BGA Brainstorm

Asia Street

Know the Street. Know the people. Know Asia.

Spotlighting ideas from the company’s top minds on key developments IN ASIA.

Assessing US Southeast Asia Strategy: Between US-China Competition and the Indo-Pacific Shadow

BGA Deputy Head of Research Prashanth Parameswaran’s book on U.S.-Southeast Asia relations, entitled “Elusive Balances: Shaping U.S.-Southeast Asia Strategy,” was recently published. The book develops an original “balance of commitment” foreign policy model to explain continuity and change in U.S. commitment to Southeast Asia across administrations and to help policymakers be attentive to the relationships between power, threats and resources in the U.S….

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Advancing Low-Carbon Cooperation in the US-Japan Alliance

Over the past few weeks and months, closer cooperation between Japan and the United States on energy and climate issues has been in the spotlight. This has been occurring amid wider developments, be it U.S.-Japan collaboration on responses to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The U.S.-Japan-ROK trilateral held on the sidelines…

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Think Before Outsourcing Human Resources

I have recently been asked by colleagues, both internal and external, why BowerGroupAsia doesn’t outsource its human resources (HR) department. Arguments range from cost-cutting to the rationale “many of our clients are doing it…”

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Indo-Pacific Forecast | H2 2022

In the second half of 2022, Asia will enhance its case as the world’s most compelling market. The region will continue its steady economic recovery from the pandemic, but that growth will remain modest. Threats of higher inflation and recession in key markets suggest possible downward adjustments to those projections. Yet relative to rest of the world, Asia is young, growing…

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How the Biden Administration Can Boost Ties with ASEAN

With global attention focused on Russia’s war of choice against Ukraine, the U.S. special summit with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has received comparatively little attention. That is regrettable. Beyond the summit itself which takes place May 12-13, the deliberations could provide an opening for the United States to begin an effort over the next few months…

 

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Asia StreetBeat: What Business Should Watch in Cambodia’s Election Season

Cambodia is heading for election season, with commune elections in June this year and then general elections in 2023. Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) is expected to win because there is no strong opponent that can rival the CPP and the opposition is fragmented.  The focus will be on changes along the way, including a cabinet reshuffle and transfer of power to a younger generation of CPP leaders…

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BGA Senior Advisor Ian Kemish Publishes New Book on Australia’s Diplomatic Challenges

BGA’s Senior Advisor Ambassador Ian Kemish has published a new book on Australia’s key diplomatic challenges over the last two decades. The book, titled “The Consul: An Insider’s Account from Australia’s Diplomatic Frontline,” examines Kemish’s central role as a leader in Australia’s consular service in some of the defining episodes in that country’s diplomatic history…

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BGA Asia StreetBeat: Nepal

For this segment of BGA Asia StreetBeat, we spoke to BGA Nepal Senior Advisor Sujeev Shakya. What is one political or economic development that remains important for businesses to watch in the coming months? Nepal is now in an election year with local elections announced for May 13 and thereafter elections to the federal parliament by the end of the year. This will be the second elections under the Nepal Constitution of 2015 after the concept of a federal democratic republic was adopted…

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BGA Asia StreetBeat: Pakistan

For this segment of BGA Asia StreetBeat, we spoke to BGA Pakistan Senior Advisor Aniq Zafar amid a period of major political and economic change in the country. What is one political or economic development that remains important for businesses to watch in the coming months? On the political front, the PTI-led government under Prime Minister Imran Khan faces a period of challenge following the submission of a no-confidence vote against it by opposition parties on March 8 ahead of general elections in October 2023…

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The Geopolitics of Climate Change and Cleantech

BGA Senior Advisor Alex Capri released a new report on the geopolitics of climate change and cleantech. The report, published by the Hinrich Foundation, was published on January 31. In the report, which is part of a wider series on techno-nationalism, Capri argues that a series of challenges, including nationalist impulses and narrow, domestic-focused thinking, are giving rise of what might be termed a “new kind of climate-driven realpolitik.” That “climate realpolitik” is likely to complicate the need for urgent climate action…

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BGA Asia StreetBeat: Brunei

BGA Asia StreetBeat is the company’s new mini-series that takes an on-the-ground pulse of Indo-Pacific markets from its leaders. In each segment, we periodically ask the heads of each of the 26 markets in which we operate questions on what clients should watch: one on macro developments; one on sectors and industries; and one on under-noticed or over the horizon developments. For this segment of BGA Asia StreetBeat, we spoke to BGA Brunei Senior Advisor…

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Indo-Pacific Elections to Watch in 2022

BGA’s teams from key markets collaborated on a client update regarding key Indo-Pacific elections to watch in 2022. The update examined some major upcoming signposts and implications for clients, with a particular focus on national elections in Australia, Philippines and South Korea. It also made note of the other elections BGA is monitoring…

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Strengthening the US- Australia Alliance in the Indo-Pacific

BGA’s Senior Advisor James Carouso helped anchor a recent think tank event on the U.S.-Australia alliance in the Indo-Pacific. The event was tied to Carouso’s role as the head of the advisory council for the new Australia chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C…

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BGA India Launches New States Initiative with USIBC

In December 2021, BowerGroupAsia’s India team, lead by Managing Director Ratan Shrivastava, kicked off a partnership that will provide exclusive intelligence on Indian states.

The partnership, forged with the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), will see BGA India provide updates and insights on individual Indian states – another testament to BGA’s emphasis on local, granular perspectives…

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Singapore’s Shifting Domestic Political Dynamics

BGA Singapore Managing Director Nydia Ngiow recently weighed in on the country’s ongoing domestic political developments in the wake of reactions to the opposition Workers’ Party (WP) handling of the Raeesah Khan issue that began shaping up in early December 2021.

Ngiow was featured multiple media outlets for her insights on the WP’s handling of the case of Raeesah Khan…

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Asia-Pacific Forecast H1 2022

Below is an introductory letter by BGA President and CEO Ernie Bower on the company’s latest half-yearly Asia-Pacific Forecast, circulated to our clients to help inform their planning for the upcoming months.

As we look into the first half of 2022, we are pleased to provide you with BGA’s bi-annual assessment of the coming six months. I am really proud of the work we are sharing from our 26 offices across the region we call the Asia-Pacific…

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BGA Quad Perspectives: Historic Summit Shows the Group Means Business

Amid the historic Quad summit held on September 24 in Washington, D.C., BGA’s teams in all the four Quad countries collaborated on an update to clients on its impact and implications for companies. The update highlighted BGA’s local, granular ground presence in all four of the Quad countries and its ability to synthesize perspectives…

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The Future of India’s Outer Space Ambitions

On September 7, BGA India  Managing Director Ratan Shrivastava participated in a discussion on India’s space sector. The conversation, hosted by one of India’s largest broadcasting organizations, featured a conversation…

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Asia-Pacific Forecast H2 2021

Below is an introductory letter by BGA President and CEO Ernie Bower on the company’s latest half-yearly Asia-Pacific Forecast, circulated to our clients to help inform their planning for the coming months.    

A year and a half into the war on Covid-19, and as we approach the one-quarter mark of the 21st century, Asia continues to develop into its role as the world’s growth engine. It also is expanding its destiny to drive global trends through both its economic heft and its growing…

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Japan’s Semiconductor Industry: Regaining Global Leadership

Amid recurring global media headlines on roles of semiconductors in the data-driven global economy, their critical functions in national security, and ongoing conversations within the Japanese government on Tokyo’s role in boosting its own capabilities domestically, BGA’s Japan team, led by Managing Director Kiyoaki Aburaki…

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How RCEP Benefits US Companies in Asia

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) — a free trade agreement (FTA) signed by 15 Asian countries on November 15, 2020, and accounting for 30 percent of world trade — is a significant pact that will strengthen regional supply chains in Asia by cutting tariffs on trade among the parties. BGA is closely monitoring the ratification process and implementation of the pact and what it may mean for U.S. companies…

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Tracking Biden’s Team and Asia Strategy: Personnel is Policy

In Washington, it is often said that personnel is policy. As U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration continues to staff up in the coming weeks and months, this process will tell us much about who will lead key portfolios in the administration’s Asia approach and how it plans to approach the region more generally…

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Unleashing Nepal’s Potential in 2021 and Beyond

After a challenging 2020 that included Covid-19, Nepal is among the Indo-Pacific countries looking to better realize some of the opportunities in front of it in 2021. BGA Senior Advisor Sujeev Shakya has continued to chart some of the pathways to unleash Nepal’s full potential in some of his ongoing work as well as writing and speaking engagements, building off of insights he had provided in his book “Unleashing the Vajra”. Below is a brief interview with Sujeev about Nepal’s current state and its future prospects…

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Major and Middle Powers in the Indo-Pacific

On November 25, BGA collaborated on a virtual panel with the Stratbase Albert Del Rosario Institute (ADRi), an independent international and strategic research organization, as part of the Pilipinas Conference. The event featured some of the company’s leadership, including President and CEO Ernie Bower and managing directors from Australia, India, Japan and Singapore…

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Asia-Pacific Forecast | H1 2021 

Dear friends and colleagues, The past year has changed us all. We won’t work the same way, we won’t think the same way. The pandemic and actions required to limit its impact have been humbling at best. I hope you and those you hold dear are healthy. If you’ve suffered losses, our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours…

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Japan’s Post-Abe Landscape

One of the key geopolitical events in the Indo-Pacific thus far in 2020 has been the stepping down of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the transition to Yoshihide Suga following Abe’s initial announcement August 28. Given Abe’s significant role in the Japan’s development and regional geopolitics and the fact that this is the first leadership change in Japan in eight years…

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“Under Beijing’s Shadow: Southeast Asia’s China Challenge.”

BGA Head of Research Murray Hiebert’s much-awaited new book on China-Southeast Asia relations “Under Beijing’s Shadow: Southeast Asia’s China Challenge” is now available for purchase. In the book, which draws on Hiebert’s nearly half-century of expertise on Southeast Asia including stints in journalism, think tanks, and business, he delves into what has become one of the key storylines of Southeast Asia’s present and future.

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