Economic systems

Visitors are seen silhouetted against a Chinese Communist Party flag displayed at the Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, China, 3 September 2022. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

China's far-left narratives are leading the country into a dead end

Commentator Lew Mon-hung notes that recent public opinion in China has been advocating a closed-door policy, sharply diverting away from the national policy of reform and opening up taken in 1978. Will China change course and reverse its decades-long process?
A man walks along a street in Beijing on 31 August 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

China’s rise is changing the liberal trade order into a power game

Academic Naoise McDonagh asserts that a key question posed by China’s rise is whether the liberal international order can remain rules-based, when its second largest member is a socialist market economy operating on different rules that it increasingly seeks to apply externally.
Members of social organisations demonstrate after camping overnight at Plaza de Mayo square in front of Casa Rosada Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires on 11 August 2022, during a protest demanding better wages and more jobs and a meeting with Argentina's new economy minister Sergio Massa. Argentina has suffered years of economic crisis, with some 37% of its population now living in poverty. Inflation for the first half of this year alone topped 36%. (Luis Robayo/AFP)

Can the world survive these six crises?

Economics professor Zhang Rui identifies the main crises faced by global economies today, their various effects, and how they are interrelated. How will governments handle these challenges and work together to ease the impact of what seems to be a perfect storm of negative factors?
Pedestrians cross a street in Tokyo's Ginza district on 17 July 2022. (Philip Fong/AFP)

At US$3.2 trillion, Japan's overseas assets is still expanding

Economics professor Zhang Rui believes that Japan’s massive hoard of overseas assets, along with its ultra-loose monetary policy, has allowed its domestic economy to thrive even amid a weakening currency. In addition, the government’s fiscal policies have also made it easy for Japanese investors to venture overseas, adding to Japan’s financial prowess.
A Chinese national flag flies in front of HSBC headquarters in Hong Kong, China, 28 July 2020. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

A geopolitical read of HSBC’s potential split-up

While the drama over a potential split-up of HSBC is still unfolding, what is clear is that geopolitical tensions may raise the stakes on potential financial decoupling down the road. Mixed West-East financial institutions such as HSBC stand at the forefront of the transitions and realignments under way.
People ride escalators at a business district in Beijing, China, on 16 May 2022. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

China's unified national market has its drawbacks and challenges

The Chinese government has recently announced plans to establish a unified national market that is highly efficient, standardised, open and competitive. It would break down walls, raise the standards of the business environment within China and act as a buffer against external pressures. While the intention is good, NUS academic Lu Xi points to possible drawbacks and challenges.
Young women look at panorama of Moskva River and Kremlin at a viewpoint in central Moscow, Russia, 22 March 2022. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

Will de-dollarisation help China and Russia shape a new world order?

Russia and China have a common interest in being less reliant on the dollar in the face of sanctions or anticipated sanctions. But are they moving at the same pace and will their efforts be significant enough to achieve self-reliance and precipitate a sea change in the global economic order?
This file handout picture taken and released on 17 December 2019 by the Indonesian Presidential Palace shows Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (left) during his visit to North Penajam Paser district near Sepaku in East Kalimantan, where the government plans to build its new capital city replacing Jakarta. (Handout/Indonesian Presidential Palace/AFP)

Jokowi's plan for Indonesia's new capital: Who benefits?

A law recently passed by the Jokowi government regarding the relocation of the nation's capital to East Kalimantan has generated much controversy. ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata notes that while there are objections relating to the conservation and ecology in Kalimantan, greater protests are coming from the anti-Jokowi camp that believe only a handful of wealthy people will benefit, and fear that the new capital will be controlled by foreign countries, especially China. Jokowi is in a race against time to move the capital before the next election.
A man wearing a protective mask is seen inside the Shanghai Stock Exchange building at the Pudong financial district in Shanghai, China, 28 February 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Digitalisation: How China’s smaller investment banks could compete with big foreign players

The recent accelerated opening up of China’s capital market has presented a challenge to investment banks in China, which may have seen their role marginalised or bypassed by major foreign players who have international experience and are highly capitalised and better managed. Academics Pei Sai Fan and Peng Chang suggest how investment banks in China can compete and stay relevant.