What are the leading trade partnerships in Southeast Asia?
I am glad you asked the question, because I spent far longer than I should have (and wanted to!) using extremely primitive Microsoft Office tools seeking to answer the question in two graphs.
In the first image below is each Southeast Asian nation depicted by the largest source of imports. And yes, if it is too small to see clearly, that import source is China in every country except miniscule Brunei and impoverished Laos, the latter being an economic adjunct to Thailand.
As for Southeast Asia’s main export market for each country, the next image below tells that story.
On this export measure Laos is still aligned with Thailand, while Myanmar, Indonesia and Singapore stay with China. In contrast, Malaysia links to Singapore, Cambodia to the EU, Thailand and Vietnam to the United States and both Brunei and the Philippines to Japan.
FYI the sources were some WTO statistics from the last couple of years. Message me if you seek the details.
Brunei, Cambodia, demographics, Economics, education, environment, health, human rights, Indonesia, jakarta, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, research, security, Singapore, society, Sumatra, technology, Thailand, Vietnam
The post title is shared with the great McKinsey discussion paper here that was prepared for the World Cities Summit 2018 in collaboration with the Centre for Liveable Cities, Singapore.
Reviewing the footnotes there are many related publications. I am open to posting links to these too (where possible), depending on reader feedback.
There is a lot in these 44 pages to absorb. Limiting my thoughts to just one, I am always cautious about expressing certainty over the future. The report wisely (usually) offers statistical ranges, but even these need to be viewed through the lens of merely greater probability.
The report is also silent on the underlying politics, an even greater risk to the assumed certainties.
I will stop there and let you read the paper!
There are a million ways to describe living in Jakarta, but the one you can read here is among my all time favourites.
The article is short, but by goodness the author’s skills as a professional writer come through as he manages to weave a short history of Indonesia’s recent politics and social drama into a small part of his morning.
There were volcanic tremors in Indonesia with Agung volcano in Bali stirring to life as described here, while in Malaysia the political tremors keep coming with the arrest of former Prime Minister Najib Razak as announced here.
And the headline photo above? The best compromise I could find between volcanic impacts and the fading embers of a political dynasty.
While this post is about the alarming resurgence of malaria in Southeast Asia as described here, I want to take you back several years to explain why this story resonates with me.
On my first trip to Indonesia at that time I met two very smart, funny and interesting Indonesian women. Yulee and Julee were very kind to me, and although there were major language problems I liked them immensely.
To my great embarrassment however I mixed up their phone numbers, and with almost identical names and voices I was quickly unsure which of them I was speaking with when I left Indonesia.
I eventually rediscovered who was who and kept in touch, until some months later I got a message from Yulee (which translated as) “Our best friend has gone forever“.
Working out what happened took some time. Yulee didn’t know exactly and the translation confused almost as much as clarified, but it eventually emerged that Julee’s young life was taken quickly by a mix of malaria and Indonesia’s often fatally inadequate public health service.
Thinking of malaria as a critical threat to public health is important, but so too is remembering the impact of the disease on individual lives and families.
Julee was indeed our best friend, and she is gone forever.
Those readers who share my passion for Indonesia’s volcanoes would need no introduction to Rinjani.
For others, I will briefly point out that Rinjani volcano, on the island of Lomok, is a giant of the Indonesian volcanic landscape.
As the picture above, taken from the Rinjani summit, makes clear, this is a volcano whose head sits in the clouds. Rinjani is Indonesia’s second highest volcano, and there is compelling evidence that it was once part of an even higher formation.
Rinjani’s last major eruption was over six hundred years ago, and it was no small event. That particular eruption must have been among the most spectacular in Indonesia’s known volcanic history, which is no ordinary achievement given the competition.
Those interested can see, or read the transcript of, a wonderful television program about that eruption here.
As those with direct memories of World War II pass away our collective memory of that time is increasingly shaped by the available photos.
These photos are usually of poor quality and are almost always in black and white.
As such, it is easy to forget that the war was conducted in vivid colour.
Thanks to the great website here, some of their colour pictures bring the conflict in the Pacific Theatre (and thus the Southeast Asian region) to historical life.
There are hundreds of pages and tens of thousands of pictures, so feel free to search for better examples than the ones that follow.
I will gladly update this post with other relevant links that readers can offer.