Strong export growth in Vietnam masks underlying challenges

Vietnam's export boom may be overshadowing some structural problems. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Suiwah Leung, ANU

Unlike many countries in Asia, and indeed in the world, Vietnam is for the moment blessed with a raft of positive economic news. But beneath the surface, structural problems and a lack of industrial deepening persist.  Read more…

China takes the lead on economic integration

A worker sits in the partial shade of a cement truck outside a construction site at the central business district of Beijing, China. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Andrew Elek, ANU

China’s One Belt, One Road initiative is currently the most important program for deep economic integration. The program envisages the revitalisation of old trading routes with a continental Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st century Maritime Silk Road. Despite its awkward name, the initiative is a well-conceived way for China to connect its economy to the rest of the world, with an early emphasis on links towards Europe through the rest of Asia. Read more…

Best to get the TPP done right, not done fast

A demonstrator protests against the legislation to give US President Barack Obama fast-track authority to advance trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, during a protest march on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, 21 May 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Richard Katz, Oriental Economist Report

Unless the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks are concluded soon, they risk dragging on interminably. If that happens, the United States’ capacity to function as a benign world hegemon will be diminished.

To avoid this, the White House is determined to get the pact signed and ratified by the end of 2015. Read more…

What the AIIB can learn from World Bank shortcomings

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Author: David Dollar, Brookings Institution

To understand the impetus for launching the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), look no further than China’s concern that the governance structure of existing international financial institutions was evolving too slowly. An important agreement to increase the resources of the International Monetary Fund and to raise the voting shares of fast-growing emerging markets, ratified by other nations, has been stalled in the US Congress. Read more…

A new vision for China–Australia relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott walk together as they leave the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, 17 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Stuart Harris, ANU

Australia’s foreign policy has been a mix of positives and negatives under the Liberal-National Coalition government, as was true of the previous Labor government. Former prime ministers Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke recognised the need for Australia to think strategically about future regional developments, and John Howard’s thinking gradually moved in that direction. Read more…

How will Japan’s new agriculture minister influence the TPP negotiations?

Author: Aurelia George Mulgan, UNSW, Canberra

Japan’s new Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) Yoshimasa Hayashi, who previously served in the position in 2012–14, was a logical choice to take over from his disgraced predecessor Koya Nishikawa. He arrived at the Prime Minister’s Office (Kantei) only five minutes after Nishikawa left, and was apparently selected because he was ‘the only one that could immediately do the job’. 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…