efn Asia
The Release of the Economic Freedom of the World Report 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 September 2013 13:38

Hong Kong again topped the rankings of 151 countries and territories, followed by Singapore, New Zealand, and Switzerland in the Fraser Institute’s annual Economic Freedom of the World report. The United States, once considered a bastion of economic freedom, now ranks 17th in the world. “Unfortunately for the United States, we’ve seen overspending, weakening rule of law, and regulatory overkill on the part of the U.S. government, causing its economic freedom score to plummet in recent years. This is a stark contrast from 2000, when the U.S. was considered one of the most economically free nations and ranked second globally,” said Fred McMahon, Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom with the Fraser Institute. Venezuela has the lowest level of economic freedom worldwide, with Myanmar, Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, and Chad rounding out the bottom five countries. Some nations, like North Korea and Cuba, could not be ranked because of a lack of data.

Avoiding Middle Income Trap PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 September 2013 11:14

By Nonoy Oplas, President, Minimal Government Thinkers, Inc.

Published in Business 360° magazine, September 2013

Many Asian economies are now among the “engine of growth” for some countries within and outside the continent due to their huge contribution to international trade as big exporters/producers  and big importers/consumers, as well as big recipients of foreign remittances.

Such opportunity has allowed many Asian economies to move from low income to middle-income levels, and for the lucky and more technologically advance ones like the four “tiger economies” of Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and S. Korea, to move from middle- to high-income countries.

“Middle income” is defined as having a per capita GDP income based on purchasing power parity (PPP) of $3,000 to $20,000, or $16,000 for other definitions.

“Middle-income trap” (MIT) is the phenomenon of some rapidly growing economies stagnating at middle-income levels and failing to graduate into high-income countries. This is brought about by growth slowdown after sometime.

“How I See Constitutionalism” PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 02 September 2013 17:02

While many political reform advocates in China supported that firmly establishing the Constitution is a way to push change on the basis of a document that already constituted and represented a political consensus, some editorials issued colorful attacks on constitutionalism.  Wang Jianxun, one of EFN Asia individual members from China and an expert in constitutional law who earned a PhD in political science at Indiana University-Bloomington wrote an article called “How I See Constitutionalism” in the latest edition of Yuanhuang Chunqiu.

Southeast and East Asian counties in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2013-2014 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 06 September 2013 18:39

Today we see the release of the GCI. The index provides us the competitiveness landscape of 148 economies, giving insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity.

Our focus is the Southeast and East Asian regions. In general, the competitiveness landscape in the regions remains very mixed. It is home to some of the most competitive nations, including three members of the top 10 (Singapore (2nd), Hong Kong SAR (7th), and Japan (9th)) and some of the most dynamic and rapidly improving economies in terms of competitiveness, such as Indonesia and the Philippines.

On the other hand, a number of Asian countries, such as Timor-Leste, have been unable to improve their competitiveness. This year, the report covers two new countries in the region: Lao PDR (81st), and Myanmar (139th). With the latter two additions, the GCI now offers a full coverage of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In general, we see a lot of good signs of development but we cannot afford to be complacent. Market economic policy is essential in enhancing competitiveness and prevents economic protectionism.

IDEAS to focus on the bottom 40percent, announces new senior appointments PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 August 2013 14:14

14 August 2013, Kuala Lumpur - The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) announces today a new three year strategy to focus on researching for ways to help the bottom 40percent in Malaysia, and that it has made new senior appointments to support the implementation of this new strategy.

IDEAS chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan says:

“From now onwards, the overall theme of our work in IDEAS is making markets work for the poor, underprivileged and the disabled.”


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