THE YEAR AHEAD IN ASIA

January 2, 2019 THE YEAR AHEAD IN ASIA

Happy New Year, and welcome to the first edition of InAsia for 2019. In our last issue we looked at some of our top stories from the year just ended, stories that chronicled the successes and failures, the triumphs, and the tribulations of 2018 through the eyes of our experts in Asia. This week, we invite you to look ahead with us to a still-young 2019, as The Asia Foundation’s country representatives offer their predictions of the stories that will dominate the news from Asia in the coming year. Here, to kick off 2019, are perspectives from our 18 offices in Asia.

—John Rieger, editor, In Asia

Afghanistan
Whether from a political, security, or economic perspective, 2019 promises to be a challenging year for Afghanistan. Parliamentary elections in October were marred by concerns overread more

Bangladesh
The resilience of the Bangladeshi people will continue to be on display in 2019 as the nation tackles the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisisread more

China
2019 will be a year of several important anniversaries for China. The People’s Republic will celebrate its 70th birthday, reflecting with pride on the stunning economic growthread more

India
The recent breakdown of various international trade alliances (the disruption of NAFTA, the U.S.-China tariff wars, the paralysis of the WTO) has created an opportunity for growingread more

Indonesia
In 2019, 185 million Indonesians will exercise their constitutional right to vote, electing a president, a vice president, and members of the national legislatureread more

Korea
In 2019, the third year of the Moon Jae-In administration, South Korea stands at a social, economic, and foreign-policy crossroadsread more

Laos
Infrastructure boomed in Laos in 2018, with the Lao-China railway reaching 20 percent completion and deals struck for two expressways—the first ever in Laosread more

Malaysia 
Following the unprecedented result of the nation’s 14th general election in May, Malaysia experienced a change of regime for the first time in 60 yearsread more 

Mongolia
Mongolia enters 2019 still reeling from a major corruption scandal, involving misuse of the national small and medium enterprise fundread more

Myanmar
Put simply, 2018 was a difficult year for Myanmar. The fallout from the Rohingya crisis has increased as the UN and assorted parliaments and governments have labelled it genocideread more
Nepal
Power sharing and self-rule will again be the center of attention in 2019, as Nepal’s three tiers of government continue to flesh out their working relationshipsread more

Pakistan
With a newly elected government firmly in place after July general elections, economic stabilization, inclusive growth, and good governance will remain Naya (new) Pakistan’s prioritiesread more

The Philippines
Global headlines on the Philippines in 2019 will likely be dominated by President Duterte, his continuing war on drugs, and a plebiscite in January and February over new regionalread more

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is just emerging from a constitutional crisis that destabilized the country for over 50 days. On October 26, citing irreconcilable differences and the national interestread more

Thailand
Thailand is about to take center stage in world affairs once again. As ASEAN chair in 2019, Thailand is likely to preside over increasingly complex regional relationsread more

Timor-Leste
2019 is looking to be a crucial year politically and economically for Timor-Leste. Historic early elections in 2018 led to a political impasse between the coalition AMP government andread moreVietnam
Vietnam conducts energy planning by matching short- and long-term demand projections with available technologies and energy sources. As we enter 2019, the declining cost ofread more

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