G20 leaders falling US$4 trillion short of growth target

US President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference following the G20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey on 16 November 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Adam Triggs, ANU

The IMF gave G20 leaders some bad news in Turkey: they are not doing enough to lift growth. The G20 has not implemented enough of their previous commitments and their goal of increasing G20 GDP by US$2 trillion by 2018 is falling short by about US$4 trillion. Read more…

No surprises in store at APEC Philippines 2015

A man collects plastic bottles in front of stacked cargo containers at a pier in Manila on 28 May 2015. Development and trade will be high on the agenda at the upcoming APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in the Philippines from 18 November. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Gary Hawke, NZIER

Most of what APEC will achieve in 2015 has already been achieved. The Economic Leaders’ Meeting in the Philippines on 18–19 November 2015 will endorse what has already been agreed on. Leaders will talk — in various groupings — about whatever else interests them. Read more…

SAARC still marred by divisions

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during the closing session of the 18th SAARC summit in Kathmandu, Nepal, 27 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Akanksha Khullar, New Delhi

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established in 1985 to enhance peaceful co-existence among South Asian states. SAARC includes eight member countries, namely Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan and Bhutan. According to its charter, the main purpose of SAARC is to enhance collective self-reliance and to develop mutual trust and understanding. Read more…

Will the TPP endgame get tangled in old spaghetti?


Author: Sourabh Gupta, Samuels International

Ever since Jagdish Bhagwati coined the phrase ‘spaghetti bowl’ to describe the maze of overlapping preferential trade arrangements (PTAs), trade economists have been split over whether such deals are ‘building blocks’ or ‘stumbling blocks’ for the multilateral trading system.  Read more…

How restrictive are ASEAN’s Rules of Origin?

Workers arrange baskets full of different kinds of fish at the Kota Kinabalu central fish market in the Malaysian Borneo state of Sabah on 14 June 2015. Simplifying rules of origin could aid ASEAN economies’ food exports. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Olivier Cadot, University of Lausanne and Lili Yan Ing, ERIA

Asia accounts for more than 50 per cent of the world’s automobile production, 62 per cent of liquid display screen, 86 per cent of smart phones and 100 per cent of digital cameras. Much of this production is based on production networks: that is, value chains that criss-cross the region, with the various stages of the production of each good taking place in different countries, depending on the comparative advantage of each. Read more…

ASEAN yet to lay the foundations of the AEC

The flags of the ten ASEAN member nations fly as representatives of Burma's ethnic groups await the arrival of the leaders for the opening ceremony of the 25th ASEAN summit in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, 12 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Pattharapong Rattanasevee, Burapha University

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is set to arrive at the end of 2015. It is a significant step forward and could be a crucial turning point for ASEAN. But without a strong central authority and mandate, ASEAN integration will remain in a mess and the AEC remain an illusion. Read more…

China aims to set the regional cooperation agenda

Indian soldiers spread a red carpet as they prepare for ceremonies on the Indian side of Nathu La Pass. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Chen Dongxiao, SIIS

In late October 2013, the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee held a conference of Diplomatic Work with Neighbouring Countries  in Beijing, where it unveiled new priorities under its New Neighbourhood Diplomacy guidelines. The new approach makes China’s neighbourhood, covering both continental and maritime Asia, the top strategic priority for the first time. Read more…