Archive for the ‘Regional Cooperation’ Category
Associate Research Fellow with the Centre for Multilateralism Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Abe’s recent announcement of Japan’s intention to join the TPP is seen not only as an important vehicle to expand trade and investment opportunities but also as a way to reposition the country as a major regional power.
THE ANNOUNCEMENT by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on 15 March 2013 of Japan’s intention to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has stepped up the momentum of negotiations for the trans-oceanic trade and investment arrangement. The prospective entry of the world’s third largest economy will significantly broaden the TPP’s reach and impact on the Asia-Pacific trading system. Read more…
Dean of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
The WTO Doha Round of negotiations is deadlocked and adrift amid increasing global protectionism. The profusion of bilateral and plurilateral free trade agreements is adding to the confusion. A global solution is necessary for global problems.
SINGAPORE recently played host to the 16th round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) membership talks. Soon after, Japan announced plans to join the TPP. The next round of talks in May will be held in Peru and optimistic negotiators say that member countries are on track to reach an accord by the end of the year. Read more…
Vice Chair, CANCPEC (Canadian National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation)
Fellow, Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute (CDFAI)
On April 24-25, 2013 the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will hold its 22nd Leaders’ Summit in Brunei Darussalam. ASEAN, comprised of ten nations in the heart of Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) has been around since 1967 but it is only in recent years that it has taken on its role as the linchpin of economic growth and trade in the region. With a market of 600 million people, ASEAN covers the spectrum of development from advanced service economies like Singapore (per capita GDP about US$50,000, roughly the same as Canada) to economies just emerging from decades of mismanagement like Laos and Myanmar (per capita GDPs of $1303 and $1144 respectively—all figures from UN) to mixed but growing economies like Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. Read more…
Dr. Manfred Wilhelmy
CHILPEC (Chilean National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation)
The Pacific Alliance (PA) was established in Lima, Peru in April 2011. The founding members were Peru, Mexico, Colombia and Chile, represented by their Presidents Alan García, Felipe Calderón, Juan Manuel Santos, and Sebastián Piñera, respectively. The new Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto, has given his full support to the initiative.
Observers to the PA include Panama (which may become a full member), Costa Rica, Uruguay and Guatemala, among Latin American economies. Outside of Latin America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan are important Pacific nations that have joined as observers.
Spain is a European observer, and during the Latin American-European Summit (CELAC-EU) held in Santiago in late January, German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed support for the PA. Read more…
Mr. Ian Buchanan
AusPECC (Australian Pacific Economic Cooperation Committee)
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” said philosopher George Santayana. The aim of this paper is to draw lessons from Asia’s supposed “growth miracle” by disaggregating when, where—and why—growth occurred to better understand the roles of exogenous factors versus domestic policy choices.
Our thesis is that the post-World War II “miracle” growth shared by many regional economies was a result of a unique set of circumstances linked not to their “Asian-ness”—but to exogenous, geo-political, developments and, in particular, to the Cold War. Read more…
Growth in the Asia-Pacific this year is expected to increase slightly to 3.7 percent from last year’s 3.5 percent. Looking ahead to 2013, growth will be much the same at 3.9 percent. However, these forecasts, based on the IMF’s World Economic Outlook are based on some assumptions: that financial conditions on the Eurozone will ease; expansionary policies in emerging markets will gain traction; and the United States will find a solution to the fiscal dilemma it faces at the end of the year. In short, the downside risks to the forecast are enormous and uncertainty remains abundant.
Chiu Shun Yu, Bonnie
PECC Intern from Hong Kong, China
The Asia-Pacific region envisions the building of a “dynamic and harmonious community”. At the heart of a community is holding something in common – common views, values, beliefs, and direction. Do such shared views exist in the region? If not, what are the divergences?
The Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) has conducted the State of the Region surveys since 2006, asking the views of opinion-leaders from more than 24 economies in the Asia-Pacific region. Two questions, on short-term economic outlook and regional economic integration, are chosen specifically to examine the region’s views on important economic issues.
Datuk Mahani Zainal Abidin is chief executive of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia and Chair of Malaysian National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation (MANCPEC).
The Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia recently held a Roundtable on Myanmar to better understand the rapid political and economic changes taking place in the country and to learn more about the available business and investment opportunities. The delegation from Myanmar comprised a good mix of young and energetic corporate leaders as well as senior policymakers. Also present was an American academic who has been a longtime watcher of Myanmar.
Needless to say, all were brimming with confidence about the country’s potential, although they were also remarkably frank about the challenges and possible pitfalls. One theme that came across, however, was that the country’s leaders were highly committed to continuing the reforms. Read more…
Peter A. Petri and Michael G. Plummer
© Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics. All rights reserved.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, now in negotiation among nine Asia-Pacific countries, could yield annual global income gains of $295 billion (including $78 billion for the United States) and offers a pathway to free trade in the Asia-Pacific with potential gains of $1.9 trillion. The TPP’s expected template promises to be unusually productive because it offers opportunities for the leading sectors of emerging-market and advanced economies. An ambitious TPP template would generate greater benefits from integration than less demanding alternatives, but it will be harder to sell to China and other key regional partners as the TPP evolves toward wider agreements. The importance of Asia-Pacific integration argues for an early conclusion of the TPP negotiations, without jeopardizing the prospects for region-wide or even global agreements based on it in the future. Read more…
Categories: FTAAP, Regional Cooperation, Trade and Investment, Trans-Pacific Partnership Add new tag, APEC, CEPEA, EAFTA, Michael Plummer, Peter Petri, regional economic integration, REI, TPP, transpacific partnership
Professor Christopher Findlay is Executive Dean of the Faculty of the Professions at the University of Adelaide and Vice-Chair of AUSPECC
Republished from the East Asia Forum
The weather was awful outside the WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva last week, but there was some sunshine within the convention centre.
Russia acceded as a member, along with Samoa, Montenegro and Vanuatu (the club still attracts new members, and as one minister said: ‘as far as I know, nobody has asked to leave’).
The Plurilateral Government Procurement Agreement was revised — after 10 years of negotiations — further opening up procurement markets to give foreign economies better access. China is also en route to joining, having agreed to do so on its accession to the WTO, after further negotiations took place.
But there were some strange decisions, like giving countries the option to waive most favoured nation (MFN) provisions, so as to allow least-developed countries preferential access to services markets. It is not yet clear how this will happen or how it would help resolve constraints in developing countries, which hinder reforms in their own service sectors. There were some non-decisions as well. No conclusion was reached on a set of principles for food security, for example, although the WTO’s Director-General rebutted a protectionist report from a UN official.
Why the lack of progress at this year’s Ministerial Conference? Here are five suggestions. Read more…