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Central Asia in a Reconnecting Eurasia: U.S. Policy Interests and Recommendations

May 27, 2015 Comments off

Central Asia in a Reconnecting Eurasia: U.S. Policy Interests and Recommendations
Source: Center for Strategic & International Studies

Today, with combat operations in Afghanistan winding down, U.S. policy toward the states of Central Asia is transitioning to a third era. The United States now has an opportunity to refashion its approach to the region. In doing so, it should capitalize on trends already underway, in particular the expansion of trade and transit linkages, to help integrate Central Asia more firmly into the global economy, while also working to overcome tensions both within the region itself and among the major neighboring powers with interests in Central Asia. Central Asia in a Reconnecting Eurasia: U.S. Policy Interests and Recommendations examines the full scope of U.S. national interests in Central Asia and puts forward the broad outlines of a strategy for U.S. engagement over the coming years.

How a private-sector transformation could revive Japan

May 25, 2015 Comments off

How a private-sector transformation could revive Japan
Source: McKinsey & Company

Two lost decades have taken a toll on Japan’s competitiveness, but the nation has a window of opportunity to shift its trajectory. A new McKinsey Global Institute report, The future of Japan: Reigniting productivity and growth, highlights potential avenues for growth and renewal, emphasizing areas where the private sector can take the lead. With its working-age population shrinking, Japan will have to rely on productivity as the main catalyst for economic momentum. While continued policy reform is necessary, the private sector is critical to capturing new growth opportunities. If individual companies take action to improve their performance, they could add trillions of dollars of value annually to the world’s third-largest economy.

Overall productivity growth in Japan has stalled below 2 percent for much of the past 20 years. Even Japan’s advanced manufacturing industries, which once introduced the world to the concept of “lean,” lag behind the comparable US and German sectors in labor productivity by almost one-third. A continuation of current trends would lead to annual GDP growth of only 1.3 percent through 2025. This sluggish pace will do little to boost household purchasing power and will only intensify the fiscal pressures of providing social-security and healthcare benefits to an aging population.

Yet if Japan can successfully double its rate of productivity increase by sharply focusing on raising value added and reducing costs, it could boost annual GDP growth to approximately 3 percent. By 2025, Japan’s GDP would increase by up to 30 percent over its current trajectory. The size of the prize would be growth of $1.4 trillion in that year alone (Exhibit 1).

Country Analysis Brief: China

May 19, 2015 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: China
Source: Energy Information Administration

China is the world’s most populous country with a fast-growing economy that has led it to be the largest energy consumer and producer in the world. Rapidly increasing energy demand, especially for petroleum and other liquids, has made China influential in world energy markets.

DoD Release of the Report of Military and Security Developments in China

May 14, 2015 Comments off

DoD Release of the Report of Military and Security Developments in China
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

Department of Defense released the “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China”. This annual report informs Congress of the Department of Defense’s assessment of military and security developments involving China.

As stipulated by law, the report is a DoD product and is transmitted to Congress by the secretary of defense. It is coordinated with other agencies and departments across the U.S. government and is the authoritative assessment from the United States government on military and security developments involving China.

From Humanitarian to Economic: The Changing Face of Vietnamese Migration

May 5, 2015 Comments off

From Humanitarian to Economic: The Changing Face of Vietnamese Migration
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Although war and conflict forced the majority of Vietnamese migration that occurred in the second half of the 20th century, Vietnam’s tremendous economic growth has driven recent migration to and from the country. No longer are the indelible images of people on unseaworthy boats trying to survive pirates to reach refuge on foreign shores the face of Vietnamese migration. With a decade of real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of more than 5 percent annually, unemployment below 6 percent, and a growing labor force, the face of Vietnamese migration today is more likely to be a student pursuing an overseas education, a construction worker in the Middle East, or a Chinese or Canadian tourist visiting the beaches of Nha Trang and boating in Ha Long Bay.

Governance of Online Intermediaries: Observations from a Series of National Case Studies

May 4, 2015 Comments off

Governance of Online Intermediaries: Observations from a Series of National Case Studies
Source: Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University

This project examines the rapidly changing landscape of online intermediary liability at the intersection of law, technology, norms, and markets, and is aimed at informing and improving Internet policy-making globally. It is a first output of a larger initiative on the governance of online intermediaries and represents a globally coordinated, independent academic research project by the Network of Interdisciplinary Internet & Society Research Centers (NoC) consisting of a case study series exploring online intermediary liability frameworks and issues in Brazil, the European Union, India, South Korea, the United States, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam, and a synthesis paper.

Spring 2015 Brookings Panel on Economic Activity

May 3, 2015 Comments off

Spring 2015 Brookings Panel on Economic Activity
Source: Brookings Institution

New research findings at the Spring 2015 BPEA conference by leading academic and government economists include: a cause of growing inequality; the possible outcomes of an early Federal Reserve boost in the interest rates; public sentiment concerning redistributive fiscal plans; the economic welfare impacts of the fracking boom; an assessment of Chinese government-sponsored firms; and the possible consequences of anonymizing big data.

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