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Finance, Infrastructure, Regional Cooperation, Trade

Next generation of quality development and investment in the new Pacific trade pact

Next generation of quality development and investment in the new Pacific trade pact
Earlier this month, the Pacific trade pact was reborn in Santiago as the 11-nation Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. While the headlines have been dominated by the absence of the United States and the level of trade gains each nation hopes to enjoy, let’s focus here on three less-remarked-upon sections of this revised treaty among Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Viet Nam (the TPP11). Read more.

Infrastructure, Regional Cooperation, Trade

One Belt One Road and the Risks Behind the Win-Win Situation

One Belt One Road and the Risks Behind the Win-Win Situation
The New Silk Road Initiative was originally unveiled by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 and became known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). From the beginning, the initiative was presented as a reestablishment of the trade routes that were successful many centuries ago. The initiative was also a call for partner countries to accelerate transport infrastructure improvements and connectivity to boost trade. Through active diplomacy and intense public relations, 65 countries felt they had to join the initiative with the prospect of Chinese financial assistance. Read more.

Economics, Environment, Infrastructure, Population, Poverty Reduction, Social Development and Poverty, Urban

Housing policy in the Republic of Korea

Housing policy in the Republic of Korea
This article evaluates housing policy in the Republic of Korea over the past 5 decades or so, and describes new challenges arising from the changing environment. The most pressing housing problem in the early phase of development of the Republic of Korea was an absolute shortage of housing. The country addressed this problem with the pragmatic approach of engaging the market using government intervention as leverage. Read more.

Economics, Environment, Finance, Governance, Infrastructure, Regional Cooperation, Trade, Urban

The PRC’s international capacity cooperation exports both industrial capacity and financial risk

The PRC’s international capacity cooperation exports both industrial capacity and financial risk
International capacity cooperation (国际产能合作guoji channeng hezuo) was a 2014 addition to the “Go Global” policy suite that the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) central bureaucracy expanded throughout 2016. It is the result of seeking a way forward from “new normal” low industrial growth rates and is a novel solution to the industrial capacity utilization problems the PRC has suffered since the 2008–2009 spending stimulus flooded into traditional industries. Steel, cement, aluminum, paper, glass, and everything from pork production to robots are in 2017 mired in cyclical overcapacity. Read more.

Energy, Environment, Governance, Infrastructure

Propelling ASEAN towards clean coal technology

Propelling ASEAN towards clean coal technology
Coal, the most abundant and reliable energy resource, will continue to be the dominant energy source in power generation to meet the fast-growing electricity demand in the emerging economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The share of coal use in power generation was 32% in 2015, and this is projected to increase to 42% by 2040. Read more.

Economics, Education, Finance, Governance, Infrastructure

Kick-start private infrastructure with future tax-sharing bonds

Kick-start private infrastructure with future tax-sharing bonds
Everybody from President Trump to the Global Infrastructure Forum is trying to think of innovative ways to attract long-term private and institutional investors to pay for the huge and largely unmet demand for new highways, railways, and dams. Promising ideas, including guarantees or gap funding, the concessional blending of finance, and bankability enhancements, have been tried but are not enough to convince overseas pension schemes or high net worth individuals to invest their idling funds in worthwhile projects, especially in emerging economies with untried issuers (Regan, 2017). Read more.

Economics, Energy, Environment, Governance, Infrastructure

Electrifying emerging ASEAN through off-grid distributed renewable energy systems

Electrifying emerging ASEAN through off-grid distributed renewable energy systems
Some 134 million people in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region do not have access to electricity (IEA and ERIA, 2013). At the end of 2015, the ASEAN Community declared that the lack of power and energy access could threaten the region’s economic growth and its economic transition. Read more.

Infrastructure, Trade

Why poor countries should invest first in national trade infrastructure

Why poor countries should invest first in national trade infrastructure
Low-income countries are often advised to prioritize investment in their trade infrastructure to better connect to international markets, and garner the benefits of a more open trade regime. The World Bank’s Trade Facilitation Support Program and the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, for example, promote investment in trade infrastructure to boost development prospects by improving competitiveness and lowering trade costs. Read more.

Infrastructure, Regional Cooperation

Boosting South Asia integration through the realization of dream projects

Boosting South Asia integration through the realization of dream projects
Despite strong linkages in the past during the colonial period and strong ethnic and traditional ties, South Asian countries have become increasingly more diverse since their independence. While they are geographically closely connected, this does not mean that they are well integrated. Countries in the region have vastly different sizes, populations, and topography, and there are significant differences in their economies and income per capita. The conditions, however, might be ripe for a boost in regional integration. Implementing highly visible and symbolic transport connectivity projects, which have long been considered as dream realizations, would trigger the acceleration of regional integration for the benefit of all. Read more.

Infrastructure

South Asia could be linchpin for regional integration

South Asia could be linchpin for regional integration
As the world deals with the "new normal" of a slowing China, regional financial and economic integration is more important than ever, and South Asia is strategically poised to play an influential part. There are several reasons why it is time to take a fresh look at the potential bridging role of South Asian economies in Asian integration. First, the South Asian economies -- which comprise India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Maldives, Afghanistan and Bhutan -- have a largely untapped market of about 1.7 billion people, and they belong to the South Asian Free Trade Area. Read more.