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Fri Jan 9 2015, 8:30am–5:30pm

Where: Orchard Hotel Singapore, 442 Orchard Rd, Orchard Road, Singapore

Restrictions: All ages

Listed by: eaitanj

East Asia Outlook 2015

Organised by East Asian Institute (EAI), National University of Singapore

The overall growth prospects of East Asia that includes China, Japan and South Korea may look good in 2015. Yet, the governments in these three countries have to grapple with a number of pressing challenges in sustaining growth. In China, the economy has entered a “new normal” period of lower growth. The foremost challenge lies in implementing the much needed reforms to support China’s transformation towards a more efficient, more equitable and more sustainable growth. This task is more difficult in light of President Xi Jinping’s centralisation of power and austere anti-corruption campaign which has made the central bureaucracies and local governments much more averse to taking risks. For reforms to succeed, it would appear that officials now need to be both bold and innovative while being squeaky clean, which is a difficult balancing act.

In Japan, Abenomics with its monetary, fiscal and restructuring thrusts has so far failed to address years of deflation and lethargic growth. The controversial debate over another consumption price hike and the restarting of nuclear plants in 2015 may further complicate domestic politics. In South Korea, the government is focusing on boosting domestic demand to reduce its reliance on volatile overseas markets. It also faces an uphill task in upgrading its economy due to increasing competition particularly from Chinese producers of lower end manufacturing products.

There are also lots of uncertainties on the external front. China is now entering a new era of active diplomacy which has implications for its relations with other major powers and smaller countries in the region. While China-Japan tensions seem to have abated somewhat following the first ever meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in November 2013, they remain poles apart over their disputed claims to the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands and Japan’s efforts to revise its constitution. Ties between Japan and South Korea remain testy due to their lingering territorial dispute and disagreements over Japan’s wartime history. A summit meeting between Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye is not expected to occur any time soon. Furthermore, the strong sense of nationalism in each of these three countries has made compromises in China-Japan and Japan-South Korea relations much more difficult to achieve.

This forum brings together experts to deliberate on important and emerging political issues as well as socio-economic trends in China, Japan and Korea in 2015. It will also provide a prognosis of their foreign policy preoccupations. The forum will further highlight the domestic and external challenges faced by Hong Kong and Taiwan.

For registration and updates on the programme, please visit Thank you.