Archive | December, 2013
Governance

Abenomics: Progress, prospects and how the 2020 Tokyo Olympics can help solve Japan’s debt problem

Abenomics: Progress, prospects and how the 2020 Tokyo Olympics can help solve Japan’s debt problem
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economics platform, dubbed Abenomics, is a policy package consisting of three “arrows”: aggressive monetary easing with inflation targeting; flexible fiscal policy; and growth strategy. Together, the three arrows aim to lift Japan’s economy out of chronic deflation and stagnation, putting it on a path of sustainable growth. Thanks to the first and second arrows, Japan’s economy is firmly on the pathway to recovery and ready for the third arrow, barring political will. Tokyo’s recent successful bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games complements the Abenomics strategy by presenting a not-to-be-missed opportunity to solve Japan’s debt sustainability problem. Read more.

Trade

Where should the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations go next?

Where should the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations go next?
Officials have been scrambling to conclude the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) among the current 12 participating members: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US, and Viet Nam. As the talks reach the finish line, officials need to focus on several key broader issues that will set up the institutional structure for the TPP going forward. Read more.

Regional Cooperation

New challenges for ASEAN–Japan relations: Celebrating the 40th year of ASEAN–Japan friendship and cooperation

Japan-ASEAN
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Government of Japan are celebrating their 40th year of friendship and cooperation in 2013. A Commemorative Summit will be held in Tokyo starting on 13 December, at which leaders are expected to adopt a medium- to long-term vision to chart the future direction of ASEAN–Japan relations.ASEAN and Japan’s cooperative partnership began in 1973 with the establishment of the ASEAN–Japan forum on synthetic rubber production issues. From this initial success, ASEAN and Japan have forged close cooperation through the years in the pursuit of peace, stability, development, and prosperity in Asia. Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has visited all 10 ASEAN member states this year, starting soon after his assumption of office in late December 2012. Read more.

Trade

A vision of global free trade? The new regionalism and the ‘building blocs’ debate

A vision of global free trade? The new regionalism and the ‘building blocs’ debate
While the WTO Ministerial meeting in Bali in December may deliver on individual initiatives related to such themes as agriculture, trade facilitation and development, a major breakthrough on the “single undertaking” is far from sight. At the same time, mega-regional agreements are fast emerging as a key feature of the global architecture. This “new regionalism” could pose risks, but successful mega-accords will create a strong incentive for a global accord; hence, the “new regionalism” will arguably be a powerful “building bloc” that will ultimately support multilateralism. Read more.

Education

Developing Myanmar’s knowledge economy: Improving higher education through international cooperation

Developing Myanmar’s knowledge economy: Improving higher education through international cooperation
Developing Myanmar’s knowledge economy is key to the country’s economic development. Higher education institutions will play a central role in training Myanmar’s workforce. Yet, a number of the academic programs lag behind international or ASEAN standards as universities have been virtually cut off from the outside world for decades. Read more.