Trade agreements are in ASEAN’s best interests

A container truck passes by piles of containers at a terminal of Yangshan Deep-water Port in Shanghai, China. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sanchita Basu Das, ISEAS

At the last Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in November 2015, the United States and China advanced their own set of interests with respect to trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region. While the United States celebrated the conclusion of its Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal in early October 2015, China stressed the potential of a Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

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India’s jumbled trade policy

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses business leaders as he launches his "Make in India" initiative. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Soyen Park, Korea University

Since becoming India’s prime minister in May 2014, Narendra Modi has sought to make the country ‘open for business’. But while there is hope that his pro-business policies — often dubbed ‘Modinomics’ — will improve economic growth, aspects of India’s foreign trade policy seem at odds with the country’s aspiration for deeper engagement with the world economy. Read more…

A bright future for the Philippines

Philippine Stock Exchange officials lead the bell ringing during the first trading day of the year 2016 at the Philippine Stock Exchange in the financial district of Makati, south of Manila, Philippines, 4 January 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ganeshan Wignaraja, Asian Development Bank

Economic forecasting is always difficult. The American economist John Kenneth Galbraith famously said ‘we have two sorts of forecasters: those who don’t know and those who don’t know they don’t know’. Yet, while some sceptics assert that economic forecasts are of little value, they are useful for governments and firms to develop their plans and budgets for the year ahead. Read more…

ASEAN still matters for global change

Kuala Lumpur City Centre, location of the 2015 ASEAN Summit, shrouded in haze (Photo: AAP)

Author: John Pang, RSIS

2015 has been a year of high expectations and of disappointment in Southeast Asia. Rarely has the economic and strategic importance of the region been as apparent. As China’s economy is transitioning towards ‘a new normal’ marked by lower growth, investors have looked to ASEAN as both an alternative and a complementary market to China. Read more…

What does the TPP mean for Japan’s agricultural sector?

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends a meeting in Manila on 18 November, 2015, with his counterparts from 11 other countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bloc. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Aurelia George Mulgan, UNSW Canberra

The issue of liberalising Japan’s agricultural market presented a major, if not the major hurdle to the Abe administration’s agreement with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal struck in Atlanta on 5 October 2015. Read more…

Coping with global economic risks

Finance ministers and central bank governors from the G20 economies gather for a photo session on the final day of their two-day meeting in Ankara, Turkey, on 5 September 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The G20 summit at Antalya in Turkey next weekend takes place at a time of continuing risk in the global economy. Although the United States seems on a path to steady recovery, Europe remains fragile, growth in the major emerging economies, except India, is weakening and world trade has taken a nosedive. Read more…

India’s TPP dilemma

Indian workers work on a construction site on the outskirts of New Delhi on March 9, 2015. India's government has announced an $11.3-billion increase in spending on roads, rail and other infrastructure (Photo: AAP).

Author: Geethanjali Nataraj, Observer Research Foundation

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that was agreed to on 5 October 2015 covers almost a third of world trade and 40 per cent of global GDP. By not being part of the TPP, India risks losing out. According to a Center on Global Trade and Investment study, India’s nominal GDP is likely to be trimmed by more than 1 per cent as a result of trade and investment diversion caused by the TPP. Read more…