A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia
Malaysia and India’s bilateral agreement, MICECA, is set to be implemented July 1st. The agreement may double bilateral trade by 2015; in particular, it will be a major boost to the services sector and will increase human capital movement.
ASEAN senior officials agreed to support Myanmar as chair in 2014. This approval comes despite former threats by the EU and US to boycott in 2005, if Myanmar assumed leadership.
A UN report revealed that China is emerging as a major, new investor in Latin America; ninety percent of its investments are targeted at extracting natural resources, particularly mining. China is planning to diversify its investments into the infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.
China may cut railway investments by more than 200 billion yuan this year, from its previous target of 700 billion yuan. Led by the new railway minister’s “conservative development” strategy, a slowdown may limit the increasing debt faced by rapid railway expansion.
South Korea has announced it will invest in yuan as its foreign exchange currency reserves passed $300 billion. Korea wishes to diversify in light of the current dollar devaluation and in anticipation of the yuan’s rise as the dominant global currency.
The Korea-EU FTA passed the legislature in Seoul, a final step in ensuring the implementation of the world’s second largest free trade agreement. This deal may result in an over 3 percent increase in Korea’s GDP. The ratification came on the heels of US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke’s visit to South Korea in efforts to promote ratification of the Korea-US FTA, on hold since 2007.
According to a new report, China has increased the number of applications for defense related patents. Not only has there been a rise in volume, but there has also been a shift to more advanced technologies.
South Korea has developed a vertical launching system (VLS) for about 3,000-ton heavy attack submarines, which will be deployed after 2018. This marks the first time that a VLS development has been confirmed by the government. The VLS will make it possible to launch long-range cruise missiles at North Korean targets.
A forty-year-old military exchange between South Korea and Taiwan is set to end in favor of the launch of a similar program with China. The program was regarded as an impediment to establishing strategic partnership cooperation between the ROK and PRC.
Please note that the opinions expressed by AsiaEye bloggers are theirs alone, and do not reflect the official positions of the Project 2049 Institute.
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The Project 2049 Institute seeks to guide decision makers toward a more secure Asia by the century’s mid-point. The Institute is the only Washington-based think tank that focuses exclusively on future-oriented studies of the Asia Pacific.