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November, 2017 Current Topics

 

Source

 

 

 

 

CNA-IPS Survey on Ethnic Identity in Singapore. In 2017, the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), with funding from Channel NewsAsia (CNA) at MediaCorp, conducted a survey on ethnic identity and the state of inter-ethnic interactions with 2,020 respondents. This CNA-IPS survey aimed to study what Singaporeans felt were core identity markers of the main ethnic groups in the country. The survey also examined the extent of ethnic cultural performance among Singaporeans, what they believe should be transmitted to their children, and the extent of their understanding of and engagement with other ethnic cultures. In the age of globalisation, when a variety of cultural products are available, the survey also examined the affinity Singaporeans have to different world cultures. All this information is important if we are to better understand the consequences as well as the future of the CMIO framework, which underpins several public policies...

 

IPS

US–Vietnam Relations Under President Trump, November 2017. Under the Obama administration, the US–Vietnam relationship expanded, especially in terms of security cooperation. China’s increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea has helped to warm US–Vietnam bilateral ties. The Trans-Pacific Partnership also offered Vietnam an opportunity to escape China’s economic orbit. But just as the hard-earned security rapprochement was starting to gain momentum, newly elected US President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Soon after the rebalance to Asia was declared officially dead. Neither was good news for Vietnam. Despite initial anxiety over Trump’s reluctance to engage with Southeast Asia, there have been some positive signs that the relationship will continue to prosper. High-level meetings have helped to reassure Hanoi that the Trump administration has an interest in deepening bilateral relations. President Trump’s attendance at the APEC Summit in November 2017 in Da Nang and a scheduled side trip to Hanoi will be important signals of how President Trump views what has become one of the United States’ most important emerging relationship in Southeast Asia.

 

Lowy

Australia’s Offshore Patrol Vessels: Missing an Opportunity? November 2017. While much public attention has been given to the acquisition of Australia’s new submarines and frigates, the acquisition of offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) to replace the Armidale-class patrol boats under Project SEA 1180 has attracted much less scrutiny or comment. It deserves more. Although an OPV is a much less complex platform than a modern frigate or submarine, Project SEA 1180 will produce a significant element of the ADF structure and have a major role in Australia’s national security efforts, and some aspects of the project construction arrangements are certainly unusual.

 

ASPI

People Smugglers Globally, October 2017. Globally, there are some 767 million people living below the poverty line. In Africa alone, there are some 200 million people ‘aged between 15–24 and this will likely double by 2045’. While these figures are startling, the fact that in 2016 only 189,300 refugees were resettled highlights the scale of the likely demand for irregular migration. Much has been said and published on irregular migration from the perspective of the migrant. In the process, it has become politically expedient to homogenise perceptions of people smugglers. This new ASPI report focuses on people-smuggling syndicates globally. The report provides a concise analysis of the various people-smuggling syndicates operating in the globe’s people smuggling hot-spots. This authoritative report provides a concise analysis of each people smuggling hot-spot, with accompanying policy recommendations for interventions.

 

ASPI

Malaysian Reactions and the Political Calculus of Prime Minister Najib's White House Visit, October 2017. Matthew Kah Weng Wong, Former Researcher with the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “For Najib’s domestic supporters and prominent government lawmakers, the meeting with Trump was seen as an unprecedented success and a legitimization of Najib as Malaysia’s elected leader.”

 

EWC

Despite Cuts in Defence Cooperation Program (DCP), Australia has Sustained Interest in Southeast Asia, October 2017. Roman Madaus, Former Researcher with the East-West Center, explains that “It is clear that Australia is shifting its funding priorities eastwards. However, it is unlikely that this indicates less interest in Southeast Asia.”

 

EWC

Mongolia's Domestic Politics Complicate Foreign Policy in a Precarious International Setting, October 2017 . Mendee Jargalsaikhan, Political Science PhD Candidate at the University of British Columbia, explains that “Mongolian diplomats need to disentangle foreign policy from domestic political competition.”

 

EWC

Litigating the Right to Health: Courts, Politics, and Justice in Indonesia, Published 2017. Recent increases in health rights litigation in low- and middle-income countries triggered debates regarding the effects of such litigation on the equity and effectiveness of health systems. Proponents argued that such litigation promotes health rights by holding governments accountable. Critics claimed that, as such litigation is employed mostly by the middle-class, it leads to regressive health spending and access. A third group suggested that results depend on whether such litigation is individually or collectively focused--with individually focused litigation helping only individuals while collectively focused litigation potentially helps larger numbers. This study examines Indonesia's experience with health rights litigation and efforts promoting health rights in developing countries in general...

 

EWC

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Origin, Evolution, Special Features, and Economic Implications, October 2017. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was signed by its 12 members in February 2016 after concluding its difficult and long negotiations. The TPP is an ambitious agreement with high-level of trade and investment liberalization and comprehensive issue coverage, setting a new standard for global trade. Large economic benefits can be expected from the enactment of the TPP. The ratification of the TPP in its agreed form is not possible because of the withdrawal of the US from the TPP. The paper argues that the TPP without the US, or TPP11, should be pursued by remaining 11 members, to keep the momentum toward trade and investment liberalization and to fight against growing protectionism.

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #14: The Rising Politics of Indigeneity in Southeast Asia. Amidst rising trends of “nativism” and “xenophobia” throughout Southeast Asia, a related yet distinct movement framed around altogether different notions of “Indigeneity” is occurring among various long-oppressed ethnic minorities. These groups and their distinct claims of Indigeneity and linkages with the regional and global Indigenous movements are all arising in response to the heightened incorporation of their communities and territories into expanding nation states...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #13: The Peace Process and Civil–Military Relations During the NLD Administration’s First Year. Peace and political considerations are priorities in Myanmar as indicated by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s frequent pronouncements. While 2017 would not easily become the “year of peace”, stakeholders including ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) appear willing to engage further at the negotiating table although the Tatmadaw (military) has stuck to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) route reiterated by the National League for Democracy (NLD) government at the 21st Century Panglong Conference...

 

ISEAS

Capital Flows and Financial Stability in Emerging Economies, October 2017. vidence for the impact of international capital flows on the financial sector’s stability is mixed. This paper looks at the relationship between capital flows and financial stability in emerging economies. The findings suggest that, after controlling for several macroeconomic factors, there are significant effects of different gross capital flow measures on the financial stability proxies, but they are not homogeneous across economies and across flow types. The paper proposes several country-specific financial and macroeconomic characteristics to help explain these differences.

 

ADB

The Urbanization, Development, Environment, and Inequality Nexus: Stylized Facts and Empirical Relationships, October 2017. Higher levels of urbanization have worsened poverty and rural-urban gaps, particularly in Asia. We summarize and expand the understanding of the urbanization, development, environment, and inequality nexus. Economic growth and development, urbanization, and electricity consumption are highly correlated. While urbanization may be more evidence of economic progress than a catalyst for economic growth, there is some evidence that poor countries are over urbanized. Also, electricity consumption is at least a proxy for, if not a cause of, both nonagricultural employment and improved quality-of-life opportunities that encourage rural-urban migration...

 

ADB

The Role of Punctuation in P2P Lending: Evidence from the People’s Republic of China, October 2017. Too much punctuation in P2P loan descriptions makes them hard to read and lowers the chance of funding and the borrowing rate. We investigate the role of punctuation in the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market. Using data from Renrendai, one of the largest P2P lending platforms in the People’s Republic of China, we investigate how the amount of punctuation used in loan descriptions influences the funding probability, borrowing rate, and default. The empirical evidence shows that the amount of punctuation is negatively associated with the funding probability and borrowing rate...

 

ADB

Intergenerational Transfers, Demographic Transition, and Altruism: Problems in Developing Asia, October 2017. As an economy develops, more resources are transferred from working adults to their children than to their elderly parents. We develop a three-period overlapping-generations model where middle-aged agents care about not only their own lifetime utility but also their old parents’ and children’s well-being. The double altruistic agents choose amounts of intergenerational transfers to their old parents and children as well as private savings. Governments specify amounts of public transfers from working adults to the dependents. The model also takes the effects of demographic transition on the burdens of supporting elders and children into account...

 

ADB

Inequality, Aging, and the Middle-Income Trap, October 2017. Inequality and income distribution are key drivers of the middle-income trap, while the issue of aging is less important. Based on required growth rate and actual growth rate, we propose a method to construct measures to indicate the probability of a country escaping the middle-income trap (MIT). We model this probability using 1960–2015 cross-country data, focusing on the roles of income distribution or inequality and aging. We found that: (i) both the level of and the change in inequality are important drivers of MIT, with surprisingly large impacts...

 

ADB

Impact of the People’s Republic of China’s Slowdown on the Global Economy, October 2017. An economic crisis in the People’s Republic of China would be worse for developing Asian economies than for the world's developed countries. Across the world, researchers and business analysts are closely watching the People’s Republic of China (PRC), especially its recent economic slowdown. Asia and the Pacific region is anxious about the PRC’s slowdown, but the rest of the world has definite reason to worry about the consequences of a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. During the last few decades, the PRC has integrated strongly with Asia and also with the rest of the world. We investigate the impact of the PRC’s slowdown on the global economy...

 

ADB

Two Decades of Structural Transformation and Dynamics of Income Equality in Indonesia, October 2017. Poverty reduction is slowing in Indonesia, with income inequality rising significantly. Successful reductions in poverty, resulting from substantial increases in income and structural transformation, have been associated with growing levels of income inequality. We explore the link between structural transformation and inequality in Indonesia by applying Theil’s L decomposition (both static and dynamic) to the National Socio-Economic Surveys of 1996, 2005, and 2014 and panel data analysis of provincial macroeconomic datasets. We confirm that, as seen in other developing countries, Indonesia has experienced an agriculture–service transition, before the industry sector has matured...

 

ADB

How to Identify Specialization? The Case of India’s Cities, September 2017. Competency in manufacturing is declining for many Indian cities and Bengaluru is now the most competitive in financial intermediation, real estate, and other business services. Given that India’s urban areas contribute to nearly two-thirds of its gross domestic product, even though they account for only 31% of the country’s population, they have been rightly called the engines of India’s growth. In this paper, we answer the following questions: What are the economic specializations of Indian cities and towns, and how have these specializations changed over time? What part of these specializations identified is due to the local advantages, and what part is due to growth of the industry or national economic growth...

 

ADB

ASEAN+3 Bond Market Guide 2017: Brunei Darussalam, Lao People's Democratic Republic, and Philippines. ASEAN+3 Bond Market Guide is a comprehensive explanation of the region’s bond markets. It provides information such as the history, legal and regulatory framework, specific characteristics of the market, trading and transaction (including settlement systems), and other relevant information.

 

ADB

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Policy Notes:  

PIDS

Latest Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Discussion Papers:  

PIDS

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Development Research News:  

PIDS

Journal of Global Buddhism, Volume 18, 2017  

JGB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kazakhstan in Europe: Why Not? October 2017. Is Kazakhstan a European state? The answer to this question could define the character of the country’s long-term relationship with European institutions and organizations, and profoundly affect the country’s social, political and economic development. The timing of this question, however, might seem inopportune. European institutions face deep internal difficulties: the EU is reeling from Brexit and controversies with Hungary and Poland, and the Council of Europe faces serious problems with countries on Europe’s eastern and southeastern flanks that, much like Kazakhstan, straddle the boundaries between Europe and Asia. That may limit the appetite for discussing Kazakhstan’s relationship to Europe. Yet the question may no longer be pushed to an undetermined future...

 

ISDP

Hong Kong: High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2017Q4, October 2017. According to its High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecast, real GDP is estimated to grow by 3.2% in 17Q3, when compared with the same period in 2016, moderate from the 3.8% growth in 17Q2. In 17Q4, real GDP growth is expected to moderate to 2.2% when compared with the same period last year. Comparing to the 2.0% growth in 2016, we expect Hong Kong GDP will pick up and grow by 3.3% in 2017 as a whole, same as our previous forecast.

 

HKU

Xi Jinping’s Moment, October 2017. Xi Jinping is China’s most decisive, disciplined leader in a generation, leading a country that is fast approaching military and economic parity in Asia with the region’s long-standing dominant power, the United States. Xi has swept aside potential rivals at home, re-established the primacy of the Communist Party in all realms of politics and civil society, and run the most far-reaching anti-corruption campaign in the history of the People’s Republic. But on the economy, Xi has been a cautious steward of the existing order...

 

Lowy

Neither Friend nor Foe: Pakistan, the United States and the War in Afghanistan, September 2017. In a speech announcing his administration’s Afghanistan policy, President Trump singled out Pakistan saying that the United States “can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations”. But the likelihood that increased US incentives or threats will change Pakistan’s policy in Afghanistan are low. If anything the goals of the United States and Pakistan in Afghanistan have moved further apart. The military is the key player in Pakistan’s policy in Afghanistan...

 

Lowy

Managing Economic Risk in Asia: a Strategy for Australia, September 2017. Twenty years on from the Asian Financial Crisis it is timely to assess how the region is placed to manage and mitigate risks of economic crisis, and to consider Australia’s role in this. This Analysis frames the policy options Australia faces through imagining a potential future scenario where a major ASEAN economy faces vulnerabilities as a result of volatile capital flows, exposing gaps in current risk management and crisis mitigation arrangements...

 

Lowy

The 2017 Independent Review of Intelligence: Views from the Strategist, September 2017. Over the past 40 years, Australian governments have periodically commissioned reviews of the Australian intelligence community (AIC). The first such inquiry—the Hope Royal Commission of 1974—was commissioned by the Whitlam government as a way of shedding light on what had hitherto been a shadowy group of little-known and little-understood government agencies. It was also the beginning of a journey that would eventually bring the AIC more into public view and onto a firm legislative footing...

 

ASPI

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2017 (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 2017 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

Asian Development Outlook 2017 Update an Highlights. Developing Asia is forecast to expand by 5.9% in 2017 and 5.8% in 2018, a slight upgrade from projections in Asian Development Outlook 2017. Growth prospects for developing Asia are looking up, bolstered by a revival in world trade and strong momentum in the People’s Republic of China. Rebounds in international food and fuel prices are gentler than expected, helping to contain consumer price pressures. Inflation is likely to dip to 2.4% in 2017, or 0.1 percentage points off the 2016 rate, and pick up to 2.9% in 2018. Risks to the outlook have become more balanced, as the advanced economies have so far avoided sharp, unexpected changes to their macroeconomic policies. Further, the fuel price rise is providing fiscal relief to oil exporters but is measured enough not to destabilize oil importers...

 

ADB

Asia Bond Monitor, September 2017. On the back of a brightening global outlook, government bond yields in major advanced economies rose between 1 June and 15 August, with the increase extending to emerging East Asia. This issue of the Asia Bond Monitor includes two special discussion boxes. Box 1 discusses the potential benefits of the Bond Connect scheme, a significant effort to link the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) bond market to the rest of the world. Box 2 outlines a conceptual solution to cope with longevity risk in Asia.

 

ADB

Food Insecurity in Asia: Why Institutions Matter, Published 2017. Achieving food security is of utter importance in any nation. However, food insecurity still exists in many developing countries, with Asia home to almost 65% of the world’s undernourished. This calls for urgent action. Studies that examine differences in food security performance among Asian countries are sparse. This book fills this gap by providing cross-country comparative perspectives on food security improvements. Such a study can be valuable for Asian countries to learn from each other. Country studies included in this book are Bangladesh, the People’s Republic of China, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Pakistan, and Singapore...

 

ADB

Measuring the Degree of Corporate Innovation, September 2017. Corporate innovation propels both company performance and economic growth. Yet, measuring corporate innovation proves to be challenging, leading researchers to rely on a variety of different signals, such as reported research and development (R&D) expenditure, patent citations, and new product announcements. We suggest that each of these signs of corporate innovation provides a noisy, biased signal of a firm’s technological progress and capacity...

 

ADB

Top Management Quality, Corporate Finance, and Corporate Innovation, September 2017. In this paper, we review the theoretical and empirical literature on measuring the top management quality of firms, and its relation to various aspects of corporate financial policies and corporate innovation, drawing policy implications for enhancing corporate innovation. First, we discuss how management quality has been measured in the recent empirical literature. Second, we address theoretical models of the effect of the top management quality of a firm on its corporate financial and investment policies, and on corporate innovation...

 

ADB

Targeting of Social Transfers: Are India’s Elderly Poor , September 2017. Whether social transfers should be targeted or universal is an unsolved debate that is particularly relevant for the implementation of social protection schemes in developing countries. While the limited availability of public resources encourages targeting, the difficulty in identifying the poor promotes a universal allocation of benefits. To address this question, we examine the targeting performance of, and access to, a social welfare scheme for an increasingly vulnerable group – India’s elderly poor. The results show that during a time period of social pension reforms, exclusion and inclusion errors were successfully reduced but exclusion of the elderly poor continues to be extremely high...

 

ADB

How to Build a Resilient Monetary Union? Lessons from the Euro Crisis, September 2017. We describe the institutional flaws that led to the euro crisis, assess the institutional reforms that were put in place during and in the aftermath of the crisis, and evaluate the remaining fragilities of the architecture of the European monetary union. In mid-2017, growth in the euro area appears to be finally picking up after 10 years of recessions and slow recoveries. European leaders should not be complacent and wait for the next crisis to complete the single currency architecture. On the contrary, these quieter times offer a good occasion to reflect on the future of euro-area institutions and to build a more permanent setup than that implemented in the heat of the crisis...

 

ADB

Trade Linkages and Transmission of Oil Price Fluctuations in a Model Incorporating Monetary Variables, September 2017. We attempt to ascertain how sharp oil price changes can affect oil-exporting and oil-importing economies. To this end, we applied a simultaneous equation model (SEM) through a weighted two-stage least squares estimation method to different countries with business relations from Q1 2000 to Q4 2015. In the case of oil-exporting countries—Iran, the Russian Federation, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan—our findings revealed that they totally benefit from oil price increases. In the case of oil-importing countries, the effects are more diverse...

 

ADB

Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics of E-Commerce Users in Indonesia, September 2017. Age, gender, education, and type of work determine online shopping behavior in Indonesia.
We analyze the National Socio-Economic Survey conducted by BPS Statistics Indonesia, which asked people about their purposes for accessing the internet. We used a log linear model to analyze the tendency of individuals conducting e-commerce transactions. The odds ratio indicates that women have a higher tendency than men for conducting e-commerce transactions. In addition, the tendency of individuals aged 25 to 64 years old is higher than for other age groups...

 

ADB

Nepal Macroeconomic Update, September 2017. This edition of Macroeconomic Update provides a forecast for FY2018 growth and inflation. It also analyzes Nepal’s performance in real, fiscal, monetary and external sectors in FY2017. GDP is forecast to grow by 4.7% in FY2018, down from a preliminary estimate of 6.9% in FY2017, largely due to heavy rainfall during this monsoon that affected paddy and other major crops in the Terai belt of Nepal. This will likely depress farm output and economic growth in FY2018 and contribute to inflationary pressure. Inflation is expected to rise to 6.5% in FY2018...

 

ADB

Trade Facilitation and Better Connectivity for an Inclusive Asia and Pacific: Full Report, Highlights, Published 2017. Trade facilitation increases trade flows, lowers trade cost, and ultimately contributes to sustainable and inclusive growth. This publication, jointly prepared by the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, reviews the state of play of trade facilitation and paperless trade in Asia and the Pacific. It investigates the evolution of trade costs in the region, examines trade facilitation and paperless trade implementation, and highlights the key initiatives and efforts in Central Asia, the Greater Mekong Subregion, South Asia, and the Pacific. It includes impact assessments of trade facilitation implementation and corridor performance on reducing trade costs and increasing trade.

 

ADB

The Middle-Income Trap from a Schumpeterian Perspective, September 2017. Growth and development come from structural transformation, defined as the interplay between changes in economic structure and supporting institutions at different stages of development. The paper discusses how firms, competition, and institutions affect structural transformation.

 

ADB

The Role and Impact of Infrastructure in Middle-Income Countries: Anything Special? August 2017. This paper finds that the provision of infrastructure varies across different levels of development and growth performance. Basic infrastructure, such as transport, water, and sanitation, are emphasized more during early stages of development, while "advanced" infrastructure, such as power and specially information and communication technology, become more important during later stages. In addition, better-performing middle-income countries tend to have more information and communication technology infrastructure than their peers, and tend to invest more in infrastructure. Finally, public investment is shown to have a more significant and sustained impact on output in middle-income countries than in low-income countries.

 

ADB

Toward an Incremental Pathway to Peace on the Korean Peninsula, September 2017. One possible way to address the North Korean nuclear threat is by beginning a series of incremental steps to gradually lessen tension and lead to eventual peace on the Korean Peninsula. Such steps could include halting North Korea's nuclear-weapons testing and further advancement of its nuclear-weapons program in return for scaling back joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea; reducing North Korea's nuclear stockpiles in exchange for special development aid to North Korea for targeted economic, social, and public health initiatives; a moratorium on North Korean missile testing in exchange for the suspension of United States missile-defense systems in South Korea, and, providing earlier steps were successful, a peace treaty ending the Korean War. Recognizing what it would take for these initiatives to emerge requires also reckoning with the inevitable obstacles.

 

EWC

China Balances Uncertain Gains with Potentially Big Payoffs in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), September 2017. Tereza Kobelkova, Former Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “An increasing number of Chinese companies and experts have expressed grave concerns over BRI’s impact on their countries' economies.”

 

EWC

The United States Should Join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, September 2017. Niruban Balachandran, Recent Graduate of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, explains that “[Absence from AIIB] hinders Washington’s ability to influence and shape Beijing’s development effectiveness in the region.”

 

EWC

Addressing the Root Causes of Conflict-Driven Human Trafficking in Southeast Asia, September 2017. Ruji Auethavornpipat, Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “The trafficking of the Rohingya is clearly driven by violent conflicts in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Without tackling this root cause, human trafficking networks may continue to operate in the shadows.”

 

EWC

Opportunities and Challenges of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Implications for US Policy and Pakistan, September 2017. Lin Wang, Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “With the implementation of CPEC and the emerging commercial attractiveness of Pakistan and the South Asia region, Chinese and US economic and security interests in Pakistan and the region are converging.”

 

EWC

Two Myths and Two Realities Behind Japan's Support for Globalization, August 2017. Terumasa Tomita, Assistant Professor of Law at Meiji Gakuin University in Japan, asks “Why has the anti-globalization movement in Japan remained so weak? Four factors help to explain this puzzle: strong middle-class consciousness, faith in free trade, the absence of key actors spreading the anti-globalization message, and a smaller number of immigrants.”

 

EWC

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #12: Beneath the Veneer: The Political Economy of Housing in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor. The rise of Iskandar Malaysia as a regional hub has profoundly altered the domestic landscape, generating a knock-on effect on Johor's housing development, both economically and politically. Housing policy and development in Johor, as illustrated in the formation of Iskandar Malaysia, is riddled with conflict along two dimensions bumiputra versus non-bumiputra and federal government versus state government. The first one is entangled with international real estate development and foreign investment, while the latter has more to do with the rise of sub-national autonomy in Johor...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #11: Speculating on World-Class Transportation Infrastructure in Ho Chi Minh City. Population, cars and motorbikes have increased at higher than expected rates in Ho Chi Minh City, leading to increased congestion and strain on existing transportation infrastructure. While the city has a transportation infrastructure plan, it lacks adequate funds and is reliant on official development assistance (ODA) and foreign direct investment (FDI) to finance it. Amidst the backdrop of an opaque regulatory environment and intense competition among global ODA institutions, city officials speculate on multiple and contradictory transportation projects simultaneously...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #10: The Indonesia National Survey Project: Economy, Society and Politics. The ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute commissioned a nationwide survey in Indonesia, called the Indonesia National Survey Project (INSP) to enhance understanding of economic, social, and political developments in Indonesia. President Joko Widodo's approval rating hovers at around 68 per cent, and respondents generally think that the President has made improvements to the economy, although there are concerns with the price of necessities and job-seeking prospects. The Widodo administration scores well in infrastructure development, which is its signature policy thrust. Roads, education and electricity supply remain the top priorities for respondents, while corruption is still considered the most important problem facing Indonesia today...

 

ISEAS

Strengthening Tourism Business Resilience against the Impact of Terrorist Attack, September 2017. The workshop aimed to:
a) To study the level of resilience toward terrorist attack among economies in APEC; b) To strengthen international cooperation amongst APEC members to provide reliable and rapid information sharing at the time of terrorist attack; c) To establish standard of crisis management strategies in order to stabilize economies in the aftermath of a terrorist attack and to give guidance on how to recover and recuperate losses; d) To allow the exchange of information in relation to the movement of suspected terrorists, dangerous materials and capital that can be used in financing terrorist and terrorist attack...

 

APEC

APEC's Ease of Doing Business - Interim Assessment 2015-2016, September 2017. This interim assessment of the APEC’s Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) initiative during the year 2016 looks at the progress made by the APEC region in five priority areas: 1) Starting a Business; 2) Dealing with Construction Permits; 3) Getting Credit; 4) Trading Across Borders; and 5) Enforcing Contracts. This exercise, conducted as part of the Second EoDB Action Plan 2016-2018, also establishes the baseline values that will be used in evaluating APEC’s combined progress during this period...

 

APEC

The APEC Women and The Economy Dashboard 2017, September 2017. The APEC Women and the Economy Dashboard is an initiative that seeks to provide a snapshot of the status of women in APEC, by looking at a set of indicators in recent years, which allows measurement of the progress of women’s participation in economic-related activities and women’s inclusion in several aspects of life. The Dashboard is comprised of almost 80 indicators, classified in five areas previously identified as priorities by the APEC Policy Partnership of Women and the Economy (PPWE): 1) access to capital and assets; 2) access to markets; 3) skills, capacity-building and health; 4) leadership, voice and agency; and 5) innovation and technology...

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mind the Gap: Explaining Implementation Shortfalls in the ASEAN Economic Community, September 2017. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is at a critical crossroad in terms of policy implementation. ASEAN announced of a significant achievement rate of 93 per cent at the end of 2015. However, effective implementation, described as policy execution that generated tangible benefits for the end-users in their cross-border activities remained patchy. Following the theoretical discussion on policy implementation, this paper postulates that it was the economic conflicts between countries and between firms of a country that led to a broad and accommodative regional policy document, thereby affecting the course of implementation. As implementation is a national issue, organisational conflicts between government agencies and bureaucrats further distorted the final outcome, and hindered progress towards meaningful implementation.

 

ISEAS

MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters, September 2017. The September 2017 Survey was sent out on 11 August 2017 to a total of 26 economists and analysts who closely monitor the Singapore economy. This report reflects the views received from 21 respondents (a response rate of 80.8%) and does not represent MAS’ views or forecasts. GDP growth in Q2 2017 was higher than expected
The Singapore economy expanded by 2.9% in Q2 2017, which was above the median forecast of 2.7% reported in the June 2017 Survey.
..

 

MAS

MAS' Approach to Resolution of Financial Institutions in Singapore, August 2017. This Monograph sets out MAS' approach for operationalising the enhanced resolution framework in the Monetary Authority of Singapore (Amendment) Act 2017. The Amendment Act has been passed in Parliament on 4 July 2017. Regulations to operationalise the provisions of the Amendment Act will be promulgated in due course. A commencement notice will be published in the Gazette when the amendments are brought into force.

 

MAS

Iran’s Azerbaijan Question in Evolution: Identity, Society, and Regional Security, September 2017. Iranian Azerbaijanis have historically been considered the country’s most loyal ethno-linguistic minority. Predominantly Shiite, with religion being the most important source of collective identity, Turkophone Azerbaijanis had until the 1920s provided numerous dynasties to the Persian thrones. From Seljuks to Qajars, they stayed at the avant-garde of the Persian empires and shielded them from the major Sunni rival, the Ottoman Empire...

 

ISDP

The Strategic Risks of East Asia’s Slowing Economies, August 2017. Global economic growth has slowed substantially since the heady days before the financial crisis of 2008. The advanced Western economies have barely recovered, and, after decades of average growth of 10% in China, Beijing says the Chinese economy is now expanding at 6.7%— a figure many external analysts believe is optimistic. There’s little sign of a return to pre-financial-crisis growth rates any time soon. The potential dangers of a prolonged economic trough are global, but in East Asia many governments depend on their ability to deliver economic growth either to fulfil election promises, in the case of the democracies, or to justify their continued monopoly on power, in the case of the autocracies.

 

ASPI

The Puzzles and Contradictions of the Indian Labour Market: What Will the Future of Work Look Like? Published 2017. Analysing the Indian labour market poses inherent challenges given the country’s size and diversity. Rather than a case of “jobless growth”, India has experienced concentrated employment growth, mainly in urban areas and for men. Women’s participation in the labour force has declined. Some outcomes partly reflect India’s overall level of economic development...

 

ASARC

From Poor Peasants to Entrepreneurial Farmers: The Transformation of Rural Life in Northeast Thailand, August 2017. Over the past 30 years, a transformation has occurred in the lives of the people of Northeast Thailand (Isan), and of many rural areas in East and Southeast Asia. Historically regarded (and even derided) as "simple peasants," concerned only with growing enough food to feed themselves, they have embraced the marketplace and thrived, setting off a cascade of changes, including increased education, and feeding aspirations...

 

EWC

Misunderstanding North Korea, August 2017. As North Korea gets closer to deploying working nuclear missiles, it is more important than ever to dispense with four common misunderstandings. First, characterizations of the regime as irrational are wrong. Fundamentally weak and deeply insecure, North Korea tries to compensate by cultivating an image of eagerness to go to war in the hope of intimidating its adversaries. Second, paranoid about subversion, Pyongyang is extremely unlikely to exchange its nuclear weapons for greater trade opportunities with democratic countries...

 

EWC

APEC as a Tool to Engage North Korea, August 2017. Robert L. Curry, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Economics at CSU Sacramento, explains that “Under certain conditions, the regime might be ready for multilateral engagement.”

 

EWC

India's Strategic Convergence with Japan in the Changing Indo-Pacific Geopolitical Landscape, August 2017. Madhuchanda Ghosh, Assistant Professor at Presidency University, Kolkata, explains that “In the changing regional security architecture, the converging and competing interests of the three major Asian powers — China, India, and Japan — have driven them to articulate different strategic frameworks as indicated in Japan’s “Confluence of the Two Seas” idea, China’s “Maritime Silk Road” initiative, and India’s “Act East” Policy.”

 

EWC

US-China Cooperation on Wildlife Smuggling: An Opportunity, August 2017. Kathleen Devlin, graduate of the Yale Jackson Institute master's program in Global Affairs, explains that “The United States would do well to recognize anti-wildlife smuggling as an opportunity for mutual cooperation in an otherwise contentious bilateral relationship."

 

EWC

Regional Order Reconfigured: China, Japan, and the United States in the Evolving Asia Pacific, August 2017. Alex Yu-Ting Lin and Saori N. Katada, PhD Candidate and Associate Professor, respectively, at the University of Southern California, explain that “As we begin to see greater US and Japanese participation in Chinese-led initiatives over the next few years, the final piece of the puzzle is whether China will be ready to join initiatives led by Japan or the United States."

 

EWC

A Global Compact on Refugees: The Role of Australia, August 2017. The UN Global Compact on Refugees provides a unique opportunity to make far-reaching improvements to the international response to refugees. Australia has a vested interest to improve the refugee regime in particular to institute a more effective and equitable regional response to asylum seekers and refugees in Southeast Asia and reduce pressure on its own asylum system...

 

Lowy

The TPP: Truths about Power Politics, August 2017. Preferential trade agreements are negotiated by states. By definition, they are political in nature. The more powerful the state involved, the more it can shape the trajectory of trade negotiations. The three stages of the TPP – before the US joined, while the US was a TPP member, and the US withdrawal from TPP – reaffirm this political-economic truth. Political interests often trump economic ones when it comes to trade agreements. This paper analyses the three stages of the TPP using the tools of International Relations. It highlights key political truths that are reaffirmed by each TPP stage...

 

ISEAS

2016 Final Report on Good Regulatory Practices in APEC Economies, August 2017. In 2011, APEC developed the “Good Regulatory Practices in APEC Member Economies - Baseline Study” which reviewed the application of selected GRPs across the 21 APEC members. This report focuses on those GRPs that promote regulatory quality standards that are particularly important to trade and investment, such as regulatory accountability, reform capacity, consultation, efficiency, and transparency...

 

APEC

IPv6 Deployment Strategies in APEC Economies, August 2017. In this report, APEC economies share their Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) deployment strategies noting the various stages of preparatory work before actual deployment. Each APEC economy is unique in its geopolitical conditions, but common in its goal to be IPv6 capable. This paper seeks to note trends in their deployment strategies in order to serve as learning points for interested economies who are in the midst of their own IPv6 deployment planning.

 

APEC

Research on Energy Storage Technologies to Build Sustainable Energy Systems in the APEC Region, June 2017. This report presents information and analysis on the potential of implementing energy storage technology in the APEC region. By reviewing current technology developments, case studies of active storage projects and related policies across APEC economies, the report provides utilities, industry players and government officials with information to assist in efforts to build more sustainable energy systems.

 

APEC

Workshop Report: Strategies to Address Non-communicable Diseases through Science, Technology and Innovation - Nutrigenomics Approach, January 2017. This report contains the proceedings of the APEC Nutrigenomics 2016. The workshop provided a venue to appreciate and understand nutrigenomics through sharing of knowledge, discussion of research results, and sharing of best practices in conducting nutrigenomics research. It also created frameworks for research collaboration among APEC economies through identification of research and knowledge gaps and discussion of opportunities for collaboration. The workshop was also an instrument in the identification of economically sound opportunities on how nutrigenomics can support the APEC economies.

 

APEC

APEC Privacy Framework (2015), Published 2017. The Framework, which aims at promoting electronic commerce throughout the Asia Pacific region, is consistent with the core values of the OECD’s Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Trans-Border Flows of Personal Data (OECD Guidelines), and reaffirms the value of privacy to individuals and to the information society...

 

APEC

The Internet of Things in the Power Sector—Opportunities in Asia and the Pacific, August 2017. n Asia’s power sector, grids are plagued with unreliable service and are struggling to upgrade power systems to keep up with high demand growth rates. The Internet of Things (IoT), billed as the next industrial revolution or Industry 4.0, has the potential to significantly transform the power sector by optimizing operations, managing asset performance, and engaging customers to lower energy cost. The power sector is already reaping benefits from early consumer-oriented IoT applications: smart meters and smart thermostats...

 

ADB

Geographic Information System-Based Decision Support System for Renewable Energy Development - An Indonesian Case Study, August 2017. The Asia and Pacific region is blessed with abundant renewable energy resources. Ironically, 420 million of its people still have no access to electricity, which makes tapping renewable energy an urgent necessity. The GIS-based decision support system (DSS) is a tool designed to help quantify renewable energy sources in a geographical area. Using Bali, Indonesia as case study, the tool estimates the technical potential and creates the right mix of renewable energy (solar, wind, biomass, hydropower, and geothermal) to meet Bali’s specific energy needs. Find out more about this GIS-based system and its potential as a practical tool to support the region’s rapid deployment of renewable energy technologies.

 

ADB

Introducing the Tax-Kicker Bond: Budget-neutral Financing of Private Infrastructure by Backend Participation in Future Tax Revenue Growth, August 2017. Everybody is trying to think of ways to attract long-term private and institutional investors to pay for new highways, railways, bridges, or dams. Promising ideas have been tried; but they have not convinced pension funds or affluent individuals to invest, especially in emerging economies with untested issuers. Yet higher returns from infrastructure projects are an ideal match for institutional investors—if projects are similar to those financed by benchmark United States (US) tax-free municipal bonds, an allowable asset class for decades...

 

ADB

ASEAN+3 Bond Market Guide 2017 Indonesia, Published 2017. The Indonesian bond market has seen significant changes in recent years, such as the reorganization of the regulatory framework of the capital and financial market with the creation of the Financial Services Authority (OJK). All regulatory and supervisory functions for Capital Market Participants and financial institutions converged into OJK. The total outstanding balance of tradable government bonds stood at USD132.0 billion while outstanding corporate bonds were valued at USD23.2 billion as of 30 December 2016.

 

ADB

Financial Regulations: Intermediation, Stability, and Productivity, Published 2017. Co-organized by the Asian Development Bank, Asian Development Bank Institute, European Central Bank, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and National University of Singapore, the Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research Specialty Conference gathered leading academics, central bankers, financial regulators, and experts from international financial organizations and discussed theory, practices, and policy implications of financial regulations: intermediation, stability, and productivity.

 

ADB

Financial Inclusion, Regulation, and Education: Asian Perspectives, Published 2017. 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, 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. This book surveys the experience of some developed and Asian emerging economies to assess factors affecting the ability of low-income households and small firms to access financial services, including financial literacy, financial education programs, and financial regulatory frameworks...

 

ADB

Gender Equality and the Labor Market: Women, Work, and Migration in the People's Republic of China, Published 2017. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has made advances in narrowing gender gaps in its labor market. It has one of the highest female labor force participation rates in Asia and the Pacific at around 64% in 2013, and one of the narrowest earnings gender gaps. This study investigates how women are faring in the transition to the PRC’s new growth model, and what can be done to promote women’s participation. It shows how the PRC is undergoing multiple transitions that have implications for gender equality and work. For example, during the market transition, gender wage gaps and gender wage discrimination increased, reaching 33% in urban areas and 44% in rural areas. Find out how evidenced-based gender analysis can foster gender responsive policy approaches to promote women’s equality in the labor market.

 

ADB

Public ICT Center for Rural Development: Inclusiveness, Sustainability, and Impact, Published 2017. This report discusses why ICT centers remain popular with governments and rural people, and why it is difficult to serve rural areas. Effective public support practices are identified, based on a review of the record of experience, with special reference to two case studies: a government-run initiative in the Philippines and a public–private partnership in Sri Lanka.

 

ADB

Climate Change Profile of Pakistan, Published 2017. atastrophic floods, droughts, and cyclones have plagued Pakistan in recent years. The 2010 flood killed 1,600 people and caused around $10 billion in damage. The 2015 Karachi heat wave led to the death of more than 1,200 people. Climate change-related natural hazards may increase in frequency and severity in the coming decades. Climatic changes are expected to have wide-ranging impacts on Pakistan, affecting agricultural productivity, water availability, and increased frequency of extreme climatic events. Addressing these risks requires climate change to be mainstreamed into national strategy and policy. The profile covers (i) historical and future expected trends of climate change at provincial level, (ii) expected climate impacts on priority sectors, (iii) the institutional and policy frameworks to address climate change, (iv) climate finance sources, and (v) opportunities for adaptation

 

ADB

Latest ADBI Working Papers:

 

ADB

Latest ADB Economic Working Papers:

 

ADB

Southeast Review of Asian Studies, Volume 38, 2016  

SERAS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

  

 
 

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