A strong ASEAN+3 should embrace the IMF

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde responds to a question during a press conference at the IMF headquarters in Washington on 14 April 2016. ASEAN+3 needs to embrace the IMF if it is to transform into an essential feature of regional governance in East Asia. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ramon Pacheco Pardo, King’s College London

ASEAN+3 (the ASEAN members plus China, South Korea and Japan) was born from the ashes of the Asian financial crisis and the IMF’s response to it. It’s no secret that displeasure — if not hostility — to the policy prescriptions suggested by the Washington-based institution was a key driver behind ASEAN+3. Read more…

Seizing the moment in Asian economic diplomacy

Female Chinese workers sew clothes to be exported to Southeast Asian countries at a garment factory in Huaibei city, 19 January 2016. The Trans-Pacific Partnership will likely divert trade and investment away from non-members. Already some manufacturers are moving from China to Vietnam to take advantage of better access to the US market. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Editors, East Asia Forum

Asia is looking to complete a major economic agreement by early 2017 that offers the chance to lift its growth closer to potential by locking in domestic reform and liberalisation through regional cooperation. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement is Asia’s response to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and heralds the next phase in Asian economic cooperation. Read more…

Asia’s next growth frontier

A crane vehicle stacks up containers at the Port of Rizhao in Rizhao city, east China's Shandong province, 28 February 2016. Lifting Asian growth will require a deepening of regional economic integration and cooperative commitment to the reforms. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, ANU

The steady state in the Asian region is growth and dynamism that requires continuous structural change and adjustment. The trajectory of China’s potential rate of growth is certainly 2 or 3 percentage points lower than it was a decade ago, but even at around 6 per cent over the coming decade the massive Chinese economy can still grow at two to three times the rate of the world economy as a whole. Read more…

What is ASEAN’s strategic value?

US President Barack Obama waves along with ASEAN Leaders as they pose for a group photo on the second day of the US–ASEAN Summit at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California, USA, 16 February 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Paul Dibb, ANU

Since ASEAN’s creation in 1967, it has contributed enormously to regional stability and prosperity. It consists of 10 countries whose populations total over 600 million people. And its economy ranks collectively as the third largest economy in Asia and the seventh largest in the world. Read more…

New opportunities for US–Laos relations

US President Barack Obama welcomes Laos President Choummaly Sayasone to the US–ASEAN Summit at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California, USA, 15 February 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Murray Hiebert, CSIS

Leadership changes announced at the 10th Congress of the ruling Lao People’s Revolutionary Party will give the United States an opportunity to boost ties with Laos when President Barack Obama visits Vientiane in September 2016. This will be the first visit ever to Laos by a sitting US president. Read more…

US–China rivalry: does Asia have to choose?

US President Barack Obama and Chinese president Xi Jinping walk the colonnade of the White House, Washington, DC, USA, 25 September 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Hugh White, ANU

Can America preserve the US-led regional order by resisting China’s challenge to replace it with ‘a new model of great-power relations’? That depends a lot on how much support the United States can expect from its friends and allies in the region. Read more…

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).

Read more…