Australia's High Housing Costs Heighten Hospitality Headwinds

Watch any tourism or branding campaign for an Australian city, and chances are you’ll see plenty of appealing imagery of amenities in and around the CBD – be it restaurants, nightclubs, parks or galleries. It is a common mantra in urban planning that good “amenity” is valuable to the economy both in its own right, particularly to attract tourism, and for attracting a productive workforce that boosts the economy more generally.

Pessimism is Taking Over Mozambique

It is unsettling how quickly the shine can come off a development success story. Only a few years ago, Mozambique was standing at the helm of sustained and rapid economic growth. Optimism was nurtured by high commodity prices, robust foreign direct investment and warm relations with development financing agencies.

Economic and social wobbles after the global financial crisis seemed to have been relegated to the past. Political minds were even discussing how to achieve annual growth rates in the double digits.

Australia's Dynamic View of Asia

As the China boom passes into history and Australians are left to rethink their relationship with that vast country, politicians will seek to craft a new ‘Asia’ in the Australian imagination in response to new circumstances. That has, after all, long been the pattern.

Is China Dreaming?

The ‘China Dream’, a signature slogan of President Xi Jinping, has drawn worldwide attention. At a time when the growing assertiveness of China is being linked to the revival of the idea of Sino-centrism, the resurgence of a once ‘humiliated’ nation is being viewed by some countries with much apprehension. However, what exactly is Xi’s vision of the ‘China Dream’?

Suppressing Middle and Working Class Pakistanis

The public park targeted in the recent suicide bombing in Lahore was popular with families. It is one of the largest green spaces in the city; a place where middle- and working-class Pakistanis go to picnic, exercise and play with their children. The attack targeted Christians — a predominantly working-class community in Pakistan — who were celebrating Easter. Yet most of the 72 people killed were middle- and working-class Muslims.

The Dutch Government Faces a No-Confidence Vote

In what is possibly one of the under-appreciated political events of the year, the Netherlands holds a plebiscite today on an associational agreement with Ukraine already approved by the Dutch parliament, the European Parliament and all other 27 EU members. 

When stated so baldly, it is difficult to see what is at stake. Yet the consequences of a no vote, which seems likely, will send reverberations throughout Dutch politics, the EU, and the geopolitical balance in central Europe.   

Myanmar's SEZs are Quite a Prize

China and Japan are eager to be involved in massive special economic zone (SEZ) projects in Myanmar, amid rising economic competition in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Since 2011, Myanmar has rapidly improved its diplomatic relations with the West and Japan in order to broaden its economic relations and mitigate its excessive dependence on China.

The Complexities of Vietnam's Reform Path

In late January 2016, the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) held its 12th National Congress to select leaders and set policy guidelines for the next five years. Although every VCP congress is a time of intense power struggles, the 12th Congress was especially partisan. Never before has politics in Vietnam been so reduced to the choice between two individuals.

The 'Nine-Dash Line' and...Fishing?

Western and Asian governments and commentators have pilloried the Chinese government for its inscrutability on the so-called ‘nine-dash line’ in the South China Sea. Because the nine-dash line allegedly lacks a basis in international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), they have hectored China to clarify the line’s meaning and to derive all maritime claims from the textual provisions of the Convention.