International Organizations

AIIB: Breaking Bottlenecks in South Asia


South Asia’s economic potential has long been constrained by low levels of economic integration. Despite being closely linked geographically, culturally and historically, intra-regional trade is very low. A major problem has of course, been political difficulties within and between South Asian countries. However, an important, and overlooked, barrier to greater economic integration is the poor quality and inadequate investment in infrastructure in the region. The newly established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) can play a pivotal role in fixing this problem.

Finding Value in Sunnylands


Since ASEAN’s creation in 1967, it has contributed enormously to regional stability and prosperity. It consists of 10 countries whose populations total over 600 million people. In addition, its economy ranks collectively as the third largest economy in Asia and the seventh largest in the world.

Slowing Growth Collides with China's Turn at G20 Presidency


The last time G20 finance ministers met in China back in 2005, the country was the world’s fifth-largest economy. As the next two-day meeting begins, with China as president, it lies in second spot, having overtaken several other G20 members: first the UK, then Germany, and most recently Japan.

With US economic momentum uncertain and concerns that the Federal Reserve’s recent interest rate rise might have been premature, many will be looking to growth in China to keep the global economy moving forward.

UN Security Council to Japan: Not Yet


January 2016 marked the beginning of Japan’s most recent two-year term as an elected, non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). This is Japan’s 11th term, the most of any nation in the world. Japan’s dream is to become a permanent member of the UNSC. However, can this dream really come true?

On the G20 Agenda, A Sense of Urgency for Some


The G20 finance ministers and central bankers will meet in Shanghai starting tomorrow.   From some quarters, there is a sense of urgency.  The IMF, for example, is likely to cut its world GDP forecast of 3.4% this year.

That forecast is not even two months old.  The tightening of global financial conditions, exemplified by the sharp drop in share prices over the last six weeks is heightening anxiety among policymakers and investors alike. 

Repairing the Holes in the Global Financial Safety Net


On 4 February IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde warned that the global financial safety net — the international resources and institutions designated to fight economic crises and prevent contagion — has become too fragmented and asymmetric. The safety net, she said, needs to be reformed and strengthened.

Maintaining Focus should Help Prevent an ASEAN Split


Despite its economic and strategic importance, the United States has not given priority to ASEAN until recently. There was hope that this would begin to change with the US pivot to Asia in 2009. However, up to November 2015, the progress of this ‘pivot’ seemed to be more of a ‘pirouette’. There was little in the way of results except general statements and US leaders often did not come to the meetings. Will the US–ASEAN Summit in Sunnylands, this week prove to be a turning point?

Sunnylands Summit Especially Meaningful to US Influence in Asia


Can America preserve the US-led regional order by resisting China’s challenge to replace it with ‘a new model of great-power relations’? A lot depends on how much support the United States can expect from its friends and allies in the region. That is why President Obama has invited ASEAN leaders to a special summit at Sunnylands in California next week.

Does the IMF Composition Align with Whom it Represents?


Recently, the International Monetary Fund announced “historic reforms” in its governance. In reality, changes have barely begun. The IMF does not look like the world it purports to represent.

During the global crisis of 2008/9, advanced economies could no longer contain the devastation. As a result, the G20, which includes both advanced and emerging economies, surpassed the old G7 club of Western powers.