Thursday, April 27, 2017

Asia-Pacific Cooperation in an Era of Rising Anti- Globalization

Eduardo Pedrosa

       Asia-Pacific economic cooperation is at a crossroads. From its roots in the mid 1960s it has been underpinned by a drive towards deeper economic integration. That intellectual foundation has been challenged by the failure of the TransPacific Partnership to come into force which has been interpreted as symptomatic of a discontent towards globalization evident in the 2016 US presidential and Brexit campaignl. It remains to be seen whether this is a transition phase or if it is in inflection point in the process with economies turning inwards and eschewing the benefits of deeper integration.

The latter would have seismic repercussions on economic policy throughout the world but especially the Asia-Pacific. Some may see recent events fatalistically but there is much the region can do to avoid a slide into tit-for-tat protectionism. Evidence of the ability of governments to keep momentum going was evident in March in Manila with the announcement of an attempt to restart the ASEAN-EU FTA2 negotiations. This initiative should trigger a deeper examination of where various economies stand with respect to how they benefit from the trading system. If successful, the deal would bring together Europe with its technologically advanced companies together with rapidly growing middle-income Southeast Asia. This is not to forget the very significant progress being made in Pacific South America with the Pacific Alliance or moreover, the progress being made with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement that would consolidate ASEAN's Plus One FTAs into a single accord.


1 See partnership-shifts-us-role-in-world-economy/2017/01/23/05720df6-e1a6-11e6-a453- 19ec4b3d09ba_story.html?utm_term=.79c45a5dd97a for example.

2 See:

Trends in the Development of Global Carbon Markets Since the Adoption of the Paris Agreement, and the Implications for the Asia Pacific Region

Liou, Je-Liang and Julia Yang
With the signing of the Paris Agreement, global carbon markets can be expected to grow more rapidly
     Following the formal adoption of the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in late 2015, it can be anticipated that emissions trading schemes (ETS) with an emphasis on cost- effectiveness will come to play an ever more important role in the next stage of global planning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
     According to analysis published by the World Bank (2016), of the 162 Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) that had been submitted as of May 1, 2016, 90 made reference to future plans for using ETS, carbon taxes or other policy tools to implement carbon pricing, with the aim of clarifying the cost of carbon dioxide emissions. Thirteen of the INDCs noted that it had either already been decided to use ETS, or that there were plans to do so. It can thus be seen that, besides the existing 17 ETSs, new ETSs will come into being in the future, and the scale of ETS coverage will expand. If the ETS proposed by China is included in the calculations then preliminary estimates would indicate that the existing and planned ETSs will come to account for around 20-25% of total global carbon dioxide emissions, making ETS the most widely used method for controlling greenhouse gas emissions, out of the various different policy tools that are available. On the basis of the above trends, it seems certain that, following the adoption of the Paris Agreement, ETS will emerge as one of the most important policy tools for greenhouse gas management, and that there will be rapid growth in the development of various types of carbon market deriving from ETS.

The Overview of Informal Sector in Thailand

Jack Huang

Informal economy has been recognized as an important issue widely among developing countries and the increasing size of informal sector, especially during the economic downturn in 2008 and 2010, has had huge impact to society and economic growth. The informal economy, also known as informal activity, underground economy, grey economy, etc., can be generally regarded as a job without formal registration and does not comply with labour regulation. In many studies, informal economy has related to many social issues due to the lack of necessary protection. The issues such as poverty trap, low productivity and unsustainability, have attracted more and more attention by both policymakers and private sector managers. Therefore, it is worth to examine the situations on the ground and the solutions that different authorities deal with the informality.

To the New Age: Global Value Chain and Circular Economy

Lin, Chih-Yi (Francine)

 I.  Global Value Chain and Taiwan's Manufacturing Industry Contribution

Taiwan has been participated deeply in global value chain since 1995. According to OECD/WTO TiVA Data, Taiwan's GVC participation Index was 49.45% in 1995, and increased to 70.99% in 2009 which was more than global average ratio of 48.5% in 2009 (Graph 1).

Graph l. GVC Participation Index in Taiwan

Source: OECD/WTO TiVA Data.
However, Taiwan's manufacturing industry has created less export added value since 1995, and also has created lower export added value that services industry has created. According to OECD/WTO TiVA Data, the VAX ratiol of Taiwan's manufacturing industry in 1995 was around 60%, and decreased to near 50% in 2009; in contrary, the VAX ratio of Taiwan's services industry in 1995 was around 80%, and increased lightly to near 90% in 2009 (Graph 2).

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Informal Sector in Southeast Asia

Jack Huang


     Informal Sector, also known as informal economy, shadow economy or underground activities, etc. has been recognized as an essential issue, which impacts economic growth and the responding policies. According to the World Bank (2016)[1] research, the informal sector comprises at least 4 to 6% of total GDP in developed countries and more than 50% in those low developing countries (LDCs). Such as Laos, Viet Nam, Myanmar and Cambodia, it can be found that most of economic results are from informal activities and create major income for the locals. Besides, many informality-related issues in our society have gotten increasing attention, for example, the decent employment[2], human rights, fair competitiveness, poverty, lack of economic efficiency, etc. Many economists and policymakers believe that informal sector seems to play a negative role in economic growth and hamper our social development. Therefore, governments among vary countries tend to either reduce those underground activities or formalize them into regulatory framework.


The Current State and Implications of ANZTEC

Darson Chiu


     The free trade agreement between Taiwan and New Zealand is a signature trade deal especially for Taiwan. Taiwan and New Zealand have very different economic structures; said trade deal can certainly benefit both nations and optimize their diverse comparative advantages. Nevertheless, more participants will create more benefits not only in theory but also in practice. As New Zealand is a critical member major multilateral free trade agreements of Asia-Pacific, helping Taiwan to join in those processes will enhance New Zealand’s economic welfare.

The Arising of a Whole New Mindset: Green Talents in Green Economy

Julia Yang

The Green Industry is Only About Solar Panels and Wind Turbines?

     When most people think of the word “green industry,” the first image to pop up in their minds is one of shining solar panels and wind turbines. When I ask the same question to elementary school-age kids, everyone in the class, without probing, would shout, “solar power and wind power!” They would take a blue crayon, draw solar panels on a rooftop within ten seconds and tell me this is what a sustainable future looks like. This is the future I would die for. But, wait a second, is the green industry only about solar panels and wind turbines?

SMEs Boost Trade and Mitigate Inequality

Chi-Jen Yeh

Inequality is a global phenomenon

     In most advanced and emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs) the inequality has increased. The widening income inequality is considered as the "defining challenge of our time" in eyes of President Obama. A recent survey1 found that the gap between the rich and the poor is considered a major challenge by more than 60 percent of respondents worldwide.

Income inequality can be a signal of lack of income mobility and opportunity, a reflection of persistent disadvantage for particular segments of the society.

     As the IMF study2 shown that higher net Gini coefficient (a measure of inequality that nets out taxes and transfers) is associated with lower GDP growth over the medium term. The statistical results of the IMF report suggest that if the income share of the top 20 percent increases by 1 percentage point, GDP growth is actually 0.08 percentage points lower in the following five years, implying that the benefits do not trickle down.

     As a matter of fact, the inequality not only dampens investment and GDP growth, but also fueling economic, social and political instability.