After 47 years of a chaotic marriage, and more than three years of debates and negotiations that have cost two prime ministers, the United Kingdom has finally separated from the European Union.
The current conversations on the global consequences of this rupture have largely ignored the Pacific,
The Asia-Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) Summit is being held at a time of enormous global and regional geopolitical uncertainty.
It is a tumultuous time for the region, and APEC 2018 provides a real opportunity for leaders to agree on the kinds of reforms that could make a positive difference
Barry Sterland’s new Lowy Analysis explores the possibility of a future economic crisis in our region – this is not today’s problem, but something we should be prepared for. The paper benefits from his years of experience in the Australian Treasury and the International Monetary Fund. It sets
If Australia’s economic future lies in Asia, then managing the risk of financial crises in the region should be a top concern. Especially as any crisis could also have significant geopolitical consequences.
In an analysis for the Lowy Institute, Barry Sterland looks at what Australia can do
The 1980s Hope inquiry first put economics on the agenda of Australian intelligence analysis but the latest Intelligence Review has taken this connection much further.
Follow the money and three trends emerge from this Review, important developments that have been lost in all the
A subtle tussle over priority for Asia’s two nascent new trade groupings is under way with some potentially significant implications for Australia’s summit of South East Asian leaders in Sydney next March.
Most South East Asian countries are placing a high priority on achieving
Out of the trap
It is a subtle change of language, but the Asian Development Bank has just made one of the biggest question marks over the Asian century a little less scary.
The latest Asian Development Outlook has dropped the long-established idea that a middle-income trap can keep countries
China walks the walk
Australia’s new $300 million infrastructure spending program over 10 years in Indonesia is a relative drop in the bucket compared with the Asian Development Bank’s latest estimate of the region’s needs over roughly the same time period of US$26 trillion.
It is easy to forget that Asia still hosts most of the world’s poor people given the region's remarkable economic success in recent years. Yet almost half of the world’s extremely poor people (326 million out of a global total of 766 million) still live in South and East Asia, according to the
Even though it is the region’s second oldest multilateral mechanism, APEC continues to find relevance hard to come by. Best known for the photo taken at the annual leaders’ summit at which said leaders bond over the humiliation of donning often garish 'national attire', this grouping has never
Diplomacy hits the rails
Second-track gatherings of foreign policy experts to discuss sensitive issues are all the rage across Asia, but they are in danger of being run down by train-track diplomacy.
Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte returned from his controversial trip to Beijing with tentative
By Alastair Davis, an intern in the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program.
The shipment of Russian arms received by Fiji continues to intrigue analysts. This piece by Anna Powles and Jose Sousa-Santos explains the implications for Fiji-Russia relations and Russia's growing interest in the region.
Luang Namtha in northern Laos is a sleepy wildlife reserve, popular with backpackers. In future it may become a vital geopolitical pivot point. Here the northern corridor to the Chinese metropolis of Kunming intersects with routes east into Myanmar, west into Vietnam, and south through Laos to
Matthew Dornan takes a look at Fiji’s 2016 budget. He notes that while the overall economic situation in Fiji is sound, the major policy reversals and long list of ad hoc revenue decisions in the budget 'undermine the government’s economic management credibility'.
Remittances costs from
There is more to be said about Martin Parkinson's speech on US economic diplomacy, and in particular how Australian attention has been diverted from the challenge of developing our relationship with Asia through region-based arrangements.
Parkinson says that 'what is striking about post-war Asia
Pacific Island leaders are in Paris in force for the COP 21 United Nations conference on climate change. Leaders from Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Fiji, Nauru, Palau, Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea and Samoa all addressed the conference in the opening days
China's Belt and Road initiative – a vast array of promised Chinese investments in transport, energy and communications across Eurasia and Africa – is emerging as one of the key foreign policy priorities of Xi Jinping's presidency.
President Xi Jinping and then President of Sri Lanka Mahinda
By Cheng Lim and Jack Maher. Cheng Lim leads the cyber security initiative at King & Wood Mallesons. Last year Jack Maher completed a Master of Chinese Law at Tsinghua University while working in the firm's Bejing office.
China's internet czar Lu Wei, President Xi Jinping and Facebook Chief
Is the TPP an effort to contain China? If you've been reading the papers or glancing at social media recently, you could be forgiven for thinking so. The New York Times didn't quite use the word containment, but argued that the agreement was a 'win for the United States in its contest with China
Scott Morrison, widely expected to be appointed Australia's new treasurer early next week, can't change the world. Or at least not over the next year or so. But he can reinterpret it, and that's sometimes as much as a treasurer can do.
He should and probably will promptly cancel whatever
Global financial markets are on tenterhooks waiting for the US Federal Reserve to decide when to start raising the Fed funds rate – the short-term interest rate which sets the datum for many other interest rates. The media have reported this in portentous tones, exploring every possible downside
Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) presented its report on the Australia India nuclear cooperation Agreement on 8 September after ten of months deliberation. JSCOT's advice must be 'taken into account' though not necessarily acted upon.
The Kudankulam nuclear power plant in
Growth is certainly slower and its structure is changing, but is the outlook for China's economy quite as awful as global share markets seem to think?
Now the world's biggest economy (using the IMF's purchasing power parity measure), China matters vastly more for world markets than it did a
In terms of the world's financial markets, China is the centre of attention. Last week I argued that concerns about stock markets and exchange rate devaluations were minor and ephemeral issues. Attention should instead be on the longer-term challenges that China faces in keeping its growth rate
There's a rule in economics called Goodhart's law: when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a useful measure. If a government chases a particular economic variable, then it becomes influenced by policy, and so loses its meaningfulness as an input. 'Information value' is lost in the
By Jenny Hayward-Jones, Director of the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program, and Jonathan Pryke, Research Fellow.
Papua New Guinea has been in the international spotlight a lot in the last month and it has been almost all bad news. Revelations of a record budget deficit, the emerging worrying impact
Over the last few weeks, global financial markets have once again demonstrated their predilection for over-reacting to ephemeral news. For their part, the media are always happy to pad out the 24-hour news cycle with a breaking crisis. If it's transient, so much the better: you can report a fresh
I started my job at the Federal Reserve three weeks before Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy.
I wish I had kept a diary of my initial months at the Fed, so I could recall clearly what we thought was happening each day. I do remember there was a discrete point where suddenly everything felt like
A month ago, international trade was in the headlines. President Obama had just obtained Trade Promotion Authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and in Australia, the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) was signed. But then all went quiet.
Trade Minister Andrew Robb.
Last month Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific airline began to cancel some routes to mainland destinations – a surprising decision given the huge potential in China, where air journeys have doubled since 2008.
But Cathay's reason is not demand. It's because flights in China have become so unreliable that
Arianto Patunru and Sjamsu Rahardja's recent insightful Lowy Institute Analysis, Trade Protectionism in Indonesia: Bad Times and Bad Policy, invokes 'Sadli's Law', named for early New Order technocrat Mohammad Sadli.
Perhaps Indonesianists' most well-loved aphorism, it holds that 'bad times may
A Suharto family foundation was ordered to repay millions in embezzled state funds, Jokowi's cabinet ministers underwent a long-awaited reshuffle and the central bank chief put a hip hop spin on Indonesia's economic situation in Jakarta this week.
On Monday, Indonesia's Supreme Court ordered
Indonesia's President Jokowi will welcome Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Jakarta today, making it his third meeting with an international leader this week. Jokowi hosted British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday and visited Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday in a
Ken Ward is to be congratulated for a straight forward and sober analysis of the Australia-Indonesia relationship. In his own matter of fact style, Ken takes us through a complex relationship and provides unique understanding and insight.
His core point is that the Australia-Indonesia
This month saw a super summit of two organisations that are significant for both Russia and China. The 7th BRICS summit and 15th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, both held in Ufa, Russia, included the typical member-state declarations confirming cooperation on major issues such as
Now that Congress has provided President Obama with Trade Promotion Authority as we enter the last phase of the TPP negotiations, the treaty seems likely to go ahead. What is left for Australian authorities to think about?
While the TPP draft will come before the Australian parliament for
Michael Thawley's comments on China's present global leadership credentials and ambitions are correct and phrased in the refreshingly direct manner Australians usually take as a badge of national pride and uniqueness.
The fact that his comments caused such a stir in Australia (and seemingly in
Is China ready for a larger global role and should the outside world, in particular a regional partner like Australia, embrace this possibility? Evidently not, judging by remarks made by the Secretary of the Prime Minister's Department, Michael Thawley. 'China wasn't ready to take on the
Last month on The Diplomat, Van Jackson made an important argument about South Korea's increasingly notable silence on freedom of navigation in the South China Sea (South China Sea).
Jackson, like many analysts, recognises growing Chinese misbehaviour there, most obviously the destabilising
In his recent conversation with Sam Roggeveen, Lord Michael Williams made some insightful comments on Aung San Suu Kyi's recent visit to China, suggesting it showed that Beijing was prepared to publicly recognise the importance of other political figures and parties in Myanmar while also sending a
The establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) reached another milestone on Monday when 50 of the 57 founding members signed the AIIB's Articles of Agreement. Seven countries are still sorting out domestic requirements before signing.
China's Finance Minister Jiwei Lou and
China's long-anticipated formal pledge to international climate change negotiations, it's 'intended nationally determined contribution' or INDC, has arrived.
China's target is a 60% to 65% reduction in the emissions-intensity of the economy by 2030 pegged at 2005 levels, with carbon dioxide
President Barack Obama finally has authority from the US Congress for advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a signature foreign policy of his final term in office. The TPP aims to establish a free trade zone around the Pacific Rim covering 40% of the global economy, while excluding China
With the signing of the AIIB's Articles of Agreement in Beijing yesterday, how is the Bank shaping up? Here are some key things that struck me reading the Agreement:
The Bank's members are split into two groups: regional and non-regional. Regional members include those countries
'It's not that laws aren't relevant' said MIT Media Lab co-founder Nicholas Negroponte during the 1990s, 'it's that the nation-state is not relevant...The internet cannot be regulated.'
Negroponte's assessment has not aged well, but to be fair, he was not alone in his belief.
'What's in a name?' Shakespeare's Juliet asks. Quite a lot, as things turned out for her. And so it is for the just-published proceedings of the ANU Indonesian Update, titled The Yudhoyono Presidency: Indonesia's Decade of Stability and Stagnation. A 'mini' version of the Update was held at the
The recent rush by Western countries to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) before the 30 March deadline set by China was widely, and rightly, seen as a policy failure for the US. Earlier, the US had openly opposed the bank.
The US has also resisted reform of the Bretton Woods
Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-first Century put inequality centre-stage in the economic debate. But the topic has been around for a long while. Brookings has recently republished Arthur Okun's 40 year-old Equality and Efficiency: The Big Trade-off, The launch was an opportunity to bring
Despite gloomy talk about slowing economic growth, Asia has continued to grow strongly, and the IMF has forecast this will continue this year and next.
Asia is still by far the most dynamic region in the world, accounting for 40% of world GDP but nearly two-thirds of global growth. Look, too,