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2016 Highlights

 

 

 

 

 
     

 

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

     

 

December, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defence White Papers at 40, December 2016. The Defence White Paper brought down earlier this year (DWP 2016), the seventh of its kind, appeared shortly before the 40th anniversary of the first, which was tabled in parliament by the Defence Minister, James (later Sir James) Killen, in November 1976. For a governmental practice as for an individual, a 40th anniversary is a good time to stand back and assess the past, present and future...

 

ASPI

France and Security in the Asia–Pacific: from the End of the First Indochina Conflict to Today, December 2016. France’s defence- and security-related activities in the Asia–Pacific are often underestimated, sometimes distorted or simply ignored. This paper surveys France’s growing presence in the Asia–Pacific from the Indochina War and efforts to resolve the Cambodian conflict, through to the country’s 21st century contributions driven by strategic engagement related to globalisation, new threats, multilateral regional cooperation and increasingly interconnected strategic zones...

 

ASPI

Delivering ‘Joined-Up’ Government Achieving the Integrated Approach to Offshore Crisis Management, November 2016. The call to improve ‘joined-up’ government articulates a principle that is the foundation of effective and efficient public administration. Increasingly, the ability of government to achieve effects that are more than the sum of their parts will determine whether Australia influences its strategic environment or is merely captive to it. Offshore crisis response requires a higher level of multiagency interconnectedness than ever before. This level of interconnectedness requires the adoption of transformative approaches to recruitment, professional development, leadership and management...

 

ASPI

Indonesia in the South China Sea: Going It Alone, December 2016. Under President Jokowi, Indonesia’s approach to the South China Sea disputes has moved from that of an active player in efforts to find a peaceful solution to the broader disputes, to one primarily focused on protecting its own interests around the Natuna Islands while not antagonising China. The shift in the Indonesian position has been driven by an increase in Chinese incursions around the Natunas, Jokowi’s lack of interest in regional diplomacy, as well as his goal of attracting Chinese investment for his signature infrastructure projects...

 

Lowy

Future Proofing Australia–New Zealand Defence Relations, December 2016. Australia and New Zealand should be natural military partners. But differences in their strategic outlooks and military priorities have sometimes placed limits on the extent of that partnership. Both countries published Defence White Papers in 2016 which suggest greater convergence in their priorities that should enhance their military cooperation in coming years. This includes a shared concern for the future of the rules-based order in Asia and for stability in the Pacific. Consistent with these concerns both countries are investing heavily in the development of maritime capabilities. In particular, some of New Zealand’s leading priorities, including the enhancement of its maritime surveillance capacity, will allow for even deeper collaboration in this sphere...

 

Lowy

The Development Benefits of Expanding Pacific Access to Australia’s Labour Market, December 2016. A stable and prosperous Pacific Islands region is essential for Australia’s security and foreign policy. Australia is investing significant amounts of aid in the development of the region with very mixed results. The economic, demographic, governance, and climatic challenges the Pacific faces will make sustained development of the region even more difficult in the years to come. It is for this reason that Prime Minister Turnbull has committed Australia to a ‘step-change’ in Australia’s engagement with the Pacific built on fresh ideas...

 

Lowy

How to Be Exceptional: Australia in the Slowing Global Economy, November 2016. Australia is gliding into its 26th year of uninterrupted economic expansion at the same time that the United States and the United Kingdom are wrestling with political rebellions against the very forces that have stoked Australia’s long boom. Open trade, high migration, and unimpeded economic globalisation are under political challenge in major advanced economies. In those same economies, respected economists are predicting a gloomier future. Former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has declared ours to be an “Age of Secular Stagnation”. US economist Robert Gordon says the best is over for the US economy and others like it...

 

Lowy

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #17: New Context of Vietnam’s National Security Challenges. Vietnam’s concept of national security is based on “the survival of the ruling regime that acts in the name of the country”. This is unlike in many countries where national security relates merely to the survival of the state. Because the challenges to Vietnam’s national security are perceived as challenges and threats to the ruling regime, the concept of national security tends to focus on the internal dimension of national security. The Mid-term National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) in 1994 listed “four threats” facing the country, namely, the danger of falling behind neighbouring countries economically; the threat of “peaceful evolution”; deviation from socialism; and corruption and bureaucratism. None of them, except for peaceful evolution, comes from outside...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #16: The Johor Sultanate: Rise or Re-emergence?. Malaysia's sultans have in recent years taken on an increasingly discernible role in the country's political life. However, rather than something new, the rulers' resurgence should be viewed as part of a longer term negotiation over the precise boundaries of their role. The Sultan of Johor, Ibrahim Ismail, is arguably the most visible of the country's rulers at present. Since ascending to the throne in 2010, he has constructed a prominent media profile and been active in many areas of policy-making. He reinstated the Islamic week, suggested expanding the role of the Johor Military Force, and promoted a unique state identity. Planned initiatives by him include a Bank of Johor, a large-scale low-cost housing scheme, as well as a maglev train linking the eastern and western parts of the state's southern coast...

 

ISEAS

Duterte, Mindanao, and Political Culture, November 2016. Alan Tidwell, Director of the Center for Australian, New Zealand, and Pacific Studies at Georgetown University explains that "Arguably the Philippines was in crisis even before the election of Duterte. His election can be seen, in part, as a reaction to that crisis, as much as it can be seen as contributing to it.”

 

EWC

Reforming China's Arms Procurement System: An Effort to be Closely Watched, November 2016. Yoram Evron, Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “The PLA reforms are facing unavoidable challenges of organizational inertia and resistance by commanders and units that lose their power. In addition, President Xi still faces opposition within the party.”

 

EWC

Land Tenure Security and Policy Tensions in Myanmar (Burma), October 2016. After 50 years of military rule, in 2011 the Thein Sein government's reforms in Myanmar (Burma) entailed a reengagement with the international community, including major international financial organizations, donors, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and civil society organizations (CSOs). The government's social and economic development policies, which were strongly influenced by this engagement, encouraged private domestic and foreign investment in agriculture to create wealth and reduce poverty. Land legislation allied to these policies was designed to improve land tenure security, yet it had harmful effects on the majority of the population employed in agriculture, including smallholder farmers and ethnic communities...

 

EWC

Patents and Technology Transfer through Trade and the Role of Regional Trade Agreements, October 2016. Regional trade agreements can have powerful impacts on technology transfer (TT), primarily through their effects on trade in high-technology goods and services, foreign direct investment (FDI), and licensing, all of which are key channels of information diffusion. In that context, regional trade agreements (RTAs) and mega-regionals such as the TPP embody considerable promise for direct expansion of TT, if primarily within the agreement. Moreover, recent econometric evidence largely finds that each of these flows responds positively to strengthened patent laws and other intellectual property rights (IPR), though this conclusion must be conditioned on a variety of factors (Maskus, 2012). These basic observations suggest that there could be an important complementarity between the formation of trade agreements and their IPR standards, a critical question that has not yet attracted much investigation...

 

EWC

ASEAN+3 Bond Market Guide 2016: Hong Kong, China, Published 2016. The ASEAN+3 Bond Market Guide is a comprehensive explanation of the region’s bond markets. It provides various information such as the history, legal and regulatory framework, specific characteristics of the market, trading and transaction, and other relevant information. The Hong Kong, China Bond Market Guide is an outcome of the strong support and contributions of ASEAN+3 Bond Market Forum members and experts, particularly from Hong Kong, China. The report should be recognized as a collective good to support bond market development among ASEAN+3 members.

 

ADB

Asia Bond Monitor, November 2016. Emerging East Asian bond yields rose for nearly all markets and for most tenors between 31 October and 18 November amid uncertainty over future US economic policy and the likelihood of a Federal Reserve rate hike in December.
Given rising uncertainty, most central banks in emerging East Asia maintained their existing monetary policies in order to wait for greater clarity regarding US economic policy and its potential impacts on global financial markets.

 

ADB

Spillovers of United States and People’s Republic of China Shocks on Small Open Economies: The Case of Indonesia, November 2016. This paper examines the impact of certain external shocks originating from the US and the PRC on Indonesia as a small open economy. The spillover effects of tapering off, an interest rate hike, exchange rate devaluation, and real gross domestic product (GDP) are analyzed. Two versions of the global vector autoregression model are employed, which covers 33 countries and considers both financial and trade relations among countries. Spillover assessments are conducted through impulse responses with 1,000 bootstrap replications, and compared to the responses of peer countries...

 

ADB

Impacts of Universal Health Coverage: Financing, Income Inequality, and Social Welfare, November 2016. 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. Agents have different education levels, employment statuses, and idiosyncratic shocks. Given three tax financing options, calibration results based on the Thai economy suggest that the financing options matter for outcomes both at the aggregate and disaggregate levels. Universal health coverage, financed by labor income tax revenue, could reduce inequality due to its large redistributive role...

 

ADB

Reforms to the European Union Financial Supervisory and Regulatory Architecture and Their Implications for Asia, November 2016. European Union (EU) countries offer a unique experience of financial regulatory and supervisory integration, complementing various other European integration efforts following the Second World War. Financial regulatory and supervisory integration was a very slow process before 2008, despite significant cross-border integration, especially of wholesale financial markets. However, the policy framework proved inadequate in the context of the major financial crisis in the EU starting in 2007, and especially in the euro area after 2010. That crisis triggered major changes to European financial regulation and to the financial supervisory architecture, most prominently with the creation of three new European supervisory authorities in 2011 and the gradual establishment of European banking union starting in 2012...

 

ADB

Land Policy and Urbanization in the People’s Republic of China, November 2016. We explore the relationship between land policies and urbanization in the PRC. We analyze the land policies associated with urbanization and summarize findings related to central and local government involvement in the process of urbanization. In particular, we explore the relationship between urbanization and land leasing. We find that the urbanization rate and the land leasing revenue are positively related. Land leasing provides financial support for PRC urbanization, but damages the interest of landless peasants. Especially in the west, population urbanization lags behind land urbanization, resulting in much higher land and house prices in the east than those in inland PRC...

 

ADB

Fiscal Decentralization and Local Budget Deficits in Viet Nam: An Empirical Analysis, November 2016 . Since 1975, Viet Nam has gradually decentralized more fiscal responsibilities to local authorities. This study has two objectives: (i) to take stock of the current institutional framework for intergovernmental fiscal relations in Viet Nam, and (ii) to empirically assess the debt sustainability of local governments in Viet Nam. The empirical analysis uses two estimation methods: (i) fully modified ordinary least squares (OLS) to estimate the long-term correlations between co-integration equations, including vectors of co-integration variables, and stochastic regressor innovations; and (ii) fiscal reaction equations at the provincial level, based upon the Bohn (2008) model. The empirical results suggest that deficit levels are generally sustainable at the local le

 

ADB

Measuring the Impact of Vulnerability on the Number of Poor: A New Methodology with Empirical Illustrations, November 2016. Given a poverty line, a person who is non-poor (poor) currently may not be treated as non-poor (poor) in a vulnerable situation. The poverty line is adjusted in the presence of vulnerability such that the utility of a person at the current poverty line and that at the adjusted poverty line become identical. Using an additive model of vulnerability, it is shown that if the utility function obeys constant Arrow-Pratt absolute risk aversion, then the harmonized poverty line is a simple absolute augmentation of the current poverty line. On the other hand, under a multiplicative model of vulnerability with constant Arrow-Pratt relative risk aversion, the revised poverty line is a simple relative augmentation of the current poverty line...

 

ADB

A Poverty Line Contingent on Reference Groups: Implications for the Extent of Poverty in some Asian Countries, November 2016. This paper estimates the number of poor in various countries in Asia by applying an “amalgam poverty line”, which is a weighted average of an absolute poverty line (such as $1.25 per day or $1.45 per day) and a reference income (such as the mean or the median income). The number of poor is computed under various values of the weight applied to the absolute poverty line, namely 100%, 90%, 66%, and 50%. The paper provides estimates of the headcount ratio and poverty gap ratio under the various scenarios for 25 different countries or regions examined

 

ADB

Concepts and Measurement of Vulnerability to Poverty and Other Issues: A Review of Literature, November 2016. The body of literature on vulnerability is growing. We classify studies on the concepts and measurements of vulnerability to poverty into welfarist, expected poverty, and axiomatic approaches. Empirical studies on vulnerability to poverty in Asia and elsewhere show that poverty and vulnerability are related but different, and that key determinants of vulnerability often include education and location. We also briefly review other areas of vulnerability analysis such as vulnerability to climate change and recommend policies.

 

ADB

An Asian Poverty Line? Issues and Options, November 2016. Given Asia’s record of rapid economic growth and the conceptual and empirical problems of the current international income poverty line (“dollar-a-day”), this paper discusses whether there is merit to develop an Asia-specific poverty line that addresses some of the shortcomings of the dollar-a-day line and additionally considers Asia’s particular economic situation. We consider various ways of creating an Asia-specific poverty line, including an Asia-specific international income poverty line (using purchasing-power parity [PPP] adjusted dollars) that is derived from Asian national poverty lines...

 

ADB

Structural Change and Income Distribution: Accounting for Regional Inequality in the People’s Republic of China and Its Changes during 1952–2012, October 2016. This study explores the relationship between inequality and structural transformation by constructing a theoretical model, developing analytical frameworks, and implementing a case study. The general equilibrium model we develop demonstrates that inequality exhibits an inverted U shape as structural change proceeds from onset to completion...

 

ADB

Costs and Benefits of Urbanization: The Indian Case, October 2016. Urbanization has both benefits and costs. In a market economy, the trade-off between benefits and costs determines the level, speed, and pace of urbanization. This paper summarizes research findings on how urbanization enhances productivity and economic growth in both rural and urban sectors, taking the case of India...

 

ADB

Looking Beyond Conventional Intergovernmental Fiscal Frameworks: Principles, Realities, and Neglected Issues, October 2016. Fiscal decentralization and intergovernmental fiscal relations reform have become nearly ubiquitous in developing countries. Performance, however, has often been disappointing in terms of both policy formulation and outcomes. The dynamics underlying these results have been poorly researched. Available literature focuses heavily on policy and institutional design concerns framed by public finance, fiscal federalism, and public management principles...

 

ADB

Frameworks for Central–Local Government Relations and Fiscal Sustainability, October 2016. This paper reviews alternative models of the relationship between central and local governments, and provides an overview and assessment of different financing mechanisms for local governments, including tax revenues, central government transfers, bank loans, and bond issuance, with a focus on the context of emerging Asian economies. The paper also reviews financing mechanisms for local governments and mechanisms for maintaining fiscal stability and sustainability at both the central and local government levels. Based upon the evidence on the decentralization process in Asia, it proposes some policy implications for improving central-local government relations and fiscal sustainability

 

ADB

Sanitation and Sustainable Development in Japan, Published 2016. Selected projects in Kitakyushu City, Kobe City, Saitama City, Saitama Shintoshin, and Tadotsu Town provide examples of how robust sanitation systems can deliver economic and environmental benefits. This publication documents Japan’s experience in pursuing sustainable sanitation solutions in the context of economic development. Five case studies illustrate how sound sanitation policies are essential in achieving a nation’s growth. Produced by ADB in cooperation with Japan Sanitation Consortium, this publication also documents key policies and laws that enable the integration of sewerage systems and wastewater treatment facilities in development plans. It shares learnings on how the sanitation challenge can be met, not only at the community, but also at the national level.

 

ADB

Toward a National Eco-Compensation Regulation in the People’s Republic of China, Published 2016. ADB and the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) undertook a study on eco-compensation regulations development in the country. The study examined the PRC’s theory, practice, and legislation governing eco-compensation in selected ecological areas to map out the scope and content of a national eco-compensation regulation. Pursuit of its higher agenda of ecological civilization and development of its national eco-compensation regulation will require the PRC to capture the diversity that subnational projects have tapped, integrate its experience with eco-compensation at all levels of government into a coherent national regulatory framework, and harmonize this framework with existing laws and other legal instruments.

 

ADB

2016 CTI Report to Ministers, November 2016. The CTI Annual Report to Ministers for 2016 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 2016 priorities under the theme of “Quality Growth and Human Development”. Collective Action Plans (CAPs) in various Osaka Action Agenda (OAA) issue areas, which were first reported in 1996, continued to be the Committee’s main vehicle for advancing APEC’s trade and investment agenda.

 

APEC

Fact sheet: 2016 APEC Economic Policy Report, November 2016. This 2-page fact sheet provides an overview of the 2016 APEC Economic Policy Report (AEPR) which aims to promote greater understanding of the wide ranging benefits of service sector reforms.

 

APEC

2016 APEC Economic Policy Report, November 2016. The 2016 APEC Economic Policy Report, ‘Structural Reform and Services’, tackles a subject at the very heart of current growth, productivity and economic inclusion challenges facing the APEC region. The report consists of a policy framework chapter, which concludes with a set of important recommendations, and five case studies that provide an in depth analysis of the economic impact of specific services sector reforms:
• China: retail services
• Indonesia: air transport services
• Japan: financial services
• New Zealand: electricity retail services
• Chinese Taipei: testing and certification services

 

APEC

Fact sheet: 2016 APEC Senior Officials' Report on Economic and Technical Cooperation, November 2016. This 2-page fact sheet of the 2016 APEC Senior Officials' Report on Economic and Technical Cooperation highlights a summary of activities undertaken by SCE fora and an overview on ECOTECH project funding during the year.

 

APEC

APEC Senior Officials' Report on Economic and Technical Cooperation 2016, November 2016. This report attempts to capture some highlights of the activities at the Working Group/Task Forces level. It includes a summary of activities undertaken by SCE fora supporting the existing ECOTECH priorities based on the 2016 SCE Fora Report and other updates available. A brief overview on ECOTECH project funding has been also provided.

 

APEC

APEC's Bogor Goals Dashboard, November 2016. The purpose of the Dashboard is to provide easy-to-understand figures to track the advancement 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...

 

APEC

Second-Term Review of APEC's Progress towards the Bogor Goals - Progress by Economy, November 2016. The analysis by individual economy highlighted their recent progress and identifying areas in which economies could make further improvements. These reports by economy were prepared with information from their Individual Action Plans and data from other sources such as international organizations and domestic government institutions...

 

APEC

Second-Term Review of APEC's Progress towards the Bogor Goals: APEC Region, November 2016. The Second-Term Review of Progress towards the Bogor Goals includes two sections: 1) the general assessment of the progress of the APEC region as a whole; and 2) the review of each economy’s recent progress in the areas included in the Osaka Action Agenda...

 

APEC

APEC Regional Trends Analysis Rethinking Skills Development in the Digital Age, November 2016. This issue of APEC Regional Trends Analysis features two chapters: (1) Rethinking Skills Development in the Digital Age; and (2) Continued Growth amid Persistent Global Weakness...

 

APEC

APEC in Charts 2016. An annual PSU publication, APEC in Charts provides a graphical overview of the APEC region’s economic, trade and investment performance as well as in areas related to APEC 2016 priorities.

 

APEC

APEC Supply Chain Connectivity Framework Action Plan 2010-2015: Final Assessment, November 2016. The report presents the final assessment results of the APEC Supply Chain Connectivity Framework Action Plan (SCFAP). The SCFAP aims to improve the performance of supply chains in the APEC region, with a target of 10 percent reduction in time, cost and uncertainty by 2015. The results show that some progress has been made in reducing time and cost for traders. Nevertheless, gaps remain and these should be addressed in the next phase of the SCFAP. The second phase should also address emerging areas in the global supply chain such as e-commerce, digital customs and cybersecurity.

 

APEC

Survey of Regulatory Measures in Environmental Services, November 2016. Prepared in support of the APEC Environmental Services Action Plan, this report presents an overview of regulatory measures for environmental services in APEC economies. It includes a summary of the scope and coverage of services and measures; an overview of the institutional frameworks, the incidence of regulatory measures and the extent of liberalisation in trade agreements of environmental services identified across APEC economies; and summary outcomes of measures identified in each APEC economy. While the findings show considerable variations across the member economies, some trends are apparent. One such trend is that while not all economies have committed to market opening of environmental services in the WTO GATS, all have improved on WTO liberalisation outcomes in subsequent FTAs.

 

APEC

Exploring Quantitative Indicators for Effective Monitoring of APEC-wide Progress on Structural Reform under RAASR 2016-2020, October 2016. This report proposes possible external baseline indicators to be used to monitor APEC-wide progress on structural reform under the Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (RAASR). The report is structured as follows: Chapter 1 gives a brief evolution of structural reform initiatives in APEC; Chapter 2 provides general overview of how the review process of RAASR can possibly be conducted as    well as the thought process behind the identification of the proposed external indicators; Chapter 3 lists these indicators and provide additional details for each, including the relevant RAASR pillars addressed by the indicator, possible actions at economy level that may impact the indicator, its strengths and limitations; and Chapter 4 concludes the report.

 

APEC

Enabling Legal Compliance & Cross-Border Data Transfers with the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR), July 2016. This report summarizes the outcomes of the CBPR workshop held in Singapore outlining the purpose, benefits and workings of the CBPR system

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Practices on Gender Diversity in Corporate Leadership for Growth, November 2016. This report presents the outcome of a survey that was undertaken to establish how women directors enhance corporate values in companies within the APEC region. The mechanism of improving corporate values through the appointment of women directors were demonstrated. Case studies were also conducted through interviews with leading companies in APEC (Canada; Japan; Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; the Philippines; and Viet Nam) that are considered to have achieved positive impact on growth through gender diversity. 

 

APEC

Independent Assessment Report of the Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE), November 2016. This report presents the results of an independent assessment of the APEC Policy Partnership for Women and the Economy (PPWE) to ensure economic and technical cooperation (ECOTECH) activities are targeted, effective, efficient, and make the best use of resources. This independent assessment also recommends actions to ensure that PPWE is responsive to APEC’s current priorities and contributes to the achievement of its overall vision and objectives.

 

APEC

Independent Assessment Report of the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG) and the High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology (HLPDAB), November 2016.
APEC sought an independent review of the operations and structure of the ATCWG and HLPDAB in order to ensure that their economic and technical cooperation (ECOTECH) activities are targeted, effective, efficient, and make the best use of resources. This report recommends actions to ensure that the ATCWG and HLPDAB respond to APEC’s current priorities and contribute to the achievement of its overall vision and objectives.

 

APEC

Exploration on Strengthening of Maritime Connectivity, November 2016. This report attempts to identify the issues and challenges faced by APEC economies in the process of developing maritime connectivity and puts forward recommendations aimed at future efforts to be made by APEC. It outlines possible directions for addressing the issues on port congestion, shipment information sharing, trade liberalization, trade facilitation and relation with IMO rule. In addition, this study also covers the perspective of GVCs and is expected to be contributive to the implementation of “APEC Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chains Development and Cooperation”.

 

APEC

APEC SME Internationalization Model Indices: Development and Application, November 2016. Internationalization is important for SMEs, and needs for government support policies are increasing in order to facilitate and diversify SME internationalization. As such, it is essential to objectively assess SME internationalization levels using model indices, on which potential problems in internationalization must be addressed. In this respect, APEC has stressed the importance of studies on the development of model indices and data collection regarding SME internationalization...

 

APEC

Cyber-Energy Nexus Study: Best Practices, Opportunities, and Challenges for Smart Energy Technology, July 2016. This timely study fills a number of important gaps in understanding current APEC energy grid cybersecurity efforts and presents a number of related collaborative efforts for future examination. Smart energy technology and networked control systems are becoming integral parts of the energy value chain globally. These critical energy infrastructure assets are vulnerable to cyber and physical attacks and lack secure interoperability policies and standards. The U.S. Department of Energy, together with Singapore Energy Market Authority, led the first Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) study exploring smart energy technology cyber security trends, policies and standards in the region...

 

APEC

Seminar "Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities through Access to Telecommunications", June 2016. This report summarizes the outcomes and recommendations from the seminar, “Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities through Access to Telecommunications”, which addressed topics related to i) Access to ICT as a fundamental right of PWD; ii) Policies and regulations on access to telecommunications for PWD; iii) Best practices on regulating access to telecommunications for PWD; and iv) Achievements, difficulties and challenges for PWD in the APEC Region.

 

APEC

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #15: The Geopolitics of Xi Jinping’s Chinese Dream: Problems and Prospects. Viewing China's current relations with neighbours in the East Asian littoral from geopolitical and macrohistorical perspectives enables us to evaluate China's current prospects for advancing its "peaceful rise". Today the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) articulates a Chinese Dream that envisions a new age of Asian predominance to match China's memory of past golden ages. To realize this dream, China seeks geopolitical predominance in the East Asian littoral. Judging from the foreign policy goals and behaviour pursued by Xi Jinping, China appears likely to govern the region according to its core interests even when this may require other states to give up their lawful sovereign rights and prerogatives...

 

ISEAS

America's 'Maginot Line': A Study of Static Border Security in an Age of Agile and Innovative Threats, November 2016. Borders and border security are once again becoming increasingly important to the nation state. Many take a default position that our coastline is our border and that border security involves merely police, security guards and immigration or customs officials. But Australia’s geography no longer provides the physical barrier from the outside world that it once did. This strategy provides a case study analysis of post-9/11 changes to US border security policies. It examines each of America’s different borders: the friendly northern borders, maritime borders, and the militarised southern border. It provides recommendations for Australia’s border security.

 

ASPI

ASPI at 15, October 2016. ASPI was registered as a wholly government-owned company on 22 August 2001, but it was several years earlier when Ian McLachlan, the first Defence Minister of the Howard government, saw the need to establish an institute to provide an alternate source of advice on defence and strategic policy. The articles in this Strategic Insights paper, originally published on the ASPI Strategist website in August 2016, come from a number
of individuals who deeply wanted the institute to succeed and indeed were prepared to invest their own effort to make it happen. While turning 15 is a good time to reflect on growth and early experiences, ASPI’s most productive years are still ahead of it.

 

ASPI

The Wattle and the Olive: A New Chapter in Australia and Israel Working Together, October 2016. The relationship between Australia and the small Jewish state is warm and close, despite occasional problems. Australia has always been seen as friendly by Israel, although it’s rarely been a major focus of policy efforts in Jerusalem. While there’s a mutual recognition of shared values and a reasonably close bilateral working relationship, there hasn’t been sufficient recognition given by either state to how each contributes to the other’s national interests. This paper considers common strategic interests, cooperation on traditional security issues and non-traditional security matters and puts forward recommendations for enhancing the relationship.

 

ASPI

Economic Migration and Australia in the 21st Century, October 2016. This Analysis assesses the benefits and challenges of contemporary economic immigration in Australia. While the policy arrangements underpinning economic immigration have undergone significant changes in recent decades, Australian governments have managed this transition successfully. Increased intakes of skilled immigrants have assisted structural transitions in Australia’s economy, delivered tangible benefits in addressing challenges related to population, and produced positive effects in relation to fiscal impact, productivity, and immigrants’ employment and labour market outcomes...

 

Lowy

Myanmar’s Evolving Relations: The NLD in Government, October 2016. The National League for Democracy’s (NLD) landslide victory in Myanmar’s November 2015 general election prompted celebrations around the world. Following a nervous, but successful, transition to ensure the transfer of power, the first five months in office of the NLD government were an opportunity for Myanmar’s democratically elected administration to reinforce its legitimacy and set a foundation for long-term policy success. This paper charts developments from the transfer of power up until the eve of the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong—a significant step in the peace process—on August 30, 2016. It describes the formation of the NLD government, the changing role of the legislature, the institutionalizing of Aung San Suu Kyi’s position “above the president,” as well as accords specific attention to the peace process (including Rakhine state affairs) as a top policy priority for the NLD as it sought to revitalize efforts initiated under the previous administration...

 

ISDP

Under the Radar: Georgia’s October 2016 Elections, October 2016. Georgia will hold parliamentary elections on October 8, 2016, which will be key to deciding the country’s future development and its strategic trajectory. Economic problems, especially unemployment and prices, dominate the minds of the Georgian electorate. A large majority thinks the country is headed the wrong direction. The Georgian Dream government has lost the support it had four years ago; yet the electorate appears to lay equal if not more blame for Georgia’s problems on the predecessor UNM government. Palpable anger and frustration is visible in surveys, where practically all political figures have negative approval ratings. This makes the election an opportunity for “third” parties and new po-litical forces, if they are given the space to take advantage. These range from reliably pro-Western forces like the Free Democrats; to populists like the Labor party; unknown quantities like the State for People alli-ance; and outright anti-Western ones like the Alliance of Patriots...

 

ISDP

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2016 (Highlights, and Full Report):
  • Part I: Sustainable Development Goals Trends and Tables
  • Part II: Regional Trends and Tables
  • Part III: Global Value Chains

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2016 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

Monetary Authority of Singapore: Macroeconomic Review, Volume XV, Issue 2, October 2016 (Full Report, Presentation Slides for Briefing):  

MAS

The High Stakes for Southeast Asia of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, October 2016. Asad Latif, Associate Fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, explains that “Southeast Asians hope that Americans choose their next leader wisely to build on enduring ties with the United States.”

 

EWC

What Happens in the South China Sea, Matters in the East China Sea: Japan’s Reaction to the South China Sea Arbitration Ruling, October 2016. Matthew Short, researcher at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “Pushing Japan to be a more proactive member of the international system, Abe has advocated for and employed Japan as a guardian of global commons, especially the maritime commons, to ensure they remain open and beneficial to everyone.”

 

EWC

Australia’s Contentious Strategy in the South China Sea, October 2016. Orrie Johan, researcher at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “Australia does not have to choose between the U.S. and China. Turnbull seems to be following this approach by showing the U.S. that it supports American freedom of navigation operations and by showing China that Australia will not participate in any FONOPs itself.”

 

EWC

A China Perspective: North Korea's Nuclear Tests Reshaping Northeast Asian Security, October 2016. Liang Yabin, Research Fellow of the Pangoal Institution and Associate Professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, explains that “Nuclear weapons greatly improve the geo-strategic position of the DPRK in Northeast Asia, which also increases the possibility of reaching a compromise and exchange of interests between the U.S. and the DPRK.”

 

EWC

China's Bold Strategy for Semiconductors--Zero-Sum Game or Catalyst for Cooperation? September 2016. This paper explores whether China's bold strategy for semiconductors will give rise to a zero-sum game or whether it will enhance cooperation that will benefit from increased innovation in China. As the world's largest producer and exporter of electronic products, China is by far the top market for integrated circuits (ICs), accounting for nearly a third of global demand. Yet its ability to design and produce this critical input remains seriously constrained. Despite decades and many billions of dollars of state-led investment, China's domestic production of semiconductors covers less than 13% of the country's demand...

 

EWC

International Trade and Exchange Rate, October 2016. From a longer-term perspective, however, global trade volume has not deviated much from its long-term trend. Postglobal financial crisis, the exchange rate volatility has grown significantly. Countries with appreciating currencies show rising import intensity and significant export growth. However, the impact of currency depreciation on trade has become much smaller postglobal financial crisis. All these analyses suggest that competitive devaluations may not spur exports as much as earlier expected—and it may further undermine the nascent recovery of international trade.

 

ADB

Dealing with Quantitative Easing Spillovers in East Asia: The Role of Institutions and Macroprudential Policy, October 2016. This paper explores the impact of advanced countries’ quantitative easing on emerging market economies (EMEs) and how macroprudential policy and good governance play a role in preventing potential financial vulnerabilities. We used confidential locational bank statistics data from the Bank for International Settlements to examine whether quantitative easing has caused an appreciation of EMEs’ currencies and how it has done so, and whether this has in turn boosted foreign-currency borrowing, thus making EMEs vulnerable to balance sheet and maturity mismatch problems...

 

ADB

Human Capital and Urbanization in the People’s Republic of China, October 2016. The relationship between human capital development and urbanization in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is explored, highlighting the institutional factors of the hukou system and a decentralized fiscal system. Educated workers disproportionately reside in urban areas and in large cities. Returns to education are significantly higher in urban areas relative to those in rural areas, as well as in large, educated cities relative to small, less-educated cities. In addition, the external returns to education in urban areas are at least comparable to the magnitude of private returns...

 

ADB

Housing System and Urbanization in the People’s Republic of China, October 2016. This paper examines how transformations in the housing system in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) influence the PRC pattern of urbanization. It first discusses how housing policies determine the supply and demand of housing in urban PRC and subsequently analyzes how the changes in the mode of housing provision have affected rural–urban migration, intercity labor mobility, the financing of urban infrastructure, and general urban economic activities in the PRC. The PRC experience of the interaction between the housing system and urbanization is unique, but it clearly indicates that an effective housing system that can responsively provide adequate and affordable housing is crucial to the success of inclusive and equitable urbanization.

 

ADB

Government Decentralization Program in Indonesia, October 2016. Without much preparation, Indonesia, in 2000, at a stroke replaced the previous system of centralized government and development planning with a wide range of decentralization programs. The reforms gave greater authority, political power, and financial resources directly to regencies and municipalities, bypassing the provinces. The powers transferred include those of executing a wide range of responsibilities in the areas of health, primary and middle-level education, public works, environment, communication, transport, agriculture, manufacturing, and other economic sectors...

 

ADB

Decline in Oil Prices and the Negative Interest Rate Policy in Japan, October 2016. In April 2013, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) introduced an inflation target of 2% with the aim of overcoming deflation and achieving sustainable economic growth. But due to lower international oil prices it was unable to achieve this target and was forced to take further measures. Hence, in February 2016, the BOJ adopted a negative interest rate policy by massively increasing the money supply through purchasing long-term Japanese government bonds (JGBs). The BOJ had previously only purchased short-term government bonds, a policy that flattened the yield curve of JGBs. On the one hand, banks reduced the number of government bonds they purchased because short-term bond yields had become negative. Even the interest rates of long-term government bonds up to 15 years became negative...

 

ADB

Case Study of Central and Local Government Finance in Japan, September 2016. This paper aims to provide an overview of the basics of Japan’s local public administration and finance system and to analyze how Japan’s municipalities restore their fiscal balance after a fiscal shock. In Japan, local governments play a major role in redistribution. Combined with regional disparities in tax capacities and an inflexible local tax system, there is a large vertical fiscal gap in Japan between the central and local governments—a gap that necessitates the transfer of funds from central to local governments. Under this system, the fiscal adjustments in Japan’s municipalities occur mainly via changes in government investment, and they account for 63%–95% of adjustments in permanent unit innovations in grants and own-source revenue. In contrast to the role of expenditure, the municipalities’ own-source revenue plays a limited role in balancing the local budget...

 

ADB

Improving Financial Inclusion in Asia and the Pacific: Constraints, Applicability, and Lessons from Digital Financial Services, September 2016. The paper focuses on the challenge of understanding new consumer risks which arise when using DFS and how financial consumer protection frameworks can be strengthened to address these risks. It also includes case studies of countries’ approaches to financial consumer protection and DFS in Asia and the Pacific. The countries reviewed include the Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji. These case studies highlight a common trend across countries—financial consumer protection frameworks are being viewed as one component of broader national financial inclusion strategies. Frameworks are being strengthened as part of a heightened focus on financial education and by incorporating the latest research on financial inclusion and on how best to reach the unbanked.

 

ADB

The Housing Challenge in Emerging Asia: Options and Solutions, Published 2016. The Housing Challenge in Emerging Asia: Options and Solutions provides new insights and ideas to best design and implement housing policies aimed at improving access to affordable and adequate housing. The book offers an innovative theoretical framework to conceptualize and analyze various housing policies. It also critically reviews housing policies of various countries and draws lessons for others. The countries studied include advanced economies within and outside Asia, such as Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as emerging countries within Asia, such as the People’s Republic of China and India.

 

ADB

Gender Equality and Women’s Rights in Myanmar: A Situation Analysis, Published 2016. Myanmar is making historical progressive reforms. Rapid political, economic, and social transition is taking the country and its 51.4 million citizens in new directions. If the reforms are to equally benefit women and men and girls and boys, fundamental changes are needed in how women and their needs are included in Myanmar’s new governance and in policy, planning, and decision-making processes...

 

ADB

The Emergence of Pacific Urban Villages: Urbanization Trends in the Pacific Islands, Published 2016. Village-like settlements such as squatter and informal settlements are seen as a type of urban village. The report examines the evolution of different types of settlement commonly known as native or traditional villages, and the more recent squatter and informal settlements. It looks at the role these and other urban villages play in shaping and making Pacific towns and cities and presents key actions that Pacific countries and development partners need to consider as part of urban and national development plans while achieving a more equitable distribution of the benefits of urbanization.

 

ADB

Case Study on the Role of Services Trade in Global Value Chains: Telecommunications in Papua New Guinea, September 2016. This case study is one out of the four which examines the role of services in global value chains (GVCs), particularly the effects market-opening services development have had on the economy and GVCs. This case study examines the effects of the deregulation of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) mobile telecommunications sector, a process which began in 2007. It is estimated that the effects of liberalisation in this sector include a boost to GDP of up to 2.3% and total cost savings of 2% to 5% for businesses. Mobile telecommunications have also helped deliver improvements in safety and financial transparency...

 

APEC

Case Study on the Role of Services Trade in Global Value Chains: Transport Services in Chile, September 2016. This case study is one out of the four which examines the role of services in global value chains (GVCs), particularly the effects market-opening services development have had on the economy and GVCs. Focusing on the transport services in Chile, this case study finds that Chile has undertaken substantial transport sector liberalization over recent years. On the basis of an econometric model, it is concluded that the combination of transport sector reform efforts in Chile perhaps contributed to increase GVC performance by around 7%...

 

APEC

Manual on Good Practices to Improve the Supply Chain of Marine Products from the Subsistence Fishery Sector in the Asia Pacific Region, September 2016. Small-scale fisheries are highly dynamic, labour intensive and usually not integrated with local marketing arrangements. Small-scale fishers, their families and communities are critically dependent on fish for their food and livelihood security and are extremely vulnerable to external pressures and shocks. Products originating from subsistence or small-scale fisheries require good handling practices along the supply chain since up to 30% of the catch in some cases is lost due to poor handling practices. This manual is intended for use as a training aid to help introduce and explain post-harvest fishing topics to subsistence fisher folk and others actors in the coastal fisheries value chain...

 

APEC

APEC Workshop on Promoting SMEs' Integration into Regional and Global Environmental Goods and Services Markets, July 2016. This report outlines the presentations and discussions of the APEC Workshop on Promoting SMEs’ Integration into Regional and Global Environmental Goods and Services (EGS) Markets. Initiated by Viet Nam, the workshop provided an overview of the regional and global EGS markets; challenges, opportunities, and critical issues for facilitating SMEs in environmental goods and services markets; advantages of trade agreements on place; experiences in promoting SMEs’ participation into regional and global EGS markets in terms of regulations, incentives, facilitation, critical issues, etc; and case studies of SMEs’ integration into regional and global EGS markets.

 

APEC

Promoting the Participation of Small and Medium Enterprises in the Global Textile and Apparel Value Chains, June 2016. The studies provide insights on the textile and apparel industry of the four APEC member economies, including a diagnostic of the current state-of-play of SMEs integration into GVCs, government policies and programs, specific barriers that SMEs face upon attempting to join GVCs, and a series of recommendations and concrete action plans. The studies identify and categorize numerous institutions and frameworks created to support SMEs indirectly or directly, and how SMEs utilize government supports and engage with the rules of new model of trade integration.

 

APEC

Compendium of Energy Efficiency Policies of APEC Economies, April 2016. The Compendium of Energy Efficiency Policies of APEC Economies intends to promote information sharing of energy efficiency and energy conservation policies and practices across APEC economies under a common format. The report contains information on energy efficiency policies and initiatives in all APEC economies (with the exception of Papua New Guinea) based on the responses provided by each economy to a questionnaire.

 

APEC

Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 2011-2016  

Nanzan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #14: Learning Diplomacy: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam Diplomats in ASEAN. For nearly two decades, ASEAN has served as a vehicle for the postsocialist states of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV) to seek diplomatic recognition and enmesh their economies with the dominant discourses, structures, and visions of post-Cold War capitalist modernity. In scholarly and lay understandings of how CLMV states “integrate” through ASEAN, attention has been firmly on the political, security, and economic outcomes of ASEAN-CLMV interactions, with diplomacy viewed as a passive instrument to pursue such outcomes. Such a static view of diplomacy obscures a vital mechanism in and through which these broader macro-social changes are being sought and accomplished. As they pursue modernist state projects, diplomats too must yield to experiences of learning and redefinition to express (and enable) the project of international “integration”. This paper examines such processes of learning and redefinition by studying the effects and consequences of immersion in English-based ASEAN multilateral work for the diplomats of CLMV states...

 

ISEAS

The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Crisis of Us Foreign Policy, October 2016. The 2016 US presidential election is the most consequential election for international order since the Second World War. America’s status as a liberal superpower is on the ballot. To understand Donald Trump’s foreign policy, we must distinguish between his three core beliefs that he has held for many decades and rarely if ever waivered from, the central themes of his campaign, and other issues. His core beliefs are opposition to America’s alliance arrangements, opposition to free trade, and support for authoritarianism, particularly in Russia. If he is elected president and governs in a manner consistent with these beliefs, the United States will be transformed from the leader of a liberal international order into a rogue superpower that withdraws from its international commitments, undermines the open global economy, and partners with Putin’s Russia...

 

Lowy

Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq: the Day After, September 2016. In the last five years, Western counterterrorism agencies have focused largely on radicalised individuals going to Syria and Iraq. Now and in the immediate future they will need to focus more on those coming out. The prospective collapse of Islamic State’s ‘caliphate’ is likely to increase the number of foreign fighters leaving its territory. More generally, the foreign fighter fallout from the years of conflict in Syria and Iraq will echo that of previous conflicts such as Afghanistan and Bosnia. The fighters who survive and escape will be just as ideologically motivated as those that emerged from Afghanistan and Bosnia, but will be more operationally experienced, have more lethal skills and be better networked than their predecessors.In the last five years, Western counterterrorism agencies have focused largely on radicalised individuals going to Syria and Iraq...

 

Lowy

From Hollywood to Bollywood? Recasting Australia’s Indo/Pacific Strategic Geography, October 2016. Australia’s strategic geography is being revolutionised. China and India’s rising maritime power, coupled with a Eurasia-wide ‘connectivity revolution’, is drawing together two formerly disparate theatres: the Asia–Pacific and the Indian Ocean region. This report argues against the Indo-Pacific idea and presents the case for a more regionally differentiated ‘Indo/Pacific’ alternative. The hyphen at the heart of the Indo-Pacific aggregates two distinct regional security orders that have differed widely in their historical evolution and that today present different challenges and regional order-building opportunities for Australia...

 

ASPI

AWD Combat System: an Upgrade for the Aegis, September 2016. This paper examines the delivery of the AWDs and the combat system to date, and explores what upgrades might be possible in the stated period. We’re about to spend a lot of money completing the current three AWDs, only to turn around and spend a lot more money upgrading them. If the government wants to spend $4–5 billion on improving naval capability over the next 12 years, there might be more useful ways to spend the money.

 

ASPI

MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters, September 2016. The September 2016 Survey was sent out on 11 August 2016 to a total of 27 economists and analysts who closely monitor the Singapore economy. This report reflects the views received from 22 respondents (a response rate of 81.5%) and does not represent MAS’ views or forecasts. GDP growth in Q2 2016 was higher than expected. The Singapore economy expanded by 2.1% in Q2 2016, which was slightly above the median forecast of 2.0% reported in the June 2016 Survey. The economy is forecast to expand by 1.8% in 2016. For 2016 as a whole, the respondents expect the economy to grow by 1.8%, unchanged from the previous survey.

 

MAS

Hong Kong: High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2016Q4, October 2016. According to its High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecast, real GDP is estimated to grow by 1.4% in 16Q3, when compared with the same period in 2015, slower than the 1.7% growth in 16Q2. In 16Q4, real GDP growth is expected to improve to 2.1% when compared with the same period last year. Slowed from the 2.4% growth in 2015, we forecast Hong Kong GDP will grow by 1.5% in 2016 as a whole, upward revised by 0.3 percentage points comparing to our previous forecast.

 

HKU

International Criminal Justice and Southeast Asia: Approaches To Ending Impunity for Mass Atrocities, September 2016. Nearly 15 years after entry into force, the UN Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court has 124 state parties, meaning that nearly two-thirds of states have joined this initiative to end impunity for the worst atrocities. Despite this global diffusion and normalization of international criminal justice, only 3 of 11 states in Southeast Asia have ratified the Statute. In response to the region's underrepresentation among ICC state parties, various governmental and nongovernmental actors have undertaken efforts to raise awareness of the Rome Statute and promote ratification in the region. However, beyond expanding the reach of the Statute, there is scope to draw upon regional experiences and potential to build a stronger foundation for an emerging regional consensus around ending impunity for mass atrocities.

 

EWC

ASEAN Security Architecture: Tension between National Interests and Regional Institutions, September 2016. Benjamin Ho, Associate Research Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore, explains that “Only if Beijing is able to persuade that China’s national interests do not run contrary to those of ASEAN can an enduring and amicable relationship be forged.”

 

EWC

The Strategic Significance of the US-India, September 2016. Manjeet S. Pardesi, Asia Studies Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “Contrary to international relations theories, the signing of the LEMOA demonstrates that India is seeking regional primacy, not hegemony, and this is compatible with America’s strategic interests in South Asia/Indian Ocean.”

 

EWC

Indonesian Islam: Neither White Knight nor Damsel in Distress, September 2016. Benjamin Nathan, former researcher at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “The same factors that limit the usefulness of Indonesian Islam as a counterweight to extremist groups in the Middle East apply with equal strength to attempts by extremist groups in the Middle East to make inroads in Indonesia.”

 

EWC

Democracy and the Legitimacy of Indonesia’s Counter-terrorism Policy, September 2016. Abubakar Eby Hara, Asia Studies Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “Indonesia demonstrates that in battling terrorism democracy and serious efforts to gain legitimacy from the people before taking action are still necessary as part of a grand narrative to counter ISIL.”

 

EWC

Expanded CUES: A Worthwhile Idea but Challenging Exercise? September 2016. Swee Lean Collin Koh, Research Fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies in Singapore, explains that “The increasing activities of irregular maritime forces in the South China Sea…mean that an expanded CUES, though possible, will face an arduous and challenging road ahead.”

 

EWC

Fiscal Deficit and Fiscal Reform in Japan, September 2016. Taro Ohno, Associate Professor at Shinshu University in Japan, explains that “Japan will continue to face daunting fiscal challenges in the years ahead, and thus finding the most effective and equitable fiscal policy should be a top priority for the Japanese government.”

 

EWC

Modernizing the AFP & Duterte’s Priorities, September 2016. Charmaine Deogracias, Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “Duterte’s leftist leanings and determination to pursue peace talks with the communists will definitely affect the military’s capability upgrade and his engagement with the U.S.”

 

EWC

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

  ADB

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

  ADB

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

ISEAS

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

 

ASARC

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

 

ASPI

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

EWC

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

 

ISDP

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

 

Lowy

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

 

Lowy

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Policy Notes:  

PIDS

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Development Research News:  

PIDS

Asian Ethnology 2011-2016  

Nanzan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

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

 

ISEAS

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

 

ISEAS

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

 

ISEAS

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

 

ASPI

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

 

Lowy

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

 

EWC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

Journal of Global Buddhism, Volume 17, 2016  

JGB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

ASPI

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

 

ASPI

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

 

ASPI

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

 

ISEAS

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

 

ISEAS

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

HKU

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

 

Lowy

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

High-Speed Railroad and Economic Geography: Evidence from Japan, May 2016. Surging high-speed railroad investments may encourage the formation of megacities due to further agglomeration in service industries. This can have profound implications for urban policies on society, demographics, and environment. We study whether high-speed railroad (HSR) polarizes or balances economic geography using the 1982 opening of two major HSRs in Japan (Shinkansen). We find that both agglomeration and decentralization could occur. While service industry tends to agglomerate toward the core city, manufacturing industry may decentralize toward peripheral cities...

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

VRAS

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

 

ASARC

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

 

ASARC

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

 

ASPI

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

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

ASPI

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

 

Lowy

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

 

ISEAS

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

 

ISEAS

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

 

ISEAS

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

IJKS

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

 

ISDP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monetary Authority of Singapore: Macroeconomic Review, Volume XV, Issue 1, April 2016 (Full Report, Presentation Slides for Briefing):  

MAS

MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters, March 2016. The March 2016 Survey was sent out on 24 February 2016 to a total of 28 economists and analysts who closely monitor the Singapore economy. This report reflects the views received from 24 respondents (a response rate of 86%) and does not represent MAS’ views or forecasts. GDP growth in Q4 2015 was stronger than expected. The Singapore economy expanded by 1.8% in Q4 2015, which was higher than the median forecast of 1.4% reported in the last survey. For 2015 as a whole, the economy recorded GDP growth of 2.0%, coming in slightly above the respondents’ median forecast of 1.9%. The economy is forecast to expand by 1.9% in 2016. In the latest survey, the forecasters expect growth to be around 1.9% in 2016, down from the previous forecast of 2.2%...

 

MAS

Singapore Corporate Debt Market Review 2015. Singapore’s corporate debt market grew strongly in 2014 despite uncertainties over the slowdown in Asia and divergent monetary policies of major economies. Total outstanding debt grew by 13% year-on-year to SGD 308 billion as at end of 2014, maintaining the pace of CAGR of 14% since 2010. Total corporate bond issuance volume grew at a CAGR of 35% since 2010 to hit a record high of SGD 200 billion in 2014. A persistently low interest rate environment continued to allow issuers to lock in longer term funding at relatively lower cost. Well-rated foreign financial institutions and companies have contributed significantly to the growth of Singapore’s debt capital market. For example, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) raised SGD 500 million during the year...

 

MAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #4: Myanmar’s Foreign Policy under President U Thein Sein: Non-aligned and Diversified. Given Myanmar’s strategic location and the wider great power competition in Southeast Asia, how the country positions itself vis-à-vis the major powers in the reform era currently underway will have considerable bearing for the international politics of Southeast Asia. Historically, Myanmar’s leaders have preferred an independent foreign policy that has also been couched in terms of neutralism and non-alignment. Following considerable tension between the stated principle of non-alignment and the practice of Myanmar’s foreign policy under the SLORC/SPDC regime given U.S. pressure on Naypyitaw especially in the mid-2000s, Myanmar’s threat perceptions vis-à-vis Washington have waned with the shift to the pragmatic, principled and calibrated engagement as favoured by President Obama...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #3: Can Myanmar’s NLD Government Undo the Gordian Knot of Federalism and Ethnicity?. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has said that peace is the first priority of the National League for Democracy (NLD) when it comes to power in April 2016. Both her remarks at the Union Peace Conference in January and the NLD election manifesto point to ethnicity and federalism being linked. This is a position similar to that taken by the outgoing Thein Sein government and the army. Now that the word “federalism” is accepted as useful in the debate over how to establish an end to Myanmar’s persistent civil wars with ethnically designated armed groups, it was hoped that some meeting of minds might take place...

 

ISEAS

Free Trade and the Future of Japan’s Agricultural Policy, May 2016. Kunio Nishikawa, associate professor in the College of Agriculture at Ibaraki University, explains that “Japan’s agriculture cannot be isolated from the tide of free trade. Japanese farmers will have to continue engaging in further structural adjustments.”

 

EWC

Domestic Forces behind Indonesia’s Paradoxical Maritime Policy, April 2016. Benjamin Nathan, researcher at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “In the wake of recent events, Jokowi has had to weigh the benefits of appearing to be a dynamic leader against the risk of actually provoking a conflict over fishing rights.”

 

EWC

Constants and Changes in Vietnam’s Political Scene: What Will the New Term Bring? April 2016. Huong Le Thu, Researcher at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore, explains that “Economic and social policies are of utmost priority [for Vietnam’s new leadership] and with an increasingly informed, educated, and connected society, the expectations for delivery from the leadership will continue to rise.”

 

EWC

Can the US-ASEAN Connect Initiative Create Stronger US-ASEAN Economic Relations? April 2016. Sanchita Basu Das, Fellow and Lead Researcher (Economic Affairs) at the ASEAN Studies Centre, explains that “While for ASEAN, [US-ASEAN Connect] will make the region more competitive compared to China and India, for the US, a strong and developed ASEAN can help to diversify US investment in Asia and can lessen the influence of an economically rising China.”

 

EWC

US Economic Ties to ASEAN Demand a New Agility, April 2016. Shankaran Nambiar, Senior Research Fellow at the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research, explains that “US-ASEAN economic relations will receive a huge boost if the US makes a more concerted effort to address issues such as the financing of large-scale developmental projects, be they to improve regional connectivity, build roads and dams, or enhance capabilities in cyber security and satellite technology.”

 

EWC

Japan in Prime Minister Modi’s Vision for India, March 2016. Titli Basu, Researcher at the East Asia Centre of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, explains that “Modi’s aim is to bolster India’s emerging power status. For this, he is willing to boldly engage, but not align, with all regional actors including Japan to leverage partnerships without diluting the fundamental values of India’s foreign policy.”

 

EWC

Aligning Unevenly: India and the United States, Published 2016. In the early and mid-2000s, US policymakers anticipated India becoming one of America's top global partners. Have New Delhi's policies on key strategic issues actually aligned strongly with US objectives, as would be typical of close partners? An analysis of twelve prominent issues in US-India relations indicates that New Delhi's policies mostly converged moderately, rather than to a high extent, with US objectives. Specifically, the alignment between New Delhi's policies and US objectives was high or moderate-to-high on three issues—UN peacekeeping, nonproliferation export controls, and arms sales. It was moderate or low-to-moderate on six issues—China, Iran, Afghanistan, Indian Ocean security, Pakistan, and bilateral defense cooperation...

 

EWC

Demographic Change and Fiscal Sustainability in Asia, April 2016. Population structure affects government revenues as well as expenditures. For example, a younger population requires more public spending on education. The authors use a simple stylized model and National Transfer Accounts data set to simulate the effect of Asia’s population aging and economic growth on the region’s fiscal sustainability. While there are differences across countries, with some countries more affected than others, overall, the simulation results clearly indicate that demographic change will adversely affect Asia’s fiscal health. This points to a need for Asian countries to better understand and prepare for the fiscal impact of population aging...

 

ADB

Potential Growth, Misallocation, and Institutional Obstacles: Firm-Level Evidence, April 2016. Analysis of firm-level data for 62 developing countries highlights the importance of trade regulations, functioning of courts, and access to finance as key determinants of misallocation within countries. A key determinant of total factor productivity is misallocation: aggregate productivity losses arising from microeconomic distortions that prevent an efficient allocation of factors of production between firms...

 

ADB

The Republic of Korea’s Economic Growth and Catch-Up: Implications for the People’s Republic of China, April 2016. This study investigates the economic growth and catch-up of the Republic of Korea over the past half-century. The gap of output per worker between the Republic of Korea and United States has decreased rapidly, as the Republic of Korea’s lower per capita income, relative to its potential level, has led to higher growth, confirming the prediction of a conditional convergence theory. Cross-country regression further suggests that the Republic of Korea’s catch-up to the United States is also attributable to strong investment, lower fertility, greater trade openness, and improvements in human resources and rule of law, while improvement in democracy tends to slow the pace of the catch-up...

 

ADB

Housing Policy in the Republic of Korea, April 2016. This paper evaluates housing policy in the Republic of Korea over the past several decades, describes new challenges arising from the changing environment, and draws lessons for other countries. The most important goals of the housing policy have been to alleviate housing shortages and to stabilize housing prices. To achieve these goals, the government has been engaging the private sector while establishing public sector institutions and legal framework, providing developable land, and allocating housing units to intended target groups...

 

ADB

The Status of Financial Inclusion, Regulation, and Education in India, April 2016 . India’s financial inclusion agenda has witnessed a paradigm shift over the last decade, away from an emphasis on credit to a more comprehensive approach toward financial services (e.g., opening bank accounts and offering basic financial products, such as insurance). This paper describes the structure of banking and microfinance institutions in India relevant to the developing model of financial inclusion, as well as relevant regulatory structure and modes of delivery...

 

ADB

The Fiscal Risk of Local Government Revenue in the People’s Republic of China, April 2016. Since the Tax Sharing Reform in 1994, the local government revenue of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has faced downward risk problems. This paper reviews the fiscal and taxation reforms in the central and local governments of the PRC and focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of fiscal transfers. We find that, to a certain extent, fiscal transfers significantly promote the construction of local infrastructure. Earmarked transfers had an effect, but lump-sum transfers did not. Results showed every 1% increase in earmarked transfers to be associated with a 5% increase in local spending on infrastructure...

 

ADB

Housing Policies in Hong Kong, China and the People’s Republic of China, April 2016. This paper analyzes the housing markets and housing policies in Hong Kong, China and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Both markets face housing affordability problems due to limited land supply, for which the solutions vary considerably. Hong Kong, China has adopted a railway and property development model, which involves close collaboration between the government and property developers in compact urban areas, while leaving most greenbelts and surrounding islands underdeveloped. Although the PRC has pledged to maintain a minimum level of basic farmland to feed its large population, this target has often been compromised due to local governments’ fiscal constraints and growth concerns...

 

ADB

Housing Markets and Housing Policies in India, April 2016. Issues of housing in India are synonymous with ignorance of housing in active government involvement at the policy and program formulation levels. They are also due to the problems that unplanned urbanization, income disparity, poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment brought. These issues extenuated the housing problem, causing a housing shortage of 51 million in 2011. Though India has a long history of establishing policies, programs, and institutions to cater to housing, without allocating adequate resources, their impact in ameliorating the shortage has been marginal...

 

ADB

Major Challenges Facing Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Asia and Solutions for Mitigating Them, April 2016. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the Asian economy. They make up more than 98% of all Asian businesses that provide two out of three private sector jobs in the region. Therefore, it is vitally important for Asia’s economic success to have fully functioning support measures for SMEs. However, SMEs face challenges from limited access to finance, lack of databases, low R&D expenditures, undeveloped sales channels, and low levels of financial inclusion, which are some of the reasons behind the slow growth of SMEs...

 

ADB

How Well Do Subnational Borrowing Regulations Work? March 2016. There are many positive aspects associated with subnational borrowing, including additional funding and promoting intergenerational equity. However, it may also endanger fiscal sustainability and macro stability due to moral hazard and soft budget constraints, making borrowing controls justified and common. This study reviews the different types of ex-ante and ex-post subnational borrowing regulations used in the international experience based on a large panel of developed and developing countries. Each type of regulations has advantages and disadvantages, with varying suitability to a country’s circumstances...

 

ADB

Promoting Better Lifetime Planning Through Financial Education, Published 2016. Surveys show that financial literacy levels are typically low around the world, despite the widening access to financial services and the increasing financial risks borne by households in many countries. This suggests that there will be mounting challenges for households and SMEs to invest wisely and effectively as societies age and governments shift away from defined benefit to defined contribution pension schemes. Individuals will increasingly have to make complex financial decisions to plan for their retirement and for a range of foreseen and unforeseen expenditures. All of these developments suggest that financial education should be part of a lifetime process that starts at an early age and is pursued throughout adulthood...

 

ADB

Southeast Review of Asian Studies, Volume 37, 2015  

SERAS

Shifting Waters: China's New Passive Assertiveness in Asian Maritime Security, April 2016. International concern over China’s assertive island-building campaign in the South China Sea overlooks a broader shift in its maritime security conduct. Chinese naval and coastguard forces are taking fewer tactical risks than a few years ago. Beijing now advocates confidence-building measures that until recently it had refused to consider. These developments are helping to lower the risks of maritime incidents, miscalculations, and accidental conflict. However, they are also facilitating China’s increasingly ‘passive assertive’ challenges to Asia’s maritime status quo — notably, its creation and militarisation of disputed islands, its establishment of new zones of military authority, and its conduct of expansive patrols in the East and South China Seas...

 

Lowy

2016 Lowy Institute Polling: Majority of Australians Favour a Local Build for Next-Generation Submarines. Australians have strong views on where Australia’s next submarines should be built, with the latest Lowy Institute polling finding that 70% of Australian adults want the submarines ‘built mainly in Australia, even if this will cost us more’. Only 26% say ‘the submarines should be built at the best possible price, even if this means they are mainly built overseas’. The site of the submarine construction project has been a topic of considerable public and political debate, with pressure to involve Australian shipbuilders and labour to stimulate the domestic economy and provide jobs...

 

Lowy

Bolstering National Disaster Resilience: What Can Be Done?. This report outlines the goals of ASPI’s Risk and Resilience Program. It introduces several broad areas to be covered and measures to strengthen mitigation, response and recovery options spanning the community, state and federal spheres. The program will contribute to our long-term thinking on how best to prepare for and recover from disasters.

 

ASPI

APEC Survey on Packaging and Labelling Requirements for Pre-packaged Food Products, April 2016. This report presents the results of the survey responded by fourteen member economies. The survey was designed to gather basic information on the requirements that need to be complied by relevant stakeholders when it comes to packaging and labelling requirements for pre-packaged food products in member economies.

 

APEC

Differences / Synergies Between Energy Efficiency Test Methods for Refrigerators in APEC Region and with the New IEC 62552 - Final Report, March 2016. The project aims to facilitate energy saving technology innovation for refrigerators and free trade in the APEC by helping harmonizing current testing methods with the IEC 62552:2015...

 

APEC

Differences / Synergies Between Energy Efficiency Test Methods for Refrigerators in APEC Region with the New IEC 62552 - Laboratory Test Report, March 2016. This report aims to serve as a reference for APEC economies to further evaluate the impacts of the new IEC 62552 on their current EE testing, if economies intend to adopt the standard in future.

 

APEC

2015 PSU Annual Report. The annual report summarises the operations and activities of the APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU) for the calendar year of 2015. 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

Connectivity Map, October 2015. This “Connectivity Map” is a helpful tool to achieve the goal on strengthening connectivity. It shows the future transport network of the region. It is also useful to the private sector for considering investment in the region.

 

APEC

Public Private Partnership Best Practices, October 2015. The APEC Transportation Working Group Meeting (TPTWG) initiated a survey for compiling “PPP Best Practice” under the direction of TMM8. Aiming at promoting understanding on PPP in the transport sector and expanding it in the APEC region, the survey compiled transport PPP projects along with the analysis on transport-inherent risks as “PPP Best Practice”.

 

APEC

Quality Transport Vision, October 2015. A survey for Quality Transport Vision was conducted by the APEC Transportation Working Group (TPTWG) under the direction of TMM8. This report reflects the comments and feedback submitted by the economies following the TPTWG Meeting.

 

APEC

APEC SME Business Matching and Internship Consortium for Global Value Chain Integration, November 2015. This report summarizes the outcomes of the project, APEC SME Business Matching and Internship Consortium for Global Value Chain Integration, which looks into the GVCs in the APEC region specifically in the following industries: agriculture, food processing, handicrafts, electronics and automobile.

 

APEC

Workshop Report - Coordinated Research Initiative for the Implementation of Antimicrobial Resistance Control Strategies, March 2016. The APEC Workshop on Coordinated Research Initiative for the Implementation of Antimicrobial Resistance Control Strategies was held on 28, 29 and 30 October 2015 in Santiago, Chile. The outcomes of this workshop will be a capacity building training module on antimicrobial resistance for use by all APEC economies.

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Discussion Papers:  

PIDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defence White Paper 2016: The Strategist Decides, April 2016. In this volume we’ve assembled a selection of articles written in the weeks after the release of DWP 2016. The papers cover the strategic outlook, force structure and military strategy, budget and Industry, and regional reactions to the White Paper. The authors are Robert Ayson, Ross Babbage, Kim Beazley, Andrew Davies, Malcolm Davis, Tobias Feakin, Tim Huxley, Peter Jennings, Mike Kalms, Rod Lyon, James Mugg, Benjamin Schreer, Ristian Atriandi Supriyanto, Mark Thomson, Feng Zhang.

 

ASPI

Peak Japan and Its Implications for Regional Security, March 2016. This paper examines Japanese security policy under Abe, identifies the constants and constraints that frame that policy, and attempts to project where Japan will go in the near-term future. Its conclusion may unnerve many: structural constraints in the Japanese economy, self-imposed limits deriving from Japanese national identity and an increasingly beleaguered polity will narrow Japanese options. The chief task of friends and allies of Japan, including Australia, will be to engage Tokyo and ensure that there’s a place for Japan in regional security policy.

 

ASPI

Hong Kong: High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2016Q2, April 2016. According to its High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecast, real GDP is estimated to grow by 1.7% in 16Q1, when compared with the same period in 2015. In 16Q2, real GDP growth is expected to moderate to 1.4% when compared with the same period last year. We forecast Hong Kong GDP will grow by 1.5% in 2016 as a whole, slower than 2.4% growth in 2015.

 

HKU

Asian Development Outlook 2016 - Asia’s Potential Growth: Full Report and Highlights. ADB projects 5.7% growth for developing Asia in 2016 and 2017. Global headwinds notwithstanding, developing Asia will continue to contribute 60% of world growth, according to the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2016. Modest recovery in Southeast Asia and sustained growth in India will partly offset continued moderation in the People’s Republic of China and the associated spillover into neighboring economies. Risks to the growth outlook tilt to the downside: future US interest rate hikes that may intensify global financial volatility; a sharper-than forecast growth slowdown in the People’s Republic of China that would hurt regional exports and growth; emerging producer price deflation that may undermine growth in some economies; tepid prices for oil and other commodities; and El Niño.

  • Part 1: Rescuing Growth in Uncertain Times
  • Part 2: Asia’s Potential Growth
  • Part 3: Economic Trends and Prospects in Developing Asia:

    Central Asia: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekista.

    East Asia: People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, China Republic of Korea, Mongolia, and Taipei,China.

    South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

    Southeast Asia: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

    The Pacific: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands,Timor-Leste, Vanuatu, North Pacific Economies, South Pacific Economies, and Small Island Economies.
 

ADB

Openness and Urbanization: The Case of the People’s Republic of China, March 2016. Urbanization usually occurs with structural transformation driven by a “push” from agricultural productivity growth and a “pull” from industrial productivity growth, and usually the former exceeds the latter. This paper presents a simple model to illustrate how the open policy in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) since 1979 reversed the pattern such that the “pull” effect dominated the “push” effect during the PRC’s structural transformation and urbanization. This model helps explain why the PRC, whose industrial productivity growth exceeds its agricultural productivity growth, has experienced a standard pattern of structural transformation. The paper also demonstrates how a developing country’s business services intensity increases with its urbanization.

 

ADB

Impact of the People’s Republic of China’s Growth Slowdown on Emerging Asia: A General Equilibrium Analysis, March 2016. This paper assesses the potential spillover effects of the PRC’s slowdown on its neighboring economies. As an important global and regional economic power, the PRC’s growth slowdown may cause large spillover effects to its neighboring economies. Using a multi-sectoral global computable general equilibrium model, this paper quantitatively investigates the impacts of a growth slowdown in the PRC for emerging Asian economies through trade linkages. The results suggest that a growth slowdown of 1.6 percentage points in the PRC would bring about a growth deceleration of 0.26 percentage points in developing Asia as a whole. However, the impacts vary dramatically by economy within developing Asia, reflecting their difference in economic and trade structure.

 

ADB

Moderating Growth and Structural Change in the People’s Republic of China: Implications for Asia and Beyond, March 2016. A gradual moderation in growth is currently underway in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This is the result of a combination of factors, including a shrinking working-age population, the natural process of convergence and rising labor costs, and a structural shift toward consumption-led growth partly encouraged by government. It also reflects continued weakness in external demand and the working out of overcapacity in some sectors...

 

ADB

Housing Policies in Singapore, March 2016. Singapore has developed a unique housing system, with three-quarters of its housing stock built by the Housing & Development Board (HDB) and homeownership financed through Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings. As a result, the country’s homeownership rate of 90% is one of the highest among market economies. At different stages of its economic development, the Government of Singapore was faced with a different set of housing problems. An integrated land–housing supply and financing framework was established in the 1960s to solve the severe housing shortage. By the 1990s, the challenge was that of renewing aging estates and creating a market for HDB transactions. Housing subsidies in the form of housing grants were also introduced...

 

ADB

Forms of Government Decentralization and Institutional Quality: Evidence from a Large Sample of Nations, March 2016. This paper studies the effects of various forms of government decentralization on institutional quality across countries. Using corruption and the shadow economy to proxy for institutional quality, as well as three forms of government decentralization (i.e., virtual, physical, and fiscal), the econometric results show virtual decentralization to be the most effective in improving institutional quality. The effects on transition and countries in Asia are also considered.

 

ADB

The Role of Structural Transformation in the Potential of Asian Economic Growth, March 2016. This paper identifies the pattern of structural change that countries experience as they catch up from low income levels to the economic frontier, and examines how structural change contributes to both labor and total factor productivity. Using data for Asian countries the paper goes on to address the extent and form of structural change and its contribution to productivity growth since 1990, asking what order of magnitude the productivity effects are likely to be as Asian countries converge to the economic structure that characterizes middle-income and high-income countries.

 

ADB

The Determinants of Structural Transformation in Asia: A Review of the Literature, March 2016. This paper reviews the evidence on why the pace of structural transformation has differed widely across countries in Asia, with a specific focus on the People’s Republic of China, India, and Thailand. It argues that both government failures relating to the functioning of labor, land, and product markets, and market failures relating to coordination of investment, credit market imperfections, and human capital formation have been the primary causes of the slow pace of structural transformation in several Asian countries. The paper suggests that a specific focus is needed to reform policies that impede the functioning of labor, land, and product markets as well as on strengthening industrial and education policies to address specific market failures around investment coordination and human capital formation.

 

ADB

Analytical Tools for Measuring Poverty Dynamics: An Application Using Panel Data in the Philippines, March 2016. The Philippines has experienced rapid economic growth over the past decade. However, the benefits of economic expansion have not resulted to significant poverty reduction. This paper aims to measure poverty dynamics and identify the correlates of chronic and transient poverty in the Philippines. Findings suggest that the relative importance of transient poverty increases dramatically as the poverty line decreases or as the poverty measure becomes more sensitive to the welfare of the poorest of the poor.

 

ADB

Strengthening Public Pension Systems in Asia: Proceedings of the 2015 ADB-PPI Conference on Public Pension Systems in Asia, Focus: Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Viet Nam, and Thailand, Published 2016. Asia’s population is aging and old-age income support and social services is an emerging challenge. Strengthening pension systems in Asia is therefore a key concern for inclusive development in the region. In many Asian countries, pension systems are still inadequate in terms of both coverage and delivery of stipulated benefits. This is particularly so for smaller economies of Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam—or commonly referred to as CLMVT economies. A number of structural issues such as governance, regulation, and institutional and administrative capacities hinder their development. Well-designed, well-functioning, and sustainable pension systems will promote inclusive growth by supporting old-age income and providing the much-needed social safety net...

 

ADB

Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Asia: Trends, Impacts, and Reforms, Published 2016. Unsustainable budgetary cost of selling oil, gas, and coal at low prices has propelled energy subsidy reform in developing Asian economies. This report measures the size of associated subsidies on these fossil fuels including direct transfers, tax exemptions, subsidized credit, and losses of state enterprises in India, Indonesia, and Thailand. An analysis of complex interactions between economic, social, energy, and environmental issues shows that the initial rise in energy prices due to a reduction or removal of the subsidies will nudge households and businesses to shift to alternative fuels, make investment in clean energy attractive, increase energy supply, reduce energy shortages, and cut greenhouse gas emissions...

 

ADB

Emissions Trading Schemes and Their Linking: Challlenges and Opportunities in Asia and the Pacific, Published 2016. Asia and the Pacific has achieved rapid economic expansion in the recent years and has become a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With more than half of the world’s population and high rates of economic growth, the region is especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change and therefore must play its part in cutting GHG emissions...

 

ADB

Achieving Universal Electricity Access in Indonesia, Published 2016.This report describes Indonesia’s electrification environment and identifies barriers to achieving universal electricity access. Principles drawn from international best practices such as government commitment, enabling institutional environments, adequate and sustainable financing, and stakeholder coordination are discussed in the context of Indonesia’s energy sector. The report gives recommendations for establishing service standards, streamlining financing, setting appropriate targets, and monitoring and evaluation, as well as near-term steps to help achieve universal electricity access.

 

ADB

Net Worth: Australia's Regional Fisheries Engagement, March 2016. This paper argues there’s a need for a whole-of-government approach to Australia’s external fisheries policy that recognises clear linkages between fisheries and foreign, trade, and strategic policy. Extending and complementing current stakeholder engagement practices is the key to this approach. Regional fishery management organisations (RFMOs) and arrangements allow Australia to promote a strong approach on sustainable and responsible fishing practices and develop regional instruments to protect our fish stocks and wider regional interests.

 

ASPI

Time to Start Worrying Again? Cross-Strait Stability After the 2016 Taiwanese Elections, March 2016. The study argues that the Taiwan Strait will remain dangerous and that Canberra needs to pay closer attention to the evolving cross-strait situation. Of crucial importance is the question of whether Australia should support its US ally in a future Taiwan contingency. The report calls for a comprehensive dialogue between Canberra and Washington to avoid a future ‘expectation gap’ on the Taiwan issue. As well, Australia should acknowledge Taiwan’s potentially constructive role in regional maritime territorial disputes. Finally, Canberra should proactively take steps to enhance Taiwan’s regional political and economic integration as a means to contribute to long-term cross-strait stability.

 

ASPI

Japan Versus Europe: The Quest to Build Australia's Future Submarine, February 2016. The building of Australia’s fleet of future submarines is likely to be the largest defence program in this country’s history. It will cost tens of billions of dollars and will run for decades. So it’s little wonder that it’s a recurring topic of interest on the pages of ASPI’s blog The Strategist. Our contributors continue to examine the topic from all angles, and this Strategic Insights collects selected pieces from the past twelve months. The authors are Kym Bergmann, Peter Briggs, Andrew Davies, Julian Kerr, Chris Mather, Hans J Ohff, Terence Roach, Benjamin Schreer, Tony Shepherd, Geoff Slocombe, Mark Thomson and Hugh White.

 

ASPI

The Future of Papua New Guinea: Old Challenges for New Leaders, March 2016. With its vast resources base and young population, the outlook for Papua New Guinea should be positive, but negative trends — in law and order, health, and education — do not augur well for the future. PNG’s next generation of leaders, under pressure to improve both service delivery and the quality of national institutions, should tackle a limited number of problems first to unblock barriers to progress. Australia, which has enduring interests in PNG’s success, should be creative in supporting emerging leaders, through government, private sector, and civil society links, to help them make a real difference.

 

Lowy

North Korea’s Audaciousness Changes the Status-Quo in Northeast Asia, March 2016. Eunjung Lim, lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, explains that “it is noteworthy and encouraging that Washington and Beijing reached an agreement on a draft resolution that was unanimously adopted at the UN Security Council.”

 

EWC

From Catching Up to Forging Ahead in Advanced Manufacturing—Reflections on China’s Future of Jobs, March 2016. This paper explores what we know about possible employment effects of the 10-year plan, issued by the State Council on May 19, 2015, entitled Made in China 2025. MIC2025 was designed to address China’s emerging labor shortage challenge. To achieve this goal, the plan seeks to boost labor productivity through an increased use of robots and through network-based upgrading of the entire industrial value chain and related services. The paper finds that until 2014, manufacturing has acted as an employment absorber in China...

 

EWC

Mega-FTAs and the Trade-Security Nexus: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), March 2016. The rise of a multiplicity of diverse bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) has led countries to pursue mega-FTAs to manage the growing complexity of global trade arrangements. The US and China are promoting rival accords: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would encompass 800 million people and almost 40 percent of global GDP, is a centerpiece of the Obama Asia Pacific strategy...

 

EWC

Differences / Synergies between Energy Efficiency Test Methods for Refrigerators in APEC Region and with the new IEC 62552, March 2016. This report investigates the different EE requirements and evaluation schemes in APEC economies and compares energy consumption calculation results for refrigerators in various APEC economies. Further, deep survey of test methods in APEC economies has been carried out and analysed, differences of test methods for refrigerators have been identified and key factors affecting the energy consumption have been screened out.

 

APEC

Clean and Efficient Use of Energy and Water Resources - Mapping the Energy-Water Nexus around the Pacific Rim, February 2016. In efforts to better inform the energy-water nexus dialogue, this paper builds on and extends the previously noted work in three important ways. The analysis addresses the 21-member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation which are linked by shared geography and economy. The objective of the mapping is to quantify the energy-water nexus at a subnational level, pinpoint potential vulnerabilities, and identify opportunities for international collaboration.

 

APEC

APEC Workshop on Promoting the Development of Wind Energy, Phase 2 – Public Private Partnership for Wind Energy Development, January 2016. This summary report highlights findings from the workshop which sought to enhance understanding on the use of PPP to develop wind energy. It is also aimed at providing the opportunities for wind energy experts from APEC member economies, wind energy producers and investors (business sector) to share information and good practices on using PPP to remove the obstacles and facilitate the development of wind energy.

 

APEC

APEC Energy Working Group Success Stories, Published 2016. This booklet includes just a few of the many successful activities the EWG has undertaken since its first meeting in 1990. 2015 marks the group's 25th year and 50th meeting.

 

APEC

8th Conference on Good Regulatory Practice, February 2016. On 27 to 28 August 2015, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance held the 8th Conference on Good Regulatory Practice in Cebu City, Philippines in the margins of the Senior Official Meetings (SOM) III. The Conference was led by the Philippines and co-sponsored by Australia, Malaysia, United States and Viet Nam. It gathered experts and participants from the governments and business to reinforce and strengthen the understanding of the elements of good regulatory practices (GRP) and the specific actions that economies have or are taking to implement actions identified by APEC Leaders in 2013.

 

APEC

APEC and the Human Development Agenda, March 2016. Human development is defined by the UNDP as a process of enlarging people’s choices: to lead a long and healthy life; to acquire knowledge; and to have access to resources needed to enjoy a decent standard of living. It focuses on the richness of human lives rather than the richness of economies. Human development is not a new approach: it has been integral to the work undertaken by international development organizations in the past three decades, but it is nevertheless a relatively new approach within APEC...

 

APEC

Workshop Report: Facilitating Trade through Updates on Food Safety Regulatory Standards of APEC Economies, February 2016. The workshop, central and most important activity of the APEC funded project CTI 18 2014A (SCSC), focused on understanding modernization in standards and responsibilities regarding food safety of APEC economies, raising awareness on these topics to facilitate food trade and improve food safety standards, and the manner in which APEC economies are dealing with emerging food safety challenges.

 

APEC

Developing ‘Smart Traveller’ Programmes to Facilitate International Travel in the APEC Region, December 2015. This report looks at ways and measures to develop and implement various modes of the Smart Traveller Programme taking into account the growing number of self-organized travels, travellers' safety and security and the possible difficulties that travellers may face.

 

APEC

The Philippine Economy in 2015 and Prospects for 2016, January-March 2016. PIDS Senior Research Fellow Roehlano Briones provides an assessment of the Philippine economy in 2015 and outlook for the current year in this first issue of the DRN for 2016. Amid global and regional challenges, such as the economic slowdown in big Asian economies and the sharp drop in oil prices, Briones underscores the country's resiliency as exemplified by sustained economic growth, improved capital formation, and sound fiscal balance. The lack of inclusiveness, however, remains a major issue that cannot be solved overnight. But our macroeconomic fundamentals have remained strong despite various risks and shocks...

 

PIDS

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Policy Notes:  

PIDS

Assessment of the DSWD SEA-K Strategy, Published 2015. This study assesses the effectiveness of the strategy and the complementary interventions of the Sustainable Livelihood Program's Self-Employment Assistance Kaunlaran (SLP SEA-K). The SLP SEA-K uses a microcredit strategy to provide credit access to the poor, improve the ability of the group to borrow, and enable it to engage in income-generating activities...

 

PIDS

Journal of Bhutan Studies  

Bhutan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

APEC Outcomes and Outlook 2015/2016. In 2016, Peru will host APEC under the theme of “Quality Growth and Human Development”. APEC will pursue its agenda through four key priorities: Advance Regional Economic Integration and Quality Growth; Modernize Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises in the Asia-Pacific; Promote Human Capital Development; and Support the Regional Food Markets. This publication also looks back at the outcomes of APEC Philippines 2015 and the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Manila, Philippines.

 

APEC

Prospects and Compromise Points of the Arab Spring, November 2015. This research project is intended to evaluate the impact of the socio-political popular movement since 2011, or the so-called “Arab Spring,” on major oil and gas producers in the Middle East region, which hold undeniable and irreplaceable share in the Asia and Pacific energy market.

 

APEC

APEC Oil and Gas Security Exercise Model Procedure, November 2015. This report looks at a step-by-step approach for planning, conducting and evaluating emergency exercises.

 

APEC

The Energy Reform in Mexico - Implications for the Asia-Pacific Region, November 2015. This report examines the Mexico’s oil and gas market, its recent reform and major challenges ahead. In so doing, key potential areas for cooperation between Mexico and other APEC member economies are identified, to pursue APEC’s mission of promoting sustainable economic growth and prosperity by means of open trade and investment.

 

APEC

Oil Supply Security and Emergency Policy in the APEC Region, September 2015. This report highlights the developments and issues on oil and gas security, information on individual economy’s policies related to oil and gas security including responses to emergency situation.

 

APEC

Current Issues in Asia Pacific Foreign Direct Investment, Published 2015. This book aims to stimulate thought and discussion on a number of important issues relating to foreign direct investment (FDI). Each chapter is written by an expert or experts in the field, and each can stand alone in the perspectives it offers on FDI issues. However, taken together, a number of key themes emerge, reflecting policy issues which impact businesses in making FDI and which are being grappled with by government negotiators and regulators...

 

AUAPEC

Asia Bond Monitor, March 2016. Bond yields in most emerging East Asian markets declined between the start of the year and mid-February amid mounting gloom over global growth prospects. The main exceptions to the downward trend were the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Hong Kong, China. Bond yields also fell in major advanced economies due to subdued inflation and concerns over deflation in some economies. Yields for 10-year local currency (LCY) government bonds in emerging East Asia mostly fell between 1 January and 15 February. Over the same period, most emerging East Asian stock markets also fell, with the only exceptions being in Indonesia, where the market rose, and in Thailand, where the market held steady...

 

ADB

The Housing Market and Housing Policies in Japan, March 2016. Housing policies in Japan after World War II were focused on the quantitative supply of houses with a wide range of targeted groups and public rental houses. The Japan Housing Corporation (now the Urban Renaissance Agency) and the Government Housing Loan Corporation (now the Japan Housing Finance Agency) have served to address these policy targets accordingly. The restoration of housing stock was successful, but the collapse of the property bubble in the early 1990s caused negative impact on the real economy and created persistent loss of confidence among the Japanese people, which is exacerbated by deflation and negative demographic factors (decrease of the population and aging of society). Enhancement of the quality of houses is an important part of the housing policy in Japan, but, at the same time, there needs to be a balance between new construction and the activation of existing housing stocks. Given the social experiments currently underway, there is need to closely monitor the changes of market trends.

 

ADB

Debt Dynamics, Fiscal Deficit, and Stability in Government Borrowing in India: A Dynamic Panel Analysis, March 2016. Despite the initiatives of the Finance Commission of India, fiscal performance has been deteriorating and increasingly diverging across Indian states. Given that the state governments are endowed with expenditure autonomy, this paper investigates whether the composition of expenditure of the subnational governments has an impact on the degree of indebtedness. A panel analysis for the 17 non-special category states over 1980–2013 indicates that apart from the budget structure, the state-specific factors affecting fiscal performance plays an important role in government borrowing. Curiously enough, government borrowing is more responsive to revenue expenditure than capital outlay and has more growth-augmenting effect through revenue expenditure.

 

ADB

Human Capital Development in the People’s Republic of China and India: Achievements, Prospects, and Policy Challenges, Published 2015. This report draws lessons from how Asian economic giants India and the People’s Republic of China leveraged education and skills development to advance economic growth. The analysis presented similarities and differences in human capital development strategies and their outcomes that helped define development pathways between the two countries. It also outlined the prospects for human capital development in the sustainability of the two countries’ economic growth.

 

ADB

Asian Economic Integration Report 2015. Asia’s trade has slowed faster than world trade; trade growth has been below economic growth since 2012. Structural factors such as slower expansion of global value chains and growth moderation in the People’s Republic of China may be at play, but the region must embrace further efforts to make trade and investment regimes more open. Regional trade blocs such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership could facilitate freer trade if supported through open, flexible accession...

 

ADB

Southeast Asia and the Economics of Global Climate Stabilization, Published 2015. New analysis suggests that the impacts of climate change in Southeast Asia may be larger than previously estimated, possibly reaching 11% of gross domestic product by 2100. Southeast Asia is likely to sustain larger economic losses from climate change than most other areas in the world. Moreover, those losses—the collective effect of impacts on agriculture, tourism, energy demand, labor productivity, catastrophic risks, health, and ecosystems—may be larger than previously estimated. When these loss estimates are considered simultaneously in the modeling, gross domestic product (GDP) is found to be reduced by 11% in 2100 under the business as usual emissions scenario of this study, which is 60% higher than the earlier ADB assessment.

 

ADB

Achieving Skill Mobility in the ASEAN Economic Community: Challenges, Opportunities, and Policy Implications, Published 2015.
ASEAN member states face challenges in achieving greater mobility for the highly skilled, including hurdles in recognizing professional qualifications, and opening up access to certain jobs. Despite clear aspirations by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to create an effective and transparent framework to facilitate movements among skilled professionals within the ASEAN by December 2015, progress has been slow and uneven.

 

ADB

Labor Migration in Asia: Building Effective Institutions, Published 2016. This report analyzes the institutions and structures that govern labor migration in Asia. It considers the important role of governments and other stakeholders in both labor-destination countries and labor-sending countries. This report analyzes the institutions and structures that govern labor migration in Asia. It considers the important role of governments and other stakeholders in both labor-destination countries such as Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore, and labor-sending countries such as India, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. Key issues are the extent to which these structures provide an orderly process for the movement of people between countries and whether the rights and the welfare of workers are protected.

 

ADB

Gender Statistics: The Pacific and Timor-Leste, Published 2016.
Key gender statistics provide a snapshot of gender issues in the Pacific region and Timor-Leste. This booklet promotes the use of gender statistics for evidence-based policy making and monitoring progress in gender equality issues. The Pacific region has made good progress in conducting population and housing censuses and other national surveys, as well as in collecting administrative records by government agencies. The key gender indicators illustrated here should encourage the countries to continue their investment in data collection and in strengthening technical capacity for analysis.

 

ADB

Thematic Review of Credit Underwriting Standards and Practices of Corporate Lending Business, February 2016. The protracted low interest rate environment and increased level of liquidity over
the past years have resulted in a very competitive market and compressed interest margins
for banks. In this environment, some banks may relax loan structures and covenants, and under-price risks in their corporate lending activities. Against this backdrop, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) conducted a thematic inspection of several banks in Singapore to assess the credit underwriting standards and practices of their corporate lending business...

 

MAS

Capital Markets Enforcement, January 2016. This monograph sets out the aims of MAS’ enforcement function, MAS’ enforcement approach and how its philosophy of early detection and rectification of breaches; shaping business and market conduct; and effective deterrence is applied in our daily enforcement work. It provides an overview of the importance of an effective market enforcement regime, the agencies responsible for capital markets enforcement in Singapore and explains our powers as well as the spectrum of enforcement actions that MAS and other authorities can take to combat market misconduct.

 

MAS

International Journal of Korean Studies, Volume XIX, Number 1, 2015  

IJKS

The U.S.-Malaysia Security Connection, February 2016. Marvin Ott and Derek Maseloff, Senior Scholar and Research Assistant, respectively, at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, explain that “There is little doubt that [Malaysian Prime Minister] Najib understands the implications of Chinese ambitions and methods. He also understands the critical importance of the U.S. as a counterweight to China.”

 

EWC

Japan-Taiwan Relations in the New DPP Era, February 2016. Yasuhiro Matsuda, Professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo, explains that “It is quite natural for Tokyo and Taipei to strengthen their relations after Tsai Ing-wen’s inauguration. However, Beijing is watching their relations closely and cautiously.”

 

EWC

Islamic State Propaganda and the Mainstream Media, February 2016. Islamic State’s use of social media to disseminate its propaganda is generally well understood. What receives far less attention is how the group also uses the Western mainstream media to spread its key messages. Islamic State tailors the production and release of its material to the needs of mainstream media outlets and to the media cycle. The danger involved in sending Western journalists to Syria and Iraq has made the media more reliant on material produced by Islamic State. The group’s propaganda is often unwittingly used by the mainstream media in ways that serve Islamic State’s objectives...

 

Lowy

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #2: Middle Eastern Influences on Islamist Organizations in Malaysia: The Cases of ISMA, IRF and HTM. Interaction between Muslims in Malaysia and their Middle Eastern brethren has consistently been a source of apprehension to the powers-that-be from colonial times till today. Islamist activism in Malaysia has indeed undergone changes, and these did indeed arise from contemporary Middle Eastern influences. The religious thought, practices and lifestyles of Muslims in Malaysia have traditionally been regarded as moderate. Of particular importance in the present context is the transmission of puritanical interpretations of Islam...

 

ISEAS

In Search of a Better Match: Qualification Mismatches in Developing Asia, February 2016. This paper examines the extent to which various factors explains talent misallocation in the form of qualification mismatches across six urban developing Asian economies using the World Bank’s Skills towards Employability and Productivity (STEP) Skills Measurement Survey. This paper empirically tests the role of search frictions in driving qualification mismatches in the labor market. Using new data from several low-income economies in urban Asia we find that overeducation in less developed labor markets are more pervasive than in more developed economies.

 

ADB

A Model of Gender Inequality and Ecomoic Growth, February 2016. The role of women in economic development has been a popular topic in academic and policy debates. The last half century has witnessed a drastic increase in labor participation of women in most developed and developing countries. However, there is still significant underutilization and misallocation of women’s skills and talents. In many developing countries, inequality in access to quality education between girls and boys adversely impacts girls’ ability to build human and social capital, lowering their job opportunities and wage in labor markets.

 

ADB

Female Labor Force Participation in Asia: Indonesia Country Study, February 2016. This paper uses over 20 years of data from Indonesia’s labor force survey to study trends in and constraints to female labor force participation. We also survey existing evidence, identify data gaps, and outline a research policy evaluation of female-centered vocational training and job placement services, which may be effective tools to increase female labor force participation.

 

ADB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February, 2016

 

Source

 

 

 

 

G20 Monitor: The Chinese 2016 G20 Host Year, February 2016. There are high expectations for the 2016 Chinese G20 Presidency, following an underwhelming 2015 in which the G20 has had limited impact on economic growth outcomes and little influence on multilateral and regional developments. To translate China’s vision of an innovative, invigorated, interconnected, and inclusive global economy into success, G20 countries need to demonstrate greater political will in acting to address near-term economic challenges. At the same time, the G20 needs to maintain a sense of continuity and demonstrate real progress on longer-term matters of economic governance.

 

Lowy

APEC Petroleum Product Trading and Security, November 2015. Demand for petroleum products in the APEC region, particularly in the ASEAN region, has been increasing significantly. While the expansion of refining facilities is underway, demand still outstrips supply, and imports from outside the region remain high. This research study aims analysing how the supply and demand balance of petroleum products in the region would change over the period of 2011 to 2020 and identify problems and issues while considering their impacts.

 

APEC

Policy Review for APEC Low Carbon Model Town Phase 4 - Final Report, January 2016. To assist the city develop its plans, and become a model for other towns, San Borja is the site of a two part APEC peer-review led by the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (APERC). Part 1 of the review contains background information on San Borja and provides context to Part 2, – which is produced by the review team. The findings and 50 recommendations for implementation in this policy review are grouped by topic: legal framework, urban planning, low carbon buildings, energy management, energy efficiency, transport and environmental planning.

 

APEC

Final Project Completion Report: High Level Private-Public Forum on Cold Chain to Strengthen Agriculture & Food's Gloabl Value Chain, December 2015. The development of the cold chain, which connects production, storage, processing, distribution in cold, leads to achieving food security and promoting global value chain, which results in the empowering agriculture in APEC region. This report aims to understand the current situations and the benefits of cold chain systems, identify best practices on establishment of cold chains and share experiences and knowledge regarding cold chain system among the APEC economies.

 

APEC

Low-Carbon Model Town - Phase 5 (Feasibility Study), November 2015. This report focuses on a low carbon development strategy (LCDS) and implementation roadmap for an industrial greenfield development in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Bitung, Indonesia. It includes a comprehensive feasibility study and detailed implementation action plans for a set of proposed high potential low carbon mitigation measures (LCMs), including recommendations on the institutional and regulatory framework, thoughts on the required financial architecture, and potential funding sources to achieve the proposed LCDS for the SEZ Bitung.

 

APEC

Follow-up Peer Review on Energy Efficiency in the Philippines, November 2014. This follow-up report examines the progress made and challenges encountered by the Philippines in implementing recommendations of the earlier APEC Peer Review on Energy Efficiency. This latest report makes further recommendations on overarching energy efficiency policies as well recommendations for sector specific actions to boost energy efficiency in the sugar, glass, cement and commercial buildings industries, drawing on best practices and innovative approaches from around the world.

 

APEC

Australia–China Cyber Relations in the Next Internet Era, December 2015. ASPI has worked closely with the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) to advance discussion on cyber policy, and several viable policy initiatives are proposed in this report. Cybersecurity is a first-order national security issue, and ICT networks are critical for Australia’s digital future and economic prosperity. Common ground between Australia and China on cyber policy is thin, and there’s disagreement on many issues. But closer dialogue is needed to find opportunities to cooperate on shared threats and to limit the likelihood for misadventure. This special report is a building block for that discussion.

 

ASPI

Mission Command and C3 Modernisation in the Australian Army: Digitisation a Critical Enabler, December 2015. ASPI hosted an Army Digitisation Roundtable to continue a conversation with industry, commenced by the Australian Army, about the Army’s approach to mission command and C3 (command, control, communications) modernisation. The roundtable, was a closed-door discussion under the Chatham House rule between key stakeholders from the Army, the Department of Defence, academia and industry. This report is the authors’ summary of the discussion.

 

ASPI

Trends in Southeast Asia 2016 #1: Making Sense of the Election Results in Myanmar’s Rakhine and Shan States. This paper examines why ethnic parties did well in Rakhine and Shan States despite the fact that the National League for Democracy (NLD) was given a manifest mandate by the Myanmar electorate to represent its interests nationwide. In Rakhine State, the electorate chose the Arakan National Party (ANP) over the other parties because of the fear that their cultural identity and right to govern themselves are threatened by Bamar political and cultural hegemony and Muslim/South Asian encroachment from the western border...

 

ISEAS

Infrastructure Investment, Private Finance, and Institutional Investors: Asia from a Global Perspective, January 2016. This study evaluates infrastructure investment and finance in Asia from a global perspective. It provides an overview on infrastructure needs and the various sources of private finance, globally and within Asia, and creates a “bigger picture” for the demand and supply of capital for infrastructure by using a simple framework, i.e., percentages of gross domestic product. The picture is expectedly not uniform across Asia, but some interesting features emerge from global comparisons. Overall, the private sector still plays a relatively subdued role. Bank loans dominate private infrastructure finance, and there is much scope for the further development of capital markets...

 

ADB

Urbanization and Inequality in Hypertension Diagnosis and Medication in Indonesia, January 2016. Urbanization has been progressing quickly in Indonesia and the consequences on health and health inequities are still not well understood. In this paper, we present new empirical evidence on the differences in the utilization of health care services between rural and urban areas as well as for the respective health inequities. Exploiting the rich dataset of the Indonesian Family Life Survey, this paper measures the socioeconomic inequality of health care utilization for the case of the diagnosis of hypertension and its medication...

 

ADB

Impact of Gender Inequality on the Republic of Korea’s Long-Term Economic Growth: An Application of the Theoretical Model of Gender Inequality and Economic Growth, January 2016. Calibrating a gender inequality growth model to fit Korean data, we find that policies that seek to reduce gender discrimination in the labor market or increase the time spent by fathers on child-rearing can contribute positively to female labor market participation and to the Republic of Korea’s per capita income growth. When gender disparities at home and in the labor market are completely removed, the female labor force participation rate is shown to increase from 54.4% to 67.5%, and the per capita income growth rate from 3.6% to 4.1% on average over a generation.

 

ADB

Women’s Leadership and Corporate Performance, January 2016. Is leadership diversified in Asian corporate boardrooms? How is gender diversity in corporate leadership associated with financial performance? What is the magnitude of potential gain by allocating human talents more efficiently without gender bias? What kind of policy might be useful to improve the gender diversity in corporate leadership? This paper provides insights into these questions through theoretical review and empirical analyses. It examines the gender diversity in corporate boardrooms in Asia and the Pacific and how the diversity affects corporate performance.

 

ADB

Policy Notes:  

PIDS

Economic Issue of the Day:  

PIDS

Development Research News:  

PIDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asserting Statehood: Kazakhstan’s Role in International Organizations, December 2015. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan has developed a record of being the most proactive and innovative former Soviet republic in the sphere of international cooperation. Kazakhstan’s multilateral relations have always expressed a clear logic: to establish itself as a reliable and constructive international actor. The core of this strategy has been to create several foreign policy pillars – Russia, China, the U.S., the EU, Turkey – without prioritizing one too heavily over the other. However, in recent years the Russian pillar has expanded heavily, thus compromising the delicate balance of Kazakhstan's multi-vector foreign policy...

 

ISDP

The EU, Central Asia, and the Development of Continental Transport and Trade, December 2015. Since the collapse of the USSR, a number of initiatives have embarked, separately or together, on the momentous task of rebuilding trade and transportation arteries across Central Asia and the Caucasus. The underlying logic has been two-fold: by reconnecting the landlocked new states of the region to their neighbors and historic trading partners, the heart of Asia can become a land corridor connecting Europe to Asia. This paper plots out the main lines of transport and trade development in Central Asia and their potential for both regional states and the European Union...

 

ISDP

Happiness and Government: The Role of Public Spending and Governance Effectiveness, July 2015. We apply ordered probit regressions on World Value Survey data, government spending data, public governance data, the median age of countries, etc., covering wave 5 and wave 6 that encompass 78 countries. We use two alternative and entirely new methods to identify optimal government spending. We found that, on average, countries under-spend on healthcare and over-spend on education...

 

LINHK

 

Food Security and Small Landholders in South Asia, Published 2015. This paper surveys the status of food security in the South Asian countries, particularly India. Particular attention has been paid to small landholders (those households owning less than 2 hectares of land). Using NSS data from 1993-94 and 2004-05 the paper shows that small landholders are an increasing proportion of i) total rural households, ii) rural households who are poor, and iii) rural households who are undernourished. The paper then singles out five disconnects in India’s recent economic performance as constituting the reason for this outcome...

 

ASARC

Hong Kong: High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2016Q1, January 2016. According to its High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecast, real GDP is estimated to grow by 2.0% in 15Q4, when compared with the same period in 2014. It is estimated to growth by 2.4% for the year of 2015 as a whole. In 16Q1, real GDP growth is forecast to be 1.8% when compared with the same period last year. We expect Hong Kong GDP is likely to grow below 2.0% in the year of 2016, slower than 2015.

 

HKU

MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters, December 2015. The December 2015 Survey was sent out on 25 November 2015 to a total of 28 economists and analysts who closely monitor the Singapore economy. This report reflects the views received from 22 respondents (a response rate of 79%) and does not represent MAS’ views or forecasts. GDP growth in Q3 2015 was weaker than expected. The Singapore economy expanded by 1.9% in Q3 2015 compared with the same period last year. This was lower than the median forecast of 2.1% reported in the Sep 2015 Survey. For 2015 as a whole, the economy is forecast to expand by 1.9%. The respondents expect the economy to grow by 1.9% in 2015, a decline from the 2.2% median forecast in the previous survey...

 

MAS

MAS Financial Stability Review, November 2015. Uneven growth and divergent monetary policies across the G3 pose risks to financial stability in Asia and Singapore. At the same time, weak commodity prices have put strains on commodity-related firms with knock-on effects on banks, financial markets, sovereign balance sheets, and economies. Recent geopolitical developments could fuel further uncertainty. Meanwhile, China faces a delicate balance between near-term economic performance and asset market stability on the one hand and longer-term structural reforms on the other. Strong intra-regional linkages could increase contagion from a China-related shock, while subdued regional growth adds to headwinds in Asia. Singapore’s financial system remains sound, but industry must stand vigilant against rising risks...

 

MAS

Black Flag Rising: ISIL in Southeast Asia and Australia, December 2015. Although the prime focus of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been on establishing a state—a caliphate—in the Middle East, it has also sought to gain a presence beyond that area. Southeast Asia is one region that’s now receiving increased attention as a potential beachhead for the group. Most concern has focused on Malaysia, Indonesia, the southern Philippines and the Malay Muslim provinces of Thailand. The paper considers how these nations are responding to the threat. Beyond Southeast Asia, ISIL is showing a growing influence in Australia. The measures the Australian Government are taking have been generally well received. However, a number of concerns have been raised about the pace and nature of Australia’s emergent counterterrorist strategy and their implications for the nation’s democratic character.

 

ASPI

Trends in Southeast Asia 2015 #21: The Politics of the United States-China-Vietnam Triangle in the 21st Century. Vietnams balancing of power act, namely the policy of seeking a counterweight to the China threat, and the politics of the U.S.VietnamChina triangle, may have taken shape in the early years of the twenty-first century, but it was deeply rooted in the changing relations between the big powers in the 1980s and Vietnams need to adjust its policy to these changes. A combination of factors geographical proximity, ideological affinity, and the need for regime survival tends to make Vietnamese leaders more comfortable with China than with the United States...

 

ISEAS

Obama Doubles-down on Maritime Capacity Building in Southeast Asia, December 2015. Lyle J. Morris, Project Associate at the RAND Corporation, explains that “By contributing to coast guard capacity building by donating ships and funding, the United States has found an important and politically viable avenue to bolster maritime security to partners and allies in the region.”

 

EWC

ASEAN and Its SMEs – A New Opportunity? December 2015. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Advisor in the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department at the Asian Development Bank, explains that “In an era of moderating growth, ASEAN and its SMEs involved in supply chains represent an opportunity for investors and for sustaining growth.”

 

EWC

The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) as a Foreign Policy Instrument in Southeast Asia, December 2015. Miha Hribernik, Non-Resident WSD-Handa Fellow with Pacific Forum CSIS, explains that “As Japan’s strategic competition with China intensifies, the Japanese Coast Guard is moving to the forefront of Tokyo’s growing security cooperation with Southeast Asia.”

 

EWC

El Nino Strengthens in the Pacific: Preparing for the Impacts of Drought, December 2015. A drought is moving through the Pacific Islands, brought by one of the strongest El Niño events since record keeping began 60 years ago. It started in the southwest Pacific, where it has brought famine to Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. It is expected to reach the South Pacific, tropical West Pacific, and Hawaiian Islands between December 2015 and May 2016, potentially affecting 4.7 million people...

 

EWC

Alternative Waste Solutions for the Pacific Region: Learning from the Hawai'i Experience, November 2015. With limited space and ever-growing trash, the islands of the Pacific share unique challenges managing their solid wastes. The traditional approach has been to collect waste in open dumps and landfills. But overwhelmed sites and unsanitary conditions are driving governments to seek alternative solutions...

 

EWC

Unconventional Monetary Policy, Spillovers, and Liftoff: Implications for Northeast Asia, November 2015. Unconventional monetary policy (UMP) has had predictable effects. How exit plays out is scenario-dependent. Quantitative easing has had the predictable effect of encouraging currency depreciation and some partner countries may have attempted to offset these exchange rate effects. Korea presents a particularly interesting case: it is relatively small and relatively open and integrated, in both trade and financial terms, with the United States and Japan, two practitioners of UMP...

 

EWC

Causes and Remedies for Japan’s Long-Lasting Recession: Lessons for the People’s Republic of China, December 2015. Japan has suffered from sluggish economic growth and recession since the early 1990s. In this paper, we analyze the causes of the prolonged slowdown of the Japanese economy (the lost decade). Economics Nobel laureate Paul Krugman has argued that Japan’s lost decade is an example of a liquidity trap. However, our empirical analysis shows that stagnation of the Japanese economy comes from its vertical IS curve rather than a horizontal LM curve, so the Japanese economy faces structural problems rather than a temporary downturn...

 

ADB

Asian Economic Integration Report 2015: How Can Special Economic Zones Catalyze Economic Development? Published 2015. Special economic zones (SEZs) can play a catalytic role in economic development, provided the right business environment and policies are put in place. In Asia, SEZs can facilitate trade, investment, and policy reform at a time the region is experiencing a slowdown in trade and economic growth. The Asian Economic Integration Report is an annual review of Asia’s regional economic cooperation and integration. It covers the 48 regional members of the Asian Development Bank.

 

ADB

Managing the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy: Perspectives, Policies, and Practices from Asia, Published 2015. The aim of this study is to share the experiences of developed Asian economies and the lessons they have learned. The book assesses the low-carbon and green policies and practices taken by developed Asian countries, identifies gaps, and examines new opportunities for low-carbon green growth.

 

ADB

Uncovering Value Added in Trade: New Approaches to Analyzing Global Value Chains, Published 2015. This book is a collection of research papers on new approaches to measure trade in value added and the role of global value chains in modern international trade. It introduces the input output method for measuring trade and a direct approach for measuring the domestic value added of the People's Republic of China — the center of global assembly. In addition, it shows how to analyze trade relations in the context of global value chains.

 

ADB

Constraints to Indonesia's Economic Growth, December 2015. In the near–term, growth is likely to be influenced by continuing weaknesses in global economic activity, weak international commodity prices, and rising foreign financing costs. In the medium–term, however, Indonesia’s growth prospects are good. Rising domestic demand, productivity improvement, increased urbanization, the shift of labor from agriculture to manufacturing and service sector activity, and increased trade and investment flows should drive higher rates of economic growth and development.

 

ADB

Summary of Indonesia's Finance Sector Assessment, December 2015. Financial sector development is critical for reducing poverty through better access to financial products and services for the poor and low-income families. The Indonesian financial sector remains small and far more dominated by banks than its regional peers. Some of the reasons for the small size of the overall financial sector are: fragmented regulatory structure; regulatory framework not in line with international best practices; and an enabling environment that is less conducive to financial sector development, including lack of diversity in capital market products.

 

ADB

Summary of Indonesia's Energy Sector Assessment, December 2015. Indonesia has coal resources at around 120.5 billion tons, proven oil resources at around 3.69 billion barrels, and proven natural gas reserves at around 101.54 trillion cubic feet. This translates into about 23 remaining years of oil reserves, 59 years of gas, and 146 years of coal at current production rates. Indonesia’s renewable energy sources are also considerable. The country is endowed with significant potential for hydropower, micro/mini hydropower, solar, biomass, and wind, and holds 40% of the world’s geothermal reserves...

 

ADB

Malaria Elimination, Published 2015. The Regional Malaria and Other Communicable Disease Threats Trust Fund supports developing member countries in developing multi-country, cross-border, and multisector responses to urgent malaria and other communicable disease issues...

 

ADB

Thailand: Industrialization and Economic Catch-Up, Published 2015.
This report identifies some of Thailand’s critical development constraints and discusses policy measures and economic reforms needed to accelerate economic transformation toward a more modern and service-oriented economy. Thailand’s economic and social transformation of the last 50 years has placed it in the ranks of upper middle-income countries and made it an integral part of global value chains. It has also established itself as a regional hub for key transport and logistics, with a world-class airport...

 

ADB

Promoting Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage through Carbon Dioxide-Enhanced Oil Recovery in the People’s Republic of China, Published 2015. Injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) to improve the recovery of oil from a depleted oil well is a proven process commonly known as carbon dioxide–enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR). Since most of the injected CO2 will be permanently isolated from the atmosphere, capturing CO2 from an industrial plant (including power plants) and utilizing it for CO2-EOR is commonly known as carbon capture, utilization, and storage and is an effective approach to mitigate CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel based plants...

 

ADB

Addressing Climate Change Risks, Disasters, and Adaptation in the People’s Republic of China, Published 2015. It is vital for countries to identify climate risks, reduce these risks through mitigation, and adapt to these risks—thereby increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability. This study informs decision makers regarding major climate change risks to development and provides feasible policy recommendations for consideration to increase resilience and reduce vulnerability in the water, agriculture, and natural resource sectors of the People’s Republic of China.

 

ADB

Achieving Environmental Sustainability in Myanmar, December 2015.Myanmar’s long isolation from international markets and sources of finance historically limited development, and thus, the pressure on its environment. Many of its resources remain relatively intact, despite an absence of effective environmental regulations. Yet, as the country integrates into the global economy and its economic development accelerates, resource degradation is rising rapidly. This paper aims to identify current and future environmental problems in Myanmar, the pressures underpinning them, and the policy measures that can manage them.

 

ADB

Public Debt Sustainability in Developing Asia: An Update, December 2015. The paper updates debt sustainability analysis (DSA) for developing Asia, conducted in 2011. With the benefit of hindsight, the accuracy of the earlier debt ratio forecasts and underlying macroeconomic assumptions is assessed...

 

ADB

Myanmar Human Capital Development, Employment, and Labor Markets, December 2015. Human capital is one of the core prerequisites for rapid, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth. Investments in health and education—including technical and vocational education and training—will be essential to engineer a productive labor force in Myanmar while ensuring that all population segments can contribute to and benefit from growth. This paper focuses on developing human capital, with a focus on health and education in the context of employment growth and an employment-enabling environment.

 

ADB

Myanmar’s Agriculture Sector: Unlocking the Potential for Inclusive Growth, December 2015. With extensive land, water, and labor resources, as well as proximity to fast-growing markets, the country’s agriculture has key competitive advantages. This paper proposes key actions to address agricultural constraints including improving land tenure, expanding credit availability, investing in input markets for nutrients and machinery, developing drainage and irrigation systems, and enhancing rural transport and electricity connectivity. This was written as a background paper for the ADB Myanmar Country Diagnostics Study.

 

ADB

Nowcasting Indonesia, December 2015. We produce predictions of the current state of the Indonesian economy by estimating a Dynamic Factor Model on indicators closely watched by market operators over the period of 2002–2014. Besides the standard difficulties associated with constructing timely indicators of current economic conditions, Indonesia presents additional challenges typical to emerging market economies where data are often scant and unreliable. By means of a pseudo-real-time forecasting exercise, we show that our predictions are comparable to those of market operators. Careful selection of indicators is also shown to be crucial for better forecast performance when data quality is low

 

ADB

Innovations in Knowledge and Learning for Competitive Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific, Published 2015. Higher education institutions in Asia and the Pacific, modelled on industrial age thinking that demands excellence in routinized capacities, lack the ability to innovate and create new knowledge enterprises. The transition to a knowledge economy is affecting the purpose, content, pedagogy, and methodologies of higher education. Nontraditional stakeholders such as professional bodies, industry experts, think tanks, research institutes, and field experts/practitioners are now involved not only in planning but in providing higher education services. The traditional model of “knowledge versus skills” is no longer relevant. Higher education programs must consider lived experiences, contextual knowledge, and indigenous knowledge.

 

ADB

Integrated Information and Communication Technology Strategies for Competitive Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific, Published 2015. Higher education institutions must adopt an institution-wide, holistic information and communication technology (ICT) strategy, not a project-based approach, to avoid redundancies, obsolescence, and large maintenance costs. A coordinated top-down plus bottom-up intervention is best, with three areas requiring attention: infrastructure, application software, and staff development. ICT investments in higher education institutions in support of teaching, research, and community engagement are essential for developing and retaining competitive advantage in the knowledge economy.

 

ADB

A Review and Evaluation of Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Labeling and Consumer Information Programs, November 2015. The report is based on desk-based research into the literature concerning VFEL and a survey of 18 economies (13 of which are members of APEC). The aim was to identify components of VFEL, and best practice within each component. These findings were then used to evaluate existing VFEL programs in order to highlight areas in which individual programs met or fell short of best practice.

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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