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

Durban: where success will mean the avoidance of failure

Authors: Stephen Howes and Frank Jotzo, ANU

Global climate policy reached a turning point at the 2009 Copenhagen conference.

Expectations of a binding global climate treaty were dashed; instead, all major countries made unilateral pledges to cut or restrain their greenhouse gas emissions. In reality, that was probably a more significant outcome than a binding, but weak, agreement — what counts is what countries do, not what they sign up to. Read more…

Does India really need a National Manufacturing Policy?

Author: Suman Bery, IGC

The Indian government presented its National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) to the nation in early November.

Presumably, the announcement was timed to demonstrate that reform is alive and kicking before parliament reconvenes later this month. With the final text now available on the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion website, it is possible to take a considered view of the policy’s goals, the means proposed to achieve them and the probability of success. It is also possible to speculate on the unintended consequences and possible collateral damage.

Read more…

The European crisis and the G20 Summit

Author: Jacob Kierkegaard, PIIE

The G20 Summit in Cannes probably made its most important contribution to global financial stability and economic growth before it even commenced.

The summit, held 3–4 November, became a deadline for European leaders to deal decisively with the economic and financial crises in the euro zone. Read more…

The renminbi’s internationalisation: a reality check

Author: Gunter Dufey, Nanyang Technological University

There is a great deal of speculation around the rise of China’s economy and the eventual changes this will supposedly bring to the international monetary system.

The potential for such change undoubtedly exists as the Chinese economy continues to grow and catches up with more-developed countries.  Read more…

Obstacles to closer India–US relations

Author: Vikas Kumar, Azim Premji University

During her last visit to India in July, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged India to play a bigger role in Asia.

While this predates Clinton’s more recent suggestion that India, China and the US should work more closely together, it is still widely believed that heightened India–US cooperation is aimed at encircling China. And it appears the symbolic element of official India–US interactions is often mistaken for a sustainable strategic relationship. Read more…

South Asia and Asia’s middle-class future

Author: Peter Drysdale, Editor, East Asia Forum

As they struggle to escape the global financial crisis, the prospect of China’s continued, powerful growth both excites and challenges the established economic powers in Europe and North America.

US President Obama’s trip to Australia and the East Asia Summit last week was dominated by American strategies to deal with the challenge of China. Read more…

South Asia: reshaping tomorrow

Author: Ejaz Ghani, World Bank

What will India look like in 2025?

The optimistic outlook is that India, which accounts for 80 per cent of the regional economic output, is headed towards double digit growth rates. South Asia too will grow rapidly, primarily due to India. Read more…

Economic performance and legitimacy in North Korea

Authors: Geoffrey K. See and Andray Abrahamian, Choson Exchange

Intra-elite competition for investments in North Korea, with multiple channels backed by different individuals at the highest levels of the North Korean government, has significantly increased in the last two years.

This competition appears to mark a shift towards increasing reliance on economic performance as a primary source of legitimacy for the North Korean government. Read more…

Burma: a test that ASEAN may be failing

Author: Julie Sheetz, Harvard University

Even before the announcement that ASEAN member states had awarded the 2014 rotating chairmanship to Burma, it was already a foregone conclusion.

Burma’s campaign to be reinstated as a regular member of ASEAN gained steam when Indonesia’s Foreign Minister, Marty Natalegawa, began hinting at approval before his visit to Naypyidaw, Burma’s capital, last month. Read more…

US, China role play for ASEAN

Author: Donald K. Emmerson, Stanford University

Southeast Asian policy makers looking north to the Asian mainland and east across the Pacific see two major assets to their region: China’s biggest-in-the-world economy and America’s best-in-the-world military.

Of course, America is still important to Southeast Asia’s economy: the US and China each imported 10.1 per cent of the total value of ASEAN’s exports in 2009; and accounted for almost identical shares of FDI inflows into ASEAN: 10.8 per cent and 10.4 per cent respectively.

Read more…

Trade regionalism in Asia: new issues and old

Author: Andrew Elek, ANU

A revolution in information and communications technology since the 1990s has changed the nature of production, international commerce and the importance of integration.

Eager to engage their economies in global production networks, governments have moved unilaterally to lift most tariff and other policy barriers which inhibit trade at the border. Read more…

Asian integration and geopolitics

Author: Shiro Armstrong, ANU

East Asia’s pursuit of policy strategies of openness to trade and investment have resulted in its being economically one of the world’s most internationally-integrated regions — both intraregionally and towards the rest of the world.

Read more…

Kyrgyzstan’s post-election outlook

Author: Kirill Nourzhanov, ANU

Almazbek Atambaev, Kyrgyzstan’s current prime minister, has proved a clear winner in the presidential election that took place on 30 October.

His incumbency in government, political experience and support from the country’s interim president, Roza Otunbayeva, undoubtedly contributed to his victory. Read more…

The route of urbanisation in China

Author: Wang Xiaolu, CRF, Beijing

China’s urban development strategy has triggered ongoing debate as to whether its government should focus on small- and medium-sized cities and towns or whether China should allow and encourage more large-sized cities.

This is a highly controversial issue in China and raises the more general issue of whether, and to what extent, the Chinese government should intervene in the process of urbanisation. Read more…

The US in the EAS: implications for US–ASEAN relations

Author: Ralf Emmers, RSIS

The US recently participated in the East Asia Summit (EAS) for the first time — a decision that has wider implications for US–ASEAN relations.

The decision to join the EAS is part of a recalibration of US foreign policy vis-à-vis ASEAN-led multilateral institutions. This shift in policy reflects a broader attempt by the US to re-engage with Southeast Asia — after years of perceived indifference — and is equally related to China’s growing influence in the Asia Pacific region. Read more…