September 2018
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The EU and ASEAN in Uncertain Times: Multilateralism, Tensions, and Trade
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The European Union is currently facing a wide range of challenges, including a difficult relationship with the United States, Brexit, tensions with Russia, and a migrant crisis linked to instability in the Middle East. Is multilateralism dead, or are there ways to strengthen international cooperation?...

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Singapore’s Role in ASEAN’s Sustainable Infrastructure
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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is often lauded as the new growth frontier blessed with a growing young working population and massive economic opportunities. As the regional bloc moves towards economic integration, better infrastructure and connectivity is needed to facilitate greater movement of...

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E-Commerce Meets Smart Cities: Expanding the Digital Silk Road in ASEAN
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E-commerce and “smart cities” initiatives in ASEAN are increasingly being co-developed by both Chinese and ASEAN players as part of the larger “digital silk road”. What are the implications for ASEAN? A recent case study in Thailand reveals a two-fold answer: ASEAN must align national...

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Understanding the “Digital Silk Road”: Implications for ASEAN
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The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is about more than physical infrastructure. Beyond the fanfare about ports and railways, the BRI has a technological counterpart with far-reaching consequences for Southeast Asia – the “digital silk road”. While traditional infrastructure has been in the spotlight, the digital...

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100 Days Later: An Initial Assessment of Malaysia’s New Government
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100 days have elapsed since Pakatan Harapan (PH) defeated the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition during Malaysia’s 14th General Election, and set out to fulfil its electoral promises. But what remains to be done, and how have domestic audiences reacted to their policies? We had...

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Moon’s Singapore Visit Shifts Strategic Weight to ASEAN
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On 11 July 2018, South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in Singapore for a three-day state visit, the first by a South Korean president in fifteen years. Following the historic summit between the United States and North Korea a month ago, Mr. Moon’s visit to...

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The Price of Pollution: Tax as a Flexible Green Policy Tool in ASEAN
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ASEAN’s economy is expected to grow at an estimated 5.1 percent annually, but its energy demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will also increase by 67 percent by 2030. To counteract this trend, in December 2017, the Philippines ratified a coal tax in December 2017, after...

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The Case for ASEAN to Embrace Green Growth
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As the ASEAN Chair for 2018, Singapore is focusing on themes of resilience and innovation. In January, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had announced plans to start some ASEAN projects aimed at strengthening ASEAN’s collective resilience against common threats such as climate change. Climate change,...