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…

Modi’s BJP no longer invincible

A supporter of Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man's Party, waves an Indian flag next to a cut-out of party leader Arvind Kejriwal during his swearing-in ceremony as chief minister of Delhi. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Purnendra Jain and Peter Mayer, University of Adelaide

The tale of the recent February Delhi assembly elections shows how quickly political fortunes can decline. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) recorded a landslide victory at the 2014 national elections and won a majority of seats in three subsequent state elections. But his party suffered a crushing defeat in Delhi, winning just three of the 70 seats. Read more…

China needs to address the effects of dams

Water is released from the Three Gorges Dam, a gigantic hydropower project on the Yangtze river, in Yichang, central China's Hubei province, after heavy downpours in the upper reaches of the dam caused the highest flood peak of the year. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Bryan Tilt, Oregon State University

As China shifts its focus to curbing carbon emissions, hydropower is becoming central to its alternative energy plan. But while the potential for renewable power generation cannot be ignored, the potential for costly environmental degradation is also high. 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…