Prioritising a Philippine–EU FTA is vital for post-pandemic recovery

• Contributed content • editorial

Prioritising a Philippine–EU FTA is vital for post-pandemic recovery

The Philippines is at a critical juncture in its economic relations with the European Union (EU) over free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations. As the economic consequences of the global coronavirus pandemic grips the world, it should seize this opportunity to revive negotiations and secure a Philippine–EU FTA to help drive long-term and sustainable economic recovery. […]

Time for Asean to stand up for itself in the South China Sea

• Contributed content • editorial

Time for Asean to stand up for itself in the South China Sea

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said recently that the United States considers Chinese maritime claims in the South China Sea illegal. This is a fundamentally new stance. While scholars and pundits are trying to make sense of what the statement means for the dispute, more interesting is how Asean will respond, as it is inevitably caught […]

Myanmar’s COVID-19 recovery gets an EU boost

• Contributed content • analysis

Myanmar’s COVID-19 recovery gets an EU boost

On July 1 2020, the European Union (EU) and six of its member governments announced a moratorium on debt repayments due from Myanmar. The agreement allows Myanmar to ‘focus efforts on economic recovery from COVID-19’ and is worth almost $100 million — 20 per cent of Myanmar’s current debt payments schedule. Widely reported in the […]

Lee’s early election gamble sees PAP take a hit

• Submitted content • analysis

Lee’s early election gamble sees PAP take a hit

Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party’s (PAPs) election victory on July 10, winning 83 out of 93 seats, was emphatic. Still, the opposition Workers’ Party (WP) gains from six to ten seats mark a political watershed in the tightly controlled city-state: its highest parliamentary representation since Singapore’s independence in 1965. Hitherto, crises of any sort — […]

Try, try, try again: Malaysia’s stimulus packages leave massive gaps

• Contributed content • editorial

Try, try, try again: Malaysia’s stimulus packages leave massive gaps

Malaysia’s spending to fight COVID-19 through four economic stimulus packages now totals RM295 billion (about US$69 bln). The first package, worth RM20 billion ($4.7 bln), was issued on February 27 to counter COVID-19’s immediate impact on the tourism industry. As the pandemic worsened and impacted the broader economy through implementation of the Movement Control Order […]

Better governance needed for Indonesia’s COVID-19 job stimulus programme

• Contributed content • editorial

Better governance needed for Indonesia’s COVID-19 job stimulus programme

COVID-19 is a wake-up call for the world. The pandemic has brought some of the worst economic impacts since World War II. While some Eastern countries seem much better prepared than their Western peers in terms of handling infections, testing ,and mitigating the pandemic’s economic impacts, the poorest countries will be hit hardest. As of […]

Well-designed policy can avert regional rise in income inequality

• Contributed content • editorial

Well-designed policy can avert regional rise in income inequality

A public health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic destroys economic growth and pushes millions into poverty. Without policy interventions, it will also worsen income inequality. As of June 16, 2020, there have been more than 885,900 reported cases of COVID-19 and about 23,400 deaths in 33 out of the 45 economies in developing Asia. The […]

Building Indonesia’s new capital: good governance key to success (video)

• Contributed content • editorial

Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s announcement last August that a new capital will be built in East Kalimantan has been widely met with scepticism. While warranted, some of the project’s potential upsides are being overlooked by both outsiders and the government. Given the threat climate change poses to keeping Jakarta’s head above water, the case for building a […]

Economic fallout to challenge Cambodia’s COVID-19 success

• Contributed content

Economic fallout to challenge Cambodia’s COVID-19 success

Unlike Europe, North America and recently Brazil, Mexico, and India, Southeast Asia does not seem to have been hit as hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of total deaths and confirmed cases. Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia are the worst affected countries in the region, while Vietnam, Cambodia and previously Singapore, have managed to […]

Why the EU–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is such a big deal

• Contributed content • analysis

Why the EU–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is such a big deal

In February, the European Parliament adopted the EU–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). This is the most comprehensive and ambitious EU trade agreement with a developing country to date, the result of bilateral negotiations between the two following a failed attempt to negotiate a broader EU–Asean trade agreement. The EVFTA will be Vietnam’s next big step […]

Diversifying Myanmar’s economy should be a priority for the next government

• Contributed content • analysis

Diversifying Myanmar’s economy should be a priority for the next government

When Myanmar’s military regime began opening up the country politically and economically in 2010, one motive was to alleviate the country’s overreliance on China. Ten years down the road, in the context of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the threat of new Western sanctions triggered by human rights violations (HRV) against the Muslim […]

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