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Articles - Dr.THITINAN PONGSUDHIRAK
(September 20, 2019) Politics of regional trade liberalisation 
As multilateral trade negotiations have become unworkable, regional and bilateral alternatives are on the rise. In Thailand's neighbourhood, the most consequential of these trade vehicles is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). As it missed the boat on the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Thailand as Asean chair this year should finalise the RCEP expeditiously and find a way to accede to the CPTPP in the near future. Although the Thai political situation remains murky and contentious, there is enough domestic policy consensus on low-hanging fruits, such as regional and bilateral trade liberalisation, that should be reaped without further delay. 
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(September 6, 2019) ASEAN militaries between US, China 
The inaugural Asean-United States Maritime Exercise (AUMX) this week has sent ripples far and wide to the shores of regional states from Beijing and Tokyo to New Delhi. Hosted by Thailand at its Sattahip naval base in Chon Buri province, the first AUMX comes nearly a year after Asean held a similar maritime drill with China off the coast of Guangdong province. At issue is the intensifying rivalry between the US and China on the one hand and Asean's centrality and geopolitical balance between the two superpowers on the other. Several implications are discernible. 
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(August 30, 2019) Superpower rivalry to put region to test 
More than 18 months in, the trade war between the United States and China is not having its intended effects. Despite a flurry of US-led tariff hikes on Chinese products followed by China's retaliatory tax increases on American-made goods since January last year, the government of President Donald Trump is not perceived to be winning the trade conflict. China has proved more resilient and resourceful than many had anticipated. What this means is that the trade war is going to last much longer than many had expected. It is also likely to spread to other areas beyond trade and degenerate into a full-fledged non-military war. 
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