How will the AEC affect ASEAN urbanisation?

Ships and shipping containers in Jurong port in Singapore (Photo AAP)

Author: Bharat Dahiya, Chulalongkorn University

As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) takes steps toward implementing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of 2015, they should be cognisant that the paths towards economic integration and sustainable urbanisation are closely intertwined. Southeast Asian cities will play a critical role in the unfolding of the AEC. Read more…

Productivity lessons for Asia’s tiger cubs

Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong is famous for its fast  owing commerce. Trade and openness helped the small island nation and other Asian ‘Tigers’ to develop rapidly by assimilating foreign technology. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Lawrence J. Lau, CUHK and Jungsoo Park, Sogang University

The high and persistent growth of the four Newly Industrialised Economies — also known as the East Asian Tigers: Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan — from 1970 to 1990 prompted much debate about the drivers of growth in these economies. There have been numerous studies looking into this issue, but they have not yet been able to reach a common conclusion. Read more…

Looking after this generation in Asia, and the next

Children scatter autumn leaves into the air at dusk in Tokyo, Japan, 21 November 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The issue of the sustainability of economic growth is a hot issue in the debate about economic policy. Growth, as measured through change in GDP, means that people are better off, but it does not mean that people will continue to enjoy a higher standard of living in the future. Sustainability means that social consumption can be at least as high in the future as it is now. Read more…

Facing up to the long-term fiscal challenges

Unionised civil servants hold their union flags during a rally to oppose the government's bid to overhaul the public pension system near the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, 28 March 2015. South Korean President Park Geun-hye called for parliamentary endorsement of a bill meant to reform the pension system for civil servants in the latest appeal to reduce the government's growing pension deficit. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Alan J. Auerbach, UC Berkeley

The global financial crisis (GFC) that precipitated the worldwide great recession in 2008 has largely subsided. Capital markets are generally operating smoothly, liquidity has been restored and new initiatives toward financial regulation are aimed at reducing the likelihood of recurrence. But in other respects the effects of the crisis live on. Read more…

Uncertain times cast a cloud over happiness in Asia

A Chinese family of three plays at a beach resort in Lianyungang city, east China's Jiangsu province, 20 June 2015. A new survey suggests that wealth is not the dominant factor in determining happiness in Asia. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Takashi Inoguchi, University of Tokyo

The new normal of a global economy seems to be that happiness is harder to grasp for ordinary people. There are two major reasons for this.

First, the economic outlook is growing more difficult to predict and it is more common to see government attempts to lift growth fall flat. Read more…

The case for Cambodia’s SEZs

Cambodian workers clean soya beans at a soya milk factory (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Peter Warr, ANU, and Jayant Menon, ADB

Cambodia’s special economic zones (SEZs) are attracting new investments that enable the country to participate in global value chains (GVCs). The zones are still small, but hold great potential.

Read more…

Can India make it without manufacturing?

Indian labourers work at a brick manufacturing unit on the outskirts of Hyderabad on 2 March 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

There’s one school of thought in Indian academic and policy circles that India represents a completely new model of development on the way to prosperity. India, it’s claimed, will be a services-led growth model, built on the spectacular international success of its IT hub in Bangalore, and its supply of English-literate back office services to the world. Read more…