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By Robert Z. Lawrence. Posted June 18, 2013
Over the past 20 years, the emerging economies of ASEAN, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and India (ACI) have enjoyed spectacular economic growth. Together they have tripled their share of global GDP measured on a purchasing power parity basis from 11.2% in 1980 to 31.3% in 2010. By 2030, based on current consensus forecasts, their combined share could reach almost half of world output. If these forecasts are correct, by 2030, Singapore will achieve United States (US) living standards, the PRC will be on the verge of developed country status (about 60% of US levels), and relative to the US, India should be just above where the PRC is today in per capita terms.
By Helmut Reisen. Posted June 12, 2013
The BRICS countries—Brazil, Russian Federation, India, People’s Republic of China (PRC) and South Africa—have been the recipients of much admiration for their high growth rates, which have helped to increase their share in the world economy and reduce global poverty. However, doubts have grown as to whether the process of income convergence will continue. “Sustainable governance” in the BRICS, or rather the lack thereof, lies at the heart of these doubts. The Sustainable Governance Indicators (SGI) study by the Bertelsmann Foundation, a German think tank, sheds light on the status of sustainable governance among the BRICS countries. The study found that economic and social governance appears sustainable in Brazil and the PRC, India is in the middle, and the Russia Federation and South Africa follow the least sustainable economic and social policies among the five BRICS.
By Jean Heilman Grier. Posted May 31, 2013
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is akin to other free trade agreements (FTAs) that the United States (US) has negotiated over the past two decades that are aimed at opening markets and providing new opportunities for US goods, services, and firms. The TPP is the first FTA to be negotiated by the Obama Administration. The three FTAs (with Colombia, the Republic of Korea, and Panama) that the Obama Administration implemented in 2012 were negotiated and signed by the prior administration. The TPP will be the most significant FTA that the US has negotiated since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico, which entered into force in 1994.
Asian economies face important policy challenges regarding the use of free trade agreements (FTAs): primarily their scope and their impact on regionalization trends. These topics are the front line of contemporary negotiations and of interest to policymakers. This column examines these challenges based on new data on the business impacts of FTAs and contents of existing FTAs. It also discusses political economy considerations of FTA consolidation in Asia and its potential connection with North America and Europe. Asia’s rise as the “global factory” over the past several decades was underpinned by outward-oriented development strategies and multilateralism. FTAs, as trade-policy instruments in the region, were largely absent until the 1990s.
Around the world, students at the best universities are experiencing a more international upbringing than their parents. Japan, however, stands apart because of its continued seclusion. In particular, the decline of the number of Japanese students at leading United States (US) institutions is startling: In 1998–1999 there were 705 Japanese enrolled at three of the best US universities—Columbia, Harvard, and MIT—but this number had dropped to 339 by 2011–2012. Enrollment has also declined over the past seven years at Yale and UC-Berkeley. Overall, the figure of 46,872 Japanese studying in the US in 2000–2001 had dropped to 19,966 by 2011–2012. We also looked at doctoral candidates in several renowned, mostly US English-speaking universities in business, economics, and science.
By Douglas Guthrie. Posted April 17, 2013
One benefit of the fragile yet continuing growth in the United States (US) economy over the last 12 months is the restraining effect it has had on US political leaders who regularly clamor for the US to punish the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to raise the value of its currency. The PRC’s exchange rate policy and the presumed threat it poses to US jobs has been a topic of debate in the US Congress for years. Critics of the PRC maintain that the US president, no matter what the political party, needed to staunch the flow of US jobs to the PRC by demanding that it increase the value of the renminbi or be punished by being labeled a currency manipulator.
By Will Hickey. Posted April 4, 2013
At the 2009 G20 Pittsburgh Summit, leaders recognized the problem of fuel subsidies and made a commitment “to rationalize and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” (G20 2009). But Asian economies have gone the other way, and are pushing economic growth at a breakneck pace underpinned by fuel subsidies not only to consumers, but also to oil companies, mostly through production incentives. These subsidies have created an expectation that gas and oil are cheap and plentiful fuels available on demand. Yet without oil, the world would grind to a halt and chaos and social upheaval would probably ensue. Alternative and renewable energy resources are simply not yet available on a large commercial scale, leaving many people without recourse.
By Ippei Yamazawa. Posted March 21, 2013
This is the first question I have met across at the ADBI seminar on APEC on January 28th. Of course they have not. Nobody raised this within APEC, because APEC is a non-binding organization. But so long as APEC sticks in its weak modality, it may get left behind mushrooming FTAs. What is the APEC’s raison d’etre nowadays? Established in 1989, APEC seeks to promote trade and economic cooperation in the Asia and Pacific region. In 1994 in Bogor, Indonesia, APEC leaders pledged to achieve free and open trade and investment in the Asia and Pacific region by 2010 for developed members and by 2020 for developing economies.
By Yuqing Xing. Posted March 12, 2013
Since the People’s Republic of China (PRC) surpassed Japan as the world’s second largest economy in 2010, guessing when the PRC would eclipse the United States (US) as the world’s largest economy has been an exciting game among PRC watchers. On 10 February came the surprising news that the PRC had surpassed the US to become the world’s No. 1 trading nation, after both countries officially announced their 2012 trade figures. According to the US Department of Commerce, total US trade in 2012 amounted to $3.82 trillion, about $50 billion short of the PRC’s exports and imports of $3.87 trillion, estimated by China Customs.
By Ganeshan Wignaraja. Posted March 7, 2013
Slowing growth and rising unemployment sometimes induce economies to become more inward-oriented with restrictive policies. Indonesia shows early signs of such tendencies and its future growth may be at risk. The experience of high performing East Asian economies, however, suggests that outward-oriented policies and infrastructure investment support sustainable growth. Indonesia’s growth slowed to 6.2% in 2012 from 6.5% in 2011. Its growth in the previous decade was below 6%. A slight dip notwithstanding, a turnaround seems to be continuing in this resource-rich economy once seen by the West as a basket case of crony capitalism during the 1997–1998 Asian financial crisis.
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