Seizing the moment in Asian economic diplomacy

Female Chinese workers sew clothes to be exported to Southeast Asian countries at a garment factory in Huaibei city, 19 January 2016. The Trans-Pacific Partnership will likely divert trade and investment away from non-members. Already some manufacturers are moving from China to Vietnam to take advantage of better access to the US market. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Editors, East Asia Forum

Asia is looking to complete a major economic agreement by early 2017 that offers the chance to lift its growth closer to potential by locking in domestic reform and liberalisation through regional cooperation. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement is Asia’s response to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and heralds the next phase in Asian economic cooperation. Read more…

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…

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…

Mahathir should focus on institutions, not personalities

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohammad reading an anti-Prime Minister Najib Razak declaration during a media conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo: AAP)

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

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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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…

Indian manufacturing lacks logistics

Kandla, one of India’s busiest ports, looks deserted as containers and cargo await loading onto stranded ships, in western India. (Photo: AAP).

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…