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2017 Highlights

 

 

 

 

 
     

 

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

     

 

December, 2017 Current Topics

 

Source

 

 

 

 

The Great Rejuvenation? China’s Search for a New ‘Global Order’ November 2017. This Asia Paper explores how China, a ‘partial’ global power, can set the agenda and determine the rules in a global order dominated by a declining yet unyielding global power. In exploring this question, we present the argument that building ‘alternative’ regional and global institutions might be a safer strategy for China. Further, it examines how China is through institutions, such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) incrementally delimiting its sphere of influence and shaping other states’ actions in Asia. Despite the People’s Republic of China’s narrative that AIIB and the BRI have been great successes and projects of the century, China’s multilateral institutions still face insurmountable challenges...

 

ISDP

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #20: The 2017 Johor Survey: Selected Findings. ISEAS commissioned the 2017 Johor Survey to understand Johor residents' attitudes towards state and federal government, the economy, Islamic identity, the Johor royal family, as well as development projects like Iskandar Malaysia. This is a presentation of selected findings from the survey. A majority of respondents are satisfied with the Johor government's management of the state. There is mild optimism over the economic future of the state across the board, except for Chinese respondents who are generally more pessimistic. Chinese respondents are more likely to report smaller improvements in the financial situation of their households...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #19: Malaysia’s Electoral Process: The Methods and Costs of Perpetuating UMNO Rule. Malaysia will hold its 14th general election before August 2018, bringing renewed focus on the nature of political competition in the country. This paper provides a systematic overview of the electoral process and an assessment of how it shapes the country’s political environment. Political competition in Malaysia is extensively manipulated to provide the incumbent government substantial advantages in elections. Most of the manipulations are a result of institutional bias during the pre-election phase. They create a fundamentally uneven playing field that has entrenched the political dominance of the UMNO-led coalition...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #18: Harnessing the Potential of the Indonesian Diaspora. In recent years, the Indonesian government has increased efforts to harness the economic, political, and social potential of its diaspora. A recent high-profile event was the 4th annual Congress of Indonesian Diasporas that took place in Jakarta on 1 July 2017. Opened by former U.S. President Barack Obama, the event was intended to draw the Indonesian public's attention towards the contributions of Indonesian diaspora communities abroad. Current estimates put the number of overseas Indonesians at up to 8 million people worldwide. Members of the Indonesian diaspora are lobbying for legislative amendments, including dual citizenship, parliamentary representation, property ownership rights, and constitutional recognition...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #17: The Central Role of Thailand’s Internal Security Operations Command in the Post-Counter-insurgency Period. The Thai military's Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) was in charge of a wide range of civil affairs projects during the country's struggle with the communist insurgency between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s. These projects — including rural development programmes, mass organizations and mobilization campaigns, and psychological operations — provided justification for the military to routinely penetrate the socio-political sphere...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #16: The Political Economy of Chinese Investment in Cambodia. China suffers from a trust deficit in the region, and Southeast Asian countries have adopted hedging strategies, at varying degrees, aimed at diversifying their economic and strategic interests from Chinese investments and influence. Cambodia considers China as an important strategic and economic partner in providing performance legitimacy and as a countervailing force against its immediate neighbours...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #15: The Growing “Strategic Partnership” between Indonesia and China Faces Difficult Challenges. Jakarta–Beijing relations have experienced significant progress, especially since the Yudhoyono presidency. Economic links between the two countries have expanded rapidly and tourism and cultural exchanges have also shown improvements. Issues that may affect Indonesia-China relations negatively in the future include...

 

ISEAS

Mounting Pressure for Japan to Tackle Immigration Policy, November 2017. Toshihiro Menju, Managing Director at the Japan Center for International Exchange, explains that “Recent projections by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research show that steeper population declines are ahead.”

 

EWC

The 2017 APEC Summit: A Game Changer for the Asia-Pacific? November 2017. Le Dinh Tinh, Senior Fellow at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, explains that “For the first time ASEAN leaders had a dialogue with APEC members’ heads of delegation. This is a testament to both ASEAN and APEC’s continued aspirations for a wider community of cooperation.”

 

EWC

India's Responses to the Complex Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar, November 2017. Baladas Ghoshal, Secretary General of the Society for Indian Ocean Studies, explains that “New Delhi has to balance between its security concerns and moralism on humanitarian issues.”

 

EWC

India's Evolving Subregional Strategy, November 2017. K. Yhome, Senior Fellow with the Observer Research Foundation, explains that “New Delhi’s evolving subregional approach needs to view the three subregions as a single strategic arch.”

 

EWC

A Grim Outlook for China's Civil Society in the Wake of the 19th Party Congress, October 2017. Ketty Loeb, Grants and Development Specialist at the East-West Center, explains that “The concurrent crackdown on some aspects of civil society with the apparent “opening” of legal and administrative efforts, then, form the fine balance of the Xi administration’s approach to civil society thus far.”

 

EWC

China and the United States as Aid Donors: Past and Future Trajectories, Published 2017. The United States and China have followed nearly parallel paths as providers of foreign aid over the past seven decades. Although both programs were ostensibly aimed at Third World economic development, both countries also leveraged the programs to further their own national interests, using very different strategies. The United States has largely provided foreign aid with the aim of stabilizing the world order, favoring a patron-client relationship with recipient countries, and using aid to promote economic and political liberalization...

 

EWC

Clear Waters and Green Mountains: Will Xi Jinping Take the Lead on Climate Change? November 2017. President Trump’s announced withdrawal from the Paris Agreement shone a light on China’s efforts to fight climate change, which are as much about economics and technology as environmental responsibility. Longer-term technological and economic change may lead China to eventually show greater diplomatic ambition on climate. China cannot assume an international leadership position on climate until it deepens its domestic energy transition and greens its overseas investments.

 

Lowy

Autopilot: East Asia Policy Under Trump, October 2017. Despite President Donald Trump’s promise to adopt an America First foreign policy, US policies in East Asia — on issues from trade, to diplomatic engagement, to the North Korean nuclear crisis — now more closely resemble those of Trump’s predecessors than his campaign vision. There are few advisers around President Trump with the necessary expertise, experience, and inclination to implement an America First foreign policy in Asia. Most principals hold conventional Republican views, and lead institutions that have advanced conventional policies. As a result, US policy in East Asia is on autopilot. The greatest risks are not a deliberate crash, but that of a crisis, in which the autopilot will disengage and President Trump will be required to fly the plane; or that the United States will drift far off course before a qualified pilot can retake control.

 

Lowy

An Accident Waiting to Happen: Trump, Putin and the Us-Russia Relationship, October 2017. US–Russia relations are more problematic and acrimonious than at any time since the end of the Cold War. Hopes in Moscow that Trump’s election might lead to a rapprochement have evaporated, and even limited cooperation appears a distant prospect. Trump’s anarchic tendencies will further destabilise relations in a volatile international context. The risk of direct confrontation between the United States and Russia has increased tangibly.

 

Lowy

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

Asia Bond Monitor, November 2017. Yields in emerging East Asia rose between 1 September and 31 October, tracking increases in yields in major advanced economies. While emerging East Asia’s financial markets have been stable on the back of strong global economic growth, potential risks are looming. These include further tightening of global liquidity as more central banks move to normalize monetary policy, and the longevity risk faced by financial institutions, which will require more hedging instruments in financial markets...

 

ADB

Third Review of Enhancing the Asian Development Bank's Role in Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism, November 2017. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Directors adopted the Policy on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism on 1 April 2003. The policy calls on ADB to (i) assist developing member countries (DMCs) in establishing and implementing effective legal and institutional systems to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism; (ii) increase collaboration with other international organizations; (iii) strengthen internal controls to safeguard ADB funds; and (iv) upgrade ADB's staff capacity...

 

ADB

The Sri Lankan Economy: Charting a New Course, Published 2017. This is a pivotal period in Sri Lanka’s economic development. The end of conflict opens a door for accelerated economic growth and poverty reduction. Reform is needed to regain momentum because fiscal imbalances and rising public debt could jeopardize macroeconomic stability...

 

ADB

At A Glance: Food Insecurity in Asia: Why Institutions Matter, Published 2017. While overall food security has improved remarkably in Asia in the past decades, food insecurity still prevails in many developing countries in the region. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, over 500 million Asians still suffer from hunger. Sound strategies need to be developed and actions undertaken to fight food insecurity in Asia.

 

ADB

Asean 4.0: What Does the Fourth Industrial Revolution Mean for Regional Economic Integration? Published 2017. The Fourth Industrial Revolution refers to a set of highly disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, blockchain and 3D printing, that are transforming social, economic and political systems and placing pressure on leaders and policy-makers to respond. The paper discusses the huge benefits these technologies will bring, such as empowering SMEs and creating new ways to connect citizens to healthcare...

 

ADB

Central and Local Government Relations in Asia, Published 2017. This book’s insights are essential for policy makers in Asia and academics and researchers in the areas of economic development, public finance, and fiscal policy as well as development aid officials, multilateral banks, and NGOs.

 

ADB

Compendium of Supply and Use Tables for Selected Economies in Asia and the Pacific, Published 2017 . This publication outlines the relevant statistical and economic concepts, data compilation and development practices, project implementation strategies, and the results of the project. It also includes an abridged version of the supply and use tables (SUTs) of the 19 participating economies. The more detailed tables are available online through the ADB website.

 

ADB

Asian Economic Integration Report 2017: The Era of Financial Interconnectedness - How Can Asia Strengthen Financial Resilience? (Full Report, Highlights). This year’s Asian Economic Integration Report introduces a new composite index to gauge the progress of regional cooperation and integration (RCI) in Asia and the Pacific. RCI plays an important role in supporting economic growth and poverty reduction, and has been high on the development agenda for many Asian economies in recent years. Supporting RCI is one of ADB’s key strategic priorities for development assistance in the region. An index that calibrates the status of RCI can be a useful policy tool for assessing the progress of RCI efforts especially by various subregional initiatives...

 

ADB

Latest ADB Economic Working Paper Series:  

ADB

Latest ADBI Working Papers:  

ADB

Hmong Studies Journal, Vol. 18, 2017  

HSJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monetary Authority of Singapore: Macroeconomic Review, Volume XVI, Issue 2, October 2017 (Full Report, Presentation Slides for Briefing):  

MAS

Singapore Corporate Debt Market Review 2017. Despite the slowdown in economic conditions for emerging Asia, Singapore’s corporate debt issuance volumes increased moderately in 2016. Total debt issued grew 7% year-on-year to reach SGD 186 billion in 2016, from SGD 174 billion in the previous year Growth was primarily driven by increased issuance of non-SGD denominated bonds as issuers sought to raise international capital to finance regional and global growth...

 

MAS

2016 Singapore Asset Management Industry Survey, September 2017. At the end of 2016, total assets managed by Singapore-based asset managers grew by 7% year-on-year to reach S$2.7 trillion, up from S$2.6 trillion in 2015. Over the last five years, the industry’s assets under management (“AUM”) expanded at a 15% compound annual growth rate (“CAGR”). The Singapore asset management industry continued to maintain a high level of discretionary AUM, which increased from 52% to 53% of AUM in 2016. This reflected the industry’s depth of expertise in higher value-added activities such as portfolio management...

 

MAS

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. Evidence 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parents' Perceptions of the Singapore Primary School System, July 2017. In 2016, the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) conducted a Survey on Parental Perceptions of Education with 1,500 citizen and PR parents to obtain a quantitative picture of sentiments towards Singapore’s primary school system. The respondents’ demographics mirrored the general population except for the gender ratio; we asked the parent predominantly responsible for making decisions relating to primary school education to complete the survey, and more women were represented. Broadly, the results indicate that the vast majority of Singaporean parents are generally pleased with the local education system’s structure, processes and outcomes. Parents appeared to be largely positive and satisfied about the facilities, support network and other features of the school their child was attending...

 

IPS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #9: Parti Amanah Negara in Johor: Birth, Challenges and Prospects. In 2015, a new party called Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) was formed following the departure of progressive Islamists from the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), leaving the latter to be a party dominated by conservative Islamists. Much of the groundwork for the formation of Amanah took place in Malaysia's southern state of Johor. A prominent Johor PAS activist, Mazlan Aliman, was among the first to propagate the idea that a new, progressive platform needed to be formed. This eventually led to the Bakri Declaration which forms the basis for the establishment of Amanah...

 

ISEAS

Out of the “Slipstream” of Power? Australian Grand Strategy and the South China Sea Disputes, June 2017. The changing regional security dynamics necessitate that Canberra re-evaluate and rebalance its relations in the region. Until this is achieved, a muddle-through “hedge and engage strategy” with China will continue; though this strategy is unlikely to support greater confidence in China-Australia relations or U.S.-China relations, and only prompt other countries in the region to conduct similar policy, thereby provoking an entrenchment of the Thucydides trap. The development of a grand strategy would enable greater coherence of Australia’s position and reduce the risk of miscalculation...

 

ISDP

Coordination of Federal, State and Local Disaster Management Arrangements in Australia: Lessons from the UK and the US, August 2017. This document discusses the gaps in Australia’s emergency management legislation and the coordination of federal, state and local disaster management arrangements in Australia. It analyses key legislation from the UK and US jurisdictions and reveals important lessons that could be adopted in Australia.

 

ASPI

ASPI is releasing two research publications on the uses and limitations of big data in national security.

 

ASPI

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #8: Rowing Against the Tide? Batam’s Economic Fortunes in Today’s Indonesia. Despite its good infrastructure and proximity to Singapore, Batam's economic performance has taken a turn for the worse, with declining levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) and exports. Well-known firms in the electronics sector have closed shop, the shipping industry is in the doldrums, and unemployment rates have begun to climb. The environment for business is not as conducive as it used to be, with bureaucratic overlaps, persistent red tape, and shortages of land for investors. And, rather than seeking to attract large-scale investments in manufacturing or services, government campaigns have focussed on traditional economic activities such as fishing and farming...

 

ISEAS

The Role of India and China in South Asia, July 2017. Christian Wagner, Senior Fellow at the German Institute for International Security Affairs (SWP), Berlin, explains that “In South Asia, India seems to be a regional power by default. But a closer look reveals that China is gaining an upper hand in the region.”

 

EWC

Promises and Pitfalls of the Belt and Road Initiative, July 2017. Bipul Chatterjee and Saurabh Kumar, Executive Director and Policy Analyst, respectively, at CUTS International, explain that “China may accrue significant benefits if it reduces tariffs through free trade zones, particularly on products from BRI countries.”

 

EWC

Vietnam is a Promising Partner for the Trump Administration, July 2017. Huong Le Thu, visiting fellow at Strategic and Defence Studies Center, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University, explains that “[Vietnamese Prime Minister] Phuc aimed to lay out benefits for Washington to induce it to keep ties with Hanoi strong. The prime minister tailored his economic agenda for Trump’s business mindset.”

 

EWC

The Emerging Geopolitics of the Indian Ocean Region, June 2017. Jonathan Ward, Founder of the Atlas Organization, explains that “The Chinese economy depends on access to this region. Energy imports from the Middle East, resources from Africa, and trade with Europe must transit the Indian Ocean in order to reach China.”

 

EWC

Setting Standards for Industry: Comparing the Emerging Chinese Standardization System and the Current US System, Published 2017. This paper compares Chinese and American systems for setting industrial standards. Specifically, the paper compares the US system of voluntary standards, which relies on consensus among parties and market-driven initiatives, with current efforts to reform China's government-directed standardization system. The paper focuses on five aspects: the degree of development of these nonprofit associations, the abilities of the associations, government attitudes, market demand, and overseas experience. The paper culminates in a discussion of policy implications for China's reform efforts. An important argument is that the government should introduce pragmatic, feasible policy measures that address the needs and capabilities of standard-setting organizations. These policies can draw important lessons from the achievements of America's voluntary standard system. This would require a deep understanding of the advantages, disadvantages, and applicability of the US approach to voluntary standards.

 

EWC

Guidance on Insurers' Own Risk and Solvency Assessments (ORSA), July 2017. MAS 126 on Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”) for Insurers was introduced on 2 April 2013 and took effect on 1 January 2014. The Notice requires insurers to perform an Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (“ORSA”) at least annually to assess
the adequacy of their risk management and their current and projected future solvency
positions. An insurer’s ORSA is central to its ERM framework as it links its business strategy, risk tolerance, risk management and capital management with each other. Specifically, it allows the insurer to better anticipate how potential business risks could crystallise into capital needs, and to make early plans to meet those needs. It also allows an insurer to analyse how its business strategy could be adjusted in line with its risk tolerance. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) takes into account an insurer’s ORSA and its related processes as part of MAS’ assessment of the insurer...

 

MAS

Asian Development Outlook Supplement: Cautious Optimism for Asia's Outlook, July 2017. Developing Asia is now expected to grow by 5.9% in 2017, or 0.2 percentage points higher than the rate previously envisaged. The smaller upgrade in the 2018 growth forecast—5.7% in ADO 2017 to 5.8%—reflects a cautious view on the pace of the turnaround in external demand. Excluding the newly industrialized economies of the Republic of Korea (ROK), Singapore, Taipei,China, and Hong Kong, China, growth projections for the region are revised up to 6.4% for 2017 and to 6.3% for 2018. Projections are upgraded for Central and East Asia but unchanged for the other three subregions...

 

ADB

Pacific Economic Monitor, July 2017. Stronger global demand in the second half of 2016 off set sluggish growth in the first half, causing a marginal slowdown of annual growth to 3.1% in 2016 from 3.4% in 2015. The upswing in the second half of 2016 led to advances in manufacturing and trade as well as strengthening of commodity prices. World output is projected to grow by 3.5% in 2017 and 3.6% in 2018. However, the shift to more inward-looking policies among some major economies—which may disrupt global trade—and uncertainties in United States (US) policy can pose serious risks to short- and medium-term global prospects...

 

ADB

Latest ADBI Working Papers:

 

ADB

Travel Demand Management Options in Beijing, May 2017. Rapid urbanization and motorization combined with high population density have led to serious congestion and air quality problems in the People’s Republic of China capital of Beijing. While Beijing accounts for less than 2% of the population, more than 10% of the country’s vehicles ply the city’s roads. This study is part of the Asian Development Bank’s initiative to support greener and more sustainable transport systems that are convenient and lessen carbon dioxide emissions. Read how congestion charging, vehicle ownership quotas, and progressive parking reforms can improve Beijing’s approach to travel demand

 

ADB

Transforming toward a High-Income People's Republic of China, Published 2017. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has experienced stellar economic performance over the last 3 decades. Gross domestic product growth has averaged 10% per year. Per capita income has increased by a factor of 13. Life expectancy at birth increased from 67 to 73 years. Rapid growth, however, has posed eight challenges for the PRC: industrial transformation, balanced rural–urban development, human resource transformation, environmental protection, climate change mitigation, water security, subnational debt management, and further integration with the international economic system. In 2013, ADB was invited to provide inputs to support the preparation of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016–2020). This report summarizes key issues and recommends practical policy options to address the PRC’s challenges.

 

ADB

A Region at Risk: The Human Dimensions of Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific, Published 2017. Asia and the Pacific continues to be exposed to climate change impacts. Home to the majority of the world’s poor, the population of the region is particularly vulnerable to those impacts. Unabated warming could largely diminish previous achievements of economic development and improvements, putting the future of the region at risk. The report discusses the most recent projections pertaining to climate change and climate change impacts in Asia and the Pacific, and the consequences of these changes to human systems, particularly for developing countries. It also highlights gaps in the existing knowledge and identifies avenues for continued research...

 

ADB

Banking on the Future of Asia and the Pacific: 50 Years of the Asian Development Bank (second edition), Published 2017. Focusing on the region’s economic development, the evolution of the international development agenda, and the story of ADB itself, Banking on the Future of Asia and the Pacific raises several key questions: What are the outstanding features of regional development to which ADB had to respond? How has the bank grown and evolved in changing circumstances? How did ADB’s successive leaders promote reforms while preserving continuity with the efforts of their predecessors? ADB has played an important role in the transformation of Asia and the Pacific over the past 50 years. As ADB continues to evolve and adapt to the region’s changing development landscape, the experiences highlighted in this book can provide valuable insight on how best to serve Asia and the Pacific in the future.

 

ADB

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Economic Issue of the Day:  

PIDS

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Policy Notes:  

PIDS

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Discussion Papers:  

PIDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thailand's Triple Threat, July 2017. King Vajiralongkorn’s elevation to the Chakri throne comes after decades of whispers that he is an unsuitable king for Thailand. Despite these concerns, the military leadership has swung behind their new monarch. But the potential for future turbulence under the government led by General Prayuth Chan-ocha is high. The fluid situation in Bangkok is complicated by the potential escalation and expansion of separatist violence in southern Thailand. The question is how will Thailand respond to the triple threat of King Vajiralongkorn’s ascension, the entrenchment of military rule, and the potential escalation of separatist violence emanating from the southern provinces...

 

Lowy

Should Thailand Join the TPP? July 2017. This paper reviews the potential gains and losses for Thailand if the country joins the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Had the United States remained a member of TPP, the preferential market access to the country would be a major source of gains. However, the intellectual property right (IPRs) provisions in the TPP may have adverse impact on pharmaceutical expenditure in Thailand. While there are other issues covered in TPP, these are likely to be either non-binding constraints (e.g. investment agreement) or having effects that are difficult to be quantified across time and space (e.g. government procurement, environmental agreement). While there is belief that the TPP and cumulative ROO in particular could alter supply chain of production network, this is unlikely to occur due to a number of exceptions in the TPP itself.

 

ISEAS

Impact of TPP-11 on Japanese Manufacturing Affiliates in ASEAN, July 2017. This paper discusses how tariff reductions through TPP may affect Japanese manufacturing affiliates in ASEAN countries. Without the U.S., there is some uncertainty in the impact of TPP on the investment and expansion plans of Japanese affiliates in Malaysia and Vietnam’s textile and footwear industries. Similarly, it is also uncertain that Japanese affiliates in ASEAN non-TPP member countries will shrink their business in these industries. In the case of other industries, the TPP-11 will not affect Japanese affiliates because market access will not be different between TPP and non-TPP member countries.

 

ISEAS

Dynamics of Ride Sharing Competition, July 2017. This paper studies the dynamics of ride-sharing competition. Ride-sharing is modelled as a spatial two-sided market with heterogeneous passengers and drivers, both located on a Salop (1979) circle. The model is simulated to study four aspects of ride-sharing competition:(i) price distribution and dynamics, (ii) strategic pricing, (iii) fixed pricing vs. surge pricing, and (iv) information-sharing. Dynamic platform competition in a spatial setting can generate distinct and persistent bands of fluctuating prices. Space and stochastic luck can mitigate winner-take-all effects in price competition...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #7: The Traditionalist Response to Wahhabi-Salafism in Batam. The rise of Wahhabi-Salafi ideology in neighbouring Batamis causing concern in Singapore. There are worries that some Singapore Muslims are being radicalized by Batam’s Islamic radio station Hang FM, which openly promotes Wahhabi-Salafi teachings. The uncovering by Batam police of a plan by five Indonesians to launch a missile from the island, targeting Singapore’s Marina Bay, and the arrest of some individuals linked to ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) in Batam in August 2016 strengthen these fears...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #6: Old Stereotypes, New Convictions: Pribumi Perceptions of Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia Today. Despite improvements in the position of ethnic Chinese in the reformasi era, critical and negative perceptions of them persist among prominent pribumi personalities, particularly in recent years. These include leaders of several Islamic organizations, nationalists who harbour suspicions about foreign powers, and some who were in mid-career and/or were well placed in the last years of the Suharto era. This latter group consists of retired senior military officers, senior scholars, as well as current and former senior government officials. The ethnic Chinese are often portrayed as outsiders who are already dominant economically, and who are trying to be politically dominant as well. Furthermore, it is often claimed that ethnic Chinese tend to be loyal towards China...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #5: The Natunas: Territorial Integrity in the Forefront of Indonesia–China Relations. In May 2017 the Indonesian military conducted a large-scale exercise in the Natuna Islands. This was in the wake of three incidents in 2016 that involved Chinese fishing boats. Jakarta accused the vessels of stealing fish within the Indonesian EEZ but Beijing considered these boats to be carrying out regular activities in Chinese traditional fishing grounds. Both Beijing and Jakarta acknowledge that the Natuna Islands belong to Indonesia. But while the Chinese avoid mentioning the issue of the islands having an EEZ, Jakarta openly claims that the islands definitely do have an EEZ...

 

ISEAS

Hong Kong: High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2017Q3, July 2017. According to its High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecast, real GDP is estimated to grow by 3.6% in 17Q2, when compared with the same period in 2016, moderate from the 4.3% growth in 17Q1. In 17Q3, real GDP growth is expected to moderate to 3.2% 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 between 2.8% to 3.6% in 2017, upward revised by 0.7 percentage point comparing to our previous forecast reflecting strong domestic demand.

 

HKU

Australia and Germany: A New Strategic Energy Partnership, July 2017. his STRATEGY paper evaluates the prospects for the development of a strategic energy partnership between Australia and Germany based on the potential for Australia to emerge as Europe’s major supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG). At first glance, Australia’s growing export capacity, backed by its reputation as a safe, reliable and secure supplier, seems to be a perfect fit in Europe’s quest for new suppliers and in Germany’s search for new sources of electricity. Despite these potential synergies, this paper argues that Australia is unlikely to emerge as an LNG supplier to Germany in the foreseeable future. However, there’s much value for Australia and Germany in strengthening the broader energy relationship.

 

ASPI

International Journal of Korean Studies, Volume XX, Number 2, 2016  

IJKS

Low Fertility in Japan - No End in Sight, June 2017.  After more than 40 years of very low birth rates, Japan now has one of the oldest populations in the world. Sustained low birth rates mean that there are few children in the population and eventually few working-age adults to drive economic growth and support the relatively large proportion of elderly, who were born in a previous era when fertility was higher. But why are young Japanese having so few children? One reason appears to be the uncertain employment prospects for young men, which make them poor candidates for marriage...

 

EWC

Japanese Investments Are Instrumental to India's Act East Policy, June 2017. Monika Chansoria, Resident Visiting Fellow at The Japan Institute of International Affairs, explains that “Japan’s role in developing infrastructure in India’s northeastern region will be one of the key yardsticks to measure the “confluence” of India’s Act East initiative with Japan’s Indo-Pacific strategy.”

 

EWC

India, Japan, and the Indo-Pacific: Breaking Out of the Middle Power Status, June 2017 . Nidhi Prasad, Researcher at Aoyama Gakuin University in Japan, explains that “India and Japan refuse to be caught in binary choices and are gradually creating room within which other Asian countries can maneuver.”

 

EWC

The Background to the First Ever Visit to Israel by an Indian Prime Minister, June 2017. Efraim Inbar, Founding Director of Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, explains that “The two nations share a common threat: the radical offshoots of Islam in the greater Middle East.”

 

EWC

Japan-India Development and Security Cooperation Should be Steady, not Rushed, May 2017. Shutaro Sano, Professor and Deputy Director at the Center for International Exchange, National Defense Academy of Japan, explains that “Tokyo’s position is consistent with Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and ‘Neighborhood First’ policy, which aim to establish reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure within India and between India and its neighboring countries. ”

 

EWC

Asia Bond Monitor, June 2017. Continued improvement in global economic prospects helped drive yields lower in most markets in emerging East Asia amid positive investor sentiment. Between 1 March and 15 May, yields for both 2-year and 10-year government bonds declined in most emerging East Asian markets. Among all bond markets in emerging East Asia, Indonesia experienced the largest decline in yields during the review period, driven by positive investor sentiment and an expected credit rating upgrade from Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings. Financial stability has improved as evidenced by declines in emerging East Asia’s credit spreads...

 

ADB

The Asian Bond Markets Initiative: Policy Maker Achievements and Challenges, Published 2017. The Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI) was launched in December 2002 by 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 strengthen financial stability and reduce the region’s vulnerability to the sudden reversal of capital flows. This paper also provides recommendations for addressing new sources of market volatility and other challenges within and outside the framework of the Asian Bond Markets Initiative.

 

ADB

2017 Pacific Energy Update. ADB is supporting access to energy, renewable energy generation, efficient use of resources, and strengthening public and private sector institutions in the Pacific. ADB works across the Asia and Pacific region to strengthen communities and improve lives by supporting governments, businesses, and infrastructure to operate more effectively. Clean energy is an essential resource for driving low-carbon economic growth and for enhancing the quality of life for people in the region. The Pacific Energy Update 2017 describes ADB’s work in the energy sector; it highlights how technical assistance and energy sector projects are helping to build resilient, low-carbon economies, while increasing access to clean, reliable power in the Pacific...

 

ADB

Modeling Eldercare by Children and Children-in-Law: The Role of Marriage Institutions, June 2017. Children and potential children-in-law make individual decisions regarding the provision of eldercare. They respond to incentives: the more they can get paid for taking care of a needy parent-in-law the more they are likely to assist. Informal eldercare is often supplied by family members, more so in Asia than in the West...

 

ADB

The People’s Republic of China in the Middle-Income Trap? June 2017. In 2011, the People’s Republic of China's economy started to decline, raising concerns that the country could suffer severe growth slowdown or fall into the middle-income trap. Over the last decade, a growing body of literature dealing with the phenomenon of the “middle-income trap” (MIT) has emerged. The term MIT usually refers to countries that have experienced rapid growth and thus reached the status of a middle-income country in a very short period, but have not been able to further catch up with the group of high-income economies...

 

ADB

Costs and Potential Funding of Expanded Public Pension Coverage in Asia, June 2017. Many Asian economies are facing rapidly aging populations, which will dramatically raise pension and other old-age-related spending. Public pension burdens in most emerging Asian economies are still relatively small. However, there are a number of reasons to believe that they will increase markedly in the coming years...

 

ADB

Digital Trade Facilitation: Paperless Trade in Regional Trade Agreements, June 2017. Most regional trade agreements now feature one or more measures for electronically exchanging trade-related data and information. Digital trade facilitation refers to the application of modern information and communication technologies to simplify and automate international trade procedures. It is becoming essential to maintaining trade competitiveness and enabling effective participation in cross-border e-commerce...

 

ADB

Trans-Pacific Partnership Rules for Digital Trade in Asia, June 2017. Trans-Pacific Partnership members have successfully created a trade agreement with digital trade provisions that go beyond existing arrangements. Digital trade is upending the way consumers and companies do business. Digital trade and e-commerce have become major drivers of economic development by enhancing productivity and lowering costs of trade in goods...

 

ADB

The Impact of the TPP on Trade Between Member Countries—A Text-As-Data Approach, June 2017. With World Trade Organization negotiations in deadlock, countries are increasingly turning to preferential trade agreements to integrate their economies into the global trading system. We propose a new method to predict the impact of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) on trade and welfare, taking the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement as a case study...

 

ADB

International Single Window Environment: Prospects and Challenges, June 2017. An international single window environment will allow information sharing for both public and private sector stakeholders in global supply chains. Various international institutions have supported the implementation of national/regional single windows. The next logical step would be to internationalize and make them interoperable to allow for greater collaborative information sharing...

 

ADB

The Imminent Obesity Crisis in Asia and the Pacific: First Cost Estimates, June 2017. Overweight and obesity cost Asia and the Pacific 0.78% of their GDP or US$166 billion annually. Over the past two decades, Asia and the Pacific have not only experienced rapid growth, but in parallel saw a rapid increase in overweight and obese people. The latest available data indicated that over 40.9% of adults in the region are overweight compared to 34.6% in 1990. It is well documented that obesity and overweight are one of the main risk factors of non-communicable diseases...

 

ADB

Can Online Markets Make Trade More Inclusive? May 2017. Technology-driven online trade reduces income inequality and makes trade more inclusive. To fully realize these new gains from trade, governments and export promotion agencies need to address remaining barriers to e-commerce...

 

ADB

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

Virginia Review of Asian Studies 2017.

 

VRAS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters, June 2017. GDP growth in Q1 2017 was higher than expected. The Singapore economy expanded by 2.7% in Q1 2017, which was higher than the median forecast of 2.6% reported in the March 2017 Survey. The economy is forecast to expand by 2.5% in 2017. For 2017 as a whole, the respondents expect the economy to grow by 2.5%, above the 2.3% in the previous survey...

 

MAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #4: The Emergence of Pork-Barrel Politics in Parliamentary Myanmar. In 2014 Myanmar introduced a constituency development fund (CDF) to sponsor small public works and development projects in each of the country's 330 electoral constituencies. As a form of "pork-barrel" spending, CDF programmes have long remained controversial among international donors, anti-corruption agencies and civil society watchdogs for their potential for corruption, embezzlement, waste of public money, vote-buying and other clientelistic behaviours. The CDF has however emerged in as an extremely popular instrument for lawmakers, in offering new opportunities for meeting the basic infrastructure and development needs of local communities...

 

ISEAS

Decoding the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE), May 2017. Singapore is witnessing structural shifts in the global economic environment, characterised by rapid technological change, subdued and uneven global growth, and a rise of anti-globalisation sentiments. To prepare the Singaporean workforce and to make our businesses resilient to a future that is increasingly volatile and uncertain, seven mutually reinforcing strategies were recommended by the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE). The purpose of this research is to elucidate and analyse the underlying thinking behind the CFE strategies in order to determine potential gaps that could arise as the strategies are implemented in policies and operationalised in various government initiatives...

 

IPS

Can Russia Afford to Be a Great Power? June 2017. Russia wants to be recognised as a great power, and has sufficient economic power and potential to encourage it to behave accordingly. However, under its current leadership it recognises that there are economic limits to its behaviour. There is a consistent commitment to budget discipline and a measured allocation of resources among key claimants — the social and development sectors, as well as defence and security. That limits the allocation of resources to power projection, particularly of the hard variety, even if such allocation is at a level high enough to cause considerable discomfort in the West...

 

Lowy

China and the United States as Aid Donors: Past Trends and Future Trajectories, May 2017. Patrick Kilby, Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “Zhou Enlai enunciated his eight principles of Chinese Economic and Technical Assistance. These emphasized mutual benefit rather than 'unilateral alms', non-interference in the recipient government's policy and politics, and self-reliance.”

 

EWC

US Opportunities for Positive Engagement with Thailand and the Philippines, May 2017. David Lee, Researcher at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “The central strategic task for policymakers is to maintain strong relationships with our partners in light of domestic challenges.”

 

EWC

Policy Response to Low Fertility in China: Too Little, Too Late? April 2017. In 1970, Chinese women were having an average of nearly six children each. Only nine years later, this figure had dropped to an average of 2.7 children per woman. This steep fertility decline was achieved before the Chinese government introduced the infamous one-child policy. Today, at 1.5 children per woman, the fertility rate in China is one of the lowest in the world. Such a low fertility level leads to extreme population aging--expansion of the proportion of the elderly in a population, with relatively few children to grow up and care for their aging parents and few workers to pay for social services or drive economic growth. China’s birth-control policies are now largely relaxed, but new programs are needed to provide healthcare and support for the growing elderly population and to encourage young people to have children. It will be increasingly difficult to fund such programs, however, as China's unprecedented pace of economic growth inevitably slows down...

 

EWC

Border Security Lessons for Australia from Europe’s Schengen Experience, May 2017. This Strategic Insights report explores Calum Jeffray’s key observations in his report Fractured Europe: the Schengen Area and European border security and analyses them through an Australian and then an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) border security lens. It also provides recommendations for Australian border security policymakers based on the lessons learned from the Schengen experience. It examines the implications of Schengen for ASEAN member states in the development of the ASEAN Economic Community.

 

ASPI

Asian Development Outlook 2017: Transcending the Middle-Income Challenge (Full Report, Highlights) covering Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and The Pacific. Developing Asia has continued to perform well, even as recovery in the major industrial economies remains weak. The region is forecast to expand by 5.7% in 2017 and 2018, nearly the 5.8% growth achieved in 2016. Decades of rapid growth transformed developing Asia from a low-income region to middle income. Sustaining growth to power the transition to high income will depend on much greater improvement in productivity. Innovation, human capital, and infrastructure are the three pillars of productivity growth. Supportive institutions and policies, underpinned by macroeconomic stability, can strengthen all three pillars. Asia’s dynamic track record suggests that attaining high income status, while challenging, is achievable.

 

ADB

Banking on the Future of Asia and the Pacific: 50 Years of the Asian Development Bank, Published 2017. This book is a history of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), a multilateral development bank established 50 years ago to serve Asia and the Pacific. Focusing on the region’s economic development, the evolution of the international development agenda, and the story of ADB itself, Banking on the Future of Asia and the Pacific raises several key questions: What are the outstanding features of regional development to which ADB had to respond?

 

ADB

Divergent Monetary Policies and International Dollar Credit: Evidence from Bank-Level Data, May 2017. The US dollar's role in driving global financial stability is unmatched. We use a comprehensive and detailed bank-level data set to study how the divergence of central bank balance sheet policy in the US vis-à-vis the euro area and Japan affects the supply of international US dollar loans by global banks. Our empirical findings support the view that the contractionary effect of US monetary normalization on global dollar liquidity would be offset by an expansionary effect from a continued supply of US dollar loans by euro area and Japanese banks...

 

ADB

Central Banking below Zero: The Implementation of Negative Interest Rate Policies in Europe and Japan, May 2017. Negative interest rates are nothing new and markets react differently depending on the implementation. We provide an overview of the operational implementation of negative interest rates in Europe and Japan, drawing attention to the fact that there is precedent for negative policy rates and negative money market rates. We then address conceptual issues and summarize measures which define negative interest rate policies...

 

ADB

Why Do Children Take Care of Their Elderly Parents? Are the Japanese Any Different? May 2017. Japanese people care for elderly parents if they expect a bequest, but altruism and social norms determine their caregiving behavior. We conduct a theoretical and empirical analysis of why children live with or near their parents and provide care and assistance to them using microdata from a Japanese household survey, the Osaka University Preference Parameter Study...

 

ADB

Household Consumption Risk and Coping Strategies in Tajikistan: Evidence from Household Surveys, May 2017. igher exposure to financial risk is linked to lower household consumption and higher rates of poverty in Tajikistan. Forward-looking poverty analyses are essential for targeting and implementing poverty prevention interventions. In the presence of uncertainty and risk, the current poverty status of households is not a good indicator of whether they will be poor in the future. We examine consumption risk and risk-coping strategies in the case of Tajikistan, a country where frequent negative risks and adverse shocks are faced by its people...

 

ADB

Are Dragons and Tigers Catching Up? May 2017. The Asian “Dragon” economies have grown at a rate fast approaching the United States, while the Asian “Tiger” economies have shown less success. We study the catching-up process in per capita income of the so-called Asian Dragons and Tigers. First, we test the catching-up hypothesis using the longest time span ever considered, from 1870 to 2014. Second, we document the experiences of these two groups of economies and provide potential explanations for them...

 

ADB

Growth Slowdowns, Middle-Income Trap, and Demographic Profile in South Asia, May 2017. Investment in human capital is critical for innovation. The middle-income trap (MIT) is a scenario of rapidly growing economies that experience sudden stops and ultimately lead to stagnation at the middle-income level. Economic growth depends on changes in the demographics of a country. Conversely, the demographic change in economic growth has both positive and negative relationships, according to the literature. Further, testing a neoclassical model of economic growth is not adequately estimated in the field of demographic and growth slowdowns in South Asia...

 

ADB

Trade and SDG 13 – Action on Climate Change, May 2017. limate change policies do not operate in isolation. Other policy areas such as trade can influence whether climate objectives are achieved. We assess the interaction of international trade with climate policies, and the influence of trade on the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 on climate change. Although international trade contributes directly to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increased trade can help to achieve development goals in a GHG-efficient manner, provided that GHG emissions are correctly priced everywhere...

 

ADB

Foreign Direct Investment and Wage Inequality: Evidence from the People’s Republic of China, May 2017. The inflow of foreign direct investment creates a wage gap between foreign and domestic firms in the People’s Republic of China. Based on theoretical analysis of the effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) on the wage gap between foreign firms and domestic firms in the host country, we use data from the Chinese Industrial Enterprises Database to measure these effects. Theoretical results show that the wage gap between foreign firms and domestic firms in the host country caused by the FDI labor transfer effect and technology spillover effect tends to increase then decrease, which implies an inverted U curve track...

 

ADB

The Evolving Multilayered Global Financial Safety Net: The Case of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations+3 Regional Financial Safety Net and the International Monetary Fund, May 2017. he Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)+3 regional financial safety net (RFSN) is unlikely to prevent and manage crises. It needs more structured cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). We argue that in the aftermath of the global economic crisis, the centralized international monetary architecture or the global financial safety net set up at the Bretton Woods conference is evolving towards a more decentralized...

 

ADB

Education, Globalization, and Income Inequality in Asia, May 2017. Higher levels of schooling increase income equality, while unequal education opportunities increase income inequality. We consider how education and globalization affect income inequality in Asia, using unbalanced panel data. The evidence supports the validity of Kuznets’ inverted-U hypothesis for the connection between income level and income inequality. However, when more variables are integrated into the model, the consistency of the inverse U-shaped curve becomes weaker...

 

ADB

Relationship between Infrastructure and Population Agglomeration in Urban India: An Empirical Assessment, May 2017. Better urban infrastructure does not necessarily increase population, but it improves a city's contribution to national economic growth. Deficiency of urban infrastructure facilities is one of the main problems behind the low rate of urbanization in India. It has also unfavorably affected the realization of the full potential of the urban sector’s contribution to national gross domestic product in India. From this perspective, by considering the population in Class I cities (cities with more than 100,000 people)...

 

ADB

Using Input–Output Analysis Framework to Explain Economic Diversification and Structural Transformation in Bangladesh, May 2017. Understanding the interlinkages of firms and sectors in the production process and how that leads to higher value added and trade growth has attracted increasing interest. Existing literature on economic growth and structural change relies on trade data to make pronouncements about a country’s competitiveness and long-term growth prospects through the acquisition of capabilities...

 

ADB

The Debate About the Sources of Growth in East Asia After a Quarter of a Century: Much Ado About Nothing, May 2017. The 1990s witnessed perhaps one of the most important debates in the history of growth and development on the sources of growth in East Asia. This paper reviews what the profession has learnt during the last 25 years about East Asia’s growth using growth accounting exercises and estimations of production functions...

 

ADB

Asia-Pacific Regional Integration Index: Construction, Interpretation, and Comparison, April 2017. The study develops an index to measure the degree of regional integration in Asia and the Pacific (48 economies in six subregions). The index comprises 26 indicators in six dimensions of regional integration, i.e., trade and investment, money and finance, regional value chains, infrastructure and connectivity, free movement of people, and institutional and social integration...

 

ADB

LED Street Lighting Best Practices, April 2017. Providing street and public lighting can account for up to 38% of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in some cities. New energy-efficient technologies and design can cut street lighting costs dramatically (up to 60%) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the same amount. These savings can reduce the need for new generating plants and redeploy scarce capital to delivering energy access to populations in remote areas. The savings also allow municipalities to expand street lighting coverage to additional areas that include low-income and other underserved areas...

 

ADB

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Journalists Shaped American Foreign Policy: A Case Study of Japan’s Military Seizure of Korea in 1905, Published 2017. By Daniel A. Métraux, Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Professor, Mary Baldwin University, Staunton, VA.

 

VRAS

The Palm Oil Global Value Chain: Implications for Economic Growth and Social and Environmental Sustainability, Published 2017. There is abundant literature focusing on the palm oil sector, which has grown into a vigorous sector with production originating mainly from Malaysia and Indonesia, and on increased palm oil consumption in many countries around the globe, particularly European Union states, China and India. This sector expansion has become quite controversial, because while it has negative social and environmental impacts, it also leads to positive benefits in generating fiscal earnings for producing countries and regular income streams for a large number of large- and small-scale growers involved in palm oil production. This document reviews how the social, ecological, and environmental dynamics and associated implications of the global palm oil sector have grown in complexity over time, and examines the policy and institutional factors affecting the sector’s development at the global and national levels...

 

CIFOR

Overview of Forest Tenure Reforms in Indonesia, Published 2017. Forest tenure reforms in Indonesia have evolved through dynamic, interactive, collaborative processes that have involved both State and non-State institutions. Both the processes and the products (such as policies and programs) of forest tenure reforms in Indonesia, such as the 1999 reforms that resulted in social forestry schemes, have not been effectively implemented in Indonesia due to the: onerous process of obtaining a permit; lack of direction and motivation of staff within implementing agencies in supporting social forestry; limited capacity and resources among both communities and implementing agencies to comply with the technical requirements to process the permit; and macro-level economic prioritization of extractive activities that concentrate benefits in the corporate sector. Moreover, women and marginal members of indigenous peoples and local communities have been largely left out...

 

CIFOR

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #3: Johor’s Forest City Faces Critical Challenges. The Forest City project in Johor, Malaysia is part of a larger plan to elevate Johor to development success, similar to Shenzhen’s evolution from Hong Kong’s backwaters to being a modern metropolis. However the project was embroiled in controversy from the beginning. The mixed development was meant to create sustainable homes, recreational areas, schools and business infrastructure that would house about 700,000 people, generate annual revenues of about RM30 million for the state, and create more than 60,000 jobs, including a substantial number for locals through a quota...

 

ISEAS

Monetary Authority of Singapore: Macroeconomic Review, Volume XVI, Issue 1, April 2017 (Full Report, Presentation Slides for Briefing):  

MAS

High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2017Q2, April 2017. According to its High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecast, real GDP is estimated to grow by 3.3% in 17Q1, when compared with the same period in 2016, slightly faster than the 3.1% growth in 16Q4. In 17Q2, real GDP growth is expected to moderate to 2.6% when compared with the same period last year. Comparing to the 1.9% growth in 2016, we expect Hong Kong GDP will pick up and grow between 2.1% to 2.9% in 2017, upward revised by 0.5 percentage points comparing to our previous forecast reflecting strong domestic demand.

 

HKU

American Global Primacy and the Rise of India, March 2017. As China asserts itself economically and militarily, the United States is faced with maintaining a balance of power in East Asia and safeguarding its global dominance. In contrast to its competitive position with China, the US relationship with India—projected to be the third-largest economy by 2030—is set on a more collaborative course. American support for a rising India aligns with its broader security and strategic goals. India, for its part, remains intent on achieving a position of regional primacy, but welcomes the US presence in the South Asia/Indian Ocean region. The two nations, for example, have signed an agreement giving each other access to military facilities, and they conduct many bilateral military exercises. These developments are a far cry from the mid–twentieth century, when Jawaharlal Nehru called for the removal of all foreign militaries from Asia. What factors pushed the India-US relationship in this new direction? And what shared interests and goals does the partnership reinforce?

 

EWC

North Korea Policy: Failure is the Only Option, April 2017. Denny Roy, Senior Fellow at the East-West Center, explains that “The expectation that the superpower United States should always be able to impose its preferred solution upon international strategic problems is unrealistic.”

 

EWC

Uncertainty in ASEAN-China-US Relations on the South China Sea, April 2017. Nong Hong, Executive Director, Institute for China-America Studies, explains that “Sino-US strategic competition in the region is becoming inevitable, with Southeast Asian countries recognizing that they cannot opt out of such competition.”

 

EWC

The Trump Presidency and the Future of Indo-US Relations, April 2017. Pradeep S Mehta and Kyle Cote, Secretary General and Policy Analyst, respectively, at CUTS International, explain that “The bilateral relationship is expected to be dictated chiefly by business considerations and less by shared values or cultural connections; something for Indian representatives to consider when trying to maintain progress in Indo-US relations.”

 

EWC

Upgrade or Replace: a Cost Comparison of Australian Warship Service Live, April 2017. This analysis of warship service life options comes at a time when Australia is planning to embark upon a substantial naval shipbuilding venture. The Australian Government is first and foremost seeking a domestic build for the next generation of warships, but more broadly intends to stand up an indefinitely sustainable domestic shipbuilding industry. Australia has for several decades pursued a stop–start warship acquisition process, in which most vessels serve for about 30 years, generally including a major mid-life upgrade. The decision to pursue a continuous shipbuilding program now provides a chance to consider alternative models for the provision of warfighting capability. This Strategic Insights looks at the implications of warship service life for the overall cost-of-ownership and the operation of the RAN as an enterprise, and proposes options for consideration in the development of the future submarine and frigate programs...

 

ASPI

Resource Nationalism in Post-Boom Indonesia: the New Normal? April 2017. During the global commodity boom, Indonesia emerged as an exemplar of resource nationalism. The government introduced a range of nationalist policies in the mining sector, ranging from export bans to forced foreign divestment. Once commodity booms end, however, analysts generally predict that resource-rich states such as Indonesia will abandon the nationalist position with a view to attracting foreign investment. Indeed, historically, economic nationalism in Indonesia has peaked during the good times of a resources boom, and faded during an economic downturn. But the situation in Indonesia today seems to challenge these market-cycle theories. This Analysis examines the durability of contemporary resource nationalism in Indonesia. It argues that structural features of the post-Suharto political economy have sustained the nationalist policy trajectory that emerged during the boom...

 

Lowy

Emerging Indonesian Data Center Market and Energy Efficiency Opportunities, April 2017. Global data center energy use was estimated at 1.1% of total energy use in 2012 and is expected to increase to 2.5% by 2020. Indonesian data centers used an estimated 1.5% of total electricity generating capacity in 2014 and are expected to use between 2.0% and 3.0% by 2017. This report shows how Indonesia and other developing countries can attain up to 30% energy savings and improve the effectiveness, sustainability, and global competitiveness of data centers by adopting internationally proven energy efficiency measures.

 

ADB

Latest Asian Development Bank Institute working papers:  

ADB

South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program Powering Asia in the 21st Century, Published 2017. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka can tap each other’s strength and potentially propel Asia’s future growth. The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) vision provides the premise that SASEC countries—Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka—which have grown robustly in recent years, can tap each other’s strength to realize their potential of propelling Asia’s future growth. They can harness their individual comparative advantages by cooperating better in facilitating trade and enhancing connectivity, and providing the subregion’s produce, better access to global and regional markets...

 

ADB

ADB Annual Report 2016 and ADB Financial Report 2016. The 2016 Annual Report reviews the significant economic transformation in Asia and the Pacific over the past 50 years, and the role played by ADB to support the region’s development to improve people’s lives. The report notes that while the region’s economic growth and success in reducing poverty have exceeded the most optimistic forecasts, there remain significant challenges to be addressed...

 

ADB

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

Journal of Bhutan Studies, Volume 33, Winter 2015 and Volume 34, Summer 2016  

Bhutan

Latest Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Discussion Papers:  

PIDS

Latest Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Policy Notes:  

PIDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Investment Chapter and ISDS in the TPP: Lessons from Southeast Asia, April 2017. The investment chapter and investor-state dispute settlement provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership attracted significant media and public attention. This paper shows that ISDS-backed investment treaty commitments, aimed to liberalising and protecting FDI, are already widespread across Southeast Asian countries. However, these countries have been subjected to comparatively few ISDS claims and (very recently) two adverse treaty-based arbitration awards. Meanwhile, investors from Malaysia and Singapore have initiated claims. This backdrop partly explains not only why those two states and the other existing TPP signatories (Vietnam and Brunei) were willing to agree to ISDS-backed commitments in that FTA. It also makes it quite likely that ISDS provisions are not likely to become deal breakers for countries such as Thailand, the Philippines and even Indonesia in future trade agreements...

 

ISEAS

MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters, March 2017. The Singapore economy expanded by 2.9% in Q4 2016, which was higher than the median forecast of 0.8% for the quarter reported in the last survey. For 2016 as a whole, the economy recorded GDP growth of 2.0%, coming in above the respondents’ median forecast of 1.4%. The economy is forecast to expand by 2.3% in 2017. In the latest survey, the forecasters expect growth to be around 2.3% in 2017, up from the previous forecast of 1.5%...

 

MAS

Jati, Local Public Goods and Village Governance: Private Actions and Public Outcomes, Published 2017. This paper purports to understand whether voting along narrow parochial lines in
socially and ethnically fragmented societies has measurable gains. Using data from rural India, we establish that identity based voting, driven by membership in social and informal networks, will lead to enhanced participation in welfare programs, which in turn leads to increased consumption growth...

 

ASARC

Party Problems and Factionalism in Soviet Uzbekistan: Evidence from the Communist Party Archives, Published 2017. This paper examines party problems and factionalism in Soviet Uzbekistan, covering the period from the creation of the republic in 1924-1925 to independence in 1991. More specifically, it focuses on the social basis of politics, the existence of place-based elite networks, faultlines of conflict within the Uzbek elite, the prevalence of national and/or regional solidarities, and centralization and decentralization of appointment power. The prevailing theory on the subject is that politics in Soviet Uzbekistan was defined by indigenous “clans” or regional “solidarity networks”, resulting from traditionally strong family bonds and a clan-based social structure...

 

ISDP

Women, Peace and Security: the Way Forward, March 2017. The articles in this Strategic Insights paper, originally published on the ASPI Strategist website throughout March 2017, include analysis about what women, peace and security (WPS) means for Australia’s defence and national security. While ASPI has been fortunate to have some great analyses from contributors on WPS on The Strategist in the past, there’s always scope for more. With Australia’s National Action Plan on WPS up for review ahead of 2019, this year’s International Women’s Day provided an opportune time to build on those contributions and examine the way forward. Within the context of defence, it’s evident that strengthening women’s participation in the security sector and integrating gender perspectives contributes to capability and operational effectiveness. Yet it’s still an issue plagued with misconceptions and that needs to be better understood...

 

ASPI

Tiptoeing Around the Nine-Dash Line: Southeast Asia After Asean, February 2017. Southeast Asia is one of the most diverse regions on the planet, and its geopolitical importance is on the rise. While individual states in this part of the world have been strategically significant in the past, Southeast Asia now finds itself thrust into the limelight of international affairs as a result of the competition currently occurring between the US and China. Those developments have placed greater strategic weight and heightened attendant stresses on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the principal group representing the 10 countries in the region. Even as ASEAN’s strategic pertinence steadily increases, the member states of the grouping face a dilemma over collective action that challenges not only perceptions of ASEAN’s efficacy but also the overall security of Southeast Asia. How they and other interested actors—including the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the US, Australia and Japan—choose to act now will shape the region for decades to come...

 

ASPI

Understanding China’s Belt and Road Initiative, March 2017. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (also known as One Belt, One Road (OBOR)) is one of President Xi’s most ambitious foreign and economic policies. It aims to strengthen Beijing’s economic leadership through a vast program of infrastructure building throughout China’s neighbouring regions. Many foreign policy analysts view this initiative largely through a geopolitical lens, seeing it as Beijing’s attempt to gain political leverage over its neighbours. There is no doubt that is part of Beijing’s strategic calculation. However, this Analysis argues that some of the key drivers behind OBOR are largely motivated by China’s pressing economic concerns. One of the overriding objectives of OBOR is to address China’s deepening regional disparity as the country’s economy modernises...

 

Lowy

The Two Levels of Russia's South China Sea Policies, March 2016. Alexander Korolev, Research Fellow at the Center on Asia and Globalization at the National University of Singapore, explains that “For Russia, the South China Sea issue is where two levels of its policies – systemic anti-hegemonic balancing and non-systemic regional hedging – intersect.”

 

EWC

Saudi King Salman's Visit to Indonesia: Bound by Ties of Islam, March 2017. Endy Bayuni, Editor-In-Chief at The Jakarta Post, asks “If it has taken this long for a Saudi leader to visit Indonesia, what is the true state of relations between the two countries?”

 

EWC

Japan's Security Policy Reform: Institutional Changes Facilitating a Larger Role in Regional Security, March 2017. Marta Ross, recent Council on Foreign Relations Hitachi International Affairs Fellow, explains that “These reforms are fundamentally reshaping how Japan communicates, thinks about, and implements national security policy by establishing a new institutional culture.”

 

EWC

Australian Defense Policy in the Trump Era, February 2017. Andrew Davies and Mark Thomson, Director of the Defence and Strategy Program, and Senior Analyst of Defence Economics, respectively, at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), explain that “It remains to be seen whether the Trump administration has what is needed to ‘underpin stability’ in the Pacific… Australia looks to the United States for leadership, but will not follow it blindly down the rabbit hole.”

 

EWC

Asia Bond Monitor, March 2017. Yields in advanced economies rose while yields fell in most emerging East Asian bond markets due to heterogeneous economic fundamentals and changes in risk appetite. Emerging East Asia has shown signs of improving economic growth and rising inflation and a decline in LCY government bond yields was seen in most markets given improving investor confidence. The improved outlook could also strengthen emerging East Asia’s financial markets against the possible reversal of capital flows in response to the Federal Reserve’s expected monetary policy normalization. The notable exception to the regional trend of declining yields was the People’s Republic of China, where 2-year and 10-year yields rose between 31 December and 15 February as the People’s Bank of China engaged in tightening measures to protect against asset and credit risks...

 

ADB

Asian Development Review, Vol. 34, No. 1, 2017 (Full Report):
Topics discussed in this issue of the Asian Development Review include growth convergence paths in Asia and the middle-income trap, impacts of minimum wage on employment and earnings for men and women in India, working conditions in developing economies, total factor productivity growth in manufacturing and services, the effect of undervaluation on economic growth in the presence of borrowing constraints, the movement of migrants between Southeast Asian economies, and determinants of household energy choices in Timor-Leste.

  ADB

Macroprudential Policy Frameworks in Developing Asian Economies, March 2017. This paper presents a general macroprudential policy framework that highlights important aspects for conducting policy. It also provides an overview of how some Asian economies, New Zealand, and the euro area implement their macroprudential policies. It reviews existing macroprudential policy frameworks of five high-growth developing economies—Cambodia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam—identifying improvements and continuing challenges for their financial systems, which will likely grow more complex. Identifying and addressing key issues will help improve their existing macroprudential policy frameworks.

 

ADB

Leverage and Capital Structure Determinants of Chinese Listed Companies, January 2017. This paper assesses the financial fragility of the Chinese economy by looking at risk factors in the corporate nonfinancial sector. Total debt in the People’s Republic of China has increased significantly in recent years, mostly on account of nonfinancial corporate debt. Earning and the financial performance of corporate firms have weakened, and so has the asset quality of the financial sector. In this paper, quantile regressions are applied to a rich dataset of Chinese listed companies contained in Standard & Poor’s IQ Capital database...

 

ADB

Green Growth Opportunities for Asia, January 2017. his paper assesses the low-carbon economy in Asia: how large it is today and how well it will fare in the future. Using patent and trade data, it analyzes the potential of Asian economies to capture value from the design and export of low-carbon technologies, acknowledging that these are only two dimensions of a multidimensional low-carbon economy. It conducts country-level analysis to identify which technologies different countries can specialize in and potentially scale up...

 

ADB

Agricultural Trade and Structural Change: The Case of Paraguay, March 2017. International trade is crucial to the employment structure in Paraguay. We study the effect of agricultural trade on structural change. For this purpose, we calibrate a three-sector general equilibrium model to quantify the role of trade in explaining the pattern of structural change in Paraguay. Paraguay experienced a significant rise in net agricultural exports as a percentage of aggregate output during the period 1962–2012...

 

ADB

Trade and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15: Promoting “Life on Land” through Mandatory and Voluntary Approaches, March 2017. Trade can promote sustainable wildlife trade. Sustainable Development Goal 15 deals with “Life on Land.” Its nine targets and three means of implementation cover a vast array of environmentally sensitive issues related to land-based renewable natural resources. We explore the channels through which trade can address them. Approaches are categorized as mandatory or voluntary...

 

ADB

Exchange Rate Behavior with Negative Interest Rates: Some Early Negative Observations, March 2017. Negative interest rates appear to have little effect on exchange rates. We examine exchange rate behavior during the recent period with negative nominal interest rates. We use a daily panel of data on 61 currencies from January 2010 through May 2016, during which five economies—Denmark, the European Economic and Monetary Union, Japan, Sweden, and Switzerland—experienced negative nominal interest rates...

 

ADB

Economic Influences on Child Growth Status, from the Children’s Healthy Living Program in the US-Affiliated Pacific Region, March 2017. The US-affiliated Pacific region needs policies that promote an active lifestyle and healthy food environment. Mean obesity level of the 2–8-year-old children in the region was 14.4%, 14.1% were overweight, 2.7% were underweight, 1.4% were stunted, and 6.8% were stunted at birth. Acanthosis nigricans prevalence was 5%, an indicator of pre-diabetes...

 

ADB

Trade and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): How Can Trade in Education Services Contribute to the SDGs? March 2017. International trade agreements can help promote the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ensuring inclusive and quality education. While trade can greatly contribute to providing more educational opportunities in the development world, its potential has not been fully exploited so far. We examine how international trade can help increase supply of and investment in higher education, thereby enhancing access and quality in support of the SDGs...

 

ADB

Impact of Macroeconomic Factors on Income Inequality and Income Distribution in Asian Countries, March 2017. Initial increases in gross domestic product redistribute income from the poor to the rich, but long term increases redistribute income from the rich to the poor. We examine the macroeconomic determinants of income inequality using dynamic panel data analysis based on the generalized method of moments over 1990–2013 across 33 Asian countries. In addition to the macroeconomic factors, we incorporate a series of political economic and demographic factors to provide more realistic estimates...

 

ADB

Salvaging the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Building Blocks for Regional and Multilateral Trade Opening? March 2017. United States (US) withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a setback for multilateral trade opening in the 21st century, but the TPP could still be useful for negotiating a new trade agenda. High hopes that the TPP would open up trade across the Pacific were dashed by the decision of the new US Government under President Trump to withdraw from the agreement in January 2017...

 

ADB

Financial Deepening and Innovation Efficiency: The Role of Political Institutions, March 2017. Financial deepening promotes innovation efficiency only when a country’s political institutions are sufficiently democratic. We investigate the effects of financial deepening on innovation efficiency for various democratic levels of political institutions using panel data from 69 countries spanning 1970–2010. Banking market deepening is associated with increased innovation efficiency only when political institutions are sufficiently democratic...

 

ADB

Measuring the Effects of Commodity Price Shocks on Asian Economies, March 2017. Greater integration and dependence on exports made Asia more vulnerable to external shocks. Commodity prices have become volatile over the past 2 decades, and their recent sharp decline has decreased the consumer price index inflation rates for most economies. While many Asian economies have benefited from low international oil and food prices, commodity exporters have suffered...

 

ADB

External Debt Sustainability and Vulnerabilities: Evidence from a Panel of 24 Asian Countries and Prospective Analysis, March 2017. External debt in many Asian countries has been sustainable. We assess the external debt sustainability in a panel of 24 emerging and developing Asian countries divided into four sub-panels, namely the regions of Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, Central Asia, and the Pacific over the period 1993–2014...

 

ADB

Decreased Effectiveness of Fiscal and Monetary Policies in Japan’s Aging Society, March 2017. As retirees make up more and more of the population, fiscal and monetary policies become less effective. We study how an aging population affects economic performance and the effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policies. We develop a New Keynesian dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with heterogeneous households, workers, and retirees...

 

ADB

The Transmission of Interest Rates Shocks to Asia – Are Effects Different Below the Zero Lower Bound? March 2017. Under positive eurozone interest rates, monetary policy shocks trigger positive spillovers to industry, and house and stock prices in Asia. We use a non-linear factor-augmented vector-autoregressive model to evaluate international effects of an unexpected decrease in euro area policy rates. Given the current environment of ultra low or negative interest rates,..

 

ADB

Inclusive Growth: Decomposition, Incidence, and Policies—Lessons for Asia, March 2017. Strong growth in agriculture is critical to making growth more inclusive. We examine dynamic measures of growth inclusiveness derived from growth incidence curves. These curves help identify the extent to which each decile of households benefits from growth. We discuss the main features of growth incidence curves, their design, computation, data requirements, and interpretation...

 

ADB

Different Faces of Inequality across Asia: Decomposition of Income Gaps across Demographic Groups, March 2017. Education, geographic location, and household composition are important drivers of economic inequality. Substantial evidence exists that economic inequality in Asia has been growing, but the dimensions of this inequality and its growth are far less clear. We evaluate inequality in household incomes per capita across various demographic groups in income surveys from six middle- and high-income countries across Asia: the People’s Republic of China (PRC) (2002); India (2004); Japan (2008); Republic of Korea (2006); the Russian Federation (2004, 2007, and 2010); and Taipei,China (2005, 2007, 2010)...

 

ADB

Structure Change and Urban Inequality in the People’s Republic of China, March 2017. Developments in the service industry helped decrease urban inequality in the People's Republic of China. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is thought to be one of the most unequal economies in the world, but very few studies ever touched on the determinants and the evolution of its urban inequality...

 

ADB

Are Global Shocks Leading Indicators of A Currency Crisis in Viet Nam? March 2017. Global financial shocks and domestic credit growth rate are leading indicators of a currency crisis in Viet Nam. We aim to identify leading indicators of a currency crisis in Viet Nam based on an early warning system for the period 1996–February 2016...

 

ADB

Corporate Pension Plans and Investment Choices: Bargaining or Conforming? March 2017. Defined-benefit pension plans affect firms’ decisions on capital expenditure and choice of investment industries and locations. We investigate the impacts of defined-benefit (DB) pension plans on the corporate investment choices between diversifying and non-diversifying investments...

 

ADB

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Labour Provisions in Trade Agreements with Developing Economies: The Case of TPPA and ASEAN Member Countries, March 2017. Labour provisions have been increasingly included in bilateral and regional trade arrangements. One recent example was the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), signed by twelve countries in 2016 but abandoned by the US in early 2017. Even though the ratification of the TPPA remains uncertain, it has set a precedent in trade policy. This is likely to influence the formulation of trade agreements involving ASEAN countries in the future. This paper examines the implications of the TPPA labour chapter in the context of ASEAN countries that have participated in the agreement. It discusses the extent these countries need to undertake domestic reforms in terms of labour rights and standards.

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #2: Investigating the Popularity of Surabaya’s Mayor Tri Rismaharini. Indonesia’s decentralization and direct local elections have produced several credible popular local leaders. One of them is Surabaya’s mayor, Tri Rismaharini (Risma), who gained much attention for her impressive work ethics and her commitment in improving the city. Together with new vice mayor Whisnu Sakti Buana, she was successfully re-elected for the second term in 2015. Examination on the perception and support for her policies on cleanliness, the closure of Dolly (Surabaya’s main red light district) and the management of education reveals that Risma is perceived as a capable leader...

 

ISEAS

Value Chain Analysis of the Wood Processing Industry in the Philippines, February 2017. Wood processing is an important downstream activity of the Philippine forestry sector because it adds economic value to logs, diversifies the products that can be produced from it, and increases the incomes and employment of involved communities. Despite its many economic contributions, however, the wood processing industry has been on the decline for many years now...

 

PIDS

Strengthening Social Enterprises for Inclusive Growth: Philippines, January 2017. Social enterprises have been emerging globally as alternative organizations to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth. Success stories of social enterprises have shown that multiple bottom lines can be achieved; that firms can be vehicles for profit and other moral imperatives. In the Philippines, a resurgence of social enterprises has also been observed. However, the current policy environment in the country is yet unresponsive to the growth of social enterprises...

 

PIDS

Evaluation of the Registry Service for Basic Sectors in Agriculture, January 2017. There are many and varied government programs that target the agriculture and fisheries sector, especially the poor. For more efficient and streamlined program targeting, the Aquino administration has initiated the creation of the Registry Service for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA), a list of farmers, farm workers, and fisherfolk in the 75 provinces of the country excluding the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the National Capital Region...

 

PIDS

Agricultural Insurance Program: Lessons from Different Country Experiences, January 2017. While agricultural insurance has long been considered a risk management tool for farmers in both developing and developed economies, policy directions toward sustainability vary across countries. Reviewing the literature provides a comprehensive view of relevant issues, such as objectives of the program, credit access by farmers, program costs, and premium subsidies provided by the national and local governments...

 

PIDS

Opportunities for Strengthening Agriculture Insurance Programs: Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation and LGU Partnerships, January 2017. Providing agricultural insurance to farmers and fisherfolk in the Philippines has been implemented for nearly three decades. While it is agreed that agricultural insurance is crucial in assisting farmers, fisherfolk, and governments in lessening the negative financial impact of natural events, issues of providing premium subsidies and being tied to credit in the Philippines remain to be important policy issues...

 

PIDS

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Economic Issue of the Day:
  • No.1 Mergers and Acquisitions: Do They Hinder Competition?December 2016
  • No.2 Diving Into the Blue Economy, December 2016
 

PIDS

Graduate Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies: Volume 9 (2014), Volume 8 (2012), Volume 7 No 2 (2011) & No 1 (2010).

 

GJAPS

Chinese Southern Diaspora Studies, Volume 7, 2014-15

 

CSDS/ANU

Empirical Evidence on “Systemic as a Herd”: The Case of Japanese Regional Banks, January 2017.This paper examines a sample of Japanese regional banks’ exposure to market risk factors and how it affects systemic risk through portfolio composition or revenue source, using Adrian and Brunnermeier’s (2016) CoVaR to proxy for systemic risk. We find evidence of “systemic as a herd” behaviour among Japanese regional banks, as portfolio and revenue components associated with market activities exert positive and significant impacts on systemic risk by generating higher comovement among banks, even though they reduce standalone bank risk through portfolio diversification. Further, the marginal effect of an increase in a given banks’ market-related components on systemic risk is larger when the share of the corresponding components is already high among other banks. Our results have important implications from the macro-prudential perspective.

 

MAS

Sri Lanka Suffers from China’s Indian Ocean Strategy, February 2017. Shiyana Gunasekara, former Fulbright Scholar in Sri Lanka, explains that “This should be of particular concern to India, since China has used the Colombo South Container Terminal to dock submarines, as opposed to the Sri Lanka Port Authority’s mooring designated for military vessels."

 

EWC

Power Asymmetry in the China-India Brahmaputra River Dispute, February 2017. Selina Ho, Senior Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore, explains that “Because the current state of Sino-Indian relations is satisfactory for China, its strategy is focused on maintaining the status quo.”

 

EWC

The State of Asia Pacific Free Trade, February 2017. Eduardo Pedrosa, Secretary General of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, explains that “The introduction of more border taxes will raise costs for consumers, and is unlikely to create the kinds of jobs people hope for.”

 

EWC

Foreign Direct Investment and National Security: Regulatory Challenges for the US and Japan, January 2017. Rikako Watai, Professor of Administrative Law at Keio University Law School in Tokyo, explains that “In order to protect national security while pursuing the goals of economic growth and trade expansion, regulations of the US and Japan over FDI will need to be made both stronger and more transparent.”

 

EWC

Does Unplanned Urbanization Pose a Disease Risk in Asia? The Case of Avian Influenza in Vietnam, January 2017.  Cities are expanding very rapidly in Asia, often without adequate housing, transportation, water, or sanitation. These new "peri-urban" areas may be hot spots for disease, both in humans and domestic animals. Research into the possible link between unplanned urban expansion and disease outbreaks compared patterns of land-use change with two major outbreaks in Vietnam of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI, subtype H5N1) that killed millions of chickens between 2003 and 2005. Work began by classifying communes into land-use categories: rural, peri-urban, urban, and urban core. The study found that peri-urban communes had at least a 150 percent higher risk of experiencing an H5N1 outbreak than did other types of commune, and that urbanization entails a spatial convergence of several key risk factors for H5N1 transmission...

 

EWC

The Future of the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation: Indonesia’s Chance to Promote a New Era of Regional Law Enforcement Cooperation, February 2017. For 13 years, the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) has served as a regional rallying point for much-needed counterterrorism (CT) capacity development and cooperation. Since its inception in 2004, with strong bilateral support from the Australian Government,1 JCLEC’s operating and donor environments have evolved considerably. The strong relationship between the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) and Australian Federal Police (AFP) that has raised and sustained JCLEC is in a state of decline. Regional partners and donors are now considering JCLEC’s future. There are some big decisions to be made, the most pressing of which is whether JCLEC should become a truly regional body or an Indonesian Government institution...

 

ASPI

Escaping the Middle-Income Trap: Innovate or Perish, March 2017. Middle-income countries need to embrace a strategy focused on capability to advance innovation, move up the value chain, and create decent jobs. We analyze the reasons for the middle-income trap in Latin America, where countries have been at the middle-income level for decades, and draw out lessons for Asia. The middle-income trap captures a situation where a middle-income country can no longer compete internationally in standardized, labor-intensive goods because wages are relatively too high, but it also cannot compete in higher value-added activities on a broad enough scale because productivity is relatively too low. The result is slow growth, stagnant or falling wages, and a growing informal economy...

 

ADB

Exchange Rates, International Trade, and Growth: Re-evaluation of Undervaluation, March 2017. Less integrated trading partners usually bear the cost of trade balance expansion. We show that regional trade integration shifts the burden of the exchange rate adjustment towards the less integrated trading partners. Thus, they bear the cost of trade balance expansion, while competitive exchange rate moves vis-a-vis regional trade agreement (RTA) trading partners result in no expansion or deterioration of the overall trade balance. First, using the data on 138 countries that have been involved in regional trade integration through signing regional trade agreements (RTAs) since 1990, we show that upon a 10% depreciation towards non-RTA trading partners results in a 4.4% improvement of the aggregate trade balance...

 

ADB

Son Biased Investments and Old Age Support, March 2017. Parents tend to invest more in sons but receive higher returns from daughters. Son biased investments are common in many Asian countries where sons are customarily responsible for providing old age support to parents. Using data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study, I find that parents invested nearly twice more in sons than in daughters in terms of college education spending and marriage gifts value. Conversely, parents received relatively higher marginal returns to investment from daughters than from sons in terms of living proximity, monetary and in-kind transfers, and help with instrumental activities of daily living. Family fixed effects models as well as an instrumental variable strategy are employed to control for the potential endogeneity of parental investments in children...

 

ADB

Structural Transformation, Growth, and Inequality: Evidence from Viet Nam, March 2017. Viet Nam is growing rapidly, but not very inclusively. We examine whether structural transformation leads to growth and income inequality in Viet Nam. Using three rounds of the Vietnam Household Living Standards Survey (2002, 2006, and 2010), we estimate re-centered influence functions to construct a decomposition analysis. Our results indicate that Viet Nam continues to experience sustained structural transformation and growth, but this growth is heterogeneous across regions. The growth exhibits pro-rich gains, with returns to agriculture and manufacturing increasing only for the top 10 to 20 percentiles...

 

ADB

Long-term Care and Pay-for-Performance Programs, March 2017. Despite challenges, pay-for-performance will be increasingly important for improving health-care quality. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has introduced several pay-for-performance programs in the last few years to encourage hospitals to improve quality of care and reduce costs. Some state Medicaid programs have also introduced pay-for-performance for nursing homes. Long-term care providers play an important role in hospital pay-for-performance programs because they can affect the readmission rate and also total episode payments. A good pay-for-performance program will focus on improving quality of care that affects health outcomes...

 

ADB

The Case for Cash, March 2017. Cash does not fuel crime, any more than condoms fuel lust. Cash is an extremely useful social contrivance. Two possible drawbacks of high-denomination cash have recently been discussed by Kenneth Rogoff in his book The Curse of Cash, and echoed by other economists. They are the extensive use of high-denomination cash by criminals and others engaged in illicit and corrupt activities, and the role that cash plays in avoiding deeply negative nominal interest rates imposed on bank accounts...

 

ADB

Drivers of Trade Finance Gaps, February 2017. Trade finance gaps result mainly from bank decisions but solutions must be found elsewhere. Banks are a critical facilitator of trade. Without bank-intermediated trade finance, global exports and imports would come to a halt. This has been apparent during the episodes of credit rationing that accompany financial shocks. But we have little insight into the drivers of rejection pooling by banks in normal times. Using augmented data from a global survey of financial institutions, we test the relative explanatory power of country- and bank-level characteristics as drivers of trade finance rejections in emerging markets and among small and medium-sized enterprises...

 

ADB

Inequalities and Patience in Catching Up, February 2017. Inequality may be a necessary evil for a country to increase welfare faster. We examine how impatience interacts with inequalities in economic development. We consider two distinct groups of households (i.e., with intrinsic inequality), and show that (i) under decreasing marginal impatience (DMI), an unequal society may be preferable for poor households; (ii) poor households tend to benefit more from positive shocks under DMI than constant marginal impatience...

 

ADB

Trade and Sustainable Fisheries, February 2017. Managing fisheries well and sharing trade benefits equitably can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Our ultimate goal is to formulate fish trade policy recommendations that can be deployed to help achieve the relevant Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDGs). Even though all the 17 SDGs are relevant to the issues addressed in this contribution, I will focus on SDG14: Life under the water, and also SDG 1 (No poverty); 2 (Zero hunger); 3 (Gender equality); 4: (Reduced inequality); and 12 (Responsible consumption and production)...

 

ADB

International Trade and Inequality, February 2017. nternational trade's impact on income inequality is mixed; governments need to promote human resource development and income redistribution. The impact of globalization on equality has become a serious concern for many countries. There is growing evidence challenging the theoretical prediction that international trade positively impacts income distribution. We address this subject, surveying the empirical findings on the impact of international trade on inequalities from various perspectives...

 

ADB

Accelerating Urbanization Explained: The Role of Information, February 2017. Information and communication technology speeds up urbanization. We argue that urbanization has accelerated in the last few decades, and that this largely overlooked phenomenon cannot be explained by existing empirical models of urbanization. Consequently, we explicitly bring forward the role of information in driving urbanization, focusing on information and communication technology (ICT), especially the Internet...

 

ADB

Time, Uncertainty, and Trade Flows, February 2017. International transit time matters more for South-South trade while uncertainty matters more for North-North trade. We quantify the impact of international transport time on bilateral trade flows in goods using previously unexploited information drawn from a large dataset on international parcel delivery times. In line with previous work, we find that an extra day spent in international transit reduces bilateral trade by just under one percent at the sample median...

 

ADB

Technical Progress and the Share of Labor Income, February 2017. Most technical progress in the People's Republic of China has been capital biased, leading to greater inequality. Changes in the labor share of national income affect inequality. We investigate the relationship between the labor share and technical progress, based on provincial data from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from 1978 to 2012. Our results show that technical progress in the PRC had been mostly capital biased, contributing to the fast rises in income inequality in the PRC...

 

ADB

Housing and Household Wealth Inequality: Evidence from the People’s Republic of China, February 2017. Housing value appreciation contributes to widening wealth inequality in the People's Republic of China. We examine the issue of the widening wealth inequality in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from the perspective of housing. Using China Household Finance Survey (CHFS) data from 2011, we find that the PRC’s wealth inequality including housing is much larger than income inequality...

 

ADB

Facilitate Trade for Development: Aid for Trade, February 2017. Applied holistically and flexibly, aid for trade can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its core calls to “increase aid-for-trade support for developing countries, in particular least developed countries”. This echoes the aid-for-trade reference in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development...

 

ADB

The Trade and Water Nexus, February 2017. Trade in goods can help ease the water crisis. Understanding the impact of international trade on the use of water resources provides a set of interesting ideas and concepts to further strengthen the global sustainable development agenda. This paper investigates and devises the direct and indirect links between international trade and water resources...

 

ADB

Trade in Health Services and Sustainable Development, February 2017. Trade in health services can help achieve health-related Sustainable Development Goals. Effective health services form the backbone of health interventions. Accessibility, quality, capacity, organization, availability of human and physical resources, and equity in the provision of health services are essential for a healthcare system to deliver desired outcomes...

 

ADB

The Sources of Income Inequality in Indonesia: A Regression-Based Inequality Decomposition, February 2017. Access to education and finance are key to reducing income inequality. Growing inequality is an important problem for developing countries, and Indonesia is no exception. Narrowing the gap between those at the top and at bottom of the income distribution has become one of governments’ main concerns. To achieve this goal, the sources of income inequality must be identified appropriately...

 

ADB

Trade and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, February 2017. Reducing barriers to trade in services can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Trade can and should play an important role in making progress to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This includes trade and investment in services, as realizing many of the goals is conditional on improved performance of services sectors in developing countries...

 

ADB

East Asian Integration: Towards an East Asian Economic Community, February 2017. East Asia has the opportunity to build bridges within the region at a time when the United States appears to be building walls around itself. East Asia is a region of great global significance, currently accounting for around 30% of the global economy by most measures, e.g. production, trade, investment, and finance...

 

ADB

Other ADBI Working Papers:  

ADB

APEC Outcomes and Outlook 2016/2017. As APEC heads to Viet Nam in 2017 under the theme, “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future”, a regional agenda with the following priorities are put forward: Promoting sustainable, innovative, and inclusive growth; Deepening regional economic integration; Strengthening MSMEs’ competitiveness and innovation in the digital age; and Enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture in response to climate change. This publication also looks back at the outcomes of APEC Peru 2016 and the the 24th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Lima, Peru.

 

APEC

Case Study on the Role of Services Trade in Global Value Chains: Health and Medical Services in Malaysia, February 2017. This case study is one out of the four which examines the role of services in global value chains (GVCs), particularly the effects market-opening services development have had on the economy and GVCs. The healthcare sector has been identified as an important sector to developing the competitiveness of the Malaysian economy. This study focuses on the healthcare sector reforms in Malaysia in terms of its health and medical services, in particular policy reforms to increase the participation of healthcare sector in GVC...

 

APEC

APEC Training Course on Common Principles to Shipping Policy, February 2017. This project aims to build APEC economies’ capacity in the area of policy development and contribute to the implementation of “APEC Common Principles to Shipping Policy” in order to enhance the liberalization in maritime sector that was presented by TPTWG. The project ensures the workshop participants are able to enhance understanding of port commercialization, privatization and port investment funding in the Asia Pacific region by providing an opportunity for exchange of experiences and learning among stakeholders.

 

APEC

Enhancing Aviation Connectivity and Emissions Reduction via Implementation of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) Assistance Program: Final Site Visit Report - Mexico, February 2017. This report presents the results of two five-day site visits to Mexico City to determine the current state of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) implementation in Mexico, as well as identification of actions that need to be taken to successfully implement PBN in accordance with the ICAO standards, recommended practices and guidance.

 

APEC

Enhancing Aviation Connectivity and Emissions Reduction via Implementation of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) Assistance Program: Final Site Visit Report - Indonesia, February 2017. This report documents the results of two five-day site visits to Jakarta to determine the current state of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) implementation in Indonesia, as well as identification of actions that are needed to successfully implement PBN in accordance with the ICAO’s standards, recommended practices and guidance.

 

APEC

Study on the Application of Global Data Standards for APEC Supply Chain Connectivity (Phase 1), February 2017. This study assesses the cost and benefits of applying GDS in supply chains through the tracking of two GDS pilot projects that were conducted in phase 1. The two pilots covered cross-border shipments of: (1) wine from Australia to Hong Kong, China; and (2) beef from Australia to USA. The pilots in this study demonstrated the time, resources and commitment required by businesses to progress the adoption of GDS...

 

APEC

Final Implementation Report on APEC project "HRD 01 2014A - Systematic Design of Green Skills Development in TVET", January 2017. This report outlines the implementation and outcomes of the project, ‘Systematic Design of Green Skills Development in TVET’, which put forward the development of general contents list of green skills and new directions, and establishment of green skills networks.

 

APEC

Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation in the APEC Region: An Analysis and Literature Review, January 2017. This report identifies gaps, good practices, and capacity-building requirements in the region to promote more effective PPPs in transportation infrastructure, including airports, railroads, roads, seaports, and transit systems. It identifies and examines existing information on project identification, prioritization, and analysis and structuring of PPPs in the APEC region; incorporates specific case studies to highlight factors that led to the successful implementation of transportation PPPs; examines lessons learned that should be considered when implementing future transportation PPPs; and makes preliminary recommendations based on the gaps identified in the region and on standard best practices.

 

APEC

Innovation for Women and Economic Development Facilitating Women's Livelihood Development and Resilience with ICTs, December 2016. The aim of this project is to promote awareness of women’s needs in the APEC region by embracing new devices and services for developing their livelihood, to identify and share pertinent experiences and know-how related to ICT innovations that can be replicated to broaden women’s ability to do business with the global value chain, and to help stakeholders formulate public-private partnerships (PPPs) that can both facilitate sustainable new business models and create an ideal policy environment for women.

 

APEC

Water Energy Nexus: Coal-Based Power Generation and Conversion - Saving Water, December 2016. More than half of the APEC economies generate a significant (>33%) portion of their electricity from coal. However, the focus on clean development necessitates reduction in water consumption for power generation, especially where water resources are stressed. The volume of water required for power generation depends on several factors, such as the generation technology, type of cooling deployed, and site operating conditions...

 

APEC

Study on Infrastructure Investment in the APEC Region, September 2016. This study was started as an APEC project with a view to following up the issues relevant to the Physical Connectivity of the APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025. The study looks at (i) how the international and domestic (public and private) financial institutions employ these principles in their policies, and (ii) how these principles work in specific infrastructure projects based on the information provided by volunteered APEC economies and financial institutions.

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Journal of Korean Studies, Volume XX, Number 1, 2016  

IJKS

Hong Kong: High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2017Q1, January 2017. According to its High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecast, real GDP is estimated to grow by 2.1% in 16Q4, when compared with the same period in 2015, slightly faster than the 1.9% growth in 16Q3. In 17Q1, real GDP growth is expected to improve to 2.3% when compared with the same period last year. Slowed from the 2.4% growth in 2015, we forecast Hong Kong GDP will grow by 1.6% in 2016 as a whole, upward revised by 0.1 percentage points comparing to our previous forecast. We expect Hong Kong GDP will growth between 1.5% to 2.5% in 2017.

 

HKU

Trump and Strategic Change in Asia, January 2017. As Donald Trump’s administration comes to power in Washington, the postwar security policy of the US is undergoing a monumental transition. The new president’s campaign rhetoric strongly intimated that under his self-proclaimed ‘America first’ posture, traditional American strategy and alliance politics would undergo a major change. His approach to dealing with allies and adversaries will be based less on their traditional roles in US foreign policy and more on how he and his foreign and security policy team view other countries’ willingness to adjust their own policies to conform with a markedly different set of US economic and strategic priorities. This paper looks at North Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia and region-wide concerns. It concludes while Trump postulates an ‘America first’ posture, that hardly represents an ‘Asia last’ prescription. Above all else, Trump’s history is shaped by his reputation in the business world for hard but fluid bargaining to derive optimal results for interest-based objectives.

 

ASPI

Dragon and Eagle Entangled: Sino-US Military Exchanges, 2001–2016, January 2017. US–China military exchanges constitute an important aspect of bilateral relations between the reigning superpower and a fast-rising one. This ASPI Strategy takes stock of Sino-US military contacts over the past 15 years and provides some preliminary assessments of the evolution and implications of this critical aspect of perhaps the most important bilateral relationship in the world today. It seeks to achieve three objectives. First, it identifies, compares and discusses the rationales, expectations and approaches of the two militaries regarding the relationship. Second, it outlines and reviews bilateral Sino-US military contacts from 2001 to 2016, essentially covering both the George W Bush and Barack Obama administrations. Third, it analyses and evaluates US–China military ties over this period and provides some explanations of their promises, progress and pitfalls.

 

ASPI

South Asia's Efforts at Regional Reintegration: Fantasy or Feasible, January 2017. RTariq A. Karim, Bangladesh high commissioner to New Delhi, explains that “The region has been held a hapless prisoner of the Partition syndrome, stymying all efforts at economic reintegration.”

 

EWC

Vacillations and Dramas Exist in Sino-Philippines Relations Too, January 2017. Chu Yin, Associate Professor at the University of International Relations in Beijing, explains that “The Philippine attitude towards China has vacillated heavily.”

 

EWC

Putting the Pacific on China's Radar, January 2017. Tristan Kenderdine, Research Director at Future Risk, explains that “The Pacific Islands Forum economies have a huge opportunity to align with China’s global geostrategy through the new capacity cooperation financing mechanisms.”

 

EWC

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #1: Johor Remains the Bastion of Kaum Tua. Many scholars on Malaysia have recognized that Salafism-Wahhabism has penetrated substantially into the country’s political and social life. The southern state of Johor has always been considered, and remains, the bastion of kaum tua, with its religious institutions dominated by ulama (religious scholars) who are traditionalist in character but tolerant of religious practices that are infused with local culture and mysticism. These scholars have also tended to maintain conservative attitudes on gender issues, inter-religious relations, and intra-faith differences. The Sultan of Johor appoints the Mufti whose primary role is to issue fatwas (religious rulings) and be the ex-officio of the Johor Islamic Religious Council, the highest Islamic body in the state. Johor’s Muftis are dominantly political quietists, and loyal to the ruling family...

 

ISEAS

Evolving Paradigms in Regional Development in Malaysia, October 2016. In seeking to foster economic growth, policy-makers in Malaysia have also had to grapple conceptually and operationally with how best to deal with differing income levels in different parts of the country. In addition, this challenge has changed in nature over time, in line with the country’s increasing wealth and urbanization, and as understandings of what regional development is and how it should be pursued have evolved. Over the decades, approaches have shifted away from a sole focus on rural development and an aspatial approach to regional development towards a greater emphasis on urbanization and a deeper understanding of the relationship between location and economic growth...

 

ISEAS

The Impact of Local Content Requirements on the Indonesian Manufacturing Industry, October 2016. Local content requirements (LCRs) are prohibited under the WTO law as they violate several WTO provisions including the national treatment principle. Nonetheless, many countries, including Indonesia, persistently use LCRs as part of their industrial policies. Countries implement LCRs for various reasons, including to protect local industries; to create employment; to boost export; to enhance local innovation capacity; and to support broader economic development in the country. This paper examines the impact of LCRs in manufacturing sector in Indonesia, with a particular interest on the machinery and transport industries. Since LCRs discourage foreign imports, hence it is expected they may affect firm’s use of imported inputs...

 

ISEAS

Reassessing Malaysia’s Export Opportunities in the TPP, September 2016. The main economic motivation for forging bilateral, regional and multilateral agreements for Malaysia is to enhance the export opportunities for its firms as it is relatively dependent on trade for supporting growth. There is an extensive literature on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) since negotiations were started five years ago and this literature continues to grow after the agreement was signed in February 2016. The literature identifies some overall gains for Malaysia and some sectoral gains, especially in textiles and apparel. The objective of this paper is to re-assess these export opportunities, using a comparative country perspective since the TPP has 12 founding members...

 

ISEAS

Determinants of Singapore’s Outward FDI, February 2016. Outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) has been an important element in Singapore’s economic strategy since the 1990s, with the government providing direct and indirect support to support the internationalization process. Recent OFDI trends indicate that China has become an important destination for Singapore. In ASEAN, Singapore’s main investment markets are Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. The Singapore’s OFDI has important sectoral dimensions, supported by evidence from econometric analysis. It is also important to distinguish between OFDI stock and flows. Further research is needed to understand the erratic behavior of flows in the region.

 

ISEAS

A Review of the Recent Literature on the Institutional Economics Analysis of the Long-Run Performance of Nations, January 2016. This paper reviews the recent (post-2000) literature which assesses the importance of institutions as a factor determining cross-country differences in growth rates or in the contemporary level of “prosperity”. It first sketches how institutional economics has evolved. It then examines critically the methods of analysis employed in the recent literature. The paper finds that this literature has made a major contribution to the analysis of the causes of economic growth but the relative importance of institutions as a determinant of long-run growth and prosperity is still a wide open question.

 

ISEAS

What Lies Ahead for Malaysian Healthcare? December 2015. Healthcare in Malaysia has been characterised by a strong public sector presence where government hospitals and clinics acted as a primary source of care. The healthcare system has also been lauded as a model for other developing countries to follow as it has succeeded in improving the health status of Malaysians over time. With the rising costs of healthcare over the last three decades, the government is now facing increasing pressures to restructure its healthcare system. Social healthcare insurance, corporatisation, and privatisation have been increasingly seen as possible measures to supplement the current healthcare system dominated by the public sector...

 

ISEAS

Malaysia’s Protracted Affirmative Action Policy and the Evolving Bumiputera Commercial and Industrial Community, December 2015. This paper examines the evolution of the Bumiputera Commercial and Industrial Community (BCIC) in the context of Malaysia’s protracted affirmative action from 1971 to the present. It explores, on one hand, how the state has responded to the demands of different Malay pressure groups and, on the other, to external shocks arising from economic globalization. These external factors have compelled the state to deregulate and liberalize its economic policies which run contrary to the goal of promoting the development of a BCIC...

 

ISEAS

Impacts of Sea Level Rise on Economic Growth in Developing Asia, January 2017. This survey of sea level rise and its economic impacts provides a clear window to its effects on future economic activities. This paper examines the impact of global sea level rise (SLR) on the economic growth, migration and tourism from various empirical studies and consolidates several sea level projections by 2100 under different scenarios. The paper also points out the regions or countries most vulnerable to SLR include atoll countries and small islands states like Kiribati and Singapore. In addition, it tackles several adaptation cost estimates for selected countries in developing Asia and summarizes adaptive strategies and mitigation as a response to SLR which include retreat, accommodation, and protection. Lastly, it presents policy recommendations for developing Asia to cope with increasing sea levels.

 

ADB

Decoupling Asia Revisited, January 2017. This paper investigates the channels of growth spillovers and estimates the degree of macroeconomic interdependence between emerging East Asia and G3 economies. First, it examines the progress of regional economic integration which has positively impacted the business cycle comovements both intraregionally and interregionally. Second, with the People’s Republic of China playing a central role in the regional production network, its ongoing structural changes will likely influence Asia’s trade patterns and economic integration. Finally, findings from vector autoregression model estimation suggest that the United States economy remains an important source of external demand shock for emerging East Asia, although the impact of the People’s Republic of China has increased sharply.

 

ADB

Spillover Effects of Japan’s Quantitative and Qualitative Easing on East Asian Economies, January 2017. East Asian economies benefited from Japan’s quantitative and qualitative easing policies. This paper explores the spillover effects of Japan’s quantitative and qualitative easing (QQE) on East Asian economies. Under the new monetary policy regime, the Japanese yen depreciated substantially, raising concerns that it would have a regional beggar-thy-neighbor effect. It is thus important to see what effects the QQE had on neighboring economies...

 

ADB

Infrastructure and Urbanization in the People’s Republic of China, January 2017. Returns to infrastructure investment in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have been declining; policy makers need to adjust investment decisions. The recent experience of infrastructure investment in the PRC suggests an intertwined relationship between investment, urbanization, and economic growth. In one mechanism, urbanization generates demand for infrastructure investment, which then drives economic growth via various channels including reducing transaction costs and raising productivity. Another mechanism emphasized in this paper is that infrastructure investment can promote urbanization through facilitating economic agglomeration toward hub cities...

 

ADB

Why Geographic Dispersion Before Its Time: Industrial Policy and Economic Geography in the People’s Republic of China, January 2017. Geographic concentration and industrial specialization suffer when local governments follow central governments at the expense of their comparative advantage. We investigate the trends and determinants of geographic concentration and industrial specialization in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) using interprovincial panel data for the period from 1999 to 2010. It shows that, after 2005, both geographic concentration and industrial specialization began to decrease, resulting in an increased similarity of provincial industrial structure...

 

ADB

How Would a Slowdown in the People’s Republic of China Affect its Trading Partners? January 2017. A slowdown in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) would affect its various trading partners differently. The PRC has become an important importer for many countries. We investigate how turbulence in the PRC can spill over to trading partners through the trade channel. Exports from several East Asian and Southeast Asian countries to the PRC exceed 10% of their gross domestic products. To shed light on economies’ exposures to the PRC, this paper estimates a gravity model. The results indicate that Taipei,China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are exposed to the PRC because they produce goods for the PRC market and are exposed to advanced economies because they ship parts and components to the PRC for processing and reexport to the West...

 

ADB

Is the People’s Republic of China’s Current Slowdown a Cyclical Downturn or a Long-term Trend? A Productivity-Based Analysis, January 2017. The People’s Republic of China’s current slowdown seems to be part of a long-term trend. Whether the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) economic slowdown since the 2008 financial crisis is a cyclical downturn or a long-run trend has important policy implications. Based on provincial panel data, we identify the determinants of productivity and uses counter-factual analysis to decompose the causes of the PRC’s post-crisis slowdown. We find that economic openness has a significantly positive impact on the technical efficiency of production, whereas the income level has a significantly negative effect...

 

ADB

Exploring the Trade–Urbanization Nexus in Developing Economies: Evidence and Implications, January 2017. Trade in cereals is critical to urban development. Developing countries have seen a rapid rise in population urbanization in the past decades. At the same time, they have participated actively in the process of globalization. However, possible interlinks between population urbanization and trade openness in developing economies have been ignored by present literature. We propose a simple framework explaining the cereals trade–population urbanization nexus, showing how cereals supply constrains population urbanization and how international trade can change this constraint...

 

ADB

Federalism, Fiscal Space, and Public Investment Spending, January 2017. States tend to contain public investment spending to comply with fiscal rules. The core emphasis of rules-based fiscal legislation at the subnational level in India is to achieve debt sustainability through a numerical ceiling on borrowing and the use of borrowed resources for public capital investment by phasing out revenue deficits. Using the Arellano Bond Panel estimation, this paper examines whether the application of fiscal rules has resulted in an increase in the fiscal space for public capital investment spending in major Indian states. This analysis shows that by controlling other factors, there is a negative relationship between fiscal rules and public capital investment spending at the state level during the rules-based fiscal regime.

 

ADB

Trade and Trade Policy Issues in the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals, January 2017. A well-designed trade policy could improve domestic regulations and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal's ultimate aim of a “better life”. This paper presents an overview of the trade and policy issues in the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It assesses the dramatic changes in the political, economic, and business background from the early 2000s (shaping the MDGs) to the early 2010s (designing the SDGs). These changes rarely get the attention they merit, despite their profound consequences on how to use—or not use—trade policies for promoting development...

 

ADB

Spillover Effects of Unconventional Monetary Policy in Asia and the Pacific, Janaury 2017. he United States’ unconventional monetary policies have led to rapid capital inflows, strong currency appreciation, and asset price and credit booms in Asia and the Pacific. We assess the evolution of spillover effects of unconventional monetary policies on Asia and the Pacific region, and evaluate the impact on and implications for the macroeconomy. We develop a Panel Vector Auto Regression model for the Asia and Pacific region for a period covering data from first quarter 2000 until first quarter 2015. We split the overall sample into two subsets: the Pre-Crisis (2000q1–2006q4) and Post-Crisis (2009q1–2015q1) samples. We identify unconventional monetary policy shocks with a shadow interest rate estimated by Krippner (2013)...

 

ADB

Highlights of the International Conference on Financial Cycles, Systemic Risk, Interconnectedness, and Policy Options for Resilience, Published 2016. The conference held on 8–9 September 2016 strengthened understanding of how systemic risks build up and spread across different financial networks. This conference was organized by ADB in collaboration with the Institute of Global Finance, University of New South Wales and sponsored by the Reserve Bank of Australia and Bloomberg. It provided a venue for fruitful discussion among members of the academia, central bankers, regulators, and international financial institutions to build resilience and safeguard stability in the region. The conference will also form the foundation for one of ADB’s flagship publications, the Asian Economic Integration Report 2017.

 

ADB

Import Licensing Regimes: An APEC Snapshot and Considerations for their Use, January 2017. This Policy Brief looks at the use of import licensing in APEC, examining the reasons behind such measures as well as the costs incurred. Alternate policy measures that can be used in place of import licenses are discussed as well.

 

APEC

Trade of Fishery Products and Fisheries Subsidies in APEC, January 2017. This Policy Brief reviews the trend of trade of fishery products, as well as various trade measures, including tariffs and non-tariff measures in the APEC region. Finally, the Policy Brief discusses the current situation of fisheries subsidies within the APEC region and their implications on the sustainability of fish stocks.

 

APEC

Survey on the Readiness for Joining Cross Border Privacy Rules System - CBPRs, January 2017. This report provides the result of a survey conducted to determine the readiness of the 21 APEC member economies in participating in APEC CBPRS. The survey was designed to find out if an economy could satisfy basic requirements to participate: the existence of privacy law, enforcement authority on privacy, trust-mark providers; the consistency between privacy legislation with APEC Privacy Framework.

 

APEC

Developing Traveler-Friendly Airports to Improve the Passenger Experience in the APEC Region: A Best Practices Report, January 2017. This report contains the findings of field assessments conducted in five volunteer airports in the APEC region. Considered a crucial aspect of determining what constitutes a favorable passenger experience, the objectives of the field assessments were to gain an in-depth understanding of international/domestic and arrival/departure passenger process flows and to observe services that are provided to passengers throughout the airport...

 

APEC

Energy and Economic Competitiveness, October 2016. This study analyses how the fluctuations of energy prices would affect macroeconomic situations, industrial sectors, trade and competitiveness of APEC economies.

 

APEC

Plans for Fuel Supplies during Disasters in Expectation of Nankai Megathrust Earthquakes, October 2016. This report examines the specific measures being taken by the government and private sector in the control of damage in preparation for Nankai megathrust earthquakes based on their learnings from the Great East Japan Earthquake. The report provides damage forecasts and summarizes measure announcements made by the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

 

APEC

Working Papers of Institute of Policy Studies, Singapore:  

IPS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters, December 2016.The Singapore economy expanded by 1.1% in Q3 2016 compared with the same period last year. This was lower than the median forecast of 1.7% reported in the Sep 2016 Survey. The respondents expect the GDP growth to come in at 1.4% in 2016, a decline from the 1.8% median forecast in the previous survey...

 

MAS

MAS Financial Stability Review, November 2016. Prolonged weak growth and low interest rates have heightened global financial stability concerns. Rising political risks could impede effective policy-making. Lacklustre growth could weaken corporates’ and households’ debt servicing abilities, and in turn weigh on banks’ asset quality. Bank profitability has also been squeezed by low interest margins, reducing banks’ ability to build up buffers to protect against shocks. Low interest rates could drive risk-taking behaviour and fuel asset price bubbles, with attendant risks to financial stability. On the other hand, the prospect of faster-than-expected interest rate normalisation by the US Federal Reserve and heightened global political risks could lead to capital flow and currency volatility...

 

MAS

Singapore Corporate Debt Market Review 2016. Amidst the global economic slowdown, debt issuance globally declined by 13%1 to USD 5.3 trillion in 2015, compared to USD 6.1 trillion a year before.
In Asia, local currency issuance fell 46%2 to USD 407 billion in 2015 (2014: USD 758 billion), while G3 issuance held up better, falling 13% to USD 183 billion (2014: USD 210 billion). Yet Asian bonds continued to grow as an asset class – net inflows into Asia Ex-Japan bond funds grew from USD 0.18 billion in 2014 to USD 4.3 billion in 2015...

 

MAS

Liquidity and Policy Analyses for Platform Trading of OTC Derivatives: A Perspective of Smaller Markets, December 2016. This paper analyses the criteria for assessing when it might be appropriate to mandate the trading of standardised over-the-counter derivatives on trading platforms, in the context of smaller OTCD markets. Based on a review of academic literature, this paper examines the benefits and the challenges of a trading mandate and puts forward a two-stage assessment framework, comprising a trading infrastructure test and a product test. These tests seek to identify the appropriate conditions for implementation of a trading mandate, taking into account the associated risks of market fragmentation and regulatory arbitrage...

 

MAS

Azerbaijan’s Formula: Secular Governance and Civic Nationhood, November 2016. In January 2016, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev designated 2016 the “Year of Multiculturalism.” This took place at a time when Azerbaijan’s neighborhood has experienced a trend toward less rather than more separation between religion and state; and toward more ethnic rather than civic conceptions of nationhood. This trend has been particularly pronounced in two powers with whom Azerbaijan is closely connected, Russia and Turkey. Yet Azerbaijan has chosen to go in the other direction, doubling down on the country’s commitment to secular governance and an inclusive conception of the nation...

 

ISDP

Kazakhstan 2041: the Next Twenty-Five Years, October 2016. Kazakhstan has come a long way in the twenty five years since it gained sovereignty. The leadership can point to impressive economic development, stability, strengthened sovereignty, and respect for “brand Kazakhstan” on the international arena. Looking to the next twenty-five years and beyond, Kazakh authorities have set forth an ambitious vision for turning the country into one of the most developed in the world. On the road ahead, old challenges will remain and new ones will doubtless emerge. As it embarks on its further development Kazakhstan will be confronted by several crucial social, economic, political, and international realities...

 

ISDP

Rethinking Electricity Sector Reform in Developing Asia: Balancing Economic and Environmental Objectives, Published 2016. The OECD or ‘standard’ model of electricity sector reforms has been widely adopted in non-OECD Asian countries since the 1990s. However, despite two decades of attempts at reforms, no notable progress has been made towards the original objectives of reform. Whilst in OECD countries, reforms were implemented against excess capacity and stable institutions, in developing non-OECD Asian countries they were implemented against chronic electricity shortages, fiscal constraints, weak institutions, and complex political factors...

 

ASARC

Renewable Energy Trade Within Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Countries: An Exploratory Analysis, Published 2016. Though the availability of cost effective and potentially efficient renewable energy technologies is a necessary condition for the promotion of green growth nationally and internationally, it is the intended nationally determined contributions (INDC) to make use of such technologies is crucial. International trade in low carbon renewable energy goods provides an effective way of achieving INDCs nationally, even when individual countries may not have sufficient infrastructure readily available to them to fulfill INDCs...

 

ASARC

An Analysis of the Paddy/Rice Value Chains in Sri Lanka, Published 2016. This paper examines whether the structure of the paddy / rice market in Sri Lanka is competitive and efficient particularly by undertaking two tracer surveys. From these surveys it was revealed that the profit margins accruing to almost all the players involved in the paddy/rice value chains of both Nadu and Samba varieties are not excessive when compared with the average bank lending rate of 15 percent. The results of the tracer surveys also show that both the Nadu and Samba paddy/ rice value chains are economically efficient...

 

ASARC

After Mosul: Australia's Strategy to Counter the Islamic State, December 2016. As the battle for Mosul unfolds in Iraq, Australian policymakers must carefully consider Australia’s long-term objectives in the Middle East. One critical question needs to be answered because it’s central to the process of making strategy. What is the Australian policy objective: to what end are our forces there? Once that question is answered, we can decide what comes next. The world has watched the Islamic State (IS) evolve from a regional insurgency to a proto-state and global terrorist organisation that poses a significant threat to Australia’s national security. In the future, the group is likely to revert to insurgency operations to ensure its survival, but the global terrorist threat will remain...

 

ASPI

Bilateral and Regional Implications of the U.S.-Philippine Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement, December 2016. Renato De Castro, Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “A rotational U.S. military presence will strengthen the Philippines’ resolve to uphold its territorial claims in the South China Sea and test American credibility in honoring its defense commitment to the country.”

 

EWC

Australia-Philippines Relationship Status: "It's Complicated", December 2016 Charmaine Deogracias and Orrie Johan, Journalist at Vera Files, and researcher at the East-West Center in Washington, respectively, explain that “Relations are also affected by Duterte’s skepticism of Australian and U.S. resolve in supporting the Philippines, and by Australia’s concerns about a shift by Duterte away from the U.S. and towards China. These trends pose major challenges for Philippines-Australia relations and risk causing them to deteriorate.”

 

EWC

Can China Participate in Middle East Stabilization Efforts by Supporting Regional Connectivity? December 2016. Yoram Evron, Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “If China takes a prominent role in the establishment and operation of international transportation lines, this would make Beijing a de facto stakeholder in and facilitator of regional stability and development.”

 

EWC

Standard-Essential Patents within Global Networks--An Emerging Economies Perspective, December 2016. This paper addresses two unresolved issues. First, most of the existing SEP research has focused on advanced countries. It is time to address growing concerns in emerging and developing countries that SEP-related market failures may create added uncertainty for their companies, generating unpredictable and often quite significant costs and delaying market entry of their products. Second, such SEP-related market failures are even more important in a world where increasingly complex and diverse global corporate networks integrate dispersed production, engineering, product development and research across geographic borders...

 

EWC

Asian Economic Integration Report 2016 (Highlights, Full Report). With the continued anemic global economic recovery, trade growth in Asia and the Pacific decelerated in 2015, falling further behind growth in gross domestic product. Asia’s trade growth by volume decelerated to 2.3% in 2015, below the 2.7% growth in global trade, and falling further below the region’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 5.3%. Developing Asia’s exports grew 3.0% in 2015, on par with advanced economies. But imports grew a meager 1.7% compared with 4.5% in advanced economies...

 

ADB

Structural Change and Moderating Growth in the People’s Republic of China: Implications for Developing Asia and Beyond, Published 2016. This report assesses the effects of these changes on the rest of the region and the world, looking closely at various channels of transmission including commodity prices, trade, and production. The continued moderation of growth in the PRC could knock off a third of a percentage point a year in growth for the rest of developing Asia over the next 2 years. Changes in PRC economic activity significantly affect commodity prices, but the estimated impact varies by commodity. This report discusses how developing Asia’s policy-makers can respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by these changes.

 

ADB

Pacific Economic Monitor, December 2016. This edition of the Pacific Economic Monitor focuses on niche product development. The Pacific is increasingly becoming known worldwide for products such as coffee, chocolate, chili, vanilla, cosmetics, and signature clothing. These products, while produced at low volumes, can fetch premium prices by trading on the unique stories of their development, and exotic local ingredients derived from the pristine Pacific environment. Collective efforts to improve product quality and increased access to trade finance are but two of the ways through which Pacific exporters can harness these opportunities...

 

ADB

Do Natural Disasters Change Savings and Employment Choices? Evidence from Bangladesh and Pakistan, December 2016. Bangladesh and Pakistan are among the countries most vulnerable to livelihood risks arising from frequent exposure to large-scale natural disasters. We study household responses to floods and storms in terms of short-term changes in their dependence on agriculture. Results show that rural households temporarily move away from agriculture in response to disaster then come back after a short period of time. They therefore remain vulnerable to climatic extremes. Development of nonfarm employment opportunities in rural areas can therefore be a useful public policy to lower their dependence on agriculture and reduce their income and livelihood vulnerabilities.

 

ADB

The Economics of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation in Developing Asia, December 2016. This study uses an economy–energy–climate model to assess the long-term effects of Paris Agreement pledges on developing Asia, in comparison with business as usual and more ambitious scenarios to limit warming to 2°C. It finds potential for modest macroeconomic costs of ambitious mitigation, but that clean energy investment needs are substantial. When costs, benefits of avoided climate change, and cobenefits are considered together, investment in mitigation policy is found to have substantial economic returns for the region—if action is taken rapidly and international carbon market mechanisms are implemented to allow mitigation to occur where it is least costly.

 

ADB

Natural Disaster Shocks and Macroeconomic Growth in Asia: Evidence for Typhoons and Droughts, December 2016. Under a looming threat of climate-related extreme events, estimates of the effects of typhoons and droughts show declines in national incomes compared to predisaster trends persisting up to 2 decades. In Asia, damages from typhoons double relative to a unit increase in wind speed with mean damages projected to rise from 5% to 50%. This could undo development gains in vulnerable developing Asian economies and affect mostly the poor. Relocation, social safety nets, and disaster insurance or similar ex ante mechanisms are needed to cope with increased disaster risks.

 

ADB

Cobenefits and Trade-Offs of Green and Clean Energy: Evidence from the Academic Literature and Asian Case Studies, December 2016. This paper assesses the positive cobenefits of promoting green and clean energy in Asia, and discusses four case studies where cobenefits have been delivered in practice in Indonesia, People's Republic of China, Japan, and Singapore. It first defines what is meant by “clean” energy across the four technological systems of cooking, renewable electricity, energy efficiency, and urban transport. It summarizes at least four general types of cobenefits to investing in these systems...

 

ADB

Effects of Temperature Shocks on Economic Growth and Welfare in Asia, December 2016. This study finds that overall economic productivity of developing Asia would be at least 10% lower by 2100 relative to a business as usual scenario as it examines the nonlinear response effect of economic growth to historic temperature and precipitation fluctuations. This paper confirms that aside from the significant effect of rising temperature on agricultural production, industrial production and investment endeavors also serve as other potential channels through which temperature significantly affects overall economic productivity. It empirically analyzes policy measures and factors that could help countries mitigate consumption volatility driven by climate change-related events. Likewise, government plays a critical role in moderating the negative impact of rising temperature in both output and consumption.

 

ADB

Governance, Vulnerability to Climate Change, and Green Growth: International Evidence, November 2016. We find that governance has a positive effect on environmental performance and vulnerability to climate change has a negative effect. Promoting good governance and reducing climate change vulnerability can thus contribute to a cleaner environment. We find qualitatively similar results for the subsample of high-income countries, but governance has an insignificant effect for the subsamples of upper-middle-income, lower-middle-income, and low-income countries. High-income countries have strong environmental policies to protect the environment whereas other countries need to strengthen their relatively weak environmental policies.

 

ADB

How to Fill the Working-Age Population Gap in Asia: A Population Accounting Approach, November 2016. World populations are aging—with the speed and extent of the demographic shift varying across developed and developing economies. Extending the retirement age is expected to reduce the dependency ratio by increasing the number of workers relative to the number of consumers. Meanwhile, increasing immigration will require proactive efforts in both host and source economies. While increasing fertility rates may entail additional short–term burdens on the economy, policy makers need to take urgent action to avoid being trapped in the vicious cycle of shrinking populations and rising dependency ratios.

 

ADB

Trade, Poverty Eradication, and the Sustainable Development Goals, December 2016. Trade can both benefit and hurt poor households; sound complementary policies are needed. We investigate if trade can help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of poverty eradication using microeconomic and macroeconomic mechanisms and the effects of trade and trade policy on consumer prices, producer prices, and wages...

 

ADB

Two Stages of Economic Development, December 2016. The People’s Republic of China is at the intersection of two stages of economic development. We suggest that the development process of a less-developed country can be divided into two stages, which demonstrate significantly different properties in areas such as structural endowments, production modes, income distribution, and the forces that drive economic growth...

 

ADB

The Effect of Opposite Sex Siblings on Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills in Early Childhood, December 2016. Having a sister improves learning for boys in early childhood. We investigate the effect of having opposite sex siblings on cognitive and noncognitive skills of children in the United States at the onset of formal education. Our identification strategy rests on the assumption that, conditional on covariates, the sibling sex composition of the two firstborn children in a family is arguably exogenous...

 

ADB

Trade, Infrastructure, and Development, December 2016. This paper surveys the literature on trade and development, especially on complementarities associated with trade infrastructure. The empirical literature shows that, on average, trade causes growth, but the relationship is far from homogeneous across countries since initial conditions matter. Although the empirical literature shows that investment in soft and hard infrastructure has an unambiguously positive impact on trade flows, the theoretical literature argues that priority should be given to investments in national rather than international infrastructure in countries with relatively poor national infrastructure. This paper finds that data support this prediction.

 

ADB

Determinants of Tenure Choice in Japan: What Makes You a Homeowner? December 2016. Income level and family size mainly determine homeownership in Japan. Despite Japan’s highly developed housing market, little is known about the determinants of renter-to-homeowner tenure transition. Exploiting the Japanese longitudinal household data of the Keio Household Panel Survey (2004–2013), this paper aims to close this gap. Our results show that income level and increase in family size are the strongest determinants for homeownership in Japan...

 

ADB

Poverty and Ethnicity in Asian Countries, December 2016. Disadvantaged ethnic groups are poorer because of inequalities in education, regional development, and urban-rural gaps. We compare the extent and the nature of the higher prevalence of poverty among disadvantaged ethnic groups in six Asian countries using demographic surveys. We first estimate a composite wealth index as a proxy for economic status, and analyze the magnitude of the ethnic gap in absolute and relative poverty levels across six countries and different ethnicities in those countries...

 

ADB

Poverty and Nutrition: A Case Study of Rural Households in Thailand and Viet Nam, December 2016. Income growth alone does not improve nutrition rates. We analyze the link between nutrition and poverty in two Asian countries where monetary-based poverty reduction was especially successful. Thailand and Viet Nam are two emerging market economies where poverty rates are now below 10% and are declining further. Despite this success, it is not clear to what extent it has translated into similar improvements in the nutritional situation of the people, and especially of children...

 

ADB

Climate Change and Vulnerability to Poverty: An Empirical Investigation , December 2016. Climate change puts people at greater risk of becoming poor. Scientists estimate that anthropogenic climate change leads to increased surface temperature, rising sea levels, and more frequent extreme weather and climate events, among others. We investigate how climate change can potentially change vulnerability to poverty using a panel data set in Indonesia. We focus on the effect of drought and flood, two of the commonly observed disasters there. Our simulation results indicate that vulnerability to poverty in Indonesia may increase substantially as a result of climate change.

 

ADB

Financial Inclusion, Financial Regulation, and Education in Bangladesh, December 2016. Education and financial literacy levels mainly determine financial inclusion. Like in many other countries, inclusive finance for inclusive growth has become a policy issue in Bangladesh following the global financial crisis in 2008. Over the past 10 years, intensity of financial deepening and access to financial services has increased. Both banks and microfinance institutions have contributed to higher intensity. A recent study shows that around 40% of the adult population and 75% of households have access to financial services in Bangladesh...

 

ADB

Key Issues of Central and Local Government Finance in the People’s Republic of China, December 2016. Innovative fundraising and financing channels will help upgrade local government infrastructure and public services. Fiscal decentralization has been established in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), but crises emerge at the local government level due to remaining problems of the fiscal administration system of tax allocation and the impact of replacing the business tax with a value added tax. The PRC taxation system requires readjustment and local governments have begun to focus on innovative financing models...

 

ADB

Spillovers of the United States’ Unconventional Monetary Policy to Emerging Asia: The Bank Lending Channel, December 2016. Spillover effects of the United States’ unconventional monetary policy on the Asian credit market are large but differ depending on the type, purpose, and terms of loans. This paper assesses the spillover effects of the United States’ unconventional monetary policy (i.e., quantitative easing programs adopted during 2008–2014) on the Asian credit market. With a focus on cross-border bank lending, we employed firm-level loan data with regard to the syndicated loan market and measured the international bank lending channel through changes in United States dollar-denominated loans extended to Asian borrowers...

 

ADB

Measuring Multidimensional Poverty in Three Southeast Asian Countries using Ordinal Variables, December 2016. This paper aims to highlight the contribution of the recent methodological refinements of poverty measures based on counting approaches using ordinal variables to the understanding of the evolution of poverty in Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Using the general framework proposed by Silber and Yalonetzky (2013), this paper compares multidimensional poverty measures such as the Multidimensional Poverty Index used by the UNDP (an index based on the approach of Alkire and Foster [2011]) with others which are sensitive to the distribution of deprivation counts across individuals...

 

ADB

APEC Low-Carbon Town Indicator System Guideline (First Edition), November 2016 The APEC Low-Carbon Town Indicator (LCT-I) System Guideline has been developed to work with The Concept of the Low-Carbon Town in the APEC Region or the Concept. The LCT- I System is a self-assessment tool to assess and monitor the progress of each LCT development project that is based upon the concept. The users can easily carry out an assessment with the attached LCT-I evaluation sheet as it was designed as simple as possible.

 

APEC

The Concept of the Low-Carbon Town in the APEC Region (Sixth Edition): Executive Summary, Volume I and Volume II, November 2016. It aims to promote the development of low-carbon towns in the APEC region by providing a basic principle that can assist the central and local government officials of the member economies in planning effective low-carbon policies and in formulating an appropriate combination of low-carbon measures while taking socio-economic conditions and city-specific characteristics into consideration. The report consists of Volume I: Main Chapter, which provides an overview of the concept, including basic approach to develop the LCT, measures to use in the development of LCT and evaluation of the effect of low-carbon measures; and Volume II: Low-Carbon Measures, which presents low-carbon measures with their applicability and case examples.

 

APEC

Study on Systematic Solution for Promoting Capacity Building of Low-Carbon Town in APEC Economies, November 2016. The study presents a systematic investigation of low-carbon towns’ construction capacity by employing literature review, policy research, assessment model, case studies and demonstrations of China’s low-carbon city construction. The research outlines implications for building low-carbon cities and towns in the APEC region, identifies factors impacting capacity building, and discusses ways to take full advantage of the driving paths in government, enterprise, research institutes, and social and public levels.

 

APEC

APEC Guideline for Quality Electric Power Infrastructure, October 2016. Taking into account the wide spectrum of power infrastructure from generators to national grid, this Guideline focuses on securing quality of individual “thermal power plant”. It aims to facilitate the readers’ understanding on how electric power infrastructure is built and operated, share the best practice of electric power infrastructure between readers, and provide useful suggestions of methodologies for securing the quality of electric power infrastructure. 

 

APEC

Develop Air Connectivity in the Region: Executive Summary and Economy Reports, October 2016: Executive Summary, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, United States, and Viet Nam. This executive summary and 21 customized APEC economy reports complement the consolidated report, Develop Air Connectivity in the APEC Region. The summary and economy reports provide greater details and market demand-driven recommendations for new non-stop flights, hubs, and improved flight schedule connection times. This can help airlines and regulators make faster decisions to improve air connectivity across the APEC Region.

 

APEC

Develop Air Connectivity in the Region: Consolidated Report, October 2016. This report consolidates the outcomes of a market assessment and analysis research conducted with the aim to develop air connectivity in the APEC region. True Origin/Destination air traffic demand between the APEC economies was calibrated with existing flights, seat capacity and flight schedules, using IATA's travel intelligence software. The results were aligned with an analysis of new aircraft with increased flying range. To achieve air connectivity with non-stop flights between every APEC economy, there are 210 economy pairs possible of which: 131 (62%) are connected with non-stop flights and 79 (38%) are not connected with non-stop flights. Of the 79 economy pairs that are currently not connected with non-stop flights, 47 (22%) cannot be connected due to aircraft technology limitations, and 6 (3%) can be connected based on the market demand recommendations of this project.

 

APEC

Promotion of Regional Economic Integration by Developing APEC Gateway Port Connectivity, December 2016. This study provides information on the underlying drivers of gateway port functions, and how such functions of a port can facilitate trade and promote economic growth. The best practices and development trends of gateway ports are reviewed, and their success factors and challenges are identified. Tools and indices to measure gateway port performance are discussed, and this discussion contributes to the recommendations of technical and political recommendations of developing gateway port functions.

 

APEC

RAASR Individual Action Plans, November 2016. This report highlights the 21 member economies’ commitment to APEC's structural reform agenda as outlined in the RAASR.

 

APEC

Hmong Studies Journal, Vol. 17, 2016  

HSJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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