Can Fiji keep its democracy in 2023?
East Asia Forum
by Richard Herr
6h ago
Author: Richard Herr, University of Tasmania The most important event for Fiji in 2022 was the peaceful transfer of power on Christmas Eve, 10 days after a general election saw former prime minister Frank Bainimarama’s FijiFirst party lose government. There was a year-long expectation that consequential electoral change was likely, reflected in the months of uncertainty over when the election would be called. Late changes to the electoral law to advantage the incumbent FijiFirst demonstrated the concern the government felt over Fiji’s shifting political mood. The successful registration of Si ..read more
Visit website
Anwar Ibrahim returns to a changed economy
East Asia Forum
by Teck Chi Wong
14h ago
Author: Teck Chi Wong, University of Queensland During Anwar Ibrahim’s first stint as Malaysia’s finance minister in the 1990s, Putrajaya was still under construction. After more than two decades of political struggles, including two imprisonments, Anwar now leads the country as prime minister and again as finance minister. But this time his offices are in the no-longer-new administrative capital, which he didn’t get to use two decades ago. An analogy can be drawn with the political economy system he now helms. While the state still maintains a near omnipresence in the Malaysian economy, it i ..read more
Visit website
Vietnam’s social insurance dilemma
East Asia Forum
by Tu Phuong Nguyen
1d ago
Author: Tu Phuong Nguyen, University of Adelaide At the end of 2022, there were reports of long queues of employees in Ho Chi Minh City who had been waiting since dawn at several local offices to claim lump sum payments from their social insurance premiums. Many Vietnamese workers view their social insurance premiums as a kind of savings mechanism, and are inclined to seek early access to social insurance funds when their income is lost or reduced or when extra household spending needs arise. A survey by Vietnam’s Institute of Workers and Trade Unions has found that 30 per cent of workers hav ..read more
Visit website
EU–China relations disintegrating on autopilot
East Asia Forum
by Andrei Lungu
2d ago
Author: Andrei Lungu, RISAP In early December 2022, President of the European Council Charles Michel travelled to Beijing for his first face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The visit came after two events that epitomise the state of EU–China relations. The Chinese side refused to run a pre-recorded speech criticising Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by Michel at the China International Import Expo. This was followed by the lack of any meeting between Xi and Michel or European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the G20 Bali summit, where Xi met othe ..read more
Visit website
Laos must address rising inflation in 2023
East Asia Forum
by Chanhsy Samavong
2d ago
Authors: Chanhsy Samavong, Laos Macroeconomic Research Institute, and Buavanh Vilavong, Laos Ministry of Industry and Commerce The Lao economy has been seriously impacted by rising inflation and the deterioration of the national currency, the kip. These problems have been caused by longstanding structural vulnerabilities, and can only be corrected by medium- to long-term reform efforts. High inflation accelerated for ten straight months in 2022, from 6.2 per cent in January to 39.2 per cent in December hitting a two-decade record. The Asian Development Bank estimates that the inflation rate c ..read more
Visit website
Pakistan needs to lower its expectations of the United States
East Asia Forum
by Arif Rafiq
3d ago
Author: Arif Rafiq, Middle East Institute Pakistan and the United States have recently been pursuing a reset of relations. High-level visitors from both countries have expressed intentions to find a basis for a partnership not centred on Pakistan’s neighbours Afghanistan or India. While the United States has been circumspect in its vision for relations with Pakistan, emphasising clean energy and public health, the discourse in Islamabad has been unmoored. Pakistani commentators and officials have depicted official visits as major moves toward rekindling the US–Pakistan partnership or even til ..read more
Visit website
Australia stabilises its foreign policy but hard choices lie ahead
East Asia Forum
by Allan Gyngell
3d ago
Author: Allan Gyngell, ANU Not for the first time in its history, distant events in Europe had a deep impact on Australia’s prosperity and security in 2022. Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine was the most blatant breach of international law and norms by a major power since World War II. It reshaped global economic and strategic settings, with direct and indirect consequences for Australia ..read more
Visit website
APEC’s ambitions met with challenges in 2022
East Asia Forum
by Rebecca Sta Maria
3d ago
Author: Rebecca Sta Maria, APEC The start of 2022 held much promise for APEC economies. The pandemic seemed under control. As the 2022 APEC host, Thailand anticipated a full year of in-person meetings to focus the region’s attention on deepening inclusive and sustainable economic growth. All bets were off after 24 February when Russia — an APEC member — launched a military assault on Ukraine. Whether it is called an ‘invasion’ or a ‘special military operation’, a geopolitical conflict involving an APEC member is tough on everyone. Thailand had to recalibrate to ensure that the group stayed fo ..read more
Visit website
Vietnam’s economy shows signs of revival
East Asia Forum
by Suiwah Leung
3d ago
Author: Suiwah Leung, ANU In 2022, the geopolitical tensions caused by the war in Ukraine, slowing growth in the Chinese economy and sharp rises in energy and food prices led to a significantly higher inflationary outlook globally. These factors all added to the risks confronting Vietnam as its economy recovered from its lengthy COVID-19 lockdowns. Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to China in October 2022 aimed to get assurances from Beijing of undisrupted supply chains and smooth export routes. Despite these concerns, the Vietnamese economy rebounded as the country ..read more
Visit website
Dealing with China’s polycrisis
East Asia Forum
by EAF editors
5d ago
Author: Editorial Board, ANU Those paying attention to the World Economic Forum in Davos will doubtless have heard the latest buzzword of the global elite: ‘polycrisis’, a word that designates a cluster of interrelated systemic risks. Applied to the myriad problems facing Beijing, the word might be a touch melodramatic, but there’s no doubt that Chinese policymakers are confronted by some of the most challenging circumstances in decades: economic, demographic and geopolitical. The most pressing is the massive COVID-19 wave that has hit the country since it abandoned the policy of complete con ..read more
Visit website

Follow East Asia Forum on Feedspot

Continue with Google
OR