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

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

August, 2018 Current Topics

 

Source

 

 

 

 

Study on Single Window Systems' International Interoperability: Key Issues for Its Implementation, August 2018. This paper discusses the general framework of Single Window System International Interoperability (SWSII) by introducing common concepts and the ten SWSII principles, the latter being uniquely formulated for this particular study.  With only a handful Regional Single Window (RSW) implementations globally, it reviews ASEAN, the Pacific Alliance and RADDEx by outlining common themes and translating them into lessons learned. It also showcases the single window journeys of three economies namely Australia, Indonesia and Peru. These economies are at different stages of their SWS and SWSII initiative, but yet demonstrate the benefits of effective, efficient and reduced cost of trade across the milieu...

 

APEC

Financing Food Value Chain, June 2018. Following an earlier policy brief that looks at various services in a food value chain, this policy brief delves deeper into one of them – financial services. The brief begins by describing a value chain example and identifying where and what types of financing are typically needed. It then discusses various financing instruments or financing structures that are used by financial services suppliers to grant financing. Finance structures usually vary depending on the risks they are trying to mitigate. The brief also reviews the challenges of getting finance, followed by discussion on risks and insurance in the food value chain and finally on policy implications.

 

APEC

China’s Local Governments and Small Enterprises as Overseas Investors, July 2018. Xi Jinping is widely seen as being China’s most powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping and perhaps since Mao. While it is right and prudent to focus on what Xi says and does (and loudly says that he wants), there is a danger that analysis of China’s trajectory and international impact is becoming too Xi-centric. Even if observers are not specifically fixated on what Xi as an individual wants, they may nevertheless be overly focussed on the goals and ambitions of the central Chinese state, and overlook the interests and objectives of actors below the national level. Take the expansion of Chinese overseas investment as an example. The actions of Chinese companies overseas are often perceived as an illustration of Chinese economic statecraft, with companies acting on behalf of the state to attain strategic objectives...

 

EWC

Thailand’s Political Dynamics and the Consequences for Regional Economic Integration, July 2018. Thailand will assume the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2019. As the chair has the ability to set forth certain regional agendas, the Kingdom’s vision and positions will affect not only economic integration within ASEAN, but also the bloc’s economic relations with non-ASEAN players. History teaches us that a state’s domestic political dynamics can significantly alter its foreign economic policies. Will this be the case for Thailand? Although the country’s GDP grew by 4.8% in the first quarter of 2018 – the fastest rate since 2013 — this upturn did not increase the junta’s popularity among the Thai public. For one thing, the distribution of benefits were uneven...

 

EWC

Economic Pragmatism and Regional Economic Integration: The Case of Cambodia, July 2018. Cambodia’s foreign policy strategy has been chiefly shaped and driven by “economic pragmatism,” meaning the alignment of foreign policy with economic development interests. The Cambodian government’s two main approaches to regional economic integration are (1) transforming the international environment into a source of national development and (2) diversifying strategic partnerships based on the calculation of economic interests. International economic cooperation and regional integration are key principles of Cambodia’s foreign policy, which emphasizes shared development and win-win cooperation...

 

EWC

Constraints to India’s Support for Regional Economic Integration, July 2018. In February 2018, India regained its position as the fastest growing large economy in the world, growing at more than seven percent for three preceding quarters and surpassing China. However, despite support for sub-regional integration in the Bay of Bengal region, the prospect that India will lead the charge on regional integration or even play a central role in efforts in Asia overall, remains dim. Several constraining factors, many of which have to do with India’s domestic political economy, make such a leadership role unlikely. Pushback from interest groups, India’s federal structure and the ruling party’s nationalist rhetoric are among several that shape India’s approach to economic liberalization in general and regional integration in particular...

 

EWC

Chinese Investment & Workers in Indonesia’s Upcoming Elections, July 2018. As China steps up its investments in Indonesia, more Chinese workers are migrating there, creating resentment among the local population. This could become an important and destabilizing issue in the context of Indonesian elections to be held in April 2019. While the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower records only around 25,000 Chinese workers overall in the country, discredited reports circulating online claiming that millions of Chinese workers are flooding into the Indonesian job market have in recent years sparked major public debates about the role of Chinese workers in the country. The most recent debate took place from March to May 2018, when President Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) issued a presidential regulation simplifying existing procedures for foreigners wanting to work in Indonesia...

 

EWC

The Domestic Political Impact of Rapid Economic Change in the Indo-Pacific Region, July 2018. Nowhere in the world are these impacts more visible and more dynamic than in the nations of the Indo-Pacific, many of which will hold elections within the next year. These challenges are not new, but they have intensified. Beginning in the 1980s, the revolution in communications technology and the advent of large-scale container shipping swept across East and Southeast Asia, connecting people and markets as never before. In the 1990s, burgeoning production networks linked the more competitive and investment-friendly developing economies—such as Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, and Taiwan—with world markets, leaving more closed economies such as Laos, Myanmar, and India lagging behind...

 

EWC

Trends in Southeast Asia 2018 #18: U.S. Relations with Southeast Asia in 2018: More Continuity Than Change. The United States maintains a comprehensive and robust presence throughout Southeast Asia that has grown dramatically since the 1980s. It includes the commercial, security, education and diplomatic, and other domains. America’s strengths and contributions to the region lie particularly in both hard and soft power, but the U.S. economic footprint is both broad and deep. However, this presence is not very well appreciated or reported by regional media — whereas China’s presence and influence is pervasive. Most Southeast Asian governments are often reluctant to recognize or publicize the U.S. presence or contributions to regional security, stability, and growth...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2018 #17: The Private Healthcare Sector in Johor: Trends and Prospects. The future of the private healthcare in Johor and in the Iskandar Malaysia (IM) special economic zone in particular is intimately tied to larger property developments and trends in the region, both because private healthcare developers are increasingly the same as property developers and because IM’s future population growth relies heavily on corporate settlement in IM and the jobs that such settlement generates. Volatility in corporate investment and settlement in IM may have significant consequences for the sector’s development. The Federal and Johor State Governments intend to turn IM into a world-class private healthcare destination for local residents and foreign visitors alike. A range of strategies and policies have been launched to develop IM’s medical care, aged care, and lifestyle and well-being sectors...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2018 #16: Developing Eastern Johor: The Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complext. The Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC) is a huge development that has emerged on the east coast of Johor. Comprising Petronas’ largest refinery facility and numerous ancillary and supporting industrial areas, it is pegged to diversify Malaysia’s petrochemical industry and reap the benefits of the area’s fortunate position on international maritime trade routes. While initial responses to the PIPC development were of concern for Singapore’s oil and gas business, the island-nation’s long reputation and position in the industry means that the PIPC has some steep learning curves to traverse before coming on par with its southerly neighbour. However, the PIPC is likely to provide a solution to Singapore’s limitations in terms of costly services and limited land space. It may also rejuvenate an industry now seen by some SMEs to be somewhat stagnant...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2018 #15: State Formation in Riau Islands Province. The formation of the Riau Islands Province (RIP) in 2002 is argued to be part of a broader trend of pemekaran (blossoming) that saw the creation of seven new provinces and more than 100 new districts throughout Indonesia after the fall of the New Order. This article argues that the main motivation for these subnational movements was a combination of rational interests and cultural sentiments. In the case of RIP, rational interests involved struggles over unfair distribution of power and resources, including the way development under the control of (mainland) Riau Province had been detrimental to the peripheral and archipelagic people of Riau Islands...

 

ISEAS

Asian Development Outlook 2018 Supplement: The Outlook Remains Stable, July 2018. Developing Asia is largely on track to meet growth expectations as set out in April in Asian Development Outlook 2018 (ADO 2018). The regional gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to expand by 6.0% in 2018 and 5.9% in 2019, the rate envisaged in April, with subregional forecasts upgraded for Central Asia. Regional growth forecasts are maintained at 6.5% for 2018 and 6.4% for 2019 when excluding the newly industrialized economies of Hong Kong, China; the Republic of Korea; Singapore; and Taipei,China. The combined growth forecast for the major industrial economies—the United States (US), the euro area, and Japan—is retained from ADO 2018 as growth in the US and the euro area remains robust. In Japan, though, unanticipated contraction in the first quarter (Q1) prompts a slight revision of the 2018 growth...

 

ADB

Asia Bond Monitor, June 2018. Emerging East Asia’s local currency bond market registered marginal growth of 1.1% quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter of 2018 to reach a size of USD12.8 trillion at the end of March. Significant bond inflows were noted in emerging East Asia at the beginning of 2018, with all markets with available data recording inflows due to positive investor sentiment. Yields in emerging East Asia trended upward between 1 March and 31 May amid global economic expansion and tightening United States (US) monetary policy. However, as the US continued its policy normalization in Q1 2018, emerging East Asia currencies depreciated, which led foreign investors to reduce their exposure to the region...

 

ADB

Pacific Economic Monitor, July 2018. Access to electricity is low in the Pacific, particularly in the more remote and less developed parts of the subregion. Factors contributing to this include dependence on costly fossil fuels for power generation, inadequate investment in infrastructure, and electricity services that may be beyond the means of poorer rural households. To help address these challenges, most Pacific governments are taking steps to shift toward renewable energy and ultimately meet ambitious targets under international climate change commitments. Further, they have made strategic investments in more effi cient transmission networks, and better collection and payment systems...

 

ADB

Fiscal Policy Conditions for Government Budget Stability and Economic Recovery: Comparative Analysis of Japan and Greece, July 2018. In the literature on fiscal sustainability, the Domar condition and Bohn’s condition are often used to check whether a government’s debt situation is in a dangerous zone. We first show that the Domar condition is obtained only from the government budget constraint (namely the supply of government bonds) and does not take into account the demand for government bonds. Second, we reveal that Bohn’s condition does not satisfy the condition of economic stability: even if this is satisfied, economic recovery may not be achieved. We propose a new condition that satisfies both the stability of the government budget and the recovery of the economy...

 

ADB

Financial Inclusion, Financial Regulation, Financial Literacy, and Financial Education in the Kyrgyz Republic, July 2018. While financial inclusion is considered one of the key drivers of development today, it is quite new to the Kyrgyz Republic. The Kyrgyz Republic attempted to introduce the notion of financial inclusion after a violent power shift in 2010. The economy experienced an overall decline, the banking sector shrank, and financial intermediation slowed down. The National Bank introduced a number of regulatory measures to tighten the supervision of the financial sector and increase consumer protection. Some of the efforts have worked well: the banking sector has rebounded, savings have been mobilized, and financial markets have started developing. However, national development patterns, such as unstable economic growth, a high poverty rate, and weak governance are the key vulnerabilities for increasing inclusivity of financial products and services...

 

ADB

Latest ADB Publications:  

ADB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2018Q3, July 2018. According to its High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecast, real GDP is estimated to grow by 4.4% in 18Q2, extending the strong 4.7% GDP growth in 18Q1, reflecting high domestic demand. In 18Q3, real GDP growth is expected to moderate to 3.9% when compared with the same period last year. Comparing to the 3.8% growth in 2017 as a whole, we expect Hong Kong’s GDP will grow at faster pace at 4.0% in 2018...

 

HKU

Virginia Review of Asian Studies 2018.

 

VRAS

Raising Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty Rates and Tightening Loan-to-Value Limits to Promote a Stable and Sustainable Property Market, May 2018. In this paper, we introduce the Makan Index as a measure of the cost of eating out. This measure was built on survey data (n = 2,389) collected using a standard set of food items across 26 (URA) planning areas in Singapore, focusing on only three types of eating places: coffee shops, hawker centres and food courts. The Index was then compared across different planning areas and its correlation with socioeconomic characteristics of the planning areas was analysed. The results of this study show that the cost of eating out differs across planning areas...

 

IPS

Religion and the Secular State in Uzbekistan, June 2018. Major political and economic reforms have been initiated since Shavkat Mirziyoyev became the country’s President in fall 2016. The interaction between state and religion has been part and parcel of this reform process. This area is a contentious one, rife with confusion. Many consider Central Asia peripheral to the Muslim world, but in fact the territory of present-day Uzbekistan occupies a central position in the history and development of the religion. The intellectual effervescence of the region a millennium ago, which has recently been dubbed the “Lost Enlightenment,” included advances in both science, philosophy and theology, as well as the rise of Islamic mysticism...

 

ISDP

Australia in Space: Views from The Strategist, June 2018. The first of July 2018 marks an important day for Australia’s quest to become a more important actor in space, with the creation of an Australian Space Agency under the leadership of Megan Clark. For the first time, Australia looks to have direction, coordination and focus in its endeavours beyond earth. Understanding what this means for Australia is the focus of this report. The decision to boldly go into space marks an important step forward for Australia, which traditionally has been content to be dependent on foreign providers for space capability...

 

ASPI

ASEAN’s Role in the US Indo-Pacific Strategy, June 2018. Kavi Chongkittavorn, Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “All in all, it is incumbent on ASEAN to reach out to the United States, Japan, India, and Australia.” Ever since US President Donald Trump announced the Indo-Pacific strategy at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ meeting in November, 2017 at Danang, Vietnam, the leaders from of the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), have been anxious trying to figure out what it really means and to understand the possible long-term regional implications...

 

EWC

Getting Singapore in Shape: Economic Challenges and How to Meet Them, June 2018. The transformation of the Singapore economy over the past five decades has been impressive, producing rapid economic growth and delivering extraordinary improvements in social welfare. During that period, Singapore has evolved into a developed economy with multiple engines of growth including globally competitive manufacturing clusters, one of the world’s pre-eminent financial and transportation centres, and the location for regional or global headquarters of major corporations...

 

Lowy

Trends in Southeast Asia 2018 #14: Pancasila and the Challenge of Political Islam: Past and Present. Islam has become an important symbol in post-Suharto Indonesia, and political figures or parties feel they cannot afford to be seen to be against the religion or be considered unfriendly to it. Islamism emerges to challenge Pancasila (or cultural pluralism) again. Islamists already challenged Pancasila soon after Indonesian independence. But during that initial era under Sukarno, this challenge was already under control. Under Suharto, Pancasila as an ideology was effectively used to govern Indonesia, and political Islam was suppressed. However, Suharto began to co-opt Islamic political leaders during the last decade of his rule...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2018 #13: The “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” and Implications for ASEAN. In recent times, the United States, Japan and Australia have all promoted extremely similar visions of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific as the central organizing concept to guide their efforts in the region. The concept is essentially a reaffirmation of the security and economic rules-based order which was cobbled together after the Second World War — especially as it relates to freedom of the regional and global commons such as sea, air and cyberspace, and the way nations conduct economic relations. Be that as it may, the Free and Open Indo-Pacific is an updated vision of collective action to defend, strengthen and advance that order. It signals a greater acceptance by the two regional allies of the U.S. of their security burden and takes into account the realities of China’s rise and the relative decline in dominance of the U.S...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2018 #12: Living on the Edge: Being Malay (and Bugis) in the Riau Islands. In Indonesia’s Riau Islands Province — a place envisioned as a distinctly “Malay Province” upon its legal formation in 2002 — ethnic Malays are the proud heirs and custodians of a rich legacy associated with a once-sprawling Malay empire that stretched across present-day transnational borders from Indonesia, to Singapore, to Malaysia. Malays of Bugis descent have long played a disproportionately central role in the history (and the historiography or “history-telling”) of the region that now encompasses Indonesia’s Riau Islands Province. While steadfastly “Malay”, members of this community readily acknowledge that their ethnically Bugis roots maintain an enduring historical and ideological salience in their everyday lives...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2018 #11: Indonesia and China’s Belt and Road Initiatives: Perspectives, Issues and Prospects. For Indonesia, which is keen to accelerate its infrastructure development, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is seen as an opportunity to tap into China’s huge financial resources and technological capability. There has however been no concrete BRI project agreed to between China and Indonesia so far. While China considers all projects, including infrastructure projects and economic interactions as part of BRI, Indonesia only considers those infrastructure projects initiated during the Xi Jinping period as BRI projects...

 

ISEAS

Financial Inclusion, Financial Literacy, and Financial Education in Georgia, June 2018. Georgia is outperforming developing Eastern European and Central Asian countries in terms of access to finance but is very much behind in terms of usage of financial products and technologies. We provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of financial inclusion and financial literacy in Georgia based on the latest literature, statistical evidence, and recent surveys. We review current government policy initiatives and strategy documents aimed at improving financial access of SMEs and households; analyze the state of the regulatory framework in Georgia; focus on the causes behind the current low levels of financial inclusion and financial literacy among the young, the poor, and the rural population; and provide policy recommendations to comprehensively address the financial inclusion problem in Georgia.

 

ADB

International Outsourcing, Environmental Costs, and Welfare, June 2018. Firms in the North remain unaccountable for the environmental costs of outsourcing; tight environmental regulations and international cooperation are needed to improve environmental conditions in outsourcing sites in the South. We explore the welfare consequences of international outsourcing in the presence of resulting environmental damage in a three-stage model of North–South trade. In stage 1, outsourcing firms in the North (e.g., United States and Europe)cause environmental damage to the vendor country in the South, as exemplified by the People’s Republic of China. But, as its primary goal, the South pursuing economic development is willing to bear the costs of environmental degradation...

 

ADB

Financial Inclusion, Regulation, Financial Literacy, and Financial Education in Tajikistan, June 2018. Tajikistan has a long way to go to for its population to achieve sufficient understanding of different financial products. We analyze financial inclusion, literacy, and education in Tajikistan. We discuss the progress in financial inclusion and the sector’s response to the major external shock associated with the sharp fall in Tajik labor migrants’ remittances. We analyze the policies dealing with different aspects of financial inclusion with a focus on the regulatory framework, penetration of new financial technologies, and the existing barriers to inclusion; and we give recommendations on how to improve financial inclusion and financial literacy in the country.

 

ADB

Deep Economic Integration and State Capacity: A Mechanism for Avoiding the Middle-Income Trap? June 2018. Exiting the middle-income trap requires costly improvements in state capacity. Can deep economic integration increase state capacity and, if so, how? This paper provides a conceptual framework, new measurement, and evidence. Focusing on a panel of European Union membership candidate countries, this paper documents the large variation in the evolution of state capacities and empirically identify key links and implementation sequences. The main result is the centrality of an intricate relationship between bureaucratic independence and judiciary capacity. Change in these two is a precondition for increasing internal and external competitions, which are key factors for successfully escaping the middle-income trap.

 

ADB

Latest ADB Publications:  

ADB

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June, 2018 Current

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instability in the Pacific Islands: A Status Report, June 2018. The Pacific Islands are highly diverse in political status, population, development, migration prospects, and potential for instability. Resilience is most under challenge in western Melanesia: Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu are states-in-formation characterised by extraordinary linguistic and group diversity giving rise to weak consciousness of nationhood. Fiji is different: a weak democracy but a strong state. Many observers see increasing tensions, disputes, and violence over land in Pacific urban areas as people’s traditional connections with rural villages diminish and landlessness becomes more common...

 

Lowy

Trump, Kim and the North Korean Nuclear Missile Melodrama, May 2018. As the leaders of the United States and North Korea prepare to meet for the first time, the North Korean nuclear issue sits delicately poised between crisis and breakthrough. Under the Trump presidency, North Korea’s scripted brand of hyperbole and brinksmanship is encountering the political theatre of President Donald Trump. Any US president confronted by a direct threat from North Korean nuclear missiles would treat it as a first-order security challenge. Yet Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign, and showmanship, have also elevated North Korea’s regional melodrama in ways that potentially advantage Kim Jong-un. Even if it fails to yield any tangible outcomes, meeting a serving US president would still be hugely beneficial to Pyongyang as a means of strengthening Kim’s domestic and international position, particularly in respect of its chronic legitimacy deficit in the inter-Korean comparison...

 

Lowy

India's Role is Key for Including Central Asia in Japan's Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy, May 2018. Central Asia has become an increasingly important region for the international community including Japan. Tokyo initially pursued bilateral relationships with each of Central Asian country through its “Silk Road Diplomacy” in the late 1990s, but started to strengthen the relationships by initiating the multilateral “Central Asia plus Japan” Dialogue in 2004. Since then, Japan has strived to become a “catalyst” for regional cooperation that would enable the Central Asian countries to achieve “open, stable and autonomous development.” A more developed and secure Central Asia is also expected to provide Tokyo with a reliable alternative source of energy supply such as oil, natural gas and rare earth metals including uranium...

 

EWC

Making Sense of the Indo-Pacific Strategy: An Inheritance from the Past, May 2018. The term “Indo-Pacific” has gained wider currency as the Trump administration promotes the Indo-Pacific Strategy as its flagship policy towards the region. Since the substance of this strategy has yet to be made clear, one could easily make speculations that the Indo-Pacific Strategy is a “containment policy” towards China given the emphasis the new National Defense Strategy has given to great power competition...

 

EWC

The 32nd ASEAN Summit’s Economic Priorities and Implications for US-ASEAN Economic Relations, May 2018. The leaders of the ten member countries of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathered at the 32nd ASEAN Summit in Singapore from April 25th - 28th, 2018 under the theme of “Building a Resilient and Innovative ASEAN.” Among the economic cooperation priorities agreed to were the continued advancement of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), pursuit of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and establishment of an ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN)...

 

EWC

The Next Big Grey Thing - Choosing Australia's Future Frigate, May 2018. The SEA 5000 Future Frigate program has three separate broad objectives. The first is to replace the Anzac-class frigates from the mid-2020s, providing the RAN with a new class of warship with the desired capabilities. The second is industrial: faced with a steady loss of shipyard jobs over the past few years, the Australian Government wants work at the ASC Shipyard in South Australia to begin early in the 2020s. The third objective is to set up a continuous shipbuilding program that will continue to deliver locally built vessels in perpetuity, with an eye to being able to export systems, components or perhaps even warships in the future...

 

ASPI

Territorial Complementarities and Competition for Oil and Gas FDI in the SIJORI Growth Triangle, May 2018. After the initial euphoria, the SIJORI Triangle - formed by Singapore, Johor (Malaysia) and Riau Islands (Indonesia) - seems to have been completely forgotten. The growth triangle concept was initiated to enhance foreign investment. This paper aims to explore whether firms in the oil and gas industry are really strategically making use of the different factor endowments accessible in close spatial proximity. Based on FDI data and expert interviews, Singaporean firms are taking strategic advantage of the different factor endowments, especially in storage and offshore equipment manufacturing. However, Johor and Riau Islands still focus on lower value-added activities...

 

ISEAS

Latest ADBI Working Paper Series:  

ADB

Latest ADB Economics Working Papers:  

ADB

Other ADB Publications:  

ADB

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shifts in ROK Approaches to the DPRK Under President Moon, May 2018. South Korean President Moon Jae-in has just completed his first year in office and what an eventful year it has been. Over the past twelve months, the world witnessed a sharp escalation of tensions between the two Koreas which saw the peninsula reach the brink of war, and then just as rapidly, these tensions de-escalated, ushering in a mood of inter-Korean reconciliation. What explains this stunning turnaround? Did President Moon’s North Korea policy differ drastically that of his predecessor, Park Geun-hye? In this paper I find that, surprisingly, Moon’s DPRK policy has been marked more by continuity than change from Park’s—particularly in the realm of defence. The main element of change has occurred on the diplomatic engagement front, which has facilitated the remarkable inter-Korean rapprochement...

 

ASPI

Women, Peace and Security: Addressing the Gaps and Strengthening Implementation, May 2018. This Strategic Insights paper compiles the articles in that series across four themes: Defence’s approach to WPS, the role of parliament and civil society, lessons from abroad, and evolving approaches to WPS. Drawing on the analyses of contributors from a variety of backgrounds including government, politics, defence, academia, and civil society, the series demonstrates that issues related to women’s participation and leadership, and the inclusion of different gender perspectives, are integral to Australia’s national security...

 

ASPI

Putin and North Korea: Exploring Russian Interests Around the Peninsula, May 2018. ASPI Researcher, Jacqueline Westermann, argues that it would be fatal to underestimate the Kremlin’s interests in the region, as ‘Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a stakeholder in the region, a partner to Pyongyang and a party to the previous Six-Party Talks’. While it isn’t a top priority for the Kremlin, Russian involvement could play a handy part in Putin’s greater strategy to expand Russia’s engagement in the world. To illustrate Moscow’s specific motivations for being involved, the analysis is based on statements given by Russian government officials during 2017, as well as insights from Russian North Korea experts...

 

ASPI

Hong Kong: High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2018Q2, April 2018. According to its High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecast, real GDP is estimated to grow by 3.5% in 18Q1, upward revised by 0.5 percentage point comparing to our previous forecast, reflecting strong domestic demand, slightly faster than the 3.4% growth in 17Q4. In 18Q2, real GDP growth is expected to moderate to 3.3% when compared with the same period last year. Comparing to the 3.8% growth in 2017 as a whole, we expect Hong Kong’s GDP will grow but at a slower pace at 3.4% in 2018.

 

HKU

Religion and the Secular State in Kazakhstan, April 2018. At independence, Kazakhstan shared with the successor states to the Soviet Union the challenge of replacing Soviet atheism with new state approaches to religion. Like the rest of Central Asia and Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan adopted a secular form of government. This makes the region stand out in the Muslim world, and is a source of pride for regional governments. Secular government should be a point of agreement between the region’s states and Europe and the United States. But instead, it has become a source of controversy, as Western states and organizations frequently criticize state policies in the religious sphere...

 

ISDP

The Economic Modernization of Uzbekistan, April 2018. When Shavkat Mirziyoyev succeeded Islam Karimov as President of Uzbekistan, many observers expected his tenure to represent continuity rather than change. And while continuity is present in terms of the focus on independence and sovereignty of Uzbekistan, Mirziyoyev also showed a pro-active desire to improve foreign relations and initiate major economic reforms, designed to strengthen the strategic position of Uzbekistan...

 

ISDP

Monetary Authority of Singapore: Macroeconomic Review, Volume XVII, Issue 1, April 2018 (Full Report, Presentation Slides for Briefing):  

MAS

North Korea and the ANZUS Treaty, April 2018. The Security Treaty between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States of America, universally known as the ANZUS Treaty, was signed in September 1951 and came into force in April 1952. This Strategic Insight traces the origins of the treaty, examines its substantive content, and considers whether and how it might apply in the event of a conflict between the US and North Korea...

 

ASPI

The French Pacific Territories and Free Trade, April 2018. Jeremy Ellero, Research Associate at the Law and Economics Research Laboratory at the University of New Caledonia, explains that “Massive financial transfers combined with tariffs and quotas on imported goods have created overprotected economies whose purchasing power is unrelated to actual economic power.”

 

EWC

The United States and Fiji Should Bolster Security Cooperation, April 2018. Ambassador C. Steven McGann (Ret), former US Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu, explains that “This well-documented commitment to the Pacific should be the context in which the United States frames its regional coordination and stronger ties with Fiji.”

 

EWC

Customary Land Rights and Pacific Islands Security & Stability, April 2018.  Dr. Iati Iati, Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago, New Zealand explains that “Reforms, particularly those which involve or even intimate alienation of customary lands, have been very unpopular in the Pacific.”

 

EWC

Services Liberalization and Export Quality: Evidence from China, March 2018. Using firm-level export data from China, this paper empirically examines the effect of domestic liberalization of services on exporting firms’ quality upgrading. We examine a number of other trade policies, including: tariffs in export destination countries; and input- and output-tariffs in China. Following China’s accession to the World Trade Organization in December 2001, these trade policies changed substantially during our sample period of 2000 - 2006. Our findings suggest that, of all the policies, reduced input tariffs contributed the most to raising export product quality. Easing of services’ restrictiveness also resulted in improved export product quality, but mainly for foreign owned enterprises.

 

ISEAS

Asian Development Outlook 2018: How Technology Affects Jobs. (Full Report and Highlights). Developing Asia is forecast to expand by 6.0% in 2018, and by 5.9% in 2019. Excluding Asia’s high-income newly industrialized economies, growth should reach 6.5% in 2018 and 6.4% in 2019. With oil prices edging up and robust consumer demand continuing, inflation is poised to pick up after dipping slightly last year. Consumer prices are projected to rise by 2.9% in both 2018 and 2019, or 0.6 percentage points more than in 2017. Though prospects are firm, risks are clearly to the downside. Protectionist measures and retaliation against them could undermine the recent pickup in trade growth. In response to fiscal stimulus, the United States Federal Reserve may need to raise interest rates faster than currently expected, which could diminish capital flows to developing Asia...

 

ADB

Asian Development Review, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2018 (Full Report). The latest Asian Development Review contains a mini symposium on India’s foreign direct investment (FDI), and open submissions. The mini symposium analyzes the links between FDI and technology sourcing, export intensity, employment, environment, and financing. The other papers are on industrial restructuring, education spending, urbanization, and fiscal risks.

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