible acquisition of Japanese submarines by Australia to replace the Collins class and a hybrid approach of constructing the hull modules in Japan and assembling them here. It provides lessons learned from the Collins project...

 

ASPI

Powering Paradises: Recommendations for the Hawai'i-Okinawa Clean Energy Initiative, January 2015. Aiko Shimizu, Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that "Effectively utilizing the Hawai'i-Okinawa Clean Energy Initiative could simultaneously address major economic development and energy security issues in both Japan and the U.S. while improving the two countries' national security cooperation and promoting soft power."

 

EWC

Malaysia's ASEAN Chairmanship in 2015: Perspectives and Prospects, January 2015. JBenjamin Ho, Bhubhindar Singh, and Sarah Teo, at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore, explain that "As the ASEAN chair in a crucial year for the Association, Malaysia will need to manage two issues deemed important to the region—the territorial disputes in the South China Sea and ASEAN community building."

 

EWC

Changing Patterns of Food Consumption in Sri Lanka: 1985-2009, Published 2015. This paper examines the patterns of food consumption in Sri Lanka from 1985 to 2009 using the food disappearance data published by the Food and Agriculture Organization. Trends in per capita daily calorie, protein and fat supply have been examined. The study finds that grain food proucts are the main source of calories and protein, while fat-calories were mainly sourced from non-grain vegetable products and animal food products...

 

ASARC

Panchayats and Household Vulnerability in Rural India, Published 2014. India, particularly rural India, has been home to entrenched poverty for long. It is, therefore, imperative to understand people’s vulnerability to poverty. Further, since the Government of India has invested considerable human and financial resources in Gram Panchayats it is important to understand to what extent these Panchayats have been successful in redressing vulnerability, especially since we establish that1 ex-ante vulnerability has a significant effect on ex post poverty dynamics...

 

ASARC

APEC Outcomes & Outlook 2014/2015. 2015 is the year where APEC meets under the theme “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World”. APEC 2015 will focus on four key priorities: Enhancing the Regional Economic Integration Agenda, Fostering Small and Medium Enterprises’ Participation in Regional and Global Markets, Investing in Human Capital Development and Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities. This publication also looks back at the outcomes of APEC China 2014 and the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Beijing, China.

 

APEC

APEC Policy Support Unit, January 2015. This is a handy publication which lists the APEC Policy Support Unit's goals, focus areas, governance structure, and modus operandi.

 

APEC

Services, Manufacturing and Productivity, January 2015. This issues paper tries to tease out more detailed information from the WTO-OECD Trade in Value Added (TiVA) database to understand how important services is in APEC economies by analyzing quantitatively the various aspects through which services could contribute to their economies’ exports such as via direct exports as well as indirectly via manufacturing or other services sectors’ exports. Specifically on services’ role in manufacturing, the paper attempts to explore the link between services and manufacturing productivity...

 

APEC

APEC Connectivity Blueprint, Published 2014. This publication combines the two key documents relating to the APEC Connectivity Blueprint, namely:

  • APEC Connectivity Blueprint 2015-2025, which APEC Leaders endorsed during their annual meeting in Beijing in November 2014, and

  • The Report to Implement the APEC Connectivity Blueprint, a document prepared to support the blueprint’s implementation

 

APEC

Final Report: Low Carbon Model Town (LCMT) Project Phase 4 Feasibility Study, December 2014. This Feasibility Study completes the fourth phase of the APEC's Low Carbon Model Town (LCMT) Project. The goal of this study is to provide government officials at the local, provincial, and national levels and stakeholders in San Borja with actionable advice to support their existing plans and initiatives to design, develop and implement a low carbon development path that produces repeatable results and measurable outcomes for San Borja.

 

APEC

Establishing Best Practices on Human Capital Development to Enhance Productivity, Quality, Competitiveness and Innovation among SMEs in Korea, Malaysia, The Philippines and Chinese Taipei, November 2014. This report on “Establishing Best Practices on Human Capital Development to Enhance Productivity, Quality, Competitiveness and Innovation among SMEs is a compilation of experiences on human resource practices from four APEC member economies namely, Korea, Malaysia, The Philippines and Chinese Taipei.

 

APEC

The End of the Postwar? The Abe Government, Okinawa, and Yonaguni Island, December 2014. Yet this paper suggests that all – from one small Okinawan island to the Japanese nation state and the US-Japan relationship – may profitably be considered within a single frame. It rests on the premise that it is profoundly mistaken to think in terms of the “Okinawa Problem” (and “Yonaguni problem”) as distinct, self-contained and therefore relatively minor in significance...

 

APJ

The Secret History of Cannabis in Japan, December 2014. Today Japan has some of the strictest anti-cannabis laws in the world. Punishment for possession is a maximum 5 years behind bars and illicit growers face 7-year sentences. Annually around 2000 people fall foul of these laws - their names splashed on the nightly news and their careers ruined forever. The same prohibition that dishes out these punishments also bans research into medical marijuana, forcing Japanese scientists overseas to conduct their studies.

 

APJ

Japan's Radical Energy Technocrats: Structural Reform Through Smart Communities, the Feed-in Tariff and Japanese-Style “Stadtwerke”, December 2014. Japan’s December 14 general election is essentially a rigged referendum on Abenomics. Despite the dismal economic news, team Abe can hardly lose against the splintered and poorly led opposition parties at the national level. The hapless Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) seems likely to gain some seats; but Abe has defined defeat as the loss of his parliamentary majority, which is simply not going to happen...

 

APJ

MSG Headache, West Papuan Heartache? Indonesia's Melanesian Foray, November 2014. Asia and the Pacific—these two geographic, political and cultural regions encompass entire life-worlds, cosmologies and cultures. Yet Indonesia’s recent enthusiastic outreach to Melanesia indicates an attempt to bridge both the constructed and actual distinctions between them. While the label ‘Asia-Pacific’ may accurately capture Indonesia’s aspirational sphere of influence, it is simultaneously one that many Pacific scholars have resisted, fearing that the cultures and interests of the Pacific are threatened by the hyphen...

 

APJ

Beyond Reality - or - an Illusory Ideal: Pro-Nuclear Japan's Management of Migratory Flows in a Nuclear Catastrophe, November 2014. Three years have passed since the earthquake and consequent tsunami of March 11, 2011, which led to the explosion of a nuclear power plant in Northeastern Japan. Since then, a central concern in managing the damage is how to handle the relocation of people displaced by the destruction of the earthquake-driven tsunami and the dangers of radiation. In December of that year, we wrote up a precise assessment of the damage caused to the housing sector, the system for rehousing victims of the tsunami, and also the nuclear contamination that has spread widely in part of the Fukushima region and neighboring districts...

 

APJ

Gender Equality in Japan: The Equal Employment Opportunity Law Revisited, November 2014. In 2010, Rina Bovrisse, then a 36-year old senior retail manager of Prada Japan, lost her job at the Italian fashion company after she accused the company of harassment and discrimination based on age and physical appearance. After a two-year trial in the Tokyo District Court which ended in October 2012, she also lost her claim to financial compensation of 58 million yen on the grounds of sexual harassment (Asien Spiegel, 2013)...

 

APJ

Transforming Mongolia-Russia-China Relations: The Dushanbe Trilateral Summit, November 2014. The trilateral summit among the presidents of Mongolia, China, and Russia, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at Dushanbe, Tajikistan on September 11, 2014, was the culmination of a deliberate summer whirlwind policy blitz of Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj to position his country to take advantage of deepening Sino-Russian economic relations. Concerned that a “great game” to create a new version of the Eurasian Silk Road was being played out without any Mongolian input...

 

APJ

Martial Law and the Criminalization of Thought in Thailand, October 2014. At 5.30 pm on 17 September 2014, police and soldiers interrupted a lecture on the topic of “Democracy Classroom #2: The Decline of Dictatorship in Other Countries” at Thammasat University in Bangkok. The officials went up to Professor Nidhi Eoseewong, the noted historian and public intellectual who was speaking, and told him to stop and come with them. Three additional scholars (Prajak Kongkirati, Janjira Sombutpoonsiri, and Chaowarit Chaowsangrat) and three student activists from the League of Liberal Thammasat for Democracy (LLTD), which had organized the event, were also arrested...

 

APJ

"Fieldwork" North Korea: Observations of Daily Life on the Ground inside the Country, October 2014. This paper uses observations collected “on the ground” inside North Korea to argue that everyday life matters when researching North Korea and that one method of carrying out such research is to travel there as a tourist...

 

APJ

The Failure of the South Korean National Security State: The Sewol Tragedy in the Age of Neoliberalism, October 2014. The Sewol ferry carrying 476 passengers including a group of high school students on a field trip to Jeju Island capsized on April 16, 2014, and sank to the bottom of the sea off Korea’s southern coast. Most of the crew, including the captain, were rescued by the Korean coast guard. Some of the passengers, who happened to be on the deck or escaped soon after the capsizing, were saved by fishing boats and commercial vessels that came before the ROK Coast Guard or Navy. 304 passengers, however, were trapped inside and drowned...

 

APJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janaury, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Spillovers of Monetary Policy: US Federal Reserve's Quantitative Easing and Bank of Japan's Quantitative and Qualitative Easing, January 2015. This paper assesses the impact of unconventional United States (US) and Japanese monetary policies on emerging economies, and explores policy coordination issues to promote macroeconomic and financial stability in developed and emerging economies. The paper first considers a theoretical framework that allows us to analyze the impact of one country's monetary policy on other economies. There are two important theoretical predictions. One is that the greater the positive impact of monetary policy easing on a country's real output, the less its beggar-thy-neighbor impact on other countries...

 

ADB

The Impacts of Infrastructure in Development: A Selective Survey, January 2015. Development economists have considered physical infrastructure to be a precondition for industrialization and economic development. Yet, two issues remain to be addressed in the literature. First, while proper identification of the causal effectiveness of infrastructure in reducing poverty is important, experimental evaluation, such as randomized control trials (RCT)-based evaluation, is difficult in the context of large-scale infrastructure...

 

ADB

Rivalry and Cooperation: A New "Great Game" in Myanmar, December 2014. Myanmar since its reform and opening up has become the locus for a new "Great Game" between the world's major powers. This brings with it new challenges for China which has hitherto been the preeminent actor in Myanmar. In response China must further bolster its relations with Myanmar and exploit the divided interests of external powers. At the same time, it must also simultaneously engage in bilateral and multilateral cooperation with other powers to ensure win-win gains. Helping Myanmar achieve political stability, economic development, and social progress should be central to any cooperation. This paper accordingly provides a Chinese perspective of where Myanmar stands on the geopolitical chessboard of the twenty-first century.

 

ISDP

China's Military Reform: Prospects and Challenges, September 2014. This paper examines the military reform thought of China's new collective leadership under Chairman Xi Jinping. The goal of reform is to modernize the military organizational structure by, among other measures, optimizing its structure, promoting a joint operational command system, and improving the coordinated development of both civilian and military sectors. The paper considers the main drivers necessitating military reform before arguing that China faces considerable challenges along the reform path - not least vested interests and outdated concepts - which will have to be overcome.

 

ISDP

Looking Forward: Kazakhstan and the United States, September 2014. Notwithstanding Kazakhstan’s entrance into the Eurasian Economic Union and a growing perception of American disengagement from Central Asia, the major finding of this report is that the strategic objectives of the Republic of Kazakhstan and of the United States today are mutually compatible and even mutually reinforcing. Indeed, each country needs the other in fulfilling its goals. Therefore, this paper argues that, to the greatest extent possible, both sides focus their energies with respect to the other on advancing these commonalities...

 

ISDP

Toward the Transformation of PLA Military Training under Conditions of Informationization, August 2014. In the information era, promoting the transformation from training under conditions of mechanization to training under conditions of informationization is an ongoing and deep evolution in the field of the PLA’s military training. This paper accordingly analyzes the evolution, context, and contents of the PLA's training transformation in the twenty-first century.

 

ISDP

Why Do SMEs Not Borrow More from Banks? Evidence from the People's Republic of China and Southeast Asia, January 2015. This study examines the relationship between firm characteristics and borrowing from commercial banks by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the People's Republic of China (PRC) and five Southeast Asian economies (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam). Analysis of microdata from enterprise surveys highlights key aspects of SME finance since the global financial crisis, including sources of credit, lender types, and collateral types...

 

ADB

Estimating Dual Deposit Insurance Premium Rates and Forecasting Non-performing Loans: Two New Models, January 2015. Risky banks that endanger the stability of the financial system should pay higher deposit insurance premiums than healthy banks and other financial institutions that have shown good financial performance. It is necessary, therefore, to have at least a dual fair premium rate system...

 

ADB

Background Paper: Research and Development and Extension Services in Agriculture and Food Security, December 2014.
The recent global food crisis exposed the vulnerability of food supply systems, reversed many past achievements in the fight against hunger and malnutrition, and demonstrated the need for continued innovation. In view of the emerging economic, climatic, and political scenarios in the region, this paper explores the role of applied research for development and extension services through the two-pronged approach of boosting food production and preventing losses...

 

ADB

Is India's Long-Term Trend Growth Declining? December 2014.
The recent decline in GDP growth in India raised a debate about whether it is a trend or a business cycle slowdown. The paper finds that the recent growth decline in India has elements of a business cycle and a trend slowdown. The paper observed a cyclical downturn post-global financial crisis due to external and domestic conditions, and that the economy also witnessed a negative shock to trend caused by policy uncertainty...

 

ADB

Fiscal Policy for Inclusive Growth: An Overview, December 2014.
Sustained rapid growth during the past few decades has sharply lifted general living standards across Asia. However, inequality has risen in the region alongside rapid economic growth. The paper argues that rising inequality in developing Asia strengthens the case for a government response, and fiscal policy is one of the most suitable policy instruments to promote a more equitable society that provides opportunities for all. The region has trailed other parts of the world in equity-promoting fiscal expenditures, namely education, health care, and social protection, and thus the region needs to do more...

 

ADB

Fiscal Policy and Inclusive Growth in Advanced Countries: Their Experience and Implications for Asia, December 2014.
As developing Asia explores the more active use of fiscal policy for inclusive purposes, it can learn from the experiences of advanced countries, which suggest that fiscal policy can have a significant effect on inequality. This study seeks to draw relevant lessons from the advanced economies for developing Asia in using fiscal policy to tackle inequality. The experience of the advanced economies clearly shows the sizable equity-promoting potential of fiscal policy. At the same time, developing Asia’s pursuit of more inclusive fiscal policy must not come at the expense of economic growth or fiscal sustainability.

 

ADB

Trans-Pacific Partnership versus Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership: Control of Membership and Agenda Setting, December 2014. This paper argues that the formation of regional integration frameworks can be best understood as a dominant state’s attempt to create a preferred regional framework in which it can exercise exclusive influence. In this context, it is important to observe not only which countries are included in a regional framework, but also which countries are excluded from it. For example, the distinct feature of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is its exclusion of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and that of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is its exclusion of the United States...

 

ADB

The ASEAN Economy in the Regional Context: Opportunities, Challenges, and Policy Options, December 2014. This paper suggests that ASEAN needs an ambitious plan for economic integration beyond the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) to achieve its economic development aspirations. As ASEAN designs its post-2015 agenda with a view to strengthening its role as a hub of Asian dynamism, its members need to adopt an appropriate policy mix including deep domestic structural reforms and bold actions to further deepen regional integration—transforming the AEC into a truly borderless economic community...

 

ADB

Hmong Studies Journal, Vol. 15, Issues 1 & 2, 2014  

HSJ

India's New Asia-Pacific Strategy: Modi Acts East, December 2014. The ‘Look East’ policy has been a major part of India’s international engagement since its economic opening in 1991. Having received bipartisan support from successive Indian governments, the policy has evolved from economic and diplomatic engagement with Southeast Asia to broader security and defence ties across the whole Asia-Pacific. In recent years, India has signalled a willingness to play a greater strategic role in the region, deepening links with such partners as Japan, Vietnam, and Australia. The policy has been driven in part by India’s strategy of external balancing against China, but has also been motivated by India’s desire for a greater global role and its rise as a trading nation...

 

Lowy

China's Unpredictable Maritime Security Actor, December 2014. The In this Report, Lowy Institute Nonresident Fellow Linda Jakobson argues that despite Chinese president Xi Jinping’s image as a strongman, China’s approach to maritime security will continue to be shaped by a diverse set of actors pushing their own agendas. Consequently, China’s behaviour will be unpredictable. These actors are taking advantage of Xi’s very broad guidelines, the present nationalistic atmosphere, and fractured authority within China’s decision-making processes to push for maritime policies that benefit them commercially and politically...

 

Lowy

Are We a Top 20 Nation or a Middle Power? Views on Australia's Position in the World, December 2014. Nothing fans the flames of a debate on The Strategist quite like a post that makes assertions about Australia’s place in the world and the role it should have on the international stage. ASPI director Peter Jennings’ recent post on Australia as a ‘top 20’ defence player and deputy director Anthony Bergin’s post on the ‘middle power label’ last year both sparked debates about Australia’s power, position and influence and how it could or should be using it...

 

ASPI

Strike from the Air: The First 100 Days of the Campaign against ISIL, December 2014. This report is the first publication from a continuing, open-source study of the coalition campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). With Australian blood and treasure committed to the efforts of the coalition, it is important for ASPI to provide research and constructive commentary on the campaign...

 

ASPI

Eyes on the Prize? The Philippines-US Alliance and Defense Modernization, December 2014. Julio S. Amador III, Deputy Director-General of the Foreign Service Institute of the Philippines, explains that "The Philippines must not lose sight of the fact that the goal is to achieve credible defense and a sustainable modern military at par with its regional neighbors in ASEAN."

 

EWC

Mongolian Participation in an Upgraded Eurasian Energy and Transport Grid, December 2014. Alicia Campi, President of the US-Mongolia Advisory Group, explains that "[Mongolia] needs to expand transport infrastructure for its rich minerals to reach new Asian trade partners, so it is pursuing its own long-range strategy, to maximize benefit from and minimize the dangers of rapprochement between its two giant neighbors."

 

EWC

The United States: Still Singapore's Indispensable Partner? December 2014. See Seng Tan, Deputy Director of the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies in Singapore, explains that "despite Singapore's proclivity to hedge, the United States remains the city-state's default security choice should things go horribly wrong and well beyond the ability of Singapore's armed forces to manage."

 

EWC

Time to Get Serious about Regional Institution-Building in Asia, December 2014. Kuniko Ashizawa, Adjunct Professor in the School of International Service at American University, explains that "Strong and inclusive regional institutions are key to a stable Asia, which Washington, in the face of multiple challenges across the globe, now desperately needs."

 

EWC

Australia and the Importance of Being Global, December 2014. Andrew O’Neil, Head of the School of Government at Griffith University, Australia, explains that "Australia has no choice but to be globally engaged in order to safeguard its national interests in the long term and achieve the external recognition it desires on the world stage."

 

EWC

China's Grand Strategy is not Absent, Just Contradictory, December 2014. Denny Roy, Senior Fellow at the East-West Center, explains that "Most Chinese do not now aspire to superpower status, not wishing for themselves the difficulties they see beset an America that tries to be the world's fire brigade and police force."

 

EWC

Seaborne Trade between South Asia and Southeast Asia, December 2014. This paper examines the seaports responsible for handling the majority of trade around the Bay of Bengal and identifies the projects that will enable trade and contribute to improving maritime infrastructure. It reviews the nature, potential evolution, and primary types of maritime trade around the bay, and analyzes the ships carrying that trade. It also reviews the potential changes that would have a significant impact on trade patterns, with special consideration of the Indian East Coast Corridor study...

 

ADB

India's Emerging Connectivity with Southeast Asia: Progress and Prospects, December 2014. This paper presents India's broad proposals on connectivity projects with Southeast Asia and policy recommendations to strengthen connectivity throughout Asia, in particular between India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Enhancing connectivity between South and Southeast Asia is a multifaceted task that will require the implementation of strong policy initiatives. Development of connectivity in Southeast Asia and South Asia will bring significant opportunities for industrial development in India and trade potential with South and East Asian countries...

 

ADB

Myanmar: The Key Link between South Asia and Southeast Asia, December 2014. This paper examines the road and railway links in Myanmar connecting northeast India on the one side with the rest of Southeast Asia on the other. It also discusses the importance of new deep-sea ports in creating alternative shipping routes, essential for Myanmar's international links. It also reviews the country's external trade patterns, and analyzes issues related to trade facilitation, exchange rate policy, financial sector reform, and private sector development...

 

ADB

Assessment of Verification Testing Capacity in the APEC Region and Identification of Cost Effective Options for Collaboration, November 2014. This project continues an earlier (2012) APEC program Survey of Market Compliance Mechanisms for Energy Efficiency Programs in APEC Economies. It supports the development of successful market surveillance Monitoring, Verification and Enforcement (MV&E) regimes for the implementation of Standards and Labeling (S&L) policies in the APEC economies. MV&E is important since it plays an essential role in ensuring that the intended energy savings delivered by S&L are achieved.

 

APEC

APEC Low Carbon Model Town (LCMT) Promotion through Eco-Point Program (LCMT-EPP), November 2014. The final report for “APEC Low Carbon Model Town (LCMT) Promotion through Eco-Point Program (LCMT-EPP)” contains all studies and process contents such as the project background, data collection and assessment of EPP program via desk reviews, public consultation; focus group meeting, EPP forum and dissemination results, development process and the finalization of APEC EPP Guideline, development process and the finalized SAMUI EPP Guideline and Roadmap. It also presents the APEC Low Carbon Model Town (LCMT) Promotion through Eco-Point Program (LCMT-EPP) activities for guideline developments.

 

APEC

APEC Low-Carbon Model Town Energy Management System Development and Application Research, Published 2013. This project emphasizes on the following: field research on different stages of low-carbon town energy produce, energy transmission and storage, distribution as well as energy consumption, systematic summary and research on Energy Internet, energy management system storage technology; methods of constantly optimizing integrated planning, design and layout of energy, and sharing collected cases and materials with APEC economies in this report.

 

APEC

Policy Practice and Technology Applications - Experiences on Low Carbon Emission Operations in Chinese Taipei, November 2014. The project aims to cultivate the energy conservation culture in APEC community. Through introducing Chinese Taipei’s policy and technology practices, conducting field verification in Thailand to examine the effectiveness to other economies and lastly, gathering knowledge and ideas from international experts, the project is expected to deliver feasible policy suggestion and industrial application models as the reference for APEC economies to implement low carbon emission operations.

 

APEC

Nearly (Net) Zero Energy Building, November 2014. This report looks at how the existing experiences and best practices of NZEB can be shared among the APEC region, benefiting both the new building construct work and existing building retrofit work in both developed and developing economies.

 

APEC

APEC Guidebook on Quality of Infrastructure Development and Investment, November 2014. This Guidebook shares further details of these common recognitions with government officials and other stakeholders in the APEC economies that are engaged in infrastructure development and investment, so that such common recognitions are actually applied to projects.

 

APEC

Supporting Continued Growth in Trade and Facilitation: End to End Review of the APEC Business Travel Card Scheme Final Report, October 2014. This report lays out the findings of this study, based on data and feedback gathered by the research team through interviews with a variety of administrative body and industry stakeholders in 11 economies, a survey of stakeholders across all 21 economies, APEC Business Mobility Group (BMG) discussions at the 2014 SOM 3 meeting, and a review of relevant documents produced by APEC and the BMG member economies.

 

APEC

An Appeal from Okinawa to the US Congress - Futenma Marine Base Relocation and its Environmental Impact: U.S. Responsibility, September 2014. Much has been written on this site on recent developments in the long-running saga over the U.S. and Japanese governments’ plan to construct a U.S. military air base, the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF), in Henoko, Okinawa, Japan (Henoko plan). On July 1, 2014, 17 years after the plan was first conceived, the Okinawa Defense Bureau (the government of Japan) started the “construction phase” amid protest from local citizens and municipal governments. Just over a month later, on August 14, the U.S. Congressional Research Service released a report, The U.S. Military Presence in Okinawa and the Futenma Base Controversy (the CRS Report)...

 

APJ

Police Surveillance of Muslims and Human Rights in Japan, September 2014. In societies governed by the rule of law, what limitations should apply to police surveillance? What protections should be accorded to religious and ethnic minorities who may be subject to police profiling? Does police profiling of members of minority groups unfairly discriminate against them or violate fundamental rights such as the right to privacy or to practice religion? Questions like these are at the heart of ongoing litigation in Tokyo concerning police surveillance of Japan’s Muslim community...

 

APJ

A New Japanese Miracle? Its Hamstrung Feed-in Tariff Actually Works, September 2014. Reeling from history’s biggest double-blow of natural and nuclear disasters, post 3-11 Japan seemed poised to lead the world’s accelerating turn to radical efficiency and renewable energy (the latter accounted for 56% of net additions to global power capacity in 2013).1 After 3-11, then-Prime Minister Kan Naoto quickly initiated regulatory shackles on the country’s nuclear capacity and implemented a feed-in tariff (FIT)...

 

APJ

Japan's Secrecy Law and International Standards, September 2014. In the following article, two distinguished experts affiliated with the Open Society Institute examine key aspects of Japan’s 2013 “Specially Designated Secrets Protection Act.” (“SDS”) They are concerned with two central problems: defects in the process that led to adoption of the SDS, and shortcomings in the text of the law itself...

 

APJ

Sōka Gakkai Founder, Makiguchi Tsunesaburō, A Man of Peace? September 2014. Readers familiar with my research will know that its focus has been on the wartime actions and statements of Japan’s institutional Buddhist leaders, most especially those affiliated with the Zen school. Nearly to a man, their actions and statements were strongly supportive of Japanese aggression and imperialist actions. In the postwar era many of these same Zen leaders played a seminal role in the introduction of Zen to the West...

 

APJ

The US 'Pivot to Asia', the China Spectre and the Australian-American Alliance, September 2014. Obama’s ‘Pivot to Asia’ in response to the resurgence of Chinese power has undergone significant developments since it was first announced in November 2011. Not least has been the emergence of Australia as a central part of Washington’s plans to strengthen American influence and military reach across the Asia-Pacific. While elite and popular support for the US alliance in Australia persists, public opinion polls indicate possible cleavages for challenging the status quo...

 

APJ

The Myth of the "Pacifist" Japanese Constitution, September 2014. In 1947, two years after its unconditional surrender, Japan adopted a new constitution. This constitution has attracted great interest over the years, mostly due to its famous Article 9, which even was recently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. This constitution has increasingly become known as a symbol of pacifist ideals and has given rise to extensive local and international discourse since its establishment...

 

APJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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