Analytics


New issue of the GlobalAsia Journal presents the expert views on the One Belt, One Road initiative

The authors of the issue consider the positions and priorities of Russia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, European Union, the US and Australia on this important Chinese initiative. Other topics of the issue include the economic growth and political development in Asia, North and South Korea relationships, barriers in Japanese – South Korean collaboration, recent political developments in Sri Lanka, trust and democracy in East Asia etc. The issue also contains the book reviews on the Asia-Pacific.
More information at the official GlobalAsia web-site

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World Bank East Asia Pacific Economic Update is released

East Asia remains one of the main growth drivers of the world economy, accounting for nearly two-fifths of global economic growth, according to a new World Bank East Asia Pacific Economic Update. Overall, the region is expected to grow 6.5 percent in 2015, moderating slightly from 6.8 percent last year.
"Growth in developing East Asia Pacific continues to be solid, but the moderating trend suggests policy makers in the region must remain focused on structural reforms that lay the foundation for sustainable, long-term and inclusive growth. These reforms include regulatory improvements in finance, labor and product markets, as well as measures that enhance transparency and accountability. These policies will reassure investors and markets, and help sustain growth that can help lift people out of poverty,” said Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank East Asia and Pacific Regional Vice President.
The East Asia Pacific Economic Update looks at the challenging global environment facing the region. The recovery in high-income economies remains gradual, global trade is growing at its slowest pace since 2009, and the widespread slowdown in developing countries has intensified, particularly in commodity producers affected by lower commodity prices.

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New East Asia Foundation study explores yen exchange rate influence on the Republic of Korea economy

South Korea seems to have taken less of a hit than expected from the weak Japanese yen, based on the export trajectories since the 2008 global financial crisis of Korean and Japanese products with high export similarity. This seems to be because the weak yen helped the price competitiveness of South Korean products by lowering the price of Japanese components and materials. Nonetheless, a continually weak yen may eventually harm the Korean economy. The Korean government should, therefore, back heavy investments in research and development to heighten the productivity and competitiveness of Korean merchandise.
Full text at the East Asia Foundation web-site

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New IMF study examines the drivers of growth in Asian countries

New IMF study examines the drivers of growth in Asian countries, with focus on the role of investment, the exchange rate regime, financial risk, and capital account openness. The authors of the study use a panel data set of a sample of Asian countries over the period 1980 to 2012. The results indicate that private and public investments are strong drivers of growth, while more limited evidence is found that reduced financial risk and higher foreign direct investment support growth. The exchange rate regime does not appear to be a strongly significant determinant of growth, but some specifications suggest that more flexible regimes are beneficial in this respect. Financial crises have a stronger dampening effect on growth in countries with more open capital accounts.
Full text at the official IMF web-site

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New East Asia Foundation paper explores the future of Japan-South Korea relations

The Japan-South Korea relationship has been bogged down by disputes over historical perceptions and territorial claims. But the root cause of the impasse is the structural changes in the domestic political processes in the two countries as well as the international balance of power in East Asia. Post-Cold War democratization ironically allowed relative minority groups to have disproportionate influence, causing resonance effects between the two countries. The retreat of American influence and the rise of China have caused a divergence in the strategic interests of the two countries, with Japan focusing on southwestern maritime security while South Korea focuses more on the stability of North Korea. In order to improve the bilateral relationship between Japan and South Korea, we need to start by recognizing these fundamental shifts in the political and strategic environment from the Cold War era.
Full text at the East Asia Foundation web-site

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New East Asia Foundation study analyzes South Korean Chaebols (재벌, 財閥) and economic concentration issues

New East Asia Foundation study analyzes South Korean Chaebols (재벌, 財閥) and economic concentration issues.
South Korea has peculiar perceptions and regulations regarding economic concentration. Economic concentration usually means market concentration. Economic theories emphasizing efficiency in resource allocation and the competition law of most advanced industrial countries consider market concentration to be evil. However, economic concentration in a South Korean context refers to general concentration. Since 1987, South Korea has imposed discriminatory regulations on corporate groups over a certain size based in the belief that Chaebols account for too much of the country’s economy.

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New International Organisation of Employers (IOE) paper explores opportunities and challenges of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)

New International Organisation of Employers (IOE) paper explores opportunities and challenges of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) adopted the ASEAN Economic Blueprint at the 13th ASEAN summit on November 2007, which was to serve as a Coherent Plan for Establishing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 aimed at deepening economic integration to address the biggest problems of the region, including the shortage of skilled labour. Since 2007, there has been significant progress.
However, the start of 2015 brings widespread concern that the AEC may not be launched by the end-2015 deadline. An important reason for this scepticism is the lack of awareness of the AEC across the region. An ASEAN Secretariat survey in 2013 found that three out of four ASEAN citizens lack even a basic understanding of the AEC. This awareness deficit exists not only within the mass population, but among businesses. An ILO survey reveals that only 46 per cent of ASEAN employers fully understand the impact the AEC will have on their enterprise, in particular in terms of skills and education. The ILO report further indicates a lack of awareness on the part of enterprises of the role of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) in facilitating a ‘freer’ movement of skilled labour.

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New Carnegie Moscow Center study analyses a private sector`s role in the North Korean economy

New Carnegie Moscow Center study analyses a private sector`s role in the North Korean economy. The author assumes that currently from 30% to 50% country`s GDP is generated in the private sector. The government`s attitude to the private economy is controversial and it is not ready to legalize the private sector. Private enterprises prevail in services sector, transport and fishing. The author points out that in recent years a distinction between public and private enterprises is disappearing. According to the author, Kim Jong-un`s government will continue to support the private sector which contributes to economic stabilization, but its legalization is unlikely.
More information

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New Lowy Institute for International Policy paper analyses trade protectionism in Indonesia

New Lowy Institute for International Policy paper analyses trade protectionism in Indonesia. According to the paper, despite increasing economic challenges, Indonesia is likely to continue raising non-tariff barriers to trade. These protectionist measures are likely to prove counterproductive, raising prices for Indonesian consumers and reducing the competitiveness of Indonesian firms. This trend toward protectionism enjoys broad political support in Jakarta, and is likely to continue under President Jokowi.


Full text of the research at the Lowy Institute official web-site

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