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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.

Economics, Governance, Regional Cooperation, Trade

Will 2025 be the final deadline for the ASEAN Economic Community?

Will 2025 be the final deadline for the ASEAN Economic Community?
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. Read more.

Regional Cooperation, Trade

TPP and RCEP – friends not foes

TPP and RCEP – friends not foes
Talks just concluded in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday show that plans for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are advancing. Just as both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the next potential leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) biggest partner—the US—have distanced themselves from the agreement. Some even suggest that the US Congress won’t ratify the TPP agreement, and warn that the world economy risks US isolationism. Read more.

Regional Cooperation, Trade

RCEP – a life raft for trade liberalization in Asia

RCEP - a life raft for trade liberalization in Asia
There seems to be a pushback against trade agreements in the post global financial crisis era. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was signed in early 2016, but US presidential candidates have spared no effort criticizing it so near-term ratification is highly uncertain. The WTO Doha Round is in the deep freeze after 14 years of negotiations. Unilateral trade liberalization has virtually come to a standstill. 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.

Economics, Regional Cooperation

Learning from firms in East Asian production networks

Learning from Firms in East Asian Production Networks
Slowing growth in the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) – the world’s second largest economy – is grabbing the headlines with some suggesting a third wave of the 2008 global financial crisis. While this topic deserves attention because of its global economic implications, there is insufficient analysis of firms in global production networks (GPNs), which were at the forefront of the economic transformation in PRC and the rest of East Asia, and lessons for latecomers to GPNs. Read more.

Regional Cooperation, Trade

A snapshot of e-commerce in Central Asia

A snapshot of e-commerce in Central Asia
In 2015, Central Asia made some important improvements in the environment for cross-border e-commerce: Kazakhstan's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) will boost commercial transparency, while the Kyrgyz Republic’s membership in the Eurasian Customs Union expands its consumer base. Why e-commerce? Two reasons. First, e-commerce reduces the cost of distance. Central Asia is the highest trade cost region in the world: vast distances from major markets make finding buyers challenging, shipping goods slow, and export prices high. Second, e-commerce can help pull in populations that are traditionally under-represented in export markets such as women, small businesses and rural entrepreneurs. Read more.

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.

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.

Education, Regional Cooperation

Scholars, policymakers, and international affairs: Finding common cause

Scholars, Policymakers, and International Affairs: Finding Common Cause
Any attempt to bridge the divide between scholars and policy-makers in international affairs is so welcome that I couldn’t help but applaud this book. The sad truth, however, is that after reading it I am even more convinced that the divide is a chasm. Read more.