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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.

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

September, 2015 Current Topics

 

Source

 

 

 

 

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

 

ISEAS

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

 

ISEAS

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ISDP

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

 

ASPI

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

 

ASPI

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

 

Lowy

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

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

 

ISEAS

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

 

ISEAS

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

 

ISEAS

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

 

ISEAS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Lowy

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

MAS

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

 

ASPI

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

 

ASPI

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

 

ASPI

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

 

ASPI

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

 

HKU

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ISEAS

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

 

CIFOR

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

 

CIFOR

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

 

CIFOR

Virginia Review of Asian Studies 2015  

VRAS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

CIFOR

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

 

CIFOR

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

 

CIFOR

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

 

CIFOR

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

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

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

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

APEC

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

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

 

ISEAS

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

 

ISDP

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

IJKS

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

 

ADB

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

 

ASPI

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

 

ASPI

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

 

ASPI

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

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

 

EWC

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

 

ADB

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

 

ADB

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

 

APJ

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

 

APJ

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

 

APJ

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

 

APJ

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

 

APJ

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

 

APJ

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

 

APJ

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

 

APJ

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

 

APJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

  

 
 

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