Creating architecture to sustain Asia’s spectacular progress

The Asian Development Bank's Manila Headquarters. In the early stages of Asian integration governments relied mainly on global institutions and on unilateral dismantling of border barriers. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Wendy Dobson, University of Toronto

Economic institutions, international and national, are key factors in Asian development strategies. Those economies which have exhausted the growth gained from the traditional mobilisation of capital and labour are now reforming the supply-side institutions that encourage new sources of growth from innovation and productivity. Read more…

Some Malaysian inequality measures more equal than others

A boy runs at a temple casted with shadows of traditional Chinese lantern decorations ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Hwok-Aun Lee, University of Malaya

Is inequality in Malaysia going up or down? Answers differ. Official statistics unambiguously show household income inequality going down in the past decade, but almost everyone seems to think it has gone up. So what’s going on? Read more…

Narendra Modi and the future of Indian politics

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally for his Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of Delhi state election in New Delhi on 4 February 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Amitabh Mattoo, University of Melbourne

When India opted for constitutional democracy in 1947, few gave it much of a chance. India’s diversity was overwhelming and it was home to some of the world’s poorest. But India’s democracy has succeeded beyond the expectations of even the most optimistic and faired far better than that of similarly placed countries. Read more…

Revitalising sluggish FDI in Japan

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends a meeting of Cabinet ministers in charge of the government's monthly economic report in Tokyo on 19 February 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Shujiro Urata, Waseda University

Japan’s inward foreign direct investment (FDI) is extremely low compared with that of other developed countries and even its Asian neighbours.

In 2013, the ratio of Japan’s inward FDI stock to its GDP was 3.5 per cent, the lowest among developed countries and far below the global average of 34.1 per cent. The US and Germany for instance have ratios seven to eight times higher than Japan, while China and South Korea have ratios three to four times that of Japan’s. Read more…

Crunch time in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill arrives at an event in Port Moresby in 2013. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The talk in Canberra is that the priority in Australia’s diplomacy for 2015 will be its own backyard in the Pacific. This is long overdue, and may be too late. Mending diplomatic fences with Fiji may be one thing; Australia’s ability to have a positive impact on outcomes in Papua New Guinea is likely to be quite another thing altogether. Read more…

Is PNG heading for a crisis?

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill waves upon arrival at Bali airport, Indonesia, to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Stephen Howes, ANU

Last year in Papua New Guinea was eventful, marked by a series of controversial government decisions.

In March, the government decided to take out a loan of about 3 billion kina (US$1.2 billion, about 8 per cent of GDP) to buy shares in Oil Search. Read more…

Fresh perspectives needed to boost South Asian connectivity

Indian students travel in a crowded bus during the morning rush hour in Bangalore, India. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ram Upendra Das and Nitya Batra, RIS

One of the easiest ways to boost economic activity is by promoting regional economic integration that facilitates freer movement of goods, services and investment, helping to achieve regional developmental objectives by creating jobs. But in eastern South Asia, this process is being held up by misguided decisions, strategies and outdated ideas. Read more…