Shanghai experiment is a major step towards financial liberalisation

Pedestrians walk at the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone in the Pudong International Airport bonded area in Shanghai, China, 9 December 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Daqing Yao, SASS and John Whalley, UWO

Since September 2013 China has been operating a new form of free trade zone (FTZ) based in a small area of Shanghai, called the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (SPFTZ). Only 28 square kilometres in area, the SPFTZ is a concrete first step to China’s new development model, the so-called ‘new normal’. Read more…

What the TPP portends for Japan–Australia agricultural trade

Akira Amari, Japan's minister in charge of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations, attends a meeting of trade chiefs from 12 countries involved in the negotiations in Sydney on 25 October 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Aurelia George Mulgan, UNSW Canberra

Australia’s farmers, particularly beef producers, may have celebrated too early when the Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) took effect on 15 January 2015. The deal may be gazumped by another that is taking shape between Japan and the United States in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. Read more…

The high price of ‘free trade’ with the United States

Shipping containers at P&O’s container yard at Sydney’s Port Botany, 2004. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

It is well known that the many bilateral FTAs signed to date in Asia have not brought significant commercial or domestic reform or benefits. For one thing, bilateral ‘free trade agreements’ (which are preferential in character) are less likely to deliver substantial trade opening benefits unless the partners to them are a very large part of global trade, like the United States, Europe and China are for example. Read more…

The costs of Australia’s ‘free trade’ agreement with America

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard and former President of the United States George Bush, in Washington, 2009. Australia and the United States have reduced their trade by US$53 billion with rest of the world and are worse off than they would have been without the Australia–United States free trade agreement. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Shiro Armstrong, ANU

The critics were right. Ten years after the Australia–United States free trade agreement (AUSFTA) came into force, new analysis of the data shows that the agreement diverted trade away from the lowest cost sources. Australia and the United States have reduced their trade by US$53 billion with rest of the world and are worse off than they would have been without the agreement. Read more…

AEC not just about the economics

ASEAN Foreign Ministers clasp hands at a retreat in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 28 January 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sanchita Basu Das, ISEAS

Regardless of whether or not the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will be successfully concluded by its deadline of 31 December 2015, we shouldn’t be solely obsessing about its ability to deliver its ‘single market’ objective on time: the AEC project has broader strategic objectives too, and on that front, it’s been a success. Read more…

Asia’s growing ties with Latin America

Trade officials of South Korea and Chile hold consultations on upgrading their free trade agreement in a video conference. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Ganeshan Wignaraja, ADB Institute

Amid a recovering world economy beset by risks, the outlook for Asia–Latin America economic ties seems bright. Asia needs commodities for its dynamic global factory and Latin America has abundant natural resources. Asia needs food for its large population and Latin America has fertile agricultural land. Read more…

New Zealand deals smoothly with an ageing but diversifying economy

China's President Xi Jingping and New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key pose for a photo during a joint press conference at Premier House in Wellington on November 20, 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Gary Hawke, NZIER

New Zealand obviously does not enjoy the economic growth rates of Southeast Asia, let alone China. Nonetheless, indications were during 2014 that New Zealand could sustain long-term growth of 3 per cent per annum without supply constraints and inflationary pressures. It had previously been thought that the limit was little more than 2 per cent. Read more…