Publication in Economics, Politics and Public Policy in East Asia and the Pacific

Chinese capitalism: some lessons for India

Author: Rajiv Kumar. FICCI, New Delhi

A recent world-wide survey of popular support for capitalism reveals that 67 per cent of the Chinese strongly support their variety of capitalism.

The delicious irony is that China has emerged as capitalism’s saviour! Surprisingly, in the US, the holy land of free market capitalism only 43 per cent (if my memory serves me right) were positive about capitalism and this has declined perceptibly in the last five years. Read more…

Industrial vs arable land zoning in China: the BYD case

Author: G.E. Anderson, UCLA

Last October I wrote about a situation in which BYD, the private automaker from Shenzhen, was punished for attempting to build a factory on farmland near Xi’an.

BYD was fined about US$435,000, and seven buildings, on which it had already begun construction, were confiscated and ordered to be destroyed. Read more…

The Doha Round’s premature obituary

Author: Jagdish Bhagwati, Columbia University

The Doha Round, the first multilateral trade negotiation conducted under the auspices of the World Trade Organization, is at a critical stage. Now in their 10th year, with much negotiated, the talks need a final political nudge, lest Doha — and hence the WTO — disappear from the world’s radar screen.

Indeed, the danger is already real: when I was in Geneva a year ago and staying at the upscale Mandarin Oriental, I asked the concierge how far away the WTO was. He looked at me and asked: ‘Is the World Trade Organization a travel agency?’ Read more…

Australia and the Pacific islands: a loss of focus or a loss of direction?

Author: Sandra Tarte, USP

Recent claims in the media that Australia’s foreign minister has ‘ignored’, ‘neglected’ and ‘taken his eyes off’ the Pacific islands have underscored a number of policy dilemmas facing Australian diplomacy in the region. These have been evident for some time and centre primarily around the approach to Fiji’s post-coup government, led by Commodore Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama.

Like other western democracies, Australia imposed diplomatic, military and political sanctions on the military-led government after the December 2006 coup. Read more…

India’s economy: growing rapidly and unequally

Author: Raghbendra Jha, ANU

In 2010, India’s GDP in PPP terms was $3.92 trillion. By this reckoning, India was the fourth-largest economy in the world after the US, China and Japan.

Citi Investment Research and Analysis estimates that in a decade India will be the third-largest economy. Between 2000–01 and 2007–08, India’s real GDP growth averaged 7.3 per cent per annum. Read more…

Indonesia: why food self-sufficiency is different from food security

Author: Peter Warr, ANU

The recent volatility of international food prices has reinforced the mistrust felt within many food-importing countries towards international markets as suppliers of affordable food.

One possible response is to become less reliant on food imports. Concern about food security thus becomes transformed into concern about food self-sufficiency.

Read more…

Afghanistan: No cause for hope

Author: Gurmeet Kanwal, CLAWS

The unending conflict in Afghanistan poses the foremost threat to regional stability in Southern Asia.

Although President Obama has tripled the number of US forces to 100,000 in the two years he has been in office, this surge in force levels has failed to effectively counter the long-term threat posed by the Taliban and its al Qaeda partners. Read more…

Chinese multilateralism: implications for Sino-US relations

Author: Li Mingjiang, RSIS

What impact will the rise of China have on the existing international system?

Multilateralism has become an essential part of China’s international policy, with Beijing demonstrating much pragmatism in its attitude toward global multilateral institutions. Read more…

Reshaping global economic governance and the role of Asia in the G20

Author: Cyn-Young Park, ADB

The global financial crisis has prompted a wide range of policy responses and long-overdue reform initiatives, implemented by an unprecedented degree of intergovernmental policy coordination to build a collective response — not just between large, advanced economies but with strong participation from emerging market economies, too.

The world economy has turned a corner, but the challenges it faces remain daunting. Read more…

What future for investor-state arbitration provisions in Asia Pacific treaties?

Author: Luke Nottage, The University of Sydney

In its recent review of Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements (BRTAs), the majority report from Australia’s Productivity Commission remained opposed to including treaty provisions for investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).

Recommendation 4(c) advised that Australia should not include ISDS ‘provisions in BRTAs that grant foreign investors in Australia substantive or procedural rights greater than those enjoyed by Australian investors.’ Read more…

Preserving the right to regulate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and beyond

Author: Kyla Tienhaara, Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University

The last decade has seen an explosive increase in disputes between foreign investors and governments that have been resolved in international arbitration.

Many of these disputes have revolved around public policy measures and have concerned sensitive issues such as access to drinking water, mining development on indigenous sacred sites, health warnings on cigarette packages, and restrictions on the use of dangerous chemicals. Read more…

Risks to the Chinese economy and an upside for Australia

Author: Peter Drysdale, Editor, EAF

Underneath China’s roaring growth rate, there are a host of problems that Chinese policymakers are struggling to deal with.

As Yao Yang pointed out previously, as the global economy and exports are beginning to pick up, the current account surplus is on the rise again. Read more…

The impact of China’s 12th Five Year Plan

Author: Yongsheng Zhang, DRC

China recently wrapped up the National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultation Conference (CPPCC) with the approval of the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP) (2011-2015).

At the top of the new blueprint is a commitment to transforming China’s development model from the current low-efficiency, high-growth model to a more balanced model that seeks to address a whole range of increasingly important concerns. Read more…

R2P: A good norm in search of fairness

Author: K. Kesavapany, ISEAS

Amid the flowering of the revolutions in the Arab world, an issue that could shape international relations for decades to come is emerging in Libya. As rebels continue to battle Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s armed troops, almost inch by inch, civilians are paying the price in this civil war.

Libyans in cities like Misrata and Ajdabiya have been reported to have suffered terrible horrors at the hands of pro-Gaddafi forces. Read more…

Political fallout from Japanese nuclear crisis hits India

Author: David Brewster, ANU

The Fukushima nuclear crisis is likely to have some major consequences for India.

India has been on track to become one of the biggest users of nuclear power in the world. It currently has 11 nuclear plants in operation or under construction, totaling 7,500 MW of generation capacity, and has plans to increase its nuclear generation capacity to up to 64,000 MW by 2032. Read more…