Are Free Trade Agreements Malaysia’s Way Out of The Middle-Income Trap?

Are Free Trade Agreements Malaysia’s Way Out of The Middle-Income Trap?

Over the past several decades a strong economy has seen Malaysia rise to become one of Asia’s newly industrialised countries. In one generation it transitioned successfully from low- to upper-middle-income status, due in large part to outward looking policies, trade, and foreign direct investments (FDI) – which contributed to the successful diversification of the economy. […]

Unlocking Myanmar’s Agriculture Sector potential

Unlocking Myanmar’s Agriculture Sector potential

Myanmar’s unusually fertile soils and abundant water source are legendary in Southeast Asia. It is even said that Myanmar has the most favorable agricultural conditions in all of Asia. Almost anything can be grown in the country, from fruits to vegetables, from rice to pulses. Myanmar’s agriculture sector dominates the economy, contributing 38 per cent […]

Weighing The Benefits of The Philippines K-12 Programme

In June approximately 1.5 million children across the Philippines walked through school gates for the first time to attend senior high school under the new Philippines K-12 programme. The Philippines Department of Education (DepEd Philippines) has been gearing up for this moment for several years. The basic education curriculum, from kindergarten to senior high – […]

Policy Changes Helping Reduce Rural Poverty in Myanmar

Policy Changes Helping Reduce Rural Poverty in Myanmar

The changes underway in Myanmar can be felt almost everywhere: in Nay Pyi Taw portraits of Bogyoke Aung San grace the walls of parliament; in Yangon traffic is choking roads while construction cranes dominate the skyline; and across the country ports, airports, and border crossings are booming with trade. Felt almost everywhere that is except […]

Strengthening Lao PDR Financial Systems To Handle Failure

Strengthening Lao PDR Financial Systems To Handle Failure

To function properly a financial system needs to have two doors: an ‘entry’ and an ‘exit’. The first one enables qualified local or foreign institutions to enter the marketplace to provide innovative products and services – such as savings, investments, credits, payments and insurance – to households and firms at competitive prices. The second facilitates […]

Immigrant Labour Could Boost Malaysia’s Economy by 1%

Immigrant Labour Could Boost Malaysia’s Economy by 1%

Malaysia has been able to reach remarkable achievements over the past several decades, including  the eradication of extreme poverty and promotion of inclusive growth. It aims to reach high-income nation status by 2020, something which goes beyond merely reaching a per capita GDP threshold. As the 11th Malaysia Plan points out, the goal is to […]

Indonesia Boosts Public Financial Management With Span

Indonesia Boosts Public Financial Management With Span

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player What cannot be measured, cannot be managed – so the saying goes.  This motto for management also applies, and is even more critical, to a country’s finances. Eager to strengthen its public sector infrastructure, in April 2015 Indonesia launched a new public financial management system that it hopes can usher […]

Keeping Jakarta Safe From Floods

Keeping Jakarta Safe From Floods

Every year food vendor Suwadi dreads the rainy season – and the ensuing Jakarta floods. “During the last big floods in 2015, I couldn’t work for more than a week,” said Suwadi, who pushes his food cart through the neighborhoods of North Jakarta. “My house was flooded knee-deep, and the road to the market was […]

Indonesia’s Difficult Path to Achieving Digital Economy Dividends

Indonesia’s Difficult Path to Achieving Digital Economy Dividends

A few years ago, lecturer Novistiar Rustandi wondered how he could help more Indonesians earn university degrees so that they can get better jobs. He knew that a degree is now compulsory to get a decent job. But many of those who want to get a university degree don’t have the time or access to […]

Rice And Poverty in The Greater Mekong Sub-Region

Rice And Poverty in The Greater Mekong Sub-Region

The Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) is a major global rice producer and exporter, but its population suffers from serious levels of poverty and malnutrition. Spanning six countries – China, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam – the region is home to 334 million people. Nearly 60 million of them are involved in rice production, […]

Vietnam H1 2015 GDP A Record – Structural Reforms Lag

Vietnam H1 2015 GDP A Record – Structural Reforms Lag

Vietnam’s economic growth has continued to strengthen with gross domestic product (GDP) for H1 2015 estimated to expand 6.28 per cent during for the first six months of 2015, according to the World Bank’s latest Taking Stock report. The semi-annual review of the Vietnamese economy said the Vietnam H1 2015 growth rate was the nation’s […]