Archive for January, 2013

In The News

Thailand Adopts Nationwide Minimum Wage Policy Amid Controversy

January 30, 2013

From January 1 of this year, Thailand’s employers must pay all employees at least 300 baht (about $10) a day. If they don’t, they will face six months in jail and/or a 100,000 baht fine for not complying. The 300-baht minimum daily wage policy, the fulfillment of a 2011 election campaign pledge by the ruling Pheu Thai Party, has been piloted in seven provinces since May 1, 2012 (including Bangkok), with much debate and division among employers, labor unions, government ministries, and academics about the actual and perceived impact of the policy on the economy, productivity, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and inequality.

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In The News

Indonesia Makes Strides in Budget Transparency Despite Political Patronage

January 30, 2013

Two new publications showing very different profiles of the quality of governance in Indonesia landed on my desk this week, prompting debate and consternation. The just-launched International Budget Partnership’s “2012 Open Budget Survey” painted an encouraging picture…

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In The News

U.S.-ASEAN Relations Mature, but Pitfalls Abound

January 30, 2013

For Southeast Asia, 2012 brought both challenges and opportunities to the region – from Cambodia’s chairmanship of ASEAN and further political opening in Burma (also known as Myanmar) to tensions in the South China Sea and the adoption of the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights (ADHR).

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In The News

New Covenant to Curb Media Corruption in Philippines Ahead of Midterm Elections

January 30, 2013

Ahead of May 2013 midterm elections in the Philippines, media organizations and political parties signed last week the “Covenant Against Media Corruption 2013,” an agreement that marks a significant step toward curbing rampant corruption in the media.

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Featured

Asia Foundation Accepting Applications for LankaCorps

January 30, 2013

The Asia Foundation is now accepting applications for LankaCorps, a unique fellowship opportunity for young leaders of Sri Lankan heritage to professionally engage in development activities in Sri Lanka. Those who are selected will be placed across the country with host organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors for six months.  Learn how to […]

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Featured

Open Budget Survey Ranks Afghanistan as Second Greatest Improver

January 23, 2013

The just-released Open Budget Survey 2012 ranks Afghanistan as the second greatest improver out of 100 countries in budget transparency. South Korea leads among Asian countries as having the most transparent budget, followed by India, Indonesia, and Afghanistan. The Survey also reveals that the national budgets of 77 of the 100 countries assessed fail to […]

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Notes from the Field

In Conversation with Afghan Museum Director Omara Khan Masoudi

January 23, 2013

One of the world’s most prominent experts in Afghan art, Mr. Omara Khan Masoudi, director of the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul, was in San Francisco recently on a two-week exchange at the Asian Art Museum as an Asia Foundation Brayton Wilbur, Jr. Fellow in Asian Art.

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In The News

A New Opportunity for China-South Korea Relations Under Park Geun-hye and Xi Jinping?

January 23, 2013

Following an early ambassadorial visit and a courtesy call on President-elect Park Geun-hye from China’s special envoy Vice Minister Zhang Zhijun, Park has decided to reciprocate by sending her first special envoys to Beijing during the transition.

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In The News

2013 Asia-Pacific Forecast: India in 2013 and Beyond

January 23, 2013

To paraphrase an expression often used by former President Ronald Reagan, “There they go again.” But in this case, it’s not the political opposition being referred to – it’s the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC) in its latest global predictions report.

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Events

Visualizing Afghanistan: Peace and Security Beyond the Transition

January 23, 2013

Karl Eikenberry, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and Asia Foundation trustee, wrote in an op-ed in the Financial Times that, “Afghanistan’s future is of course uncertain. Lower levels of international support will inevitably place stress on its security forces, depress the economy…

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