AEC 2015: Stop Talking to Other Governments, Start Talking to Firms

Memo #325

By Cesi Cruz – cesi.cruz [at] and Benjamin A.T. Graham – benjamin.a.graham [at]

Cruz_Graham_AECf 2015_CruzPhotoCruz_Graham_AECf 2015_GrahamPhotoHow can the governments in ASEAN help businesses prepare for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) scheduled to start in 2015? Foreign firms operating in the Philippines are preparing for the changes, but… Continue reading

Will the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) transform Southeast Asian economies in 2015?

Memo #322

By Kai Ostwald – kai.ostwald [at] and Krislert Samphantharak – krislert [at]

Ostwald_photo  Ostwald_AEC and SE Asia_photoKrislert

December 31, 2015 is the launch date of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), possibly the most ambitious undertaking to date of the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations… Continue reading

Japan’s Economy & Trade (A Video Interview with Watanabe Yorizumi)

Memo #280

Featuring Watanabe Yorizumi

Last month the Asia Pacific Memo sat down with Watanabe Yorizumi, since 2005 a member of the Faculty of Policy Management at the Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University. Professor Watanabe came to his academic career with a distinguished diplomatic background, having served several appointments in Japan’s foreign service, where he specialized in international trade policy. His diplomatic career saw significant engagement… Continue reading

Voices from Indonesia’s Rising Policy Elites: a Confident, Flexible, and Creative Indonesia

Memo #275

By  Yves Tiberghien – yves.tiberghien [at]

Asia is in the midst of a great uplift, but also great social change and geopolitical transformation. In the midst of China’s rise, China-Japan tensions, India’s new voice, and the US pivot, how are Indonesians thinking and planning? Indonesia is only slowly waking up to its new place in the limelight and its new role in the G20… Continue reading

Gratin on the Noodle Bowl? New ASEAN Investment Agreement Promotes Regional Economic Integration

National ministers, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) officials, and managers of regional and foreign multinationals as well as representatives of small and medium enterprises in the region marked the entry into force of the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA) with a day-long event in Kuala Lumpur this April. Continue reading

Exporting “Tough on Crime” Policy to Thailand: Harper’s Recent Visit

Memo #148 – Human smuggling and terrorism – not trade – played centre stage in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Thailand in March. Although the Thai government was eager to solicit more interest in trade during a visit that marked the 50th anniversary of Canada-Thailand relations, it was left with $7 million (CDN) for an anti-crime program and an “exploratory” talk on free trade. Continue reading

AMRO – Fleshing out Regional Monetary Cooperation in East Asia

Memo #90 – On May 4, 2011, representatives of the ASEAN +3 group took another critical step forward in realizing the goal of a full-fledged regional financial entity. These developments have special importance given the leadership vacuum at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the intransigence of the European Union and the United States in further democratizing the process for leadership selection at the IMF. Continue reading

The Reincarnation of the Asian Monetary Fund: AMRO

Memo #51 – In the annals of Asian mythology, reincarnations of gods are professed to be far more potent than their ineffectual forebears; they are not only able to fulfill unfinished endeavours but also do so more dexterously. If mythology can serve as an indicator, then the recent establishment of the ASEAN +3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO), a reincarnation of the doomed 1997 Asian Monetary Fund (AMF) to be headquartered and operational in Singapore in early 2011, represents a major regional feat. By institutionalizing the regional capacity to financially rescue distressed East Asian economies in moments of peril, the ASEAN hopes to eternally efface the excruciating memories of the Asian financial crisis without having to habitually turn west as they did in 1997. Continue reading

एशियाई मुद्रा कोष का पुनर्जन्म: एमरो

Memo #51 – एशियाई पौराणिक कथाओं के इतिहास में, देवताओं के अवतार से अधिक उनके निष्प्रभावी पूर्वजों से अधिक शक्तिशाली दूर होना प्रकट कर रहे हैं, वे ही अधूरा प्रयासों को पूरा करने में सक्षम नहीं हैं लेकिन यह भी बहुत अधिक कुशलता से करते हैं. अगर पुराण एक संकेत है, तो आसियान 3 व्यापक आर्थिक और रिसर्च (एमरो) कार्यालय, बर्बाद 1997 एशियाई मुद्रा कोष (AMF) के लिए 2011 के शुरू में मुख्यालय और सिंगापुर में परिचालन किया जा के एक पुनर्जन्म की हाल की स्थापना, के रूप में सेवा कर सकता है एक का प्रतिनिधित्व करता है प्रमुख क्षेत्रीय करतब. क्षेत्रीय क्षमता को संस्थागत करने के लिए आर्थिक संकट के क्षणों में व्यथित पूर्व एशियाई अर्थव्यवस्थाओं बचाव करके, आसियान के लिए सदा के लिए आदतन पश्चिम बारी के रूप में वे 1997 में किया था करने के लिए बिना एशियाई वित्तीय संकट के कष्टदायी यादें मिटाना की उम्मीद है. Continue reading

Clinton Signals a Major Change of Course in the South China Sea

Memo #7 – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent announcement that the long-standing sovereignty and jurisdictional disputes in the South China Sea affects the national interests of the United States will have angered some, worried others, and delighted many. It seems to signal an end to the position held by the United States that issues concerning the Spratly and Paracel Islands, and the ocean space around them, were matters for the contending states alone. Furthermore, it marks another step in the internationalization of these issues. Continue reading