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.

Can Asia Tackle Its Inequality Problem?

Date: 22 April 2014

While emerging Asia continues to achieve a stunning performance in poverty reduction, the gap between rich and poor keeps widening too. How sustainable is this poverty reduction in the face of rising inequality?

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Singapore’s Impotent Immigration Policy

Date: 10 April 2014

The large influx of foreign workers into Singapore has begun to cause tension between immigrants and locals. The obvious solution for the Singaporean government, would be to drastically decrease the number of foreign workers. But here there is a problem: its development model relies on foreign workers.

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Why A Major War In Asia Is Unlikely

Date: 31 March 2014

The rising tensions between China and Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands has led some experts to draw parallels with the Sarajevo incident, which sparked off World War I in Europe. Yet while is a significant risk that the conflict will result in a military confrontation, an all-out war is unlikely given economic reasons.

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China’s Most Powerful Economic Weapon: Education?

Date: 19 March 2014

China’s students are not only achieving the best results in international educational assessment, but are also receiving the most in educational investment than the rest of the world. Traditionally, Chinese people have been highly appreciative of the role of education in development, and the national obsession with education is also reflected in government policy.

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Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: The Next Step For Asian Development?

Date: 18 February 2014

In October, Chinese president Xi Jinping proposed the creation of an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank that would offer financial support for infrastructure construction in developing countries in the region. In time, its impact on the region could be greater than the Asian Development Bank or the World Bank, but it needs to expand as rapidly as it can to acquire the necessary expertise.

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Why India’s Growth Prospects Are Looking Up

Date: 28 January 2014

After a weak 2013, India’s economy has bottomed out, and its much higher long-term growth potential should assert itself after the elections. The international climate is less threatening and conditions are ripe for a cyclical upturn.

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Averting A US-China Economic Cold War

Date: 20 January 2014

The US and 11 other countries are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), without China. And China and 15 other countries are negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), without the US. This unfortunate development was largely a result of misunderstanding and mistrust on both sides. Such economic cold war mentality could be very damaging to both countries and the world.

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Renminbi Internationalisation Will Be A Long March

Date: 8 January 2014

The internationalisation of the Renminbi has been slower than what some analysts initially predicted. Still, RMB internationalisation will continue to enjoy steady progress but there will be no sensational developments.

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Onus On US & China To Resolve Asia’s Growing Disputes

Date: 31 December 2013

The growing maritime disputes in Asia, stemmed particularly by China, has cast doubt over future regional cooperation. Meanwhile though America has vowed to be an anchor of stability and prosperity in the region, it has ironically contributed to greater uncertainty, turbulence, and belligerence – by promising support, yet being non-discrete on how far it would actually go to defend its allies.

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The Philippines: Rising From The Ruins Of Haiyan

Date: 12 December 2013

Typhoon Haiyan was one of the costliest natural disasters to happen in the Philippines’ history. Nevertheless, with some help from the international community, alongside solid government planning and strong local solidarity, the Philippines will be more than ready to make a recovery from its economic losses.

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Five Years On, The World Is Still No Safer Than Before The Crisis

Date: 22 November 2013

The 2008-2009 financial crisis, which quickly evolved into a global economic crisis, saw many of the world’s major economic powers pledge in the aftermath to embark on a series of global reforms. Still five years later, many of these proposed reforms have not been implemented and the world is not much safer now than it was before the global economic crisis.

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India: Will Populism Trump Reforms Yet Again?

Date: 11 November 2013

India will need a whole host of domestic and international reforms to re-boost the economy. However in a democracy that is going into an election year, only politically friendly reforms are likely to be undertaken. Can politicians persuade their constituents to accept reform?

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Why India Must Engage Pakistan’s Middle Class – Now

Date: 30 October 2013

In the long run, India’s economy cannot grow in an unstable neighbourhood; as such building friendly relations with Pakistan is essential. Yet for too long, India’s approach to Pakistan have been fundamentally wrong; rather than engaging only with the liberal elite or the hard-line conservatives, India should build ties with Pakistan’s oft-forgotten middle class – who yearn only for economic progress.

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Pakistan’s Disgrace: The Shocking State Of Its Education System

Date: 30 September 2013

Some 20 million Pakistani children, including an estimated 7.3 million of primary school age, today do not have access to education. Aside from the by-products of terrorism and corruption, a lack of information about the benefits of education has also added to the sorry state of Pakistan’s education system.

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Are Global Agricultural Trade Policies Only Protecting The Developed World?

Date: 20 September 2013

The agriculture sector is a large part of the developing world and supports the livelihoods of a significant portion of its population. But since the last WTO Doha Round, the developing world have been concerned that ambitious tariff reduction proposals will leave their domestic agriculture sector, and by extension their economies more generally, vulnerable.

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Why Is Canada’s Military Returning To Asia?

Date: 12 September 2013

Canada’s new military engagement with Asia represents a shift in its defence policy, after a decade or so of near-absenteeism. But is Canada simply following the whims of American initiatives – the so-called “Pacific Pivot” – or are they serious about taking a more involved role in regional security?

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Myanmar Must Battle Corruption For A Fair Shot At Success

Date: 22 August 2013

After decades of international isolation and economic sanctions, Myanmar has made impressive strides in opening and liberalising the economy, boosting growth and raising the economic outlook for the country. However, achieving the country’s potential depends on how committed its government is to eradicating corruption at every institutional level of society. 

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