The importance of ASEAN centrality in Sunnylands

US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping drink a toast in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 12 November 2014. ASEAN needs to find a common position on the US–China rivalry in Asia that benefits all its members. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Mari Pangestu, University of Indonesia

Despite its economic and strategic importance, the United States has not given priority to ASEAN until recently. There was hope that this would begin to change with the US pivot to Asia in 2009. But up to November 2015, the progress of this ‘pivot’ seemed to be more of a ‘pirouette’. Read more…

Implementing effective Coastal Economic Zones in India

Fishermen carry the caches near the shore of the Arabian Sea in Mumbai, India. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Geethanjali Nataraj, Observer Research Foundation

India’s 2015–2020 foreign trade policy aims to increase merchandise exports from US$450 billion in 2013–14 to US$750 billion by 2020. This will be difficult to achieve. More than a year of negative exports growth has raised concerns about India’s ability to not only boost exports but also to achieve and sustain its current 8 per cent growth rate. Read more…

Keeping Australia productive after the boom

The market boards show the volatility at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in Sydney. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Jenny Gordon, Australian Productivity Commission

Australia’s 2015 Intergenerational Report assumed that labour productivity would grow at an average annual rate of 1.5 per cent over the period 2015 to 2055. This is slightly lower than the growth in labour productivity over the last decade because multifactor productivity has stagnated.

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China’s RMB balancing act

Yuan banknotes are pictured in Beijing, China on 16 February 2014. China is facing the difficult task of transitioning to a floating exchange rate. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Editors, East Asia Forum

China is aiming to transition to a floating exchange rate — freely determined by the market — and to free capital flows in and out of China with an open capital account over the next decade. If this objective can be achieved, it will be unequivocally good for China and the global economy. Read more…

China still has room to move on RMB

A Chinese clerk counts yuan banknotes at a bank in Linyi city, Shandong province on 18 October 2012. Despite renminbi depreciation expectations, with the right policy mix, China should be able to stabilise the exchange rate. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Yu Yongding, CASS

In the first quarter of 2014, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) finally succeeded in breaking persistent renminbi (RMB) appreciation expectations. Unfortunately, the subsequent RMB depreciation coincided with the weakening of China’s economic fundamentals. Read more…

Will India’s economy live up to expectations?

Raghuram Rajan, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India during the sixth bi-monthly monetary policy review 2015–16, Mumbai, India. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Richa Sekhani, Observer Research Foundation

Unlike other emerging economies, strong investor sentiment and the meltdown in crude oil prices bolstered India’s growth in the last financial year. Though the projected growth rate for 2016 shows a slight decline of 0.1 per cent, the World Bank predicts that India will grow by a robust 7.8 per cent this year and by 7.9 per cent in the next two years. This means India is shaping up to outpace China in the next three years. Read more…

China’s challenges in 2016

Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the parliament in Cairo, Egypt on 21 January 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Kerry Brown, King’s College London

For China, the story for its economy in 2015 simply reinforced what was already becoming apparent through 2014. GDP growth was slowing, and the political capital the Communist Party could collect from lauding this one statistic was diminishing. Read more…