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 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.” 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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Trade

From global factory to global mall: East Asia’s changing export composition

From global factory to global mall: East Asia’s changing export composition
Over the past decades, East Asia has been the most successful region in the world in building up cross-border supply chains and has subsequently become described as “Factory Asia” (Baldwin 2008). In a form of “triangle trade”, advanced countries in East Asia exported sophisticated parts and components to less developed countries in the region, where these are assembled into final consumption goods and then shipped to rich-nation markets, especially the US and EU (Baldwin and Kawai 2013). Read more.
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Environment

Window of opportunity still open on climate action

Window of opportunity still open on climate action
A set of reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the last of which was released on November 2, 2014, sets the scene for governments to renew their efforts on the issue through ambitious commitments for a comprehensive climate agreement in Paris in December 2015. Read more.
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Energy

Securing energy for low-carbon Asia: What needs fixing?

Securing energy for low-carbon Asia: What needs fixing?
The pattern of energy supply and demand that has prevailed over the last 3 decades is undergoing transformation, with great consequences for Asia’s energy security and regional cooperation. The two factors driving this transformation are the rise of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and India as major energy consumers, and the impressive additions to oil, gas, and coal output. The first is driven by growing populations, industrial growth, and economic ascendance of emerging economies. The second stems from the opening up of new geological formations for the production of conventional fuels at reasonable costs. Read more.
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Urban

Walkability—Building cities for people too

Walkability—Building cities for people too
With the urban population swelling the world over, it makes sense that we start—or go back to—designing cities for people too. People are a city’s principal raison d'etre. Cities therefore should be designed or redesigned to address one aspect that is at a more personal level for residents to make it greener: walkability. Read more.
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