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…

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…

India’s demographic dividend strait-jacketed by labour regulations

Unemployed Indians stand in a queue to register themselves at the Employment Exchange Office in Allahabad, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on 22 March 2012. India’s outmoded labour regulations are hindering job growth. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Mark Fabian, ANU

One of India’s most promising economic features is its large working-age population. Yet if India doesn’t find jobs for its young people, this boon will quickly turn into a powder-keg, as evinced by the recent agitations of unemployed Jats in Haryana. Read more…

Sino–Japanese competition heats up over Myanmar’s SEZs

Women, wearing t-shirts with the image of Myanmar’s new President Htin Kyaw, offer free food during a celebration in Yangon, Myanmar, 1 April 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Atsuko Mizuno, Kyushu University

China and Japan are eager to be involved in massive special economic zone (SEZ) projects in Myanmar, amid rising economic competition in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Since 2011, Myanmar has rapidly improved its diplomatic relations with the West and Japan Read more…

New rule-based order needed to save the Mekong

Cambodian school children wait for their friend at the Mekong River bank in Tuol Yeimar village before going to their school, near Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 22 March 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Nguyen Khac Giang, VEPR

As Vietnam suffers its worst drought in nearly a century and Cambodia faces a water shortage that could jeopardise the livelihoods of 1.5 million people, debates have been reignited over the mega dams built along the Mekong. Read more…

Escaping the middle income trap

Green signals falling prices and concerns for this investor in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, in February 2016. Despite ups and downs, well-developed financial markets allocate capital efficiently. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Shiro Armstrong and Tom Westland, ANU

After a turbulent 2015, China’s major stock exchanges took another hit in January. Chinese authorities have in the past clumsily tried to stop the free fall in markets with various degrees of success. Read more…