Regional Outlook, Global Perspective

Last August, ASEAN turned 50 years old. It will have much to celebrate since its launch in Bangkok by the five founding members, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Their goal was to become an integrated socio-economic grouping that would transform Southeast Asian into a peaceful and prosperous region.  With the eventual addition of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, it now has a combined GDP of US$2.4 trillion and is the third fastest-growing ... Read more...

Once a recipient of foreign aid, Indonesia is now set to provide the same help to other countries in need. In her annual foreign policy statement recently, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi announced the establishment of ‘Indonesia Aid’, an agency that she says will be responsible for delivering social and economic assistance to people and places stricken by conflict and natural disasters. Indonesia was one of the first countries to offer humanitarian assistance in the wake of las... Read more...

     Most Southeast Asian economies are likely to enter a boom period in 2018 thanks to strong exports and solid domestic demand. Top performers such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam are expected to see their annual GDP expanding faster than the rest, exceeding 6 percent, as manufacturing and services sectors further recover from sluggish global demand. Meanwhile, top commodity producer Indonesia will benefit from higher prices, particularly for coal, metals and palm oil.     Un... Read more...

Ever wondered why, despite all the infrastructure to combat corruption, it continues to erode every attempt at nation-building? Could it be because corruption has embedded itself in the culture and become collective in nature? At least that’s what it looks like in some Southeast Asian countries. Over the past decade or so, many innovative ways have been found to prevent and crack down on all forms of graft and illegal levies. Indonesia’s Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK), for example, has ... Read more...