Asia Forecast

 

Asia’s Biggest Issues in 2018: Experts Weigh In

January 3, 2018

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Without a doubt, 2017 put Asia to the test. Religious and ethnic tensions spilled out onto the streets, game-changing elections toppled leaders as new ones emerged, some economies boomed while others declined. Meanwhile, natural disasters such as the devastating floods in South Asia—the worst in a decade—killed over 1,000 people, displaced millions… Read more

 

Asia’s Biggest Issues in 2017: Experts Weigh In

January 4, 2017

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In 2016, Asia was rocked by major events that tested the region’s perseverance and proved its strength. While many countries in the region proved to be economically resilient and politically stable, others were challenged by shifting alliances and leadership change, including the passing of a beloved monarch, and threats of regional security and re… Read more

 

Asia’s Biggest Issues in 2016? Experts Weigh In

January 6, 2016

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In the last year, Asia experienced both highs and lows: historic elections in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, devastating earthquakes in South Asia, booming growth in India and slumping economies in China and Mongolia, anti-government protests in Malaysia, South Korea, and beyond, aging populations juxtaposed with unprecedented youth bulges…

 

Predictions for Southeast Asia: A Look Back and Ahead

January 6, 2016

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Southeast Asia faced a number of big challenges in 2015 – ASEAN economic integration, resolving maritime security disputes, ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Myanmar’s historic elections, and the precarious state of Thailand’s democratic development.

 

Philippines in 2016: Looking in a Glass Darkly

January 6, 2016

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After a period of relative stability (at least by Philippine standards), 2016 is extremely hard to assess. Turns out, as Yogi Berra famously said, “it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” To begin with, the run-up to the May 2016 general elections is in full-swing…

 

Southeast Asia in 2015: Maritime Security, Myanmar Elections, TPP Top Agenda

January 7, 2015

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Southeast Asia enters 2015 facing a number of critical challenges that will have a bearing on its future: Can economic integration be achieved among all 10 members of ASEAN? How might maritime security disputes unite or splinter ASEAN? Will democracy in Myanmar continue to develop apace? Will democratic development in Thailand be further weakened? Also looming large is the question of whether the U.S. can ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a key economic ingredient in the country’s rebalancing strategy toward Asia. Below are some of my predictions on these issues.

 

Philippines 2015: Presidential Speculation, Scandals, and Prospects for Peace

January 7, 2015

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A year ago, I predicted that one of the main stories of 2014 in the Philippines would be recovery efforts from Typhoon Haiyan, and indeed it took until October (almost the one-year anniversary) for final approval of the massive rehabilitation phase.

 

India Must Lead the Way to a More Integrated South Asia

January 7, 2015

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2014 was a good year for regional cooperation in South Asia. In May, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to the heads of state of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries to attend his swearing-in ceremony…

 

As Driver of World Economic Growth, Asia’s Vulnerabilities Emerge

January 7, 2015

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2014 will be remembered as the year when China became the world’s biggest economy in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, overtaking the United States for the first time in history. This move, which did not come as a surprise, is the sign of a superpower transition…

 

Are There Lessons for Cambodia from Philippines’ People Power Movement?

January 8, 2014

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While the rest of the world launched fireworks to usher in the New Year, in Cambodia, an estimated 50,000 protesters marched in the streets of Phnom Penh on December 29, chanting “Hun Sen, get out.” The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP)…

 

ASEAN Chairmanship Offers Opportunity for Myanmar

January 8, 2014

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On January 1, Myanmar assumed the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In 1997, when Myanmar joined ASEAN, the country’s membership was met with stiff resistance because of its abhorrent human rights record under an oppressive military dictatorship.

 

Philippines 2014: The Best of Times or the Worst of Times?

January 8, 2014

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January, named after the two-faced Roman god Janus, is a time that invites us to look back and look ahead. Here in the Philippines, excitable headlines make it hard to discern if 2013 was the worst of times, or the best of times – but either way, Filipinos seem to be looking forward to 2014 with optimism.

 

Are Asian Economies Prepared for Higher Growth in 2014?

January 8, 2014

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As all eyes turn to Brazil for the World Cup this summer, and to India and Indonesia for two of the world’s largest democratic elections, 2014 may as well be called the “Year of the Middle-Income Country.” Last year saw several economies make steady gains, including powerhouse China…

 

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

January 30, 2013

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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).

 

2013 Asia-Pacific Forecast: India in 2013 and Beyond

January 23, 2013

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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.

 

Painting the Town Green: Asia’s Smart City Revolution

January 9, 2013

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For the past 30 years, Asia has been urbanizing at a faster rate than any other region in the world. In 2011, Asia was home to roughly 61 percent of the world’s population, or 4.2 billion people. More than 40 percent of them now live in urban areas. By 2025, Asia will have 21 of the world’s 37 megacities…

 

Regional Integration: Asia’s New Frontier in 2013

January 9, 2013

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Over the last several decades, Asia has become increasingly integrated with the rest of the world, its rapid development driven largely by exports to the United States and European Union. Yet, as the world’s main economic arteries shift eastward, intra-regional integration within Asia still lags behind.

 

China’s Charity Sector Poised to Expand In 2013

January 9, 2013

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Last November, when a new leadership team stepped forward in Beijing, they confronted a very different set of challenges than their predecessors had faced. Among the most urgent of these is the challenge of providing adequate basic social services for all of China’s 1.3 billion people…

 

At Davos, Will Asia Be Seen as the Solution to or the Victim of Global Economic Crisis?

January 25, 2012

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From January 25-29, the world’s most powerful leaders from the public and private sectors gather in the Swiss town of Davos to try to agree on measures that will eventually impact billions of people across the world. The event is being held against an unprecedentedly gloomy global economic picture. The World Bank recently reported that the world economy will grow by only 2.5 percent in 2012, far below initial estimates of 3.6 percent. In Europe, leaders have yet to come up with a comprehensive solution to the eurozone crisis.

 

A Strategic Pivot in U.S.-Southeast Asia Relations in 2012

January 4, 2012

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For much of the past two decades, many Southeast Asians have expressed frustration that U.S. policy treated their region with benign neglect or indifference, and that the United States’ attention was episodic rather than consistent. In 2011, the Obama administration announced that the U.S. needed to make “a strategic pivot” in its foreign policy…

 

After a Year of Challenges, Asia Emerges Stronger than Ever

January 4, 2012

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In 2011, Asia grappled with a host of devastating shocks, both natural and man-made. As challenging and economically harsh as they have been, they have provided an opportunity for Asia’s emerging economies to dramatically assert their economic resilience and regional influence.

 

Anti-Corruption Leads 2012 Agenda in the Philippines

January 4, 2012

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One of the virtues of a regular exercise at peering into a new year is that you can check your own predictions from the past year. My predictions that I made here for the Philippines in 2011 were correct in three of four instances: Peace talks did begin (those with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front had more progress than those with the National Democratic Front)…

 

Flooding in Asia’s Megacities

January 4, 2012

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My colleagues in The Asia Foundation’s Environment Program recently returned from Bangkok, where the Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum they were scheduled to attend was canceled due to the worst flooding in Thailand in 60 years. The disaster resulted in over 600 deaths, approximately 10 million lives affected, $21 billion in lost revenues from major industries, and an estimated $24 billion dollars in damage to property…