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I recently returned from two eye-opening weeks in southern Thailand to visit an American friend who had been living there. The beauty of the islands and the friendliness and hospitality of the Thai people made for a wonderful first experience in Asia.
First, there was “Abenomics” in Japan; now, “Choinomics” in South Korea seeks to bring renewed excitement to the market by way of boosting domestic consumption and household income through increased wages and dividend payouts.
What is the significance of the soon-to-be rolled out Shanghai–Hong Kong Connect, also known as the "through train?" This pilot program is designed to provide mutual access for equity investors between the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges. What will be the impact? While incremental, this could be an important step toward opening
China's capital account and aiding in the liberalization of China’s currency.
Known for decades as “the sick man of Asia,” the Philippines made some progress after President Benigno Aquino came to power four years ago. However, now as the president faces three impeachment charges, what’s the prognosis for the country?
Walk the streets of Seoul’s central business district, and you will still likely see smokers congregating in a few designated areas—narrow alleys between buildings, sending up smoke like chimneys. But even that is seen less and less these days as government officials crack down on public smoking. The next phase of Korea’s anti-smoking crusade may involve further taxing its comparatively cheap tobacco products.
Expectations over India’s new Narendra Modi government have been high, given the decisive mandate that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition managed to win in May’s national elections.
Now with the world somewhat less fixated on football (or soccer as I’ve learned to call it here in the U.S.), let us reflect on what observations may be made. Since many of my colleagues and I are from Asia, we paid a bit more attention during the matches to the Asia Pacific teams that competed—South Korea, Japan and Australia—as well as to the U.S.
On Wednesday, Indonesia went to the polls to elect its seventh president. Unofficial results predict a narrow 5% win for Joko Widodo, or Jokowi, over rival Prabowo Subianto. The election marks the end of a 10-year term for outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Indonesia’s first hand-off from one elected leader to another.
If you live in a neighborhood like mine in California, you may also be seeing solar panels popping up like dandelions after a spring shower. Not only are these glossy, blue-black panels environmentally friendly, but their costs are falling and state subsidies have also made them more affordable.
When I was a boy growing up in Northeastern China, I recall waiting every morning for the fresh milk delivery. A man from a local “milk station” would ride up in a three-wheeled cart and hand a glass bottle of milk to my mother. She would then heat it, as was customary then, so I could have it with my breakfast. While I wouldn’t say the milk was necessarily a luxury item in those days, it was still considered precious enough that my parents never really drank it themselves, saving it instead for me and my sisters.