Launch of the World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific Economic Update


Jointly organized with the World Bank




The East Asia and Pacific Economic Update is the World Bank’s comprehensive review of the region’s economies. It is published twice yearly and the latest Update will be released on Monday, October 5, in Singapore.

This report outlines the region’s growth prospects and policy challenges, both in the short and medium term, against the possibility of the U.S. raising interest rates and economic rebalancing in China. Looking across East Asia as a whole, the report highlights key issues for the region that may impact its growth prospects. With regard to Southeast Asia, these include tax incentives and food policy. World Bank East Asia and Pacific Chief Economist Sudhir Shetty will discuss these and other trends, based on the latest data and analysis, at a seminar hosted by the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute.



Sudhir Shetty is currently Chief Economist of the East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank. Until June 2014, he was the Director of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) in the East Asia and Pacific Region. Prior to that, he was Co-Director of the team that prepared the World Bank’s 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development. Mr. Shetty previously headed the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management department in the Africa Region of the World Bank, and managed the Bank’s central Poverty Reduction group.

Dr Shetty has a Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.



For registration, please fill in this form and email to by 2 October 2015.


Seminar: ASEAN Economic Community and Need for Managing Domestic Consensus Beyond 2015






In another three months, the ten Southeast Asian economies are going to announce the establishment of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The AEC aims to be an integrated market and production base with free movement of goods, services, freer flow of capital, and skilled labour. However, member economies are still a long way from achieving an integrated production space as they have not yet fulfilled all the stipulated targets stated in the AEC Blueprint. A possible explanation for the current state of economic integration is the presence of conflicting domestic economic interests in member countries. There are different dynamics in the ten domestic economies. This seminar, using illustrations from six selected ASEAN economies, describes the type and nature of conflicts in domestic economies. The seminar will provide policy recommendations for AEC beyond 2015.



Tham Siew Yean is a Professor in International Trade and Deputy Director at the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Her research and publications focus on trade, ASEAN, foreign direct investment, manufacturing and services developments. She is also a consultant for international agencies, such as World Bank, World Bank Institute, Asian Development Bank, Asian Development Bank Institute and Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). Her most recent publication includes co-editing with Sanchita Basu, a special issue of Journal of Southeast Asian Economies (JSEAS), on “Managing Domestic Consensus For ASEAN Economic Community Beyond 2015”, August, 2015.

Sanchita Basu Das is a Fellow and Lead Researcher (Economics) at the ASEAN Studies Centre and the Coordinator of the Singapore APEC Study Centre, both based in the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. She is also a co-editor of the Journal of Southeast Asian Economies. Prior to joining the Institute in 2005, she has worked in the private sector as an economist in India and Singapore. Sanchita is the author/editor of several books, special editor of three journal issues and author of numerous book chapters and policy papers. Sanchita’s research interests include – Economic Integration in ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific Region; Regionalism and Economic Development; Macro-economic Issues in Southeast Asia.




Ponciano Intal, Jr. is a Senior Economist at the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Dr Intal has been the lead coordinator of a number of ASEAN projects in ERIA, including ASEAN RISING: ASEAN and AEC beyond 2015; the Mid-Term Review of the Implementation of the AEC Blueprint; and the AEC Scorecard monitoring project. Prior to joining ERIA in July 2009, Dr Intal was a Full Professor at the Economics Department and a University Fellow of De La Salle University- Manila. Concurrently, he served as the Executive Director of the DLSU-Angelo King Institute for Economic and Business Studies (AKI).   He also served as President of Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) from 1991 to 1998 and as Deputy Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) of the Philippine government from 1988 to 1991. Dr Intal’s research interest includes Philippine and international economic issues of trade, environment, development cooperation, and regional integration.


To register, please complete this reply form and return it by fax: 6775-6264 or email: by 23 September 2015.



Seminar: Recent Trends in Chile’s Trade Policy: The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Pacific Alliance





Chile has an open and externally-oriented economy. It has long advocated regionalism in the Asia-Pacific and its diplomatic relations with Asia date back to the 18th century. Chile joined the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council in 1991 and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in 1994. Along with Singapore, Chile was one of the P-4 – the original core of countries promoting an Asia-Pacific free trade agreement. This initiative has since evolved into the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an ambitious and high-quality free trade initiative. In 2011, along with Mexico, Peru, and Colombia, Chile founded the Pacific Alliance – which has the goals of promoting regional integration among member countries and strengthening ties with the Asia-Pacific. Today, the Alliance has 34 observer countries, including Singapore.

This talk will first analyze the history of the TPP and the Pacific Alliance from a Chilean perspective. From there, it will address the challenges these two initiatives face in promoting regionalism and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific.




Manfred Wilhelmy, born in Germany in 1945, is a citizen of Chile. He graduated in Law from Catholic University of Valparaiso (1968) and was admitted to the bar in 1969. In 1971 and 1973 he was awarded M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Politics (Princeton University), where he specialized in the field of international relations.

He is a faculty member of the Institute of International Studies, University of Chile.  He has also taught at Princeton University and at SAIS, the Johns Hopkins University.  Since 2007 to 2014 he was director of the Journal Estudios Internacionales. Since 1990 he has worked on East Asian international relations. In 1994 he was appointed Executive Director of the Chile Pacific Foundation, a private organization established to promote Chile’s links with the Pacific Basin economies. He chairs the Chilean Committee on Pacific Economic Cooperation (CHILPEC), and from 2004 through 2006 he was Alternate Member of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

His major publications are in the areas of Chilean foreign policy and international relations in the Latin America region and Asia-Pacific. He is a member of Chile Transparente (Chilean chapter of Transparency International).



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