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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.
By Bihong Huang. Posted June 11, 2019
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.
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.
By Han Phoumin. Posted November 16, 2018
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.
Impact of Retaliatory Trade Enforcement Actions on the World Trade Organization and Trade Governance
By Soo-hyun Lee. Posted April 25, 2018
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.
By Grant B. Stillman. Posted March 30, 2018
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).
By Jean-Francois Gautrin. Posted March 5, 2018
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.
By Ayumi Konishi. Posted August 1, 2017
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.
By Tristan Kenderdine. Posted July 27, 2017
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.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) fell short of its target of realizing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of 2015, deferring 105 of its 506 measures. A successor blueprint called the AEC Blueprint 2025, which lays out the work for ASEAN economic integration in the next 10 years, was adopted at the 27th ASEAN Summit in November 2015.
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