Japan: The recovery continues
"One month on, Japan is trying to return to a normal situation even as efforts continue to contain a nuclear release, and citizens and businesses deal with disruptions," says Simon Tay.
"ASEAN can help by beginning to engage Japan again. It will not be good if Japan drifts and looks
only inward. Continuing with a regional engagement is good for both Japan and ASEAN."
Professor Simon TAY is the Chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. He is a professor at the Law faculty and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore [bio].
ASEAN-China FTA: The calculus of gains and losses in FTA
"The ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) has been in effect for 16 months since January 2010," notes Hank Lim.
"As with other trade agreements, ACFTA is intended to bolster economic growth in the region through trade liberalisation and facilitation. The calculus of gains and loss is more complicated as there is a time frame difference between the two effects."
"In the short-run, some business sectors might get hurt when they cannot compete with increased imports from China, as the case in Indonesia, Thailand and other ASEAN countries. Advocates of free trade argue that in the long run the benefits for the national and regional economies would outweigh the costs, contributing to economic growth and welfare. The problem is that the benefits from free trade are not readily apparent while the losses incurred in some sectors of the economy in the form of business closures and workers layoffs are more visible. Therefore, in any FTA agreement, policy makers must be able to rein domestic politics and initiate structural domestic reforms that would provide benefits as soon as possble to domestic producers and employment."
Dr. Hank LIM is a Senior Research Fellow at the SIIA [bio].