A way to go yet for Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets the audience during the launch of a special television channel for farmers in New Delhi, India , 26 May 2015. Modi's government is marking their first year in office. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Rajiv Kumar, CPR

There is no doubt that Modi works hard and drives his government at a similar hectic pace. Midnight oil is burnt regularly in the Prime Minister’s Office, which now resembles an omnipotent and omnipresent command station. Read more…

Supporters of an Australian iron cartel have a monopoly on bad economics

Grab buckets unload imported iron ore on a quay at the Port of Rizhao in east China's Shandong province, 7 February 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Luke Hurst, ANU

As Australia moves away from a decade of resource-driven prosperity, it is even more important that it avoid mistakes that previously might have been papered over by the boom times. Yet there are loud voices calling for the mistakes of the past to be made again. One of the loudest is that of Australian mining company Fortescue’s non-executive chairman, Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest. Read more…

Slow but steady for the ASEAN Economic Community

Thai office workers walk past advertising promoting the ASEAN Economic Community in Bangkok on 13 January 2013. The AEC is unlikely to be ready by its deadline. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sanchita Basu Das, ISEAS

As the ASEAN Economic Community’s (AEC) December 2015 deadline approaches, most observers feel that the initiative’s deliverables — an integrated production space with free movement of goods, services, and skilled labour — will not be achieved. This may be true. But the AEC should be seen as a work in progress. To simply say it will miss its deadline is to ignore other crucial facts about the AEC’s role and circumstances. Read more…

Best to get the TPP done right, not done fast

A demonstrator protests against the legislation to give US President Barack Obama fast-track authority to advance trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, during a protest march on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, 21 May 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Richard Katz, Oriental Economist Report

Unless the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks are concluded soon, they risk dragging on interminably. If that happens, the United States’ capacity to function as a benign world hegemon will be diminished.

To avoid this, the White House is determined to get the pact signed and ratified by the end of 2015. Read more…

Indonesia needs a new strategy for securing medium-term growth

Skyscrapers in downtown Jakarta, 5 May 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: David Nellor, NUS

The slowdown in Indonesian growth to 4.7 per cent for the first quarter of 2015 follows a steady quarterly slowdown since the 6.8 per cent peak just over four years ago. Is this slowdown simply a post-commodity boom cyclical downturn, or is it the beginning of an extended period of weakness?  Read more…

Local innovation vital to sustain Thailand’s growth

Thailand's manufacturing sector relies upon foreign technology and low labour costs. But Thailand needs to transition to a knowledge economy. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Nonarit Bisonyabut and Chatra Kamsaeng, TDRI

Thailand’s current development model may not be able to sustain growth in the long term. Thailand needs to make the shift to a knowledge-based, innovative economy — and this means that policy settings will need to change. Read more…

China needs to strengthen its AIIB balancing act


Authors: Kai He, University of Copenhagen; and Huiyun Feng, DIIS.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has become part of Xi Jinping’s ‘Chinese Dream’ of national rejuvenation. The United States’ failure to block other developed economies from joining the AIIB seems to have brought this part of the ‘Chinese dream’ closer to its realisation. But it is way too early to celebrate. Read more…