East Asia Forum

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East Asia Forum
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Analysis of economics, politics and public policy in East Asia and the Pacific.

Philippine Economic Growth Hinges on Needed Reforms

Date: 3 December 2014

The forthcoming ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) could help drive economic reform in the Philippines. But policymakers will have to embrace what could be difficult reforms and realise that ignoring them would raise the threat of being bypassed (again) by investment and foreign capital seeking opportunities in the Philippines. 

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Could Myanmar's Democratic Future be in Jeopardy?

Date: 2 December 2014

With one year remaining before Myanmar’s general election there is growing concern, both internationally and domestically, that the reform process is at best beginning to stagnate and at worst rolling back in some critical areas. 

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China's International Relationships and How They are Playing in Asia

Date: 2 December 2014

One day in June 2013, President Xi Jinping and his wife and First Lady Peng Liyuan touched down in Trinidad and Tobago. As the pair embarked the aircraft and strode down the gangway, there was something unmistakably ostentatious — a swagger even — in Peng’s turquoise attire and Xi’s matching tie. It marked a shift in China’s approach to international relations. 

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China's State Owned Enterprises Face New Challenges

Date: 1 December 2014

The relationship between the state and economic enterprise is a central choice that governments have to make in all economies. The role of the state and state-backed or state-owned enterprise in Asia’s economic modernisation is a question of special interest. 

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Misconceptions about China's Economic Growth Sources

Date: 30 November 2014

Virtually every dimension of China’s economic success over the past three-and-a-half decades can be attributed largely to the rise of markets and private businesses. Private firms account for almost all the growth in employment, most of the expansion of output and investment in manufacturing, and in recent years for over half of the growth in exports. 

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Economic Development on the mind of Thai Prime Minister Chan-o-cha

Date: 29 November 2014

The recent state visit by Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to Cambodia represented part of the Thai military government’s uphill diplomatic battle to build and strengthen its legitimacy abroad. This visit occurred amid mounting diplomatic pressures from Europe and the US, calling for a rapid return to democracy. 

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Competition for Global Investment Coming from State-Owned Enterprises

Date: 27 November 2014

State-owned enterprises have played a relatively minor role in the era of investment-driven globalisation that began in the 1970s. As recently as 2007, when annual flows of foreign direct investment by multinational enterprises reached a record US$2 trillion, state-owned enterprises were sitting on the sidelines, accounting for only 3–4 per cent of international mergers and acquisitions, the main vehicles multinational enterprises use to acquire and control international operations. 

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Shinzo Abe's Challenges Go Beyond the Upcoming Election

Date: 26 November 2014

When Abe dissolved the lower house on 21 November 2014 and called a snap election for December, top leaders in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and New Komeito identified keeping 270 seats as the low-water mark, which would represent a loss of 56 seats. 

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Sri Lanka Becoming China's New Best Friend?

Date: 26 November 2014

A sea change is occurring in Sri Lanka’s strategic orientation. Recent developments suggest that Sri Lanka is becoming China’s new best friend and security partner in the eastern Indian Ocean. This would represent a major change in Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and could have significant consequences for regional security. 

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China Aims High

Date: 25 November 2014

This geopolitical summit season has consolidated ongoing trends in international affairs. A still-rising China with global leadership aspirations, a resurgent Russia bent on restoring its superpower status, and sclerosis and dysfunction in Western countries is likely to dominate international politics for at least the next 20 years. In fact, we might only be at the beginning in this long time span where seismic global power shifts are taking place. 

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Japan's Election - Policy or Politics?

Date: 25 November 2014

Prime Minister Abe is subjecting his ruling coalition — and his nation — to an unnecessary election on 14 December 2014. Abe claims his decision is all about policy, but in reality it is all about politics. His stated rationale for calling the election is the need to secure voters’ endorsement of his administration’s decision to postpone the consumption tax rise to 10 per cent until April 2017. But his real reasons are based on cold calculations of political self-interest. 

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Modi Breaks a Trend and Visits Australia After the G20 Summit

Date: 24 November 2014

Seven Indian prime ministers from across the political spectrum and spanning three decades have come and gone without paying a state visit to Canberra, a record broken only now with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Australia following the Brisbane G20 Summit. 

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FTAAP Revival is China's Signature Trade Initiative

Date: 24 November 2014

The 2014 APEC leaders’ summit witnessed a string of successes in Chinese trade diplomacy. Key among these successes was the endorsement of China’s signature trade initiative as APEC host: the realisation sooner rather than later of a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP). 

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Global Summits, Global Hopes

Date: 22 November 2014

For global governance watchers, this was the big week of the year. Between 7 November and 16 November, the world witnessed an APEC meeting in Yanqi Lake near Beijing complete with a bilateral China–Japan ‘breakthrough’ and a major US–China climate deal; an historic ASEAN and East Asia Summit held in Naypidaw, Myanmar; and a colourful G20 meeting in Brisbane, Australia. 

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