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.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Physical Connectivity in APEC Connectivity: One Excellent Case Study in Chinese Taipei

Mu-Hsiang Yu


According to the 2014 APEC Leaders' Declaration, APEC Leaders recognize comprehensive connectivity and infrastructure development will help open up new sources of economic growth, promote cooperation and mutual assistance and advance prosperity and the spirit of community in the Asia-Pacific region. It also commends the achievements already made by APEC in connectivity and infrastructure development cooperation.

APEC Leaders also endorsed the APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015~2025 and agreed to implement the APEC Connectivity Blueprint and achieve the overarching goal of strengthening physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity by taking agreed actions and meeting agreed targets by 2025.

In 2015 APEC Leaders' Declaration, it affirms to take further action to ensure continued implementation of the above-mentioned Blueprint and to promote regional and sub-regional connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region. Furthermore, it emphasizes the importance of investment in quality infrastructure and connectivity to realize our vision for an Asia-Pacific community.


Practicing the ASEAN Way in APEC creates a Niche for "Taiwan's New Southbound Policy"

                                                                                                                                       Mei-Ling Tsai

     The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a core organization in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). APEC promotes regional collaboration and economic integration (Chiou 2015). The ASEAN way of interacting amongst its members has been the natural mode of conducting APEC routine operations (Lee 2012). Currently ASEAN has significant influence as there is great interest across the global community to want to interact with ASEAN. The European Union has created better connection with ASEAN through their "capacity-building project" initiated in 2007. Later in 2013, China's "One Belt One Road initiative" offers strategic infrastructure to consolidate its collaboration with ASEAN. Meanwhile, the US government launched the "Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative" to strengthen leadership development and promote its networking with ASEAN. To actively engage ASEAN's, Taiwan initiated its "new southbound policy" in 2016. The policy reflects Taiwan's new outward-looking economic strategy through mutual exchanges of various fields. BUT Taiwan needs to be aware the ASEAN way, prepare for how best to engage with ASEAN members, and then successfully build strong, sustainable relationships.

Advancing Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy from the Perspectives of ASEAN and SAARC

Chen-Sheng Ho


Presently, Taiwan is developing the "new southbound policy." The policy seeks to advance relations between Taiwan and South and Southeast Asian nations. Most importantly, the new policy will not only focus on trade and investment but will also emphasize people-to-people, cultural, educational, research and other forms of exchanges. Moreover, tourism and talent cultivation are also included (MOEA 2016).

In order to strengthen the success of the "new southbound policy," it is essential to comprehend the expectations of the South and Southeast Asian nations for economic cooperation. In the case of Southeast Asian nations, ASEAN is the focus. The ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025 is an important source of information to comprehend the emphasis of the ASEAN members on economic issues. As for determining the needs of South Asian nations, the focus is on the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). From understanding the economic issues of importance to ASEAN and SAARC, Taiwan will have a better idea of how to cooperate with the ASEAN and SAARC members.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Prospect of New Southbound Policy

Darson Chiu

The so called “new southbound policy” has been stressed by the president Tsai, Ing-wen as one of the nation’s very important policies for the near future. The current ruling party Democratic Progressive Party released the policy’s preliminary scope and framework at its central standing committee meeting in April of 2016. However, the policy was announced in 2015 when the outcome of presidential election was still unknown. “The new southbound policy is Taiwan’s new outward-oriented economic strategic plan that puts people at its core, and the government would be pushing bilateral interaction and cooperation of human resources, industries, investments, education, culture, tourism and agriculture between Taiwan, ASEAN and South Asian nations to build a new partnership.”

Also, a new southbound policy office was set up and started operating in June, 2016.  Accordingly, the office will be a task force whose staff members will come from the Presidential Office or other government agencies, either on special assignments or on loan. Therefore, the office will be in charge of coordinating efforts between different government agencies and putting forward with the policy.