Manu writes regularly for The Edge Singapore where these blogs first appeared.
In the past year and a half, the issue of the 99-year leases on Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats has triggered off much debate. Now might be a good time to step back and examine what exactly has changed as a result of this debate and what the broader implications are. In fact, this issue could be a major game changer in many areas.
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are the economic engine of Indonesia. In 2013, MSMEs accounted for up to 70 percent of Indonesia’s total gross domestic product, and more than 95 percent of the country’s workforce works in an MSME. And women owned nearly four in ten of those MSMEs in 2015.
Southeast Asia scarcely disappoints with its capacity to produce uplifting surprises. Malaysia’s voters recently proved the pundits wrong and elected a reformist government that is taking on that country’s challenges with gusto. Since 1998, Indonesia has done the same by pulling off one of the most impressive democratic transitions among emerging market economies.
In the past year, the global environment for Asian economies has grown ever more uncertain. The outlook for critically important drivers of Asia’s well-being – demand for its exports, prices of oil and other key commodities, geo-political pressures, the functioning of the trade regime – are all subject to greater unpredictability. It might be useful therefore to identify the most important variables…
The cyclical uplift in the global economy is set to continue, generating ever growing trade flows which will boost Asian economies. That’s good news for economic growth in the near term. But, what matters for Asia’s long term economic development is foreign direct investment (FDI) which can build the foundations of future growth through skills development, technology transfer, provision of financial capital.