Cambodia: Opportunities For Improvement Abound, But…

• Editorial

Cambodia: Opportunities For Improvement Abound, But…

Following its graduation from least developed country (LCD) to lower-middle income status in July 2016 the Cambodia economy has remained healthy. In 2017 Cambodia GDP growth came in at 6.9 per cent, driven by the tourism sector, an ongoing construction boom, and the gradual emergence of non-textile exports. In the first ten months of 2017 […]

In Face of Xi’s Charm Offensive Vietnam Gambles on US Trade Deal

• Editorial

In Face of Xi’s Charm Offensive Vietnam Gambles on US Trade Deal

After the 2016 US Presidential election hope remained in Hanoi that Donald Trump, once in office, would turn from firebrand protectionist campaigner into a leader who accepted the value of open trade — a cause in which the Vietnamese government had invested so much in preparation for Vietnam’s membership of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). These […]

Poor Administration, Infrastructure Fetter Laos’ Growth

• Editorial

Poor Administration, Infrastructure Fetter Laos’ Growth

Lao PDR is among the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia: economic growth has averaged 7.8 per cent over the past decade. Despite the slow recovery of the global economy, the country’s growth rate was 6.9 per cent in 2017 and is expected to be 7 per cent in 2018. This is buoyed by an expansion in […]

Investment in Human Resources Vital if Philippine’s to Spur Innovation

• Editorial

Investment in Human Resources Vital if Philippine’s to Spur Innovation

Product innovations such as Apple’s iPhoneX, the Fitbit watch, and Bitcoin are contributing to the mainstreaming of innovation in the development policy landscape. Innovation is now viewed as key to finding enduring solutions to challenges such as job shortages and sustainable energy use. Across the globe countries have committed to fostering innovation by 2030 through the UN […]

Indonesia’s Blue Economy In Need of Good Governance

• Editorial

Indonesia’s Blue Economy In Need of Good Governance

The ‘blue economy’ concept — a model of sustainable development concerned with the use of the coastal and marine ecosystem — gained prominence in Indonesia as one of the main components of President Joko (Jokowi) Widodo’s Global Maritime Fulcrum vision. Jokowi’s maritime policy aims to reinvigorate Indonesia’s maritime identity, manage the country’s marine resources, strengthen its maritime […]

Indonesia’s Forest Fires: Limited Resources Hamper Fight

• Editorial

Forest fires sweeping across Sumatra and Kalimantan in recent months prompted six Indonesian provinces to declare a state of emergency. Yet the scale of resources devoted to fighting and preventing forest fires remains far short of what is needed to turn around Indonesia’s rising rates of deforestation and meet Indonesia’s ambitious climate pledge. Fires break out across […]

Where To Now For the CPTPP?

• Editorial

Where To Now For the CPTPP?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Ministerial Statement on November 11, 2017 in Vietnam was a big relief for the remaining 11 members of the TPP, especially for Japan and Australia, who have spearheaded the new agreement after the United States’ exit. The accord — which calls to revivify the renamed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) […]

Complicit partners: Who Controls The UMNO–PAS Consortium?

• Editorial

Complicit partners: Who Controls The UMNO–PAS Consortium?

Malaysia’s fourteenth general elections are looming. This time, almost unprecedentedly, they will see the two great Malay political parties — the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and the Malaysian Islamic Party (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS)) — working implicitly as allies, not rivals. The fate of Malaysian politics, despite the nation’s ethnic diversity, is decided by the […]

2017: A year of missteps and mismanagement for Lee Hsien Loong

• Editorial

2017: A year of missteps and mismanagement for Lee Hsien Loong

2017 was a horrible year for Singapore’s government — and for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in particular, which began with an open and vocal stoush with China. Late in 2016 the Chinese government confiscated millions of dollars’ worth of Singapore’s military hardware passing through the port of Hong Kong. The action was in part retaliation for […]

Workplace Automation: Skills Development Key For Developing Countries (HD video)

• Editorial

Workplace Automation: Skills Development Key For Developing Countries (HD video)

  In 2017 economists Carl Frey and Michael Osborne concluded that 47 per cent of jobs in the United States were at high risk of workplace automation. A range of replications and extensions have made similar claims. The World Development Report 2016 asserts that 68.9 per cent of jobs in India are at high risk — and that number […]

Emerging Skepticism a Real Risk to PAP Longevity

• Editorial

Emerging Skepticism a Real Risk to PAP Longevity

Singapore’s new President, Halimah Yacob, is a widely liked and respected former speaker of parliament, as well as the first female ever and first Malay in five decades to become the largely ceremonial head of state. Yet what looks like a milestone for Singapore is triggering anxiety about the political process that selected her and […]

Indonesia’s Liberal Democratic Reforms’ Slide to a ‘Neo-New Order’

• Editorial

Indonesia’s Liberal Democratic Reforms’ Slide to a ‘Neo-New Order’

On 16 September, police broke up an academic discussion at the offices of renowned activist NGO the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH). The topic was the killings of alleged leftists in 1965 and 1966 in the wake of the failed coup that brought former president Suharto to power, public discussion of which has often raised the […]

Junta Reforms Fail to Stem Japanese Foreign Investment Flight

• Editorial

Junta Reforms Fail to Stem Japanese Foreign Investment Flight

The Thai junta is unhappy with Thailand’s current economic paradigm and is attempting to shift the fundamental base of the country’s economy. Various branches of the Thai state are attempting to create what is vaguely referred to as ‘Thailand 4.0’ by the government, the ‘next growth phase’ by the Ministry of Finance (MoF), and the […]

Due Diligence Vital as Vietnam’s SOE Sale Gathers Pace

• Editorial

Due Diligence Vital as Vietnam’s SOE Sale Gathers Pace

After 25 years of rhetoric about state-owned enterprise (SOE) reform in Vietnam it appears that there is finally some real progress. PetroVietnam, Vietnam Airlines, Vinatex (the textile conglomerate), and Saigon and Hanoi Alcohol Beer and Beverages Corporations are among the SOEs being partially sold to private investors. And initial public offerings (IPOs) are expected for […]

South China Sea Harmony: Beijing’s For The Taking

• Editorial

South China Sea Harmony: Beijing’s For The Taking

The Philippines is on the front line of China’s entry into a strategic theatre in Asia that has been dominated by the United States since World War II. Its experience of China’s rise is a sometimes fraught daily reality. In the disputed South China Sea territory, episodes like the standoffs between military personnel on remote […]

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