Brunei must diversify its spluttering economy

Water taxis wait for passengers bound for the Water Village in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam on Friday, 10 September 2004. Brunei is located on the northwestern shore of Borneo and is heavily dependent on revenue from oil and gas exports. (Photo: AAP).

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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Asia’s next growth frontier

A crane vehicle stacks up containers at the Port of Rizhao in Rizhao city, east China's Shandong province, 28 February 2016. Lifting Asian growth will require a deepening of regional economic integration and cooperative commitment to the reforms. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, ANU

The steady state in the Asian region is growth and dynamism that requires continuous structural change and adjustment. The trajectory of China’s potential rate of growth is certainly 2 or 3 percentage points lower than it was a decade ago, but even at around 6 per cent over the coming decade the massive Chinese economy can still grow at two to three times the rate of the world economy as a whole. Read more…

China under Deng Xiaoping’s leadership

Visitors look at the bronze statue of Deng Xiaoping which was installed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth in 2004, in Guangan. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Ezra F Vogel, Harvard University

When Deng Xiaoping became pre-eminent leader of China in December 1978, China was still in the chaos from the Cultural Revolution. Per capita annual income was less than US$100.

By the time he stepped down in 1992, several hundred million Chinese citizens had been lifted out of poverty, and China was rapidly becoming stronger, richer and more modern.

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Mapping India in Japan’s infrastructure agenda

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at a ceremony, in New Delhi, India. (Photo: AAP)

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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When the TPP and One Belt, One Road meet

Then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton meets with then-Chinese vice president Xi Jinping at the State Department in Washington, 14 February 2014. (Photo: AAP).

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…

Is China’s authoritarianism decaying into personalised rule?

Chinese President Xi Jinping looks on in Prague, Czech Republic, 29 March 2016. At home, Xi Jingping has consolidated his personal power since taking office in 2012. (Photo: AAP).

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…

Mongolia makes the most of the middle position

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and their Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Heads of State Summit in Tajikistan, September 2014. (Photo: AAP)

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…

BCIM Corridor a game changer for South Asian trade

A vender weights corn for a customer at a market in Yingjiang, near the Myanmar border, Yunnan Province, China, 26 May 2012. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Pravakar Sahoo and Abhirup Bhunia, Institute of Economic Growth

The Bangladesh–China–India–Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor will increase socioeconomic development and trade in South Asia. The initiative seeks to improve connectivity and infrastructure, energy resources, agriculture, and trade and investment. It will connect India’s Northeast, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and the Chinese province of Yunnan through a network of roads, railways, waterways, and airways under a proper regulatory framework. The current focus of BCIM talks is on an inter-regional road network. This makes sense, as roads are the cheapest route of trade. Read more…

Generalising the middle income trap

Two men carrying goods to be recycled ride their flatbed tricycles past a red Porsche Cayman parked outside a high-end housing complex in Beijing, China. (Photo: AAP).

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…

Why Japan needs India’s talents

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe shake hands prior to their meeting in New Delhi, India, 12 December 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Anthony P. D’Costa, University of Melbourne

There is a popular saying among Indians that ‘Dubai is the best-run Indian city’. Hundreds of thousands of Indians, as well as others from the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, have been making a living in the Gulf region through temporary contract labour. Read more…