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Energy, Regional cooperation and integration

Diversification of solar PV suppliers for sustainable energy during the COVID-19 crisis

Diversification of solar PV suppliers for sustainable energy during the COVID-19 crisis
Experts are increasingly acknowledging the vulnerability of the global solar photovoltaic (PV) value chain due to the concentration of manufacturing capacity in only a few countries, such as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) (Zhai 2020). In Japan, although solar power comprised only 7% of the country’s total power generation in 2018, it contributed to one-third of power from renewable sources. Given this high share of solar power in renewable energy sources, disruption in the availability of solar PV may have adverse consequences on the sustainability of renewable energy power generation.

Finance sector development, Governance and public sector management, Health, Regional cooperation and integration

The impacts of COVID-19 on financial stability and regional financial safety nets in ASEAN

The impacts of COVID-19 on financial stability and regional financial safety nets in ASEAN
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is making strong efforts to maintain financial stability amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, mostly through national financial emergency measures for each member state. As a region, ASEAN has not yet formed a regional financial safety net to deal with a crisis like COVID-19.

Economics, Industry and trade, Regional cooperation and integration

The upgraded ASEAN-People’s Republic of China Free Trade Agreement could matter, big time

The upgraded ASEAN-People’s Republic of China Free Trade Agreement could matter, big time
In 2015, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) signed an Upgrade Protocol to improve the original Framework Agreement for the ASEAN-People’s Republic of China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) as well as their Agreement on Trade in Goods, Services, and Investment. The Upgrade Protocol entered into force in July 2016, and implementation will start from August 2019.

Economics, Governance and public sector management, Regional cooperation and integration

Tackling the challenge of growing inequality in Asia

Tackling the challenge of growing inequality in Asia
Income inequality is one of the most profound social, economic, and political challenges of our time. A survey conducted by Pew Research Center (2014) found that more than 60% of worldwide respondents regard the gap between the rich and the poor as a major concern. Piketty (2014) draws the unequivocal conclusion that growing inequality between the rich and the poor—between the owners of capital and the rest of society—is the normal state of affairs under capitalism, and that periods of decreasing inequality, such as during a post-war boom, are the exception, not the rule.

Economics, Regional cooperation and integration

Greater partnerships for the effective management of labor migration in Asia

Greater partnerships for the effective management of labor migration in Asia
The pace and size of labor migration have been on the rise in past decades, largely due to the different stages of economic development across Asia. Labor migration flows from Asia peaked in 2015 and dropped in the following 2 years, falling to 5.2 million in 2017, the lowest level since 2011.

Agriculture and natural resources, Infrastructure, Regional cooperation and integration

Perspectives on Mekong-Japan cooperation for inclusive growth and mutual benefits

Perspectives on Mekong-Japan cooperation for inclusive growth and mutual benefits
Rapid economic development in recent decades has transformed Southeast Asia and prepared the region to join international production networks, which allow greater exports of manufacturing products, textiles, and other primary high-quality valued added products to the international market. This economic development has been achieved thanks to investments from around the globe into the region as a result of a favorable labor force, connectivity and innovation growth, and regional political stability as driven by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) vision.

Economics, Governance and public sector management, Industry and trade, Regional cooperation and integration

Impact of Retaliatory Trade Enforcement Actions on the World Trade Organization and Trade Governance

Impact of Retaliatory Trade Enforcement Actions on the World Trade Organization and Trade Governance
The international regulatory instruments in international trade boast a remarkable story of evolving sophistication. Their transformation from voluntary export restraint agreements showed that the world trade system was poised to keep pace with rapidly expanding trade ties and diversifying supply chains. To keep the reins on an increasingly dynamic global trade system, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) sought to formalize instruments that would help keep trade balanced and fair by isolating international trade from government intervention, in alignment with the economic thinking of the period: neoliberal convergence.

Finance sector development, Industry and trade, Infrastructure, Regional cooperation and integration

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).

Industry and trade, Infrastructure, Regional cooperation and integration

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.

Economics, Industry and trade, Regional cooperation and integration

Time for SMEs in CAREC to move beyond borders

Time for SMEs in CAREC to move beyond borders
One of the most daunting challenges for the countries participating in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program is how to create decent, sustainable jobs. For far too long, many CAREC countries have relied on the capital-intensive extractives sector to drive their economic growth. However, the slowing down of the global economic growth and reduced commodity prices resulted in the substantial increase in unemployment, especially among the youth.