Leadership in Asia under scrutiny

Participants of the ASEAN Plus 3 Summit shake hands. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Leadership in Asia today confronts the ‘most interesting of times’. The emerging powers of China, India and Indonesia face the twin challenges of unprecedented economic and social transformation, and crafting an approach to manage their new weight in the world, including expectations among the established powers in North America and Europe about how they should share the burdens of international leadership. Read more…

Redefining Japan’s Asia diplomacy

The reforms needed to deliver higher economic growth in Japan are largely domestic, but there is an important international dimension. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

For more than two decades before Shinzo Abe became Japan’s prime minister second time round, Japanese governments had set out no comprehensive strategy for economic reform that took account of the country’s new position in the world. Japan’s economic performance suffered. Its international diplomacy seemed adrift. Read more…

Keeping Australia open for business

China's President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott after statements to the media following the signing of a free trade agreement at Parliament House in Canberra on 17 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

There were mixed signals from the current Australian Liberal-National Party Coalition government on its approach to foreign investment when it was elected in 2013. As the government settled in, Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared that ‘Australia was open for business’, but just how open it was for foreign business remained unclear. Read more…

The paradox of resurgent absolutism and the abolition of Thailand’s martial law

A Thai policeman stands guard as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha speaks to members of the media at Government House in Bangkok one year after the 2014 military coup, 22 May 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Thailand’s coup after the political stand-off last year is just over a year old. As predicted, the aftermath of the coup saw the growth rate of Southeast Asia’s second largest economy slashed by more than half with growth this year running at around 3 per cent, compared with its past and potential rate of growth around or above 6.5 per cent. Read more…

Will Asia’s growth fizzle out?

A worker processes steel parts at an auto plant in Rizhao city, China, 4 May 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Over the past half century and more, many countries have committed to promoting economic development and catching up to the income and productivity levels achieved in advanced industrial economies. Indeed, with a large part of the industrial world facing stagnation or very modest rates of growth in the decade ahead, the emerging economies, as they are called, are the great hope for global growth. Read more…

The importance of reliable resource markets to Australian and Asian security

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a tour of an iron ore mine in the Pilbara, West Australia, 9 July 2014. (Photo:AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Recent talk that would encourage government messing with Australian iron ore markets sits awkwardly in the context of the core strategic importance of raw materials in Australia’s economic relationships with Asia, both sides round. Read more…

Getting trade and currency policy instruments and objectives mixed up

US President Barack Obama delivers remarks on trade and the economy from in Oregon, USA, 8 May 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Trade flows are clearly linked to the value of national currencies. This is the innocuous starting point that leads the political classes and lobbyists in America into a pickle over the incorporation of clauses that seek to protect against ‘currency manipulation’ into trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that is being pushed by the Obama administration as the economic arm of its pivot towards Asia. Read more…