New and Noteworthy

A High-level Summary of the informal Senior Officials Meeting

December 17, 2019

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Malaysia’s Key 2020 APEC Meetings

December 17, 2019

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Malaysia's APEC/ABAC Year ahead

December 16, 2019

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Chile cancels climate and Apec summits amid mass protests

October 31, 2019

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CNBC Interview - Longstanding economic frustration is fueling HK's protests

August 07, 2019

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US-China trade war should not overshadow Apec’s role in offering a safe space for testing out bold ideas

February 20, 2019

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APEC CBET free e-Learning course

June 14, 2018

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APEC 2018 Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) - Blog3

March 05, 2018

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APEC 2018 Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) - Blog2

February 28, 2018

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APEC 2018 Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) - Blog 1

February 27, 2018

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Keep shoulders to the wheel, urge Asia-Pacific business leaders

November 08, 2017

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HK Leads Online Dispute Resolution Initiative in APEC

October 09, 2017

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Kristine at ABD-ABAC-APFF-Fintech Workshop - Blog 2

July 06, 2017

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Kristine at ABD-ABAC-APFF-Fintech Workshop - Blog 1

July 05, 2017

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APEC 2017 Second Senior Officials Meetings (SOM2) - Blog 3

May 12, 2017

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APEC 2017 Second Senior Officials Meetings (SOM2) - Blog 2

May 11, 2017

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APEC 2017 Second Senior Officials Meetings (SOM2) - Blog 1

May 10, 2017

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APEC 2017 Informal Senior Officials' Meeting (iSOM) - Blog 1

December 12, 2016

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International Workers are not Immigrants

September 26, 2016

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The APEC STAR Database Enable Service Companies Access Overseas Markets

September 12, 2016

David Dodwell, Executive Director, the Hong Kong-APEC Trade Policy Group and Chief Executive, Strategic Access Limited, gave a presentation on the APEC “STAR” Datanase at Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce on Monday, September 5, 2016.

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Why We Need APEC

August 29, 2016

APEC Senior Officials meeting in Lima offers reassuring vision for trade liberalisation. As the voices of protectionism and xenophobia have risen, perhaps APEC’s work is more important than ever. 

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David Dodwell's Blog on APEC Senior Official Meetings in Lima - Blog 4

August 22, 2016

APEC Senior Officials meeting in Lima this week organized a full day workshop on “Healthy Women, Healthy Economies” to discuss headway being made on the Policy Toolkit developed by US-ATAARI on how to lift female participation in the workforce as a means of boosting productivity and competitiveness. After attending the meeting, David Dodwell contributed the following article to a leading Hong Kong newspaper

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David Dodwell's Blog on APEC Senior Official Meetings in Lima - Blog 3

August 18, 2016

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David Dodwell's Blog on the Third APEC Senior Official Meetings in Lima- Blog 1 & 2

August 17, 2016

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Fintech opens doors for regulatory cooperation

July 19, 2016

Hiroyuki Suzuki, the Chairman of the finance and economics working group of the APEC Business Advisory Council(ABAC) and Vice-chairman of the Nomura Research Institute, as well as Julius Parrenas, senior adviser at the Nomura Institue of Capital Markets Research and ABAC Senior staffer gave an interview for South China Morning Post. 

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Dodwell's blog on the Second Senior Officials' Meetings in Peru

May 16, 2016

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[SCMP Column]Aerial Torture

March 07, 2016

This might just make these long-haul journeys commercially viable: up to now, such long flights have been commercially disastrous. In 2004, Singapore airlines launched direct flights from Singapore to New York and Los Angeles. A year later, Thai Airways tried direct flights from Bangkok to Los Angeles, and American Airlines began flying from Chicago to Delhi. But by 2013 all of these services had been cancelled. Of course, soaring fuel prices did not help, but the economics proved impossible. In order to carry enough fuel for the journey, Singapore Airlines had to cut its passenger load from the normal 300 down to 170. Even making the flights business-class only could not make them pay.

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[SCMP Column]Signs of Life

March 05, 2016

In short, the reasons why companies and consumers are still unwilling to begin relaxing and spending seem very clear. Quite why so many economic policymakers don’t recognize or acknowledge these forces perplexes me. Whatever the reason, it seems much more adversity lies ahead before the patient on the emergency room table begins to show signs of sustainable life.  [ Read More ]

Chief Executive has re-appointed Mr Anthony Nightingale as Hong Kong, China's Representative to ABAC

January 08, 2016

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What does TPP mean? - Mr David Dodwell's ATV Newsline Interview

October 18, 2015

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Dodwell's blog 8 on SOM3 in Cebu

September 08, 2015

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Dodwell's blog 8 on SOM3 in Cebu

September 08, 2015

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Dodwell's blog 7 on SOM3 in Cebu

September 07, 2015

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Dodwell's blog 6 on SOM3 in Cebu

September 04, 2015

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Dodwell's blog 4 on SOM3 in Cebu

September 02, 2015

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Dodwell's blog 5 on SOM3 in Cebu

September 02, 2015

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Dodwell's blog 3 on SOM3 in Cebu

September 01, 2015

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Dodwell's blog 2 on SOM3 in Cebu

August 31, 2015

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Dodwell's blog 1 on SOM3 in Cebu

August 27, 2015

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APEC Business Travel Card to be Extended to Five Years

July 30, 2015

As a landmark step by APEC's Business Mobility Group to improve business travellers' access to APEC economies, the validity of APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) is to be extended from three to five years from September 1.The ABTC scheme is designed to enhance the mobility of busienss travellers in APEC member economies and therefore promote busienss in the region. It offers qualified business traveller short-stay, multiple-entry to participating APEC member economies as well as priority lane access at the key immigration checkpoints in member economy airport.   [ Read More ]

Tentative Celebration for TPP

June 25, 2015

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Dodwell's blog on SOM2 in Boracay - Post 5

May 18, 2015

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Dodwell's blog on SOM2 in Boracay - Post 4

May 15, 2015

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Dodwell's blog on SOM2 in Boracay - Post 2

May 14, 2015

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Dodwell's blog on SOM2 in Boracay - Post 3

May 14, 2015

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Dodwell's blog on SOM2 in Borocay - Post 1

May 11, 2015

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Dodwell's blog on High Level Policy Dialogue on Human Capacity Building in PNG

May 07, 2015

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Dodwell's Closing blog on ABAC2 Mexico

April 27, 2015

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Dodwell's Blog on ABAC2 Mexico

April 24, 2015

The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Second Meeting (ABAC2) was successfully held at the Camino Real Polanco Mexico Hotel, Mexico City, Mexico, April 20-23, 2015. Mr Anthony Nightingale, Mr Henry Lau and Mr David Dodwell attended the meeting. 
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Documents of Symposium on the APEC 2015 Priorities and Informal Senior Officials’ Meeting (ISOM)

December 27, 2014

1. Summary of the Symposium

2. Report on the APEC Symposium and ISOM

3. APEC 2015 Priorities 

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Dodwell's Blog on APEC 2014 ISOM Meetings in Manila

December 17, 2014

The Philippine APEC year was formally launched on December 8-9 with the Informal Senior Officials Meeting (iSOM) and the brainstorm symposium attached to it.
The meeting was originally planned for Legazpi City in Albay province, but as Typhoon Hagupit bowled in towards the central Philippines in the days before iSOM, officials agreed at the very last minute to retrench to Manila. With 60+ days of APEC meetings scheduled for the Philippines next year, and with the country being battered by an average of 20 typhoons a year, this was clearly a dress rehearsal for emergency readjustments that will inevitably occur several times over the year.
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Selected Commentaries on APEC Summit 2014

November 17, 2014

1. Economist: The APEC and the Pacific Rim

2. SCMP: APEC Rivalry is only part of a broader Sino-US Relationship

3. NYT: China's Climate Change Plan raises questions

4. Foreign Affairs: Strategic Logic of Trade

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Landmark Agreement to Extend APEC Business Travel Card Announced

November 14, 2014

The lifespan of the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) that expedites travel and border entry between all 21 APEC member economies has received in-principle agreement to increase in validity from three to five years. The agreement aims to further improve business conditions and facilitate the mobility of businesspeople across the Asia-Pacific. 

Through a single application, the ABTC offers businesspeople three-year, short-stay multiple entry to participating member economies and express lane access at key immigration checkpoints in APEC member economy airports. TheAPEC Business Mobility Group, which administers the ABTC scheme, looks forward to progressing extension discussions towards implementation of the agreement.  


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APEC Leaders Issue Declaration in Beijing

November 12, 2014

APEC Leaders Issue Declaration in Beijing
Issued by Issued by the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting

The following annexes accompany the Declaration:

  • Annex A - The Beijing Roadmap for APEC's Contribution to the Realization of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP)
  • Annex B - APEC Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chain Development and Cooperation
  • Annex C - APEC Accord on Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth
  • Annex D - APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025

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SMEs at risk of losing out in high-stakes Innovation Wars

October 24, 2014

Mr Marc Andreessen, a widely respected venture capitalist, says: "Companies in every industry need to assume that a software revolution is coming.
Over the next 10 years, the battles between incumbents and software-powered insurgents will be epic."

Source: Straits Times 
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Could vertical farms feed the world?

September 22, 2014

"Academic studies have found that locally-cultivated vertical farms – stacked greenhouses that use artificial light to grow crops – can provide considerable savings, which could then be passed along to consumers. But questions about such farms’ fundamental economics, especially for commodity crops, have persisted."

Source: World Economic Forum

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Water Wars: The new conflicts of the future could be sparked by climate change

September 19, 2014

To the long list of the world's woes, add another: the growing impact of climate change, which could heighten tensions among nations and even spark new wars. That's the grim assessment of the government's new National Intelligence Strategy, which lays out what America's top spies think are the major challenges facing U.S. national security.
The document, released Thursday, is a kind of road map of hazards meant to help U.S. intelligence agencies decide which of the world's biggest problems to study most intensively over the next four years. Water shortages, as well as fierce competition for food and energy, will continue to bedevil leaders in the United States and abroad, the document concludes. "Many governments will face challenges to meet even the basic needs of their people as they confront demographic change, resource constraints, effects of climate change, and risks of global infectious disease outbreaks."
The strain of a growing world population, coupled with the effects of pollution and climate change, has taxed many of the water systems that feed the world's people and are vital for agriculture. More than half of the world's wetlands have disappeared, and climate change around the world has altered weather patterns and led to water shortages, experts say.
Scarcity now poses a global security threat that U.S. intelligence agencies take as seriously as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, according to the strategy, which was produced by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees all American intelligence agencies.

Source: Foreign Policy
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Dodwell's Blog on APEC 2014 SOM 3 Meetings in Beijing

September 11, 2014

Third APEC Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM3) 
and Related Meetings were held in Beijing, China from Aug 6 to 21, 2014.


Our Executive Director David Dodwell, also a ABAC HK staffer, ran a live blog from Beijing, highlighting key issues of discussions in the SOM 3 meetings. Through the various posts from Beijing, this 'live blog' has kept ABAC members and staffers informed on the key issues that were discussed and achieved over such an extended period of meetings.

David shares 7 blog posts from Beijing.


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The Philippines’ booming economy is causing a maid drain in Hong Kong and Singapore

September 10, 2014


The Philippines’ economy has been one of Asia’s best performersrecently, and is forecast by the World Bank to increase by more than 6%annually over the next three years.

This growth is having a disconcerting effect on the “maid trade” in Hong Kong and Singapore, employment agents in both cities say. In both cities, tens of thousands of Filipino women work long hours cooking, cleaning and caring for children for about $500 a month, often while separated from their own children and families for years. Now there’s evidence some of these women are opting to stay home instead.

There’s no evidence yet that fewer Filipinos overall are actually heading overseas for work, and overall domestic unemployment remains high. But given the country’s strong economic growth forecast, Filipino workers from around the world may be coming home in larger numbers in years to come.

Source: Quartz
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The world is marching back from globalisation

September 05, 2014


The open trading system is fragmenting. The collapse of the Doha round spoke to the demise of global free-trade agreements. The advanced economies are looking instead to regional coalitions and deals – the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact. The emerging economies are building south-south relationships. Frustrated by a failure to rebalance the International Monetary Fund, the Brics nations are setting up their own financial institutions.

Domestic politics, north and south, reinforces these trends. If western leaders have grown wary of globalisation, many of their electorates have turned positively hostile. Globalisation was sold in the US and Europe as an exercise in enlightened self-interest – everyone would be a winner in a world that pulled down national frontiers. It scarcely seems like that to the squeezed middle classes, as the top 1 per cent scoop up the gains of economic integration.

Much as the south has prospered within the old rules – China’s admission to the World Trade Organisation has been the biggest geopolitical event so far of the present century – yet the new powers show scant enthusiasm for multilateralism. The old order is widely seen as an instrument of US hegemony. India scuppered the latest attempt to reinvigorate the WTO.

Globalisation needs an enforcer – a hegemon, a concert of powers or global governance arrangements sufficient to make sure the rules are fairly applied. Without a political architecture that locates national interests in mutual endeavours, the economic framework is destined to fracture and fragment.

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Humanities can drive economies

September 04, 2014

"Business leaders often argue that the widening education gap – the disparity between what young people learn and the skills that the job market demands – is a leading contributor to high unemployment and slow growth in many countries. For their part, governments seem convinced that the best way to close the gap is to increase the number of students pursuing degrees in the so-called “STEM” subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Are they right?

The short answer is no. Indeed, the two main arguments underpinning claims that inadequate education is to blame for poor economic performance are weak, at best.

The first argument is that the lack of appropriately skilled workers is preventing companies from investing in more advanced equipment. But that is not how economic development usually works. Instead, firms begin to invest, and either workers respond to the possibility of higher wages by acquiring (at their own cost) the required skills, or firms provide their current and future employees with the relevant training.

The second argument is that it is increasingly difficult for the United States and other advanced countries to match the gains that developing countries have achieved by investing heavily in upgraded equipment, targeted higher education, and skills training. But, again, this contradicts traditional trade dynamics, in which one country’s success does not imply hardship for another."

Source: Project Syndicate

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APEC Ministers outline new partnership framework on oceans

September 02, 2014

APEC Ministers outline new partnership framework on oceans

Ministers from APEC member economies have outlined a new regional framework to address oceans-related challenges. 

The Xiamen Declaration was issued by Ministers following their just concluded meeting here. It details measures to establish more integrated and sustainable ocean partnership in the Asia-Pacific region. 

The Xiamen Declaration can be viewed at this link. 

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JCER World Business Climate Index for June

August 26, 2014

The JCER World Business Climate Index for June remained unchanged at -2.7, rating "rainy" for two months straight.

The business climate in Japan declined for three consecutive months due to the country's consumption tax hike

The EU, US, ASEAN and BRICs indices all showed improvements.

The BRICs index picked up for the first time in four months.

China and India
 indices made improvements from the previous month.

Brazil and Russia indices slipped further.

Out of all the major countries and regions, the US topped the index, driven by increased production and consumption. 

Source: Japan Center for Economic Research

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APEC opening environmental goods market

August 26, 2014

APEC economies are manoeuvring to ensure the realization of their landmark commitment to boost free trade in “environmental goods” that promote green growth and sustainable development while laying a foundation for the opening of a major cross section of this USD1 trillion sector and potentially others globally. 

The building of technical capacity among APEC economies to reduce tariffs on a list of 54 products such as solar panels and wind turbines to five per cent or less by the end of 2015 has been a focus of trade officials from the region gathered in Beijing over the last two weeks. Progress was reported during a meeting of APEC Senior Officials that concludes on 21 Aug.


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From Global Factory to Global Mall: East Asia's Changing Trade Composition

August 25, 2014


This paper studies how East Asia's trade composition and orientation have changed over the past decade and analyzes the implications for the region and beyond. Over the last 2 decades we have witnessed the emergence of regional and global supply chains, in which production is divided into production stages or tasks across the most competitive locations. East Asia has been the most successful region in the world in building up or joining regional and global supply chains and has been described as "Factory Asia" (Baldwin 2008). Introducing a new and simple analytical tool, we show that over the past decade East Asia has successfully consolidated its role as the "Global Factory." Furthermore, studying East Asia's recent trade patterns in primary, intermediate, capital, and consumption goods, our results indicate that East Asia is on track to becoming one of the biggest "malls" in the world. Whereas in 1999–2000 around half of all consumption goods exported by East Asia went to the United States and the European Union-27, in 2011–2012 half stayed in the region or were traded with the rest of the world.

Download the paper: ADBI
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The 12 Key Projects Supporting Tokyo Vision 2020

August 21, 2014

How does Tokyo prepare for the 2020 Olympic Game? 

Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Government [ Read More ]

China Statistics, August 2014

August 15, 2014

A curated collection of market data on China's economy, with special reference to sourcing, supply chains, distribution and retail.

Fung Business Intelligence Centre July PMI report (dated August) on manufacturing in China

jointly published by China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing (CFLP) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)] [ Read More ]

Panasonic Contributes to Singapore's Self-Sufficiency Level of Vegetables with First Indoor Vegetable Farm

August 05, 2014

SINGAPORE, Aug 01, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Panasonic Factory Solutions Asia Pacific (Panasonic) announced today its pilot commercial supply of locally-harvested vegetables to Japanese restaurant, Ootoya. The premium Japanese crop varieties, mini red radish; red leafy lettuce; and mizuna (potherb mustard) are cultivated in the country’s first licensed indoor vegetable farm with controlled and optimised conditions. In land scarce Singapore where only 8% of vegetables consumed are grown in local farms*, Panasonic aims to contribute to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority’s (AVA) vision of raising self-sufficiency level for leafy vegetables through its technology and harvest. The company targets to increase its contribution to local production from the current 0.015% to 5% by FY2016, fiscal year ending March 2017.
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The Global Workforce Crisis: $10 Trillion at Risk

August 04, 2014

By 2030, the Potential Value Squandered Because of Labor Shortages and Surpluses Could Exceed 10 Percent of World GDP, or Nearly 60 Percent of U.S. GDP, According to a New Report by The Boston Consulting Group

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Labour shortages could cost US$10 trillion if worker flows aren't better managed

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Regional trade deals can advance integration of economies

July 17, 2014



Patrick Low is vice-president of research at the Fung Global Institute

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Deeper integration should be the way to go for trade deals

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Unleashing the Full Potential of SMEs: Beyond Financing

June 30, 2014

A strong SME sector can be the major source of job creation and growth in an economy. It rests, however, on creating and maintaining a strong, supportive ecosystem, which is ultimately a question of governance.

To download the paper please click here

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Scientists Say Water Shortages Threaten China’s Agriculture

June 27, 2014

China has a fifth of the globe’s population but only 7 percent of its available freshwater reserves. Moreover, its water resources are not evenly distributed. The lands north of the Yangtze River—including swaths of the Gobi desert and the grasslands of Inner Mongolia—are the driest, but more than half of China’s people live in the north.

Water is not well managed in China. Nearly two-thirds of water withdrawals in China are for agriculture. Due to the use of uncovered irrigation channels (leading to evaporation) and other outdated techniques, a significant portion of that water never reaches the field.

A new paper by scientists in China, Japan, and the U.S. published in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences sounds the alarm: “China faces … major challenges to sustainable agriculture,” the authors write. Failure to conserve water resources could threaten China’s food security, a longtime priority for the country’s leaders.

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Tech Immigrants: A Map of Silicon Valley's Imported Talent

June 25, 2014

Source: Bloomberg

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