China’s Latest “Devaluation:” A Currency War in the Making?

China’s currency has, once again, been weakening against the dollar. It is down by more than 4 percent since October, including a fall of more than one percent just last week. Writing in the New York Times, Landon Thomas, Jr. warned that “China’s decision to push the value of its currency lower has opened a […]

The Trans-Pacific Divisions

The White House’s effort to hammer the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in Maui failed. As time is running out for President Obama’s legacy achievement, both Washington and Beijing are reassessing their options. Last week, Pacific Rim officials met on the island of Maui, Hawaii, to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. In addition to trade […]

Why China Is Leading the World in Solar Power

By Andrew Topf: China is the world’s top energy consumer, with the vast majority of its electricity coming from domestically-mined coal. But the Asian nation is cutting its dependence on coal, oil and natural gas and replacing it with solar at a breakneck pace. Between January and the end of June, China added 3.3 gigawatts of solar […]

The Balancing Act: Myanmar Between China and the U.S.

After half a century of isolation, Myanmar’s seeks to sustain its reform momentum. It is a challenging balancing act amidst Chinese rebalancing and America’s pivot to Southeast Asia. As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the ASEAN Regional Forum in Naypyitaw, he wanted the “people of Myanmar to know that they have the […]

Chinese SMEs Gaining Momentum

With the decisive support of Beijing’s leadership, China’s economic reforms are spreading to one of the most critical sectors of employment – the small-and-medium size enterprises (SMEs). China is not known for its resilient small-and-medium-size enterprises (SMEs), as of yet. And still, in August, the SMEs’ PMI figure, which serves as an important indicator of […]

Structural Reforms Can Help Japan’s Post-Consumption Tax Blues

By Stephan Danninger: Japan’s GDP declined by almost 7 percent in the second quarter, more than many had forecast including us here at the IMF.  Many cite the increase in the sales tax this April for this decline.  But that is not the full story. Yes, it is true that consumer responses to major tax increases are difficult […]

Can Japan Afford to Cut Its Corporate Tax?

By Ruud de Mooij and Ikuo Saito: (Versions in 日本語) It is no surprise that, as part of its revised growth strategy presented in June, the Japanese government has announced it will reduce the corporate income tax rate. At more than 35 percent for most businesses, the Japanese rate is one of the highest among the industrialized countries of […]

The “Asianization” of Innovation

For a century, the major economies of Western Europe, the United States and Japan have dominated innovation. Today, they have been joined by large emerging economies, spearheaded by China. We can measure innovation by output indicators, such as patents, that tell us about past success, and input indicators, such as research and development (R&D), which […]

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