March 26, 2017

Can Asia Break Free of Great-power Dynamics?

A boy hold Chinese and American flags in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Eric Pesik, Creative Commons License)

US policymakers underestimate China’s power and resolve and assume that China would not risk the economic costs or military risks of a confrontation with the United States, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Read More »

Realizing the Potential of India–Pakistan Trade

A staff at the Wagah Cargo Inspection Terminal checks a Pakistani truck arriving from India. (Photo by Asian Development Bank, Creative Commons License)

The complete liberalization of trade between India and Pakistan will be a long and arduous process, but granting NDMA status to India would be a good start. Read More »

Breaking Sri Lanka’s Economic Gridlock

Despite growing signs of economic stress on multiple fronts policy attention has stayed stubbornly focused on politics since the presidential elections in January 2015. (Photo by McKay Savage, Creative Commons License)

The sharp drop in oil prices is helping to turn around Sri Lanka’s external current account, but remittance earnings are being hit hard, while export earnings remain in negative territory. The impact of global developments is only one side of the story. More compelling is the government’s capitulation to reform inertia. Read More »

Are China and the EU on a Collision Course?

Workers rights protests in Strasbourg, France. (Photo by The S&D Group in the European Parliament, Creative Commons License)

The future of the EU–China trade relationship will be substantially impacted by a debate over whether China should be granted ‘market economy status’ (MES) this year. Read More »

Electric Car War Sends Lithium Prices Sky High

Salt flats in Bolivia. (Photo by psyberartist, Creative Commons License)

Demand for lithium will continue to rise throughout the year--and beyond--spurred by the rise of battery mega/gigafactories and a burgeoning energy storage business that will change the way we live. Read More »

Bangladesh Starts Contract Farming in Africa

(Photo via The Financial Express)

Bangladesh is turning to Africa to grow food to feed its population. Bangladeshi companies have acquired more than 80,000 hackers land for ‘contract farming’ in Uganda, Zambia, and Tanzania in recent months. Read More »

IMF Reform Agenda Good News for Asia

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde holds a press conference April 16, 2015 at the IMF Headquarters in Washington, DC. (IMF Staff Photo/Stephen Jaffe, Creative Commons License)

The global financial safety net needs reform. It is too small, too fragmented and too unresponsive. Reforming the safety net would benefit the Asian region provided the IMF takes a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of this fragmentation. Read More »

US Reaching Out to ASEAN Nations

Baird co-chairs the ASEAN-Canada Post Ministerial Conference. (Photo by GAC | AMC, Creative Commons License)

ASEAN needs to balance the United States and China. The United States has come late in acknowledging the geo-strategic significance of the organization. Southeast Asian leaders have already had 18 summits with China and 17 with Japan. Read More »

Europe’s Other Russia ‘Problem’

A vicinity of Moscow's famous Red Square. (Photo by Dennis Jarvis, Creative Commons License)

Russia’s economy continues to die a slow death, and is forecasted to contract even further this year. Europe must shine a spotlight on Russian business practices that threaten to have a global impact. Read More »

Russia Cries Dyadya (Uncle), Is Saudi Arabia Listening?

(Photo by Tim Evanson, Creative Commons License)

Intensifying financial pressures on Russian energy companies, Saudis and their Gulf Arab allies might be tempted to decide to maintain pressure on prices and force Russia to absorb the cuts necessary to balance the global crude markets. Read More »