Energy, Regional Cooperation

TAPI pipeline: Inching from dreams to reality

TAPI pipeline: Inching from dreams to reality
The Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India (TAPI) gas pipeline project was first conceived in October 1997 by Central Asia Gas Pipeline Limited (CentGas). Almost 18 years later, the pipeline—often dubbed as the “on/off pipeline,” the “pipeline dream,” and the “peace pipeline”—although still on the drawing board is inching closer to reality. Read more.
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Trade

TPP as inspiration for the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi?

TPP as inspiration for the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi?
At the beginning of October, 12 Pacific Rim countries agreed on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The TPP agreement has been hailed as a landmark trade pact, as it includes many issues that have so far not found their way into the rule of law in the multilateral trading system. As a reaction to the successful deal, World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevêdo announced that the TPP “will serve as an inspiration for WTO members” for the forthcoming 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. In this article, I argue that neither the process of TPP talks nor the content of the TPP agreement can provide a positive stimulus for the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations. Read more.
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Energy

Energy security and sustained growth: Analysis of the energy outlook and savings potential in the EAS region

Energy security and sustained growth: Analysis of the energy outlook and savings potential in the EAS region
Sustained population and economic growth have almost doubled both primary and final energy demand in the East Asia Summit (EAS) region, and this rising energy demand is posing an increasing threat to energy security. Examination of potential energy saving is key to reducing energy demand and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and findings can shed light on policy implications for decision making to ensure the region can enjoy economic growth without compromising energy security or causing environmental problems. Read more.
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Education, Social Development and Poverty

Skills and good jobs

Skills and good jobs
Education and skills are important policy levers for sustainable socioeconomic growth. With the right economic fundamentals, a highly educated population with the appropriate skills is a powerful tool for economies to move from the low-income to the middle-income status, or for those already in the middle-income category to avoid the middle-income trap and move to the high-income category. Skills shortages are a pressing issue as they limit the growth of output in the short term and limit the possibility for diversification and innovation in the long term. Read more.
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Regional Cooperation

Mega-regional infrastructure initiatives – Asia’s new noodle bowl?

ADB has financed part of the Almaty-Bishkek highway
One of the striking lessons from Asia’s success over the past few decades is that it makes economic sense to invest in regional infrastructure to link two or more countries to support outward-oriented development strategies. Read more.
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Trade

What next for the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

What next for the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
After more than 5 years of numerous missed self-imposed deadlines, trade ministers from the 12 participating Asia-Pacific countries finally concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Atlanta on 5 October 2015. The public fanfare accompanying the announcement led many to believe the agreement would soon come into force. Yet there is a lot that needs to be done before that happens, and there is no guarantee that it will. In this article, I examine two issues: (i) what concluding the TPP means in terms of what was achieved and what remains to be done; and (ii) what the TPP is likely to look like, given what we now know following the negotiations. Read more.
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Population, Social Development and Poverty, Urban

Housing policies for the PRC and Hong Kong, China: One nation, two systems

Housing policies for the PRC and Hong Kong, China One nation, two systems
It has been reiterated that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Hong Kong, China are under different economic systems. The PRC is basically socialism with more planned economy features, while Hong Kong, China is basically capitalism with more free market features. Read more.
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Social Development and Poverty

Monetizing housing for retirement in Singapore

Monetizing housing for retirement in Singapore
In 2015, the value of housing assets owned by households in Singapore at the aggregate level was 55% of their net worth. Ninety percent of Singapore households owned their homes, meaning that almost all households had wealth saved in housing, and households’ housing wealth was 2.1 times that of the country’s gross domestic product. Read more.
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Finance

4 ways to boost SME access to finance from commercial banks in ASEAN

Seamstresses working for a small garment-making business in Indonesia
Concerns about moderating economic growth and rising income inequality in ASEAN economies have brought small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into the policy limelight. Arguing that SMEs have significant potential for creating jobs, some commentators are suggesting a host of industrial policies such as financial subsidies and local content rules to promote SMEs. However, government failure may result from heavy-handed state intervention for SMEs. Read more.
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Economics, Energy

Do Japan’s oil consuming sectors still react to oil price movements?

Do Japan’s oil consuming sectors still react to oil price movements?
Japan is almost fully dependent on energy imports. In March 2011, a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit eastern Japan and damaged the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. This disaster led to the shutdown of all nuclear power plants due to the lack of government safety approvals. Japan replaced this significant loss of nuclear power with energy generated from imported natural gas, low-sulfur crude oil, fuel oil, and coal. Read more.
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