Author Archives | Margaux Schreurs

Indian PM Modi’s visit puts Bhutan in the spotlight

This June, Narendra Modi, India’s new Prime Minister, has chosen Bhutan as the destination for his first foreign visit. This decision has important consequences for Bhutan and its future economic path. Narendra Modi’s visit to Bhutan has set a tone for his future foreign policy endeavors. Although Bhutan was not the obvious first choice for foreign […]

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

China-Vietnam conflict points to geopolitical shift

With tensions increasing on both sides, maritime border disputes are directly affecting life and economic production in both China and Vietnam. However, the disagreements also point to China’s growing assertiveness and shifting geopolitical power. Territorial disputes between Vietnam, the Philippines, China, Brunei and Malaysia over resource rich islands and regions have escalated over the past […]

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China high speed rail

China plans multi-continent high-speed railway

China has announced plans to build a network of high-speed rail lines across several continents. Pollution, cost and safety concerns could be major obstacles to implementing the plan. In China’s latest efforts to demonstrate its technological advancement and ingenuity, the Chinese Academy of Engineering has announced a plan to build a high-speed railway that would take […]

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China ghost cities

3 factors that will affect China’s GDP growth rate this year

Economists and China watchers alike have waited for news on whether China’s growth will remain high. Contrary to popular belief, a decline in growth would actually signify effective implementation of reforms and a healthier Chinese economy. China-watchers and economists alike continue to worry whether China’s economic growth is sustainable. However, if China is implementing its […]

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Indonesia mine

New regulations for Indonesia’s mining sector lead to export standstill

Indonesia has placed an export ban on mined ore to encourage local processing. The regulatory changes have been met with resistance from international mining companies, and investor confidence in Indonesia’s mining sector has already suffered as a result. The Indonesian government banned the export of mined ore on January 12th, as a way to entice miners into […]

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China factory (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Is China’s era as the world’s factory coming to an end?

A Chinese economic slowdown is a growing fear. January’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) of 50.5 seems to confirm such fears, as China’s manufacturing sector now comes dangerously close to not only slowing down, but contracting. China’s official manufacturing PMI fell to 50.5 in January 2014, down from 51.0 in December 2013. This is a six-month […]

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Foreign ownership of banks increases in Vietnam

Vietnam increases foreign bank ownership

Vietnam looks to attract more foreign investment to sustain growth trajectories. The government hopes that changing regulations of foreign ownership of its banks will attract more capital. To boost growth of the Vietnamese banking system, the Vietnamese government will allow foreign investors to own a bigger share in its banks. However, many fear that this […]

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Cambodian protests highlight deeper corruption issues

Recent surveys have ranked Cambodia highly on the corruption index and low on investor attractiveness within the ASEAN region. The recent spate of protests are reinforcing the obstacles that Cambodia still has to face to boost its economic development and instate its position as a nation attractive to foreign investors. The latest protests in Phnom […]

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Will demographics cause China to slow down?

Since the Third Plenum, China has been preoccupied with ongoing changes to its demographics. As much of Asia’s miracle growth has been attributed to demographics, changes to the composition of China’s population are cause for concern. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People’s Republic of China released data indicating just how […]

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Mekong River commerce

Laos’ Mekong dam construction threatens food security

With a reported 60 million people dependent on the Mekong River’s ecological environment, the Lao government’s decision to build a new dam in the Don Sahong area is ringing alarm bells throughout Southeast Asia. Laos has announced plans to construct its second Mekong hydropower project in the Don Sahong area, backed by foreign business investment, with a start […]

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