Value-add data adds value to our understanding of Asia

Employees of Samsung Electronics set up large LCD TV on a production line at Samsung Electronics factory in Suwon 7 August 2003. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Christopher Findlay, University of Adelaide

The future of manufacturing in developed economies, and the scope for digital technology to provide new life for that sector, has received increasing attention as production moves to low-wage countries and as the manufacturing process becomes more fragmented. Read more…

Qantas still calls Australia home

Qantas planes on the tarmac at Sydney International Airport. Qantas, in its traditional modes of operation, is being pushed back to its Australian home. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Christopher Findlay, University of Adelaide

Qantas’ advertising has long used the tag line ‘I still call Australia home’.


Around the Olympics this year, a new strategy was launched with the focus on the tag line ‘you’re the reason we fly’, driven by the observation that Australians believe in openness, and getting out there and doing more, seeing more and expecting more. Read more…

Blurred borders: ‘offshoring’ Australian business

Shipping containers on the wharves in Melbourne. Innovative companies are moving away from traditional export models. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Christopher Findlay and Dean Parham, University of Adelaide

There is now fierce pressure for all Australian businesses outside the resources sector to adjust to the resources boom.

One of Australia’s top policy makers, Ken Henry, has called on Australian business to look at itself differently, saying that ‘productivity and participation-enhancing initiatives’ are promising first steps on the road to a structural adjustment of the Australian non-mining industries. Read more…

Bolting on the second track key to regional cooperation in the Asian Century

Prime Minister Julia Gillard attends the Asia Business Council Summer Forum in Sydney, March 16 2012. There is a public interest in fostering connectivity between first and second-track institutions.  (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Ian Buchanan and Christopher Findlay, AUSPECC

As the politically and economically diverse Asian Pacific states adjust toward post-Cold War institutional structures and alliances, Australia faces renewed policy making and economic cooperation challenges.

It is precisely this diversity of economic interests and political systems that dictates the mode of engagement and the degree of centralised control over the ‘scripts’ used by the actors who exercise influence over the region through various policies and fora.

Read more…

Food, finance and flying: Australia’s FDI challenges in the Asian Century

Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce, whose airline plans to create a premium Asian airline. These plans were thrown into disarray on 9 March 2012 after it announced talks with Malaysia Airlines had collapsed. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Christopher Findlay, University of Adelaide

Australia will face numerous challenges in the ‘Asian Century’, including issues surrounding foreign direct investment (FDI).

More specifically, it is important to reform Australia’s own FDI policy and the policies of its neighbours — as well as one other old-fashioned international policy regime still guiding FDI today.

Read more…

WTO ministerial conference: time for a new world trade strategy

World Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy speaks during the 8th Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Switzerland 16 Dec. 2011

Author: Christopher Findlay, University of Adelaide

The weather was awful outside the WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva last week, but there was some sunshine within the convention centre.

Russia acceded as a member, along with Samoa, Montenegro and Vanuatu (the club still attracts new members, and as one minister said: ‘as far as I know, nobody has asked to leave’). Read more…

Australia–China economic relations

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard gestures beside Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in front of a Great Wall backdrop and national flags placed for a signing ceremony for business deals at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 26 April 2011. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Christopher Findlay, University of Adelaide

Australia benefits substantially from the growth of the Chinese economy at this stage of China’s development.

China is now Australia’s most important trading partner and is an important driver of the growth of Australian resources exports. Read more…

Qantas takes off for Asia

A superjumbo Airbus A380 owned by Australian airline Qantas. Qantas is expanding its operations in Asia. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Christopher Findlay, University of Adelaide

Qantas, the Australian national flag carrier, has faced some major challenges over recent years.

Like many Australia-based services firms which sell into global markets, Qantas has had to deal with significantly rising costs, due to its base in an economy with a booming minerals and energy sector. It is also confronting new competition in its global markets, particularly with the emergence of low-cost carriers and the Middle Eastern airlines. Read more…

Waiting till the cows come home: New routes to services reform

Protesters shout slogans during an anti-World Trade Organization (WTO) protest in front of the trade ministry in Jakarta on June 8, 2009. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Jane Drake-Brockman, Trade and Environment Solutions, Hong Kong and Christopher Findlay, University of Adelaide

The GATS’ contribution to services reform is ‘negligible.’ This is the assessment by Joe Francois and Bernard Hoekman in a recent paper (‘Services Trade and Policy’, Journal of Economic Literature, September 2010, XLVIII (3)) where they argue most services reform has been unilateral.

Regional agreements appear to have wider coverage than the GATS but their contribution with respect to actual policy change and implementation is difficult to assess. Read more…

Japan: To TPP or not to TPP

Protesters clench their fists as they oppose Japan joining the US-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership, in Tokyo on November 10, 2010. The banner reads, 'We are dead against joining in TPP.' (Photo: AP Photo/Kyodo News)

Author: Christopher Findlay, University of Adelaide

Japanese politicians are still debating whether Japan should join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). TPP members are not allowed exclusions. Agriculture is the issue, specifically the domestic political constraints imposed by protection of that sector in Japan. At the same time, the business sector is pushing hard to join.

The TPP builds on the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement which Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore set up in 2006. Read more…

Structural reform takes off (a bit) in Japan

All Nippon Airways (ANA) jetliners stand at the Haneda airport in Tokyo on April 30, 2010. (Photo: AFP Photo/Toshifumi Kitamura)

Author: Christopher Findlay, University of Adelaide

The big news in Japan this week has been the opening of another runway at Haneda, and the use of that downtown airport for international flights, and a brand new international terminal.

The estimate is that there will be an extra 110,000 landing slots a year from the new runway and 60,000 will be used for international flights. This is planned to increase at a later date to 90,000. Read more…

Getting the sequence right in regional financial markets

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn (L) meets with Korea's President Lee Myung-bak (L) at the presidential office July 14, 2010 in Seoul, Korea. (Photo: IMF Photograph/Stephen Jaffe)

Author: Jenny Corbett, ANU, and Christopher Findlay, University of Adelaide

Managing the global recovery and the transmission of shocks that might accompany economic integration continues to be a talking point around the region. An example is the recent conference in Korea organised by the IMF.

These meetings generally conclude with statements that everything matters and statements such as ‘actions in multi-country frameworks can be used to complement strengthening measures adopted at the individual economy level’. Read more…