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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 Han Phoumin. Posted June 9, 2017
Coal, the most abundant and reliable energy resource, will continue to be the dominant energy source in power generation to meet the fast-growing electricity demand in the emerging economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The share of coal use in power generation was 32% in 2015, and this is projected to increase to 42% by 2040.
By Han Phoumin. Posted May 3, 2017
Some 134 million people in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region do not have access to electricity (IEA and ERIA, 2013). At the end of 2015, the ASEAN Community declared that the lack of power and energy access could threaten the region’s economic growth and its economic transition.
By Ganeshan Wignaraja. Posted July 4, 2016
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.
Economic growth in both developing and advanced economies has slowed since the global financial crisis. Developing Asia’s growth also moderated after the crisis, to a large extent driven by the slowdown in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The region’s economy expanded on average 7.6% annually during 2001–2010, but growth slowed to an annual average of 6.5% during 2011–2015. ADB is projecting further deceleration to 5.7% in each 2016 and 2017.
By Ganeshan Wignaraja. Posted April 21, 2016
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.
By Ganeshan Wignaraja. Posted October 6, 2015
Concerns about moderating economic growth and rising income inequality in ASEAN economies have brought small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into the policy limelight. Arguing that SMEs have significant potential for creating jobs, some commentators are suggesting a host of industrial policies such as financial subsidies and local content rules to promote SMEs. However, government failure may result from heavy-handed state intervention for SMEs.
By Pratish Halady. Posted May 1, 2015
Discussions I’ve had around public-private partnerships (PPPs) in Asia have typically focused on India and the PRC because of their strong deal volumes. Having listened to and interacted with agencies in several ASEAN countries, I believe ASEAN is at an inflection point that could soon make it the bustling PPP market ADB has long been working toward.
A pressing policy question facing Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders at their summit in April 2015 and beyond is whether the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) can be sustained without more effective institutions. This article explores the link between achieving the AEC agenda and institutional effectiveness. To remedy the implementation gridlock, it proposes reforms to the leadership and the technical level of ASEAN bodies, prioritization of new institutions, an effective monitoring mechanism, and an empowered ASEAN Secretariat.
In 2007, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc adopted the goal of creating an integrated economic region—termed the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)—by December 2015. However, concerns have been expressed that the regional integration project’s 2015 deadline will be missed due to an overly ambitious timeline and too many ill-thought-out initiatives. With the AEC deadline looming, this article critically assesses the progress that has been made, charts some of the main challenges, and suggests the next steps for the AEC.
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