Can China make it to the top of the ladder?

Residents walk past a replica of Tiananmen Gate in Yinchuan in northwestern China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region on 8 October 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

China’s GDP or output per head climbed towards US$8000 last year, making it a comfortable member of the middle-income club of emerging nations. The remarkable achievement of lifting the bulk of its people out of poverty since it opened up its economy in the late 1970s is a cause for celebration, not only in China but around the world where China’s new prosperity has brought additional prosperity and impetus to global growth. Read more…

The questions about China’s steady climb towards high income

Shoppers walk past a row of mannequins at a shopping mall in Yinchuan in northwestern China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region on 11 October 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Yiping Huang, Peking University

When its GDP per capita hit almost US$7500 in 2014, China entered the middle income stage of economic development. Relatively few countries that have made middle income status in the past three or four decades have graduated to high-income status, or achieved per capita incomes over US$16,000. Read more…

The Sino–American co-dependency trap

US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping exchange toasts during a state dinner at the White House, 25 September 2015, during Xi's weeklong official visit. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Stephen S. Roach, Yale University

Increasingly reliant on each other for sustainable economic growth, the United States and China have fallen into a classic co-dependency trap, bristling at changes in the rules of engagement. The symptoms of this insidious pathology were on clear display during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to America. Little was accomplished, and the path ahead remains treacherous. Read more…

The structural regression of Malaysian manufacturing


Authors: Jayant Menon and Thiam Hee Ng, ADB

Malaysia’s manufacturing sector is reversing to a state reminiscent of its post-colonial stage of development. Regrettably this situation was avoidable.

When the Federation of Malaya gained independence from Britain in 1957, economic conditions were ripe for rapid and sustained growth. Its primary export sector was showing immense potential for expansion. Read more…

What does the Greek crisis mean for the AEC?

The flags of the ASEAN+3 nations fly for the opening day of the 25th ASEAN summit in Myanmar on 12 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Michael G. Plummer, The John Hopkins University

The Greek crisis has periodically dominated international headlines since 2009, when its economic and fiscal crunch led to a series of debt downgrades and ushered in fears of default. So what lessons does the crisis hold for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)? Read more…

India’s rate cut is both warranted and timely

Raghuram Rajan, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), speaks during a press conference in Mumbai, India, 29 September 2015. The Reserve Bank of India on 29 September cut its short-term lending rate by 50 basis points to 6.75 per cent. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Pravakar Sahoo, IEG

The decision of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to slash the repo rate (the rate at which the RBI lends to commercial banks) by 50 basis points (bps) has surprised many. The RBI governor, Raghuram Rajan, had previously taken baby steps to reduce interest rates, focusing strictly on inflation. Now the repo is at 6.75 per cent, the level of 2011, down from 8 per cent at the start of 2015. But both the domestic and external economic environment warranted big steps by the RBI to induce economic growth. Read more…

Banking on better SME financing in ASEAN

A rice shop owner counts money he earned at the biggest rice market in Jakarta, Indonesia, 9 September 2015. ASEAN countries should focus on improving commercial financing for small and medium enterprises to boost economic and jobs growth. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ganeshan Wignaraja, Asian Development Bank

Concerns about moderating economic growth and rising income inequality in ASEAN economies have brought small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into the policy limelight. Arguing that SMEs have significant potential for creating jobs, some commentators are suggesting a host of industrial policies such as financial subsidies and local content rules to promote SMEs. But this risks heavy-handed state intervention in SMEs. Read more…