Down to the wire on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

US Trade Representative Michael Froman shakes hands with his Japanese counterpart Akira Amari prior to their talks over deadlocked Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, at Amari's office in Tokyo on 19 April 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Officials and ministers from around the Pacific are descending on Hawaii this week for what should be the final round in the negotiation of the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The big two in the arrangement — Japan and the United States — appear to have settled, and this bilateral between the two largest parties to the negotiation will be by far its most significant outcome. But there is still uncertainty about whether the agreement will be put to bed within the week and what its shape will finally be. Read more…

Vietnam and rapprochement with the United States

US President Barack Obama and Vietnamese General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong shake hands during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, 7 July 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The visit, the week before last, of the general secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party, Nguyen Phu Trong to Washington at the invitation of President Obama marked another important step on the long journey towards rapprochement between Vietnam and the United States. The visit marked the twentieth anniversary of the ‘normalisation’ of diplomatic relations and the removal of some of the embargoes after the end of the Indo-Chinese war nearly twenty years earlier. Read more…

Realising India’s economic potential

Indian labourers work at a brick manufacturing unit on the outskirts of Hyderabad on 2 March 2015. India's factory output in February grew at its slowest pace in five months as business demands remained dim. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

India is a very large labour-abundant economy with a rapidly growing workforce and its manufacturing sector might be expected to be the primary driver of its economic growth. In fact, the manufacturing sector has contributed little to income growth and its share in total merchandise exports has been declining, as recent OECD analysis points out. Read more…

Has China’s transition to ‘new normal’ growth stalled?

Beijing is trying to replace an economic model that has run out of steam after delivering years of blistering growth based on trade and investment in construction and heavy industry. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

On the latest update from the World Bank, Chinese economic growth is expected to decelerate to 7.1 per cent in 2015 and 6.9 percent by 2017. Speaking with a group of global think tank leaders in Beijing on the eve of his departure for Europe, Premier Li Keqiang underlined the importance of navigating the transition to lower Chinese growth through large-scale structural reform. Read more…

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…