Forum

Register


Pacific Currents is a discussion forum on Asia-Pacific economic issues. We welcome submissions from all stakeholders including academics, researchers, thought-leaders, civil society, business leaders; and other policy experts. Submissions should cover issues related to economic policy and integration in the region. Articles should be written for a general audience and not technical but should have a foundation in objective policy analysis. Articles should also conform with PECC nomenclature - if you are not familiar, the editor will provide you with appropriate guidelines. Acceptance of articles is entirely at the discretion of the Editor.

Articles should be in an op-ed format of around 1000 words but longer submissions are also occasionally accepted. Submissions are done in the name of the author and represent their individual opinions and not those of the institutions that they work for. To submit an article, please send in Word format to: info@pecc.org

Sir Brian Talboys, the first chair of NZPECC passes away

Gary Hawke

Sir Brian Talboys had a significant career as a political leader in New Zealand. He was a Minister of Education who managed to remain popular with educationists while not damaging his political career. He was deputy Prime Minister and a leader in international economic diplomacy, especially as a major force in the negotiation of the Closer Economic Relations Agreement with Australia. Had he been willing to give more priority to his personal interests and less to obligations of loyalty- to the Prime Minister of the day, to his political party and to the wishes of the electorate - the "colonel's coup" of 1980-81 might have made him Prime Minister.

Continue reading
4920 Hits
0 Comments

APEC’s New IAP Process

Ippei Yamazawa
Professor Emeritus, Hitotsubashi University, Japan

Negotiations for three economies’ accession to the TPP have started toward its final stage. While Canada and Mexico will clear additional hurdles of liberalization easily thanks to their membership of NAFTA, Japan is reported to face strong requests by the U.S. and Australia on her liberalization of agricultural products. Nevertheless, all existing members of the TPP negotiation welcome the three economies’ accession in principle since it will increase the scale economy merit of TPP.

Continue reading
12848 Hits
0 Comments

WTO Ministerial Conference: Time for a new world trade strategy

Professor Christopher Findlay
Executive Dean of the Faculty of the Professions at the University of Adelaide
Vice-Chair of AUSPECC

Republished from the East Asia Forum

The weather was awful outside the WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva last week, but there was some sunshine within the convention centre.

Russia acceded as a member, along with Samoa, Montenegro and Vanuatu (the club still attracts new members, and as one minister said: ‘as far as I know, nobody has asked to leave’).

Continue reading
6775 Hits
0 Comments

Who will write the rules for Asia-Pacific Trade?

Peter A. Petri
Non-resident Senior Fellow with the East-West Center
Professor of International Finance at Brandeis University

Republished from the East West Center

(This analysis originally appeared in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Oct. 16, 2011 as part of a monthly series on regional Asia Pacific issues leading up to the APEC leaders’ meetings in Honolulu in November)

In the last half century, world trade has grown twice as fast as output and helped to lift the majority of the world’s people from poverty—a feat unimaginable a generation ago. When APEC leaders meet in Honolulu next month, they will represent countries that account for half of world trade. Can APEC help to keep the engine humming for another half century?

Continue reading
7953 Hits
0 Comments

2011 Youth Delegates Report on PECC 20th General Meeting

Plenary: Asia Pacific Regional Outlook and Concurrent Session: Enabling 21st Century Services in the Asia Pacific
Prepared by Youth delegates Angela Zhang Yiou (HK), Muhan Cheng (CT) and Jihye Seon(KO), 29 September 2011

The First Plenary session was moderated by Mr. Zou Mingrong. The first speaker Roberto Cardarelli delivered the Overview and Forecast of the IMF on global economy. During his speech, Mr. Roberto highlighted that slower growth was expected around the world. However, Asia will still exhibit relatively good performance with strong domestic demand. He also mentioned “Two Channels”: trade channel and financial channel. Mr. Roberto concluded that Asia still would have solid growth but monetary tightening and economic rebalancing are required.

Continue reading
5048 Hits
0 Comments

The global implications of sending gas to Japan

Professor Christopher Findlay
Executive Dean of the Faculty of the Professions at the University of Adelaide
Vice-Chair of AUSPECC

Republished from the East Asia Forum

Commentators on these pages have been pondering the implications of the Fukushima explosion on Japan’s energy policy and its strategy for international purchases. Samuels suggests an extensive re-examination of energy policy in Japan and a possible shift toward renewable energy. Vivoda pointed to a scenario in which the share of nuclear power in Japan’s total electricity consumption could fall. This share previously accounted for 30 per cent of consumption, and even as little as 12 months ago the plan was to raise this to 50 per cent.

Continue reading
6992 Hits
0 Comments

72% of Asia Pacific Opinion Leaders Favor Plurilateral Services Negotiations

Global Services Network Update
republished from http://globalservicesnetwork.com/GSNOctober32011.html

Following the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) and Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) Conference on Trade in Services in Hong Kong earlier this year, the PECC included in their annual survey of opinion leaders across the Asia Pacific the specific question "should APEC members take the lead in promoting a plurilateral agreement on services?"  72% of all respondents responded positively, with only 5% disagreeing. 70% percent of government officials responded positively, as did 76% of business leaders.

Continue reading
8002 Hits
0 Comments

FTA Strategies in China and India

Ganeshan Wignaraja
Principal Economist, Office of Regional Economic Integration, Asian Development Bank

Slow progress in the WTO Doha Round trade talks has seen China and India have focussing on free trade agreements (FTAs) as a vehicle of trade strategy and economic diplomacy. By mid-2011, the two Asian giants were among Asia's leaders in FTA activity with 11 each in effect in both China and India. The number of FTAs under negotiation and proposed suggested that such activity will rise in the future, as China has another 13 agreements in the pipeline and India another 20. China has FTAs with ASEAN, Hong Kong, Macao, Chinese Taipei, Pakistan, New Zealand, Chile and Peru, among others.

Continue reading
6476 Hits
0 Comments

PECC Mourns the Passing of Prof Tan Teck Meng, SINCPEC Chair 1997-2008

Professor Tan Teck Meng, former chair of SINCPEC, passed away in the early morning of 7 July 2011 in his sleep. He had been battling cancer for some time.

Prof Tan was the chair of SINCPEC from 1997 to 2008,  he was also a member of the Finance Committee and Trustee of the PECC Special Fund Trust. He will be missed by the PECC community.

Continue reading
5618 Hits
0 Comments

Preparing for natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific region

Don Gunasekera
Senior Economist, CSIRO, Canberra

The 2004 Asian tsunami illustrated the disproportionate impact that natural disasters have on poorer communities. More recent natural disasters in New Zealand, Japan, Australia and the US have shown that even well-to-do communities can be significantly hard hit by the impact of catastrophic and severe weather events. Preparing for natural disasters has many facets. They can range from adaptive response measures to the use of modern technologies to provide early warnings.

Continue reading
6206 Hits
0 Comments

Free Trade Agreements in East Asia: A Way toward Trade Liberalization

Masahiro Kawai, Dean and CEO, Asian Development Bank Institute
Ganeshan Wignaraja, Principal Economist, Office of Regional Economic Integration, Asian Development Bank

The inability to conclude the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Development Round has spawned a proliferation of bilateral and plurilateral free trade  agreements (FTAs) across the globe. While East Asia is a relative newcomer to FTAs, the region has seen a dramatic increase in the number of such agreements  in recent years. The explosion of FTAs in East Asia, led by the large economies of Northeast Asia—the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Japan, and the Republic of Korea (ROK)—is tied to the need to support sophisticated production networks through continued trade and investment liberalization, while also serving as a defensive response to the spread of FTAs elsewhere in the world.

Continue reading
12362 Hits
0 Comments

Structural Reforms in East Asia The Key to Sustaining Global Recovery and Advancing Regional Free Trade

Julius Caesar Parrenas, PhD
Senior Advisory Fellow, Institute for International Monetary Affairs (IIMA)1

(posted from: http://www.iima.or.jp/pdf/newsletter2010/NLNo_37_e.pdf)

The recent G20 and APEC meetings in Seoul and Yokohama underscored the importance of structural reforms. While G20 leaders struggled over the way forward to achieve sustained global economic recovery, APEC leaders went ahead to launch work toward a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), possibly through the expansion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Embedded in the G20 and APEC leaders’ statements are references to a key issue that will influence the success of current efforts to sustain global recovery and advance free trade.

Continue reading
21686 Hits
0 Comments

APEC 2011: Can the US deliver?

Andrew Elek
ANU and member of AUSPECC

This article is cross-posted from the East Asia Forum website

The most important objective of international economic cooperation in 2011 is to conclude the Doha Round. The United States has the influence to do that if it is prepared to show political initiative and have realistic expectations of others.

The APEC group can also provide leadership within the G20 to tackle global problems. APEC’s Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) can begin to set out a strategy on how the WTO might operate beyond the Doha Round. Bringing the WTO up to date with the 21st century world of international commerce is an essential dimension of cooperation to narrow development gaps.

Continue reading
14994 Hits
0 Comments

Has APEC Achieved Its Mid-term Bogor Target?

Ippei Yamazawa
Professor Emeritus, Hitotsubashi University, Japan

2010 APEC Yokohama was completed three weeks ago with three major achievements, first the mid-term assessment of its Bogor target, second a concrete direction toward Free trade Area for the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), and third APEC’s growth strategy. The first two give us a future prospect for APEC’s main activity of Trade Investment Liberalization and Facilitation (TILF), while the last packages its new initiatives undertaken for the past decade in order to combat with changing economic environment in the region. Discussion has so far focused on TPP as a possible route to FTAAP but others seem to be missed since the Yokohama meetings. This short essay aims to discuss both the first agenda and continued TILF of the second.

Continue reading
6691 Hits
0 Comments

Canada's Place as Asia Moves into Driver's Seat of Global Governance

Yuen Pau Woo
President and CEO, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

From: http://www.asiapacific.ca/editorials/presidents-view

Prime Minister Harper and three of his senior cabinet ministers spent much of the last week at two major international gatherings in Asia. The Seoul G20 meeting on 11-12 November was followed by the annual APEC Leaders’ Summit in Yokohama. The close proximity of these two meetings and their overlapping mandates raise important questions about the rapidly changing structure of global governance and Canada’s place in it. In light of Ottawa’s recent failure to secure a seat on the United Nations Security Council, the issue of Canada’s place in regional and global groupings has come into sharper focus.

Continue reading
3629 Hits
0 Comments

The TPP Needs Japan

Peter A. Petri
Brandeis University
Senior Fellow at the East-West Center
Member of the US Asia Pacific Council

This article appeared in Nihon Keizai Shimbun, November 8, 2010 (in Japanese)

The intense debate in the Democratic Party of Japan—on whether Japan should join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations, an initiative spanning nine countries on both sides of the Pacific, including the United States—has far-reaching implications not just for Japan but for the region and the world.

Continue reading
9927 Hits
0 Comments

Japan: To TPP or Not to TPP

Christopher Findlay
University of Adelaide
Vice-Chair AUSPECC

This article is cross-posted from the East Asia Forum website

Japanese politicians are still debating whether Japan should join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). TPP members are not allowed exclusions. Agriculture is the issue, specifically the domestic political constraints imposed by protection of that sector in Japan. At the same time, the business sector is pushing hard to join.

Continue reading
11398 Hits
0 Comments

APEC Promotes Stability

Senator Daniel Inoye
Chair
U.S. Senate Appropriation Committee

APEC Promotes Stability in the Asia-Pacific

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN (Nov. 12, 2010) – Speaking yesterday at the 2010 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Yokohama, Japan, U.S. Senate Appropriation Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawai‘i) said the meeting comes at a time when “the interdependence among the world’s economies have reached a level never seen before.”

Continue reading
11865 Hits
0 Comments

State of the Region 2010-2011

Yuen Pau Woo
President and CEO
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

Coordinator
State of the Region Report
State of the Region 2010-2011

The world economy has been on a roller coaster ride since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. A deep plunge in economic output through the greater part of 2009 was followed by a sharp upturn, only to settle now into what can be described as a period of great uncertainty. Recovery in the US and Europe has been spotty, and the risk of another financial crisis remains present. Contrasting policy responses across the Atlantic further complicate the outlook, and underscore the differences among leading nations not only in prognosis but also in the type and degree of international coordination that is needed for sustained recovery.

Continue reading
10258 Hits
0 Comments

2010 Youth Delegation Report on Food Security

Preamble

Recognizing the access to adequate food sources as a fundamental requirement for human security and national security, we, the 2010 PECC Youth Delegation have compiled the following report in the hope that it may inform discussions within PECC in regards to the issue of food security.

Introduction

Recent food price hikes have drawn the attention of the world’s policy-makers and news media to food security. But what is “food security” and how can it be measured? For the purpose of this report we have adopted the definition of food security, as defined in the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s 1996 Declaration on World Food Security:

Continue reading
11390 Hits
0 Comments

You can also log in with your social media account by clicking the icons below

     

Most Popular Post

Gary HawkeMember of the Board, NZPECC[The views expressed herein are Author's own and made in reference to a commissioned research conducted by Coriolis, NZ] “Any discussion today of internationa...
Hugh StephensVice Chair, CANCPECFellow of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs InstituteExecutive-in-residence at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada[Published in iPolitics, January 14, 2014]The...
Andrew ElekAustralian National University (ANU) Some of the foundations of APEC were laid more than 40 years ago.  By 1989, the careful consensus building, based on the achievements of ASEAN...
Hugh Stephens, Vice-Chair, CANCPECDon Campbell, Co-Chair of PECC and Chair, CANCPECPublished: December 12, 2013 in Canada-Asia AgendaAbstract:On October 18, Canada and the EU announced an agreement on...
Federico Macaranas Professor, Asian Institute of Management, Manila, the PhilippinesThe BALI airport temporarily closed for commercial flights for security reasons, even as a new $300-million terminal...