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Hong Kong: one country, two systems?

October 23, 2014 Comments off

Hong Kong: one country, two systems?
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The on-going heated debate about the introduction of universal suffrage for the election of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive has turned into widespread protests on the territory’s streets. Hopes that the public would be able to nominate candidates were dashed by China’s decision to allow only committee-based nomination of candidates in the 2017 election. The Occupy Central protests, widely known as the Umbrella Revolution, kicked off on 28 September. Agreement to talks, scheduled for 10 October, saw tensions lowered, but after those talks were cancelled by the authorities, organisers called for protesters to return to the streets. With numbers not reaching earlier heights, the authorities appear to have concluded that the protests’ momentum is going.

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Country Analysis Brief — Malaysia

October 22, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief — Malaysia
Source: Energy Information Administration

Malaysia’s energy industry is a critical sector of growth for the entire economy, and it makes up almost 20% of the total gross domestic product. New tax and investment incentives, starting in 2010, aim to promote oil and natural gas exploration and development in the country’s deepwater and marginal fields as well as promote energy efficiency measures and use of alternative energy sources. These fiscal incentives are part of the country’s economic transformation program to leverage its resources and geographic location to be one of Asia’s top energy players by 2020. Another key pillar in Malaysia’s energy strategy is to become a regional oil and natural gas storage, trading, and development hub that will attract technical expertise and downstream services that can compete in Asia.

Keeping the South China Sea in Perspective

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Keeping the South China Sea in Perspective
Source: Brookings Institution

The United States seeks to promote Asia-Pacific economic interdependence and dynamism and to mitigate security tensions in the region. Unfortunately, maritime territorial disputes in the East China Sea and the South China Sea increasingly threaten these dual objectives of U.S.-Asia policy. This policy brief focuses on the South China Sea set of issues.

Complex Rivalries and Claims in the South China Sea

U.S. Principles and Interests

Recommendations for a Diplomatic Strategy

Issue Guide: What’s at Stake in Hong Kong?

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Issue Guide: What’s at Stake in Hong Kong?
Source: Council on Foreign Relations

Twenty-five years after the brutal Tiananmen crackdown, continuing protests in Hong Kong calling for greater democracy in the territory have once again focused the world’s attention on China’s rise and challenges to its authoritarian rule. The following guide provides background and analysis of the issues at stake for Hong Kong and the wider region.

India — Infrastructure Statistics Publication 2014

October 13, 2014 Comments off

Infrastructure Statistics Publication 2014
Source: Government of India, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation

India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world today. To sustain this economic growth we must have a matching infrastructure. For better infrastructure investment plans we need to anticipate the future requirement and capacity. Otherwise the infrastructure becomes inadequate in a few years leading to the same gap as before. For effective investment policies we must target where needed and in a holistic manner. Policies made in isolation ignoring interconnected infrastructure may not give desired results leading to investment failures. Government’s commitment to improve and expand infrastructure in the country is reflected in the investment in infrastructure during twelfth plan. The total investment in infrastructure during twelfth plan is projected at Rs. 5574663 crore as compared to Rs. 2424277 crore during eleventh plan (at 2011-12 prices).

For effective infrastructure planning and investment decisions a comprehensive database on infrastructure is needed. To meet this requirement, Central Statistics Office has compiled infrastructure statistics under six major sub sectors of infrastructure viz. Transport, Energy, Communication, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Irrigation and Storage. This is the third issue of the publication providing data that would enable to assess the status of current infrastructure, its adequacy and project the future requirements. This issue of the publication is in two volumes. Volume I includes metadata and key indicators on Infrastructure statistics and volume II gives state profiles for each infrastructure sub sector with time series data for latest five years along with graphical analysis, wherever possible.

Hat tip: IWS Documented News Service

Interim Report of the U.S.-Japan Guidelines for Defense Cooperation Released

October 10, 2014 Comments off

Interim Report of the U.S.-Japan Guidelines for Defense Cooperation Released
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The United States and Japan today jointly released the interim report of the ongoing review of the U.S.-Japan Guidelines for Defense Cooperation. A full copy of the report can be found here http://www.defense.gov/pubs/20141003_INTERIM_REPORT.pdf.

ASEAN Study Highlights the Philippines as Country with the Fastest Growth in Illicit Cigarettes

October 6, 2014 Comments off

ASEAN Study Highlights the Philippines as Country with the Fastest Growth in Illicit Cigarettes
Source: Oxford Economics

The Philippines is the fastest-growing and now one of the top two illicit cigarette markets within ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Consumption of illicit cigarettes grew by 198% from 2012 to 2013 according to a newly-released study.

The Philippines now accounts for 34% of all illicit cigarette consumption in ASEAN, second only to Vietnam with 39%. However, uniquely within ASEAN,the Philippine problem can be traced back to domestic illicit cigarettes, according to the Asia-14 Illicit Tobacco Indicator 2013 study.

Domestic illicit cigarettes are produced locally and sold without payment of the required taxes, Non-domestic illicit cigarettes are smuggled contraband or counterfeit originating in another country.

+ Full Report (PDF)

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