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

India’s waste management problems are piling up

Author: Sudhakar Yedla, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research

India’s rapid economic growth has resulted in a substantial increase in solid waste generation in urban centres. Urban areas in India alone generate more than 100,000 metric tonnes of solid waste per day, which is higher than many countries’ total daily waste generation. Large metropoles such as Mumbai and Delhi generate around 9000 metric tonnes and 8300 metric tonnes per day respectively. Read more…

Mongolia makes the most of the middle position

Author: Anthony Rinna, Sino-NK

On 14 April 2016 the foreign ministers of Mongolia and Russia signed what they termed a Medium-term Strategic Partnership Development Program in Ulaanbaatar. Plans to establish a strategic partnership between Mongolia and Russia date at least to September 2014, when the presidents of the two countries met in the Mongolian capital. Read more…

Mahathir should focus on institutions, not personalities

Author: Shankaran Nambiar, MIER

Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s former prime minister, seems to have missed the mark with the Citizen’s Declaration that he has so vigorously supported. The bulk of the Declaration is directed at Prime Minister Najib Razak and his alleged wrongdoings in connection with the beleaguered 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Therein lies its fatal flaw.

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Mapping India in Japan’s infrastructure agenda

Author: Titli Basu, IDSA

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Partnership for Quality Infrastructure in Asia (PQI) aims to consolidate Japan’s regional clout among the emerging Asian economies. PQI, which is often viewed as a competing formulation vis-à-vis the Chinese mega infrastructure designs, is critical to achieving the goals of Japan’s national growth strategy.

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Generalising the middle income trap

Author: Mark Fabian, ANU

The middle income trap has recently come (back) into vogue as a theoretical construct for understanding why some countries seem to stagnate at the middle-income level. The middle-income range is relatively common among contemporary emerging markets globally, so it is not surprising that ‘trap’ discussions focus on this income bracket. Read more…

Indian manufacturing lacks logistics

Author: Saurabh Bandyopadhyay, NCAER

The state of India’s manufacturing sector is concerning. Especially when compared to the massive transformation registered in this sector by other Asian countries in similar stages of development. Contributing around 16 per cent of India’s GDP, manufacturing remains far below its potential, which should be at least 25 per cent. Read more…

Are global value chains the kickstart that AEC needs?

Author: Daniel Wu, Bangkok

ASEAN is on the lookout for ways to accelerate trade facilitation and eliminate trade barriers by 2025 under its new 10-year ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) roadmap. Extensive research has demonstrated the vital role of global value chains (GVCs) in enhancing economic integration and liberalising trade. Read more…

Brunei must diversify its spluttering economy

Author: Paul Pryce, UPH Analytics

The small Southeast Asian state of Brunei Darussalam has long enjoyed considerable affluence, thanks in large part to its exports of crude oil and liquefied natural gas to resource-hungry neighbours like Japan and India. According to 2010 data, GDP per capita was US$51,600 and Bruneians enjoy the total absence of sales taxes or personal income tax.

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When the TPP and One Belt, One Road meet

Authors: Patrick Mendis, Harvard University and Dániel Balázs, Tongji University

After years of talks, negotiators concluded an agreement on the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in October 2015. Since China is excluded from the TPP, one would expect antagonism rather than symbiosis between the Washington-advocated trade package and Beijing’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) strategy. Read more…

Japan and Australia ramp up defence engagement in the South China Sea

Author: Tomohiko Satake, NIDS

Amid the increasing tensions in the South China Sea the United States has called for its regional allies to more actively support its freedom of navigation (FON) operations. But despite their political support for the operations, it seems that neither Tokyo nor Canberra are willing to put their support into direct action. Read more…

India’s demographic dividend strait-jacketed by labour regulations

Author: Mark Fabian, ANU

One of India’s most promising economic features is its large working-age population. Yet if India doesn’t find jobs for its young people, this boon will quickly turn into a powder-keg, as evinced by the recent agitations of unemployed Jats in Haryana. Read more…

The limits to Chinese political power

Author: Editors, East Asia Forum

As China has become a larger player in the world economy and its influence in world political affairs has grown, the need to understand the Chinese political system and how political power is exercised within it has grown commensurately. Read more…

Is China’s authoritarianism decaying into personalised rule?

Author: Carl Minzner, Fordham Law School

China is experiencing the most sustained domestic political crackdown since Tiananmen Square. Much attention has been devoted to the increasing state repression being directed at lawyers, journalists and civil society activists. But there is a separate and more fundamental concern. Read more…

Sarawak political machine will keep propping up Najib

Author: James Chin, University of Tasmania

On 7 May residents of Sarawak, the larger of the two Malaysian states located on Borneo island, will be going to the polls. Sarawak is the only one of Malaysia’s 13 states to hold its state and federal polls separately. Read more…

India’s non-alignment ship hasn’t sailed yet

Author: Darshana M. Baruah, Observer Research Foundation

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, India has developed a distinct maritime outlook in its diplomacy and security policy. For years, there was a lack of political will to look toward India’s maritime interests. Read more…