China has become a major source for tourists for all Southeast Asian states. Laos is no exception in trying to attract this revenue earner. Improved connectivity through high-speed rail is one way to harness this potential and ensure Laos stays competitive in this market.
India and Japan have joined hands in engaging in economic diplomacy with Africa and the rest of Asia, with the goal of social and economic development of the developing countries in these two continents.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative has its detractors and opponents. To some it is an existential threat. Given its Leviathan nature that is no wonder. Of course, the BRI also has its enthusiasts and supporters.
Out of the top ten biggest companies by market capitalization at the end of May 2017, seven belong to the new economy. Except for the third-ranking Microsoft, none of the other six was a household name twenty years ago.
Within the Asia-Pacific, there are opportunities for China’s role to grow, for example, by contributing to the region’s connectivity through the Belt and Road Initiative and the multilateral Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
In a surprising move on May 12, 2017, just a day before the opening of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, Nepal signed the framework agreement in Kathmandu. However, this has raised strategic apprehensions in India.
With deepening cooperation between China and countries along the Belt and Road, more needs to be done in institutional arrangement, policy chains, risk assessment and control as well as communication at different levels.
In 1986, Vietnam instituted economic reforms known as Doi Moi. In 1995, former US President Bill Clinton normalized relations with Vietnam. With US support, Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization.