Economics

TTIP—is the EU really interested in an “economic NATO”?

TTIP—is the EU really interested in an economic NATO
Negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are currently dragging on without a clear time target—no wonder in view of the highly complex topics to agree on. But nevertheless, international speculation is running high about the potential economic and geostrategic implications of the TTIP for the EU’s economic relations with Asia, and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in particular. Some people even claim it to be the foundation of an “economic NATO” or consider it “a response to the rise of [the PRC] Read more.
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Energy, Environment

Green investment in Asian cities: Lessons from the People’s Republic of China, Indonesia, and Japan

Green investment in Asian cities Lessons from the People’s Republic of China, Indonesia, and Japan
The concept of “green growth” has been connected to the “green economy for sustainable development and poverty reduction,” which is the first theme of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD). In addition, making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable is becoming one of the 17 sustainable development goals proposed by the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals targeted to replace the United Nations Millennium Development Goals which will expire in 2015. Read more.
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Agriculture and rural development

New Zealand: A farming and services growth model for Asia?

New Zealand: A farming and services growth model for Asia?
The story of East Asia’s rapid growth includes ample reference to the export of technologically complex manufactured goods, such as cars and computers. This is the model that has characterized Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Taipei,China. It also provides an example for Asia’s current middle-income countries, including the People’s Republic of China (PRC). They need to develop high-value manufacturing, the argument goes, churning out domestically designed goods or linking into global production networks. Failure to move up the value chain may result in a country getting stuck in the middle-income trap (Zhuang et al. 2012). Read more.
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Trade

SME internationalization through global value chains and free trade agreements: Malaysian evidence

SME internationalization through global value chains and free trade agreements: Malaysian evidence
Regionalism in Asia led by global value chains (GVCs) and free trade agreements (FTAs) has increasingly put the spotlight on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). As one of Asia’s success stories in internationalization, Malaysia offers interesting insights. Drawing on research on Malaysian enterprises, this article examines the characteristics of SMEs which have successfully internationalized by participating in GVCs and FTAs and explores their policy implications. It seeks to improve our understanding of the internationalization of SMEs in Asia and contribute to the scant literature. Read more.
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Education

The challenges to internationalizing Japanese higher education

The challenges to internationalizing Japanese higher education
The Government of Japan plans to globalize Japanese higher education. One of its flagship programs wraped up in 2014 is the Global 30 initiative to invite 300,000 foreign students to Japan, i.e double the current numbers. Global 30 stresses that there is no initial requirement to know Japanese since “the best universities in Japan are now offering degree programs in English. By doing this, these universities have broken down the language barrier which was one of the obstacles preventing international students from studying in Japan.” The top global universities project which is the continuation of this effort will follow along the same lines. Read more.
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Trade

Minimizing Asian losses from the TTIP: A European view

Minimizing Asian Losses from the TTIP: A European View
Like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) is a second-best approach to trade and investment liberalization compared to a global agreement. A global agreement is not within reach, and thus Asia, as a non-beneficiary, will incur trade losses similar to the losses that Europe would incur as a non-beneficiary of an Asia-Pacific agreement on free trade. Read more.
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Economics

ASEAN Economic Community 2015: What is next?

In 2007, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc adopted the goal of creating an integrated economic region—termed the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)—by December 2015. However, concerns have been expressed that the regional integration project’s 2015 deadline will be missed due to an overly ambitious timeline and too many ill-thought-out initiatives. With the AEC deadline looming, this article critically assesses the progress that has been made, charts some of the main challenges, and suggests the next steps for the AEC. Read more.
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Economics

Paths to development: Is there a Bangladesh surprise?

Paths to Development: Is there a Bangladesh Surprise?
Bangladesh’s economy has recorded remarkable economic performance in the new millennium, though its per capita income has remained low. Even more spectacular has been the steady improvement in its levels of many social development outcomes. Popular commentaries have drawn comparisons with India and Pakistan in highlighting the significance of Bangladesh’s development achievements. This phenomenon has been termed as the “Bangladesh conundrum,” and has received extensive coverage in international media outlets, such as the New York Times, the Economist and the Wall Street Journal. Read more.
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Economics

An analysis of challenges faced by Abenomics

An Analysis of Challenges Faced by Abenomics
In December 2012, Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party won the general election, making Shinzo Abe Prime Minister of Japan, a post that he had previously held in 2007. “Abenomics” refers to the economic policies advocated by the prime minister after the election, which were designed to revive the sluggish economy with “three arrows”: (i) fiscal consolidation, (ii) more aggressive monetary easing by the Bank of Japan, and (iii) structural reforms to boost Japan’s competitiveness and economic growth. Read more.
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Economics

From the Russian Federation’s focus on Europe to its pivot to Asia

The United States’ “pivot to Asia” has been intensely discussed over the last years. But recently, a new pivot model has come up: the Russian Federation’s pivot to Asia. This article analyzes this topic from an economic perspective by asking: Is the Russian economy really about to shift its focus thus far centered on the European Union (EU) to Asia? Read more.
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