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SMU Political-Economic Exchange

AN SMU ECONOMICS INTELLIGENCE CLUB PRODUCTION - Examining the Middle-Income Trap in Malaysia (Part 1) - SMEs in Turkeys Emerging Market - Uncovering Key ASEAN Needs Vital to US Economic Legitimacy in ASEAN (Part 1)
The Fortnight In Brief (10th June to 23rd June) US: FOMC turns hawkish A hawkish Ben Bernanke emerged from the 2-day FOMC meeting announcing that the tapering could occur as soon as late 2013 through the first half of 2014 and ending around m id-year. The FOMC "see the downside risks to the outlook for the economy and the labor market as having diminished since the fall," and medium term inflation to be close to target. The Committee maintains that monetary policy will remain accommodative. In his dissent against the Committee, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard saw the decision as "inappropriately timed" and a creep back to date-based forward guidance. US 10-year treasury broke above 2.5% for the first time in 22 months while the dollar rallied against its m ajor peers on the back of tapering and stronger growth forecast. Asia Pacific: Chinas credit squeeze Chinas benchmark one day money-market rates spiked 527 basis points on 20 June to all-time highs before the Peoples Bank of China (PBoC) finally injected funds. The PBoC reluctance to inject funds comes as the government places more emphasis on achieving balanced growth in the longer term rather than instinctively reacting to economic slowdowns. A preliminary reading of the Purchasing Managers Index by HSBC and Markit revealed a value of 48.3, indicating deterioration in private sector sentiment. Investors have reacted by punishing the Shanghai Composite Index with a one m onth drop of 9.41%. EU: EU to decide who pays when banks fail The European Union sought last Friday to forge rules to force losses on large savers of failed banks, an act initially unprecedented until the recent Cyprus bailout. A 300-page draft EU law recommends a pecking order in which first bank shareholders would take losses, then bondholders and finally depositors with more than 100,000 euros in their accounts. Although some politicians have tried to portray Cyprus as a one-off, the new law could mark a dramatic change in how Europe deals with troubled banks. Countries are divided over how strict the new rules should b e, with some worried that imposing losses on depositors could prompt a b ank run while others argue rules must be made clear from the start.
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Examining the Middle-Income Trap in Malaysia (Part 1)

By Tong Kah Haw and Toh Wei Zheng, Singapore Management University
Malaysia, ranked sixth in Bloombergs Top 20 Global Emerging Markets in 2013, is poised to be a rising star. Despite widespread allegations of fraud during Malaysias recent general election, the Barisan National coalition retained its power under Prime Minister Najib Razak. Since then, foreign investors seeking high yields have been snapping bonds and blue chip stocks, sparking a market rally. It appears that Najib has secured a mandate to execute his New Economic Model, as outlined in the 10th Malaysia Plan1, and have Malaysia achieve developed-country status by the end of this decade. However, several critics have argued that Malaysia is currently facing a middle-income trap, a phenomenon whereby the economy stagnates at the middle-income level for decades and is unable to make the next leap towards a high-income and knowledge-based economy. So far, only a handful of Asian countries such as the Newly Industralised Economies (NIEs) of Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea, have successfully attained high-income status. Others, unfortunately, have been unable to make the leap. It is relatively easy for developing countries to leverage on cheap, low-skilled labour to manufacture exports and progress from a low-income to middle-income economy. However, as wages rise and cost competitiveness decrease as even more emerging markets elsewhere develop, moving up the value chain and producing technologically advanced output becomes challenging. A leap to high-income status requires a well-educated workforce and technological improvements to boost total factor productivity (TFP)2; which is perceived as a difficult chasm to cross. To become a developed nation by 20203, the Malaysian government has aimed to achieve annual real GDP growth of at least 6% in the middle to long-term. The World Bank however, has forecast Malaysia to register only 5.1% growth in 2012 and 5.0% in 2013, dampening their hope of achieving that vision. The next section examines some of the inherent structural problems that have obstructed Malaysias economic rejuvenation. Affirmative action: the Bumiputera Policy Since 1969, the Malaysian Governments Bumiputera (sons of the soil) policy has sought to equalize the playing field between the different ethnic groups. Under this policy, ethnic Malays and other indigenous groups, relatively underprivileged compared to the Chinese or Indians, enjoy preferential access to various opportunities such as jobs, education and business ownership. However, not only has the Bumiputera policy fail to achieve its desired objective, it has actually alienated the vast majority of Malaysians, both within and outside the Bumiputera category. The policy has been blamed for increasing inequality within Bumiputeras, with a small and already powerful minority reaping most of the benefits at the expense of those hailing from a 2 Copyright 2012 SMU Economics Intelligence Club

lower socioeconomic strata. Deprived of good opportunities, many non-Bumiputeras (especially the Chinese) are compelled to pursue further education and work in other countries such as Singapore, Australia and Britain. These people often remain overseas and do not return, fueling a severe brain drain. The lack of local talent therefore poses a formidable challenge in escaping the middle-income trap. This problem is illustrated in Figure 1 from a World Bank report. Figure 1: The Malaysian diaspora in 2010 is estimated at 1 million, a third representing brain drain

Najib has attempted to mitigate the Bumiputera policys adverse effects through his 1Malaysia programme in 2010. 1Malaysia does not abrogate Bumiputera privileges, but rather improve its implementation in a more equitable manner. Through the use of six National Key Results Areas (NKRA) in issues such as corruption, transportation and infrastructures, the programme is designed to emphasize ethnic harmony and national unity amongst all Malaysians. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) have also been set to measure the proposed changes in the six areas. Unfortunately, such a programme has been met with strong resistance from Bumiputera-affiliated groups who stand to lose their deeply entrenched benefits. Should Malaysia wish to curtail its brain-drain problem, it has to first tackle this issue. This problem does not end here. Development has not trickled down from the cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru to the kampungs (rural areas). One only needs to observe how the surrounding areas along the North-South expressway have remained relatively unchanged for the past few decades to understand this. The bulk of Malaysias wealth, according to the World Bank, is highly concentrated at the upper classes as shown in Malaysias Gini coefficient of 0.462 in 2009. GDP per capita also varies drastically amongst the states as shown in the table below. Such social inequality breeds contention and polarization if left unattended. For a continuation of Kah Haws and Wei Zhengs discussion on Malaysias middle income trap, please refer to next weeks publication. 3 Copyright 2012 SMU Economics Intelligence Club

th 1 10 Malaysia Plan

The 10th Malaysia Plan is a blueprint approved by the Cabinet of Malaysia which allocates economic budget from the year 2011 to 2015. It was unveiled on 10 June 2010. 2 Total Factor Productivity Total Factor Productivity represents the growth in output or GDP not represented by inputs such as labour or capital in the Solows model. It is usually a measure of technological advancement. 3 Vision 2020 Vision 2020 is a Malaysia ideal introduced by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Bin Mohammed during the 6th Malaysian Plan in 1991. The vision calls for the nation to achieve a self-sufficient industrialized nation by the year 2020. Sources: 1. Daniel Fleming, Hendrik 2012. Malaysian skills development and the middle income trap 2. 10th Malaysia Plan 2010. Prime Minister Office. 3. Times Higher Education 2013. Times University Rankings Website. 4. Aaron Flaaen, Ejaz Ghani, Saurabh Mishra 2009. The World Bank. How to avoid middle income traps? Evidence from Malaysia 5. Malaysia Economic Monitor 2011. Brain Drain 6. The World Bank. Unlocking Womens Potential Key Findings 7. Vikram Nehru 2013. Can Malaysia beat the Middle Income Trap? 8. New Economic Model. Economic Planning Unit

4 Copyright 2012 SMU Economics Intelligence Club

SMEs in Turkeys Emerging Market

By Ng Yongxiang, Singapore Management University
Turkey has been recently embroiled in a political turmoil and has been grabbing international headlines around the globe. However, this unfortunate turn of events masks a growing integral part of the economy: small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs play a pivotal role in any developed economy and emerging market. The growing influence of SMEs in the global economy has reached an unprecedented scale. SMEs in Turkey are an increasingly important feature of the economy, representing 99% of all enterprises in the country. As such, this article aims to evaluate their role and importance in the Turkish economy, understand defining characteristics of the industry, and examine key trends for the future. The SME sector in Turkey is defined according to the number of employees, turnover and balance sheet. As such, SMEs are defined as follows: Figure 1: Definition of SMEs

The role of SMEs in the Turkish Economy Accounting for 79% of all employment in Turkey, SMEs are central to creating jobs for an underutilized and growing labour force in the country. Traditionally, SMEs have also been largely dependent on the domestic market. As Turkey gradually opened its economy to foreign companies, key industries like automobile manufacturing and heavy industries expanded rapidly. SMEs fill an important gap in the supply chain by serving as independent contractors to these big corporations, thereby supporting the growth of these important Turkish industries. In recent years, diversification in the SME sector out of the domestic market has become increasingly important for the continued growth of the industry, giving rise to a need for SMEs to internationalise. Hence, this has then resulted in increased urgency relating to the implementation of policies to support SMEs in internationalizing their strategy and operations. Turkish government support is predicated on the recognition that local SMEs are susceptible to market failure and these policies shroud SMEs in a veil of protection so as to achieve economic growth and job creation. Supporting SMEs in Turkey SMEs have been underrepresented in Turkey thus far and actions have been taken to redress this situation. Government organizations and agencies have been set up to facilitate the needs 5 Copyright 2012 SMU Economics Intelligence Club

of SMEs and offer a plethora of measures that effectively cover all the different angles of the challenges SMEs face. In tandem with the growing number of professionals entering the workforce, these government agencies have been promoting entrepreneurship in planting the seeds for future generations of SMEs. A series of revisions had been made to the SME Strategy and Action Plan that was approved in 2003 and targeted at improving the business environment. Other strategy fields have been promoted to integrate SMEs into international markets and develop innovative capacity. The Coordination Council for the Improvement of the Investment Environment (YOIKK) conducts the agenda with the help of 12 Technical Committees. The SME Technical Committees conduct studies to solve problems faced, as well as, improve the system for credit guarantee1 and venture capital2 companies. Another activity would be to enlarge the scope of KOSGEB support to cover sectors aside from manufacturing. KOSGEB (Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization) was founded in 1990, to increase the rate and activity of SMEs. KOSGEB lends support to SMEs in a multitude of avenues such as consultancy, marketing, technology research, e-commerce, economic and computer software. In light of the increased foreign investments, KOSGEB aims to raise the competitiveness of SMEs and align them with national economic developments. After an internal restructuring, the application process has been streamlined into four key procedures: screening; strategic road map; support implementation; monitoring. In order to better serve the SME sector, KOSGEB provides support for potential entrepreneurs and startups that are categorized as micro enterprises. KOSGEB provides free start-up training, start-up capital, incubators with office space and facilitates access to networks. Another KOSGEB initiative is the Business Plan Award that is bestowed upon each university annually. Endeavor Turkey Turkeys SME sector thrives on a strong spirit of entrepreneurship, with many aspiring business owners amongst its people, reflected in high self-employment and entrepreneurship rates across the country. The countrys culture embraces entrepreneurship, and promotes it through extensive media coverage of successful entrepreneurs to highlight the ease of becoming an entrepreneur in the country, further reinforcing the entrepreneurship culture in Turkey. In addition, the government also established an Entrepreneurship Council to serve as a link between all stakeholders and SMEs to solve various issues facing entrepreneurs. With the development and maintenance of a positive environment for SMEs to grow in, the strong entrepreneurship culture remains a key strength of the Turkish SME sector. Endeavour Turkey was incorporated in 2006, dedicated to the support for high-impact entrepreneurship. The organization provides financing and mentoring support for start-ups. In recent efforts in 2009, their Venture Corps recruiting campaign resulted in a growth of their mentor network to more than 110 members, representing a diversified base of experts from a range of fields, offering a strong backbone of support for aspiring entrepreneurs. In 2010, they also launched the Akbank-Endeavour Credit Pool to provide entrepreneurs with very favourable financing terms. Access to finance Compared to the other countries in the EU, Turkish banks are more willing to provide loans to SMEs. On the part of the government, a new SME support scheme launched by KOSGEB in 6 Copyright 2012 SMU Economics Intelligence Club

2011, also involving the Capital Markets Board of Turkey and BORSA Istanbul, was designed to help SMEs to be traded on the stock exchange and obtain funds via capital markets. In addition, a new financing programme, the Anatolian Venture Capital Fund, is also available to support SMEs in the less developed regions of Turkey. With a wide range of financing options available, Turkish SMEs receive robust support in terms of financing in comparison to their peers in the EU. Future trends The SME sector in Turkey has massive potential for further growth and development. In recent years, growth from the fastest growing SMEs has been largely export-driven. Hence, this indicates a shift from the traditional reliance on the domestic market, with the SME sector now poised to enter the next phase of international expansion and capitalize on growth opportunities outside the Turkish borders. In addition, as development in cities like Istanbul and Ankara have become saturated in recent years, expansion of SMEs into the new industrial cities in other regions of Turkey would also further propel the growth of the economy, strengthen key sectors and stimulate exploration into the uncharted territories of new industries. As the Turkish SME sector continues its expansion, it is essential to note and counter the limitations arising from their administrative framework and the traditional mindsets of family-run businesses. With improvements to these key weaknesses and further efforts to encourage the pursuit of opportunities for SMEs, the Turkish SME sector will be set to flourish and prosper in the coming years.
1 Credit Guarantee

Credit guarantee is the guarantee that often provides for a specific remedy to creditor if his debtor does not return his debt. 2 Venture Capital Venture capital is financial capital provided to early-stage, high-potential, high risk, growth startup companies. The venture capital fund makes money by owning equity in the companies it invests in.

Sources: 1. Enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs in Turkey. (2012). KOSGEB. Retrieved from: http://www.comcec.org/UserFiles/File/%C3%BClkeraporlar%C4%B1/28_ised ak_%C3%BClke_rap/T%C3%BCrkiye.pdf 2. Enterprise and Industry: Fact sheet 2012 Turkey. (2012). European Commission. Retrieved from: http://www.comcec.org/UserFiles/File/%C3%BClkeraporlar%C4%B1/28_isedak_%C3% BClke_rap/T%C3%BCrkiye.pdf 3. Investment Climate Assessment: Enhancing regulatory capacity for better regulation. (2010). The Coordination Council for the Improvement of Investment Environment. Retrieved from: http://siteresources.worldbank.org/TURKEYEXTN/Resources/361711- 1291879250519/ICA2010_Chapter5-en.pdf 4. Kelly,Tom. (2013, April 26). SMEs must embrace the cloud to achieve global growth. The Guardian. Retrieved from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media-network/media-network- blog/2013/apr/26/cloud-services-sme-businesses-growth 7 Copyright 2012 SMU Economics Intelligence Club

5. Mohapatra, Sanket., Ratha, Dilip. & Silwal, Ani. The Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011. (2011). Retrieved from: http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPROSPECTS/Resources/334934- 1199807908806/Singapore.pdf 6. SME Policy Index Western Balkans and Turkey. (2012). European Commission. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. European Training Foundation. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved from: http://ccd.kosgeb.gov.tr 7. The new SME definition: User guide and model declaration. (2005). Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. 8. Turkey Countries Network | Endeavor Global. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://www.endeavor.org/network/countries/turkey/2 9. Turkey Improving Conditions for SME Growth Finance and Innovation. (2011). Document of the World Bank. Retrieved from: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/12211/NonAsciiFileNa me0.pdf?sequence=1

8 Copyright 2012 SMU Economics Intelligence Club

Uncovering Key ASEAN Needs Vital to US Economic Legitimacy in ASEAN (Part 1)

By Tan Kwan Hong, Singapore Management University
Winning ASEANs1 Hand in Marriage With multiple choices of economic integrative mechanisms to choose from, ranging from the East Asia Free Trade Agreement (EAFT) as proposed by China, to the Comprehensive Economic Partnership for East Asia (CEPEA) as proposed by Japan, and not to forget the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) that will foster intra-ASEAN trade and investment facilitation, ASEAN as an economic community has no lack of suitors and options. Therefore, any US success for an effective and meaningful engagement with ASEAN as part of its pivot strategy hinges on its ability to uncover key strategic needs and elements of cooperation that other agreements or partnerships might not be able to provide. To be expounded upon in the second half of the article as key recommendations the Obama Administration might adopt, the acknowledgement of and assistance with ASEANs developmental weaknesses are vital to longstanding US legitimacy and relevance within the ASEAN region. In November 2012, during the fourth US-ASEAN Leaders Meeting in Phnom Penh, President Barack Obama expressed a commitment to convert that forum into a summit. This will clearly enforce an annual participation by the US President in this newly created summit, raising the US-ASEAN relations to a strategic level. Additionally, as President Barack Obama transits into his second in office, the time could not be more ideal to pursue a US-ASEAN Expanded Economic Engagement (E3). This move would bode well to advance and institutionalize existing US-ASEAN engagements, and its material benefits are aplenty. On the domestic front, it would compel U.S. departments and agencies that have been compartmentalized and uncoordinated to raise their levels of engagement, share information, and align government mandates with strategic objectives. If led by the White House, this new structure would incentivize key departments to participate in and plan for existing ASEAN- based frameworks, to engage the private sector with increased regularity, and to build political equity in the U.S. relationship with ASEAN. These are material gains that can only be accrued from the driving of interagency coordination and high-level alignment. On the foreign policy front, the E3 will create a counterbalance to Chinas regional intentions. China, during the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in July and the ASEAN Summit in November, clearly signalled an intention to weaken ASEAN in order to assert its claims in the South China Sea. By demonstrating increasingly aggressive behaviour in recent months, it is questionable if the Chinese leaders will moderate their aggressiveness to a conducive level, especially in the near term. Therefore, by creating institutional frameworks that demonstrate a serious intent and long-term commitment to building ties with ASEAN, the E3 will serve as an effective signalling tool that convinces China on USs intentions of sustaining its high-level focus in the Asia Pacific region for the next decade, signalling an effective counterbalance to the Chinese regional intentions. 9 Copyright 2012 SMU Economics Intelligence Club

ASEAN will also stand to gain in many ways. Part of a strategy to strengthen ASEAN is to encourage investments in the region. By creating the E3, the US will encourage enhanced investments in the regions institutions. And with the support of the US, ASEANs heightened statue in forums such as the annual East Asian Summit (EAS) will reap benefits, allowing it the confidence necessary to pursue vital regional and global interests in maritime security, nuclear non-proliferation, energy security, food security, and global health. The ultimate achievement of ASEAN interests can potentially lead to enhanced regional stability. But the benefits to the marriage between the US and ASEAN with the E3 Initiative as the marriage proposal extend far beyond those listed above Not only will it allow the US an opportunity in shaping rules, norms and terms of engagement with one of the fastest rising regional economy in the world, but it will also allow the US an alternative economic mechanism that can complement the various weaknesses and arduous progress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ( ): The Untapped Potential of ASEAN as a Global Economic Force Long hidden behind the shadows of India and China, ASEANs growing strategic relevance in the global economic arena can no longer be dismissed. The region boasts a combined GDP of 1.9 trillion, exceeding that of India; a population of 600 million people, which amounts to almost twice that of the US; and an average per-capita income mirroring Chinas. The region will rank as the fifth largest in Purchasing Power Parity2 (PPP) terms (Figure 1), and is one of the fastest growing developing economic regions globally, with growth rates far outstripping that of the Middle East and Latin America (Figure 2). And if India is touted to be a global economic giant, ASEANs GDP growth rate has already outperformed Indias (Figure 3). Figure 1: GDP in US dollar terms, adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) exchanges rates (2010)

Source: UBS, UN, Haver

10 Copyright 2012 SMU Economics Intelligence Club

Figure 2: Growth rates in world regions (PPP per capita income)

Source: World Bank Figure 3: GDP Comparison

Source: UBS, UN, Haver ASEAN would also be the region most dependent on trade, with a trade-to-GDP ratio exceeding 150%, outperforming that of many other regions. And despite the Asian Financial Crisis, middle-income countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand have averaged a remarkable 7% annual growth rate since 2000 Also notwithstanding the 2008 global financial crisis, the entire sub-region bounced back brilliantly to soar beyond the 8% growth rate mark. This therefore highlighted a region that is resilient to global economic shocks, with the ability to adapt wisely through rapid policy adjustments. Another avenue that might have piqued US interest on ASEAN lies in the regions strategic geographic location. The Malacca Straits is the worlds second busiest shipping channel after the English Channel, and the second most popular oil tanker route, after the Straits of Hormuz. The Malacca Straits is the passage to more than half of the worlds merchant fleet capacity annually, and disruptions in the straits would be catastrophic to global trade and US regional interest. And with the materialization of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, ASEAN will become one of the most integrated economic regions in the world. 11 Copyright 2012 SMU Economics Intelligence Club

The AEC constitutes an initiative to achieve the economic goals set under the umbrella of the ASEAN Community Blueprint. It aims to establish ASEAN as a single market and production base, a region fully integrated into the global economy that also achieves equitable economic development between member states, thereby turning it into a highly competitive economic region. And apart from the economic benefits derived from engagements with a fast rising economic region, the E3 Initiative and other forms of ASEAN public or private sector engagements such as the US-ASEAN Business Forum and the US-funded Maximizing Agricultural Revenue through Knowledge, Enterprise Development, and Trade (MARKET) Program constitutes a hedging3 strategy towards the slow and arduous progress of the TPP. For a continuation of Kwan Hongs discussion on the US economic legitimacy in ASEAN, please refer to next weeks publication.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a geo-political and economic organization of ten countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. 2 Purchasing Power Parity Purchasing Power Parity asks how much money would be needed to purchase the same goods and services in two countries, and uses that to calculate an implicit foreign exchange rate. 3 Hedging A hedge is used to reduce any substantial losses/gains suffered by an individual or an organization. Sources: 1. UBS 2. United Nations 3. World Bank 4. Haver

12 Copyright 2012 SMU Economics Intelligence Club

The S&P 500 is a free-float capitalization-weighted index published since 1957 of the prices of 500 large- cap common stocks actively traded in the United States. It has been widely regarded as a gauge for the large cap US equities market The MSCI Asia ex Japan Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index consisting of 10 developed and emerging market country indices: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. The STOXX Europe 600 Index is regarded as a benchmark for European equity markets. It represents large, mid and small capitalization companies across 18 countries of the European region: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Correspondents : Vera Soh (Vice President, Publication) vera.soh.2011@economics.smu.edu.sg Singapore Management University Singapore Samuel Ong (Publications Director/ Editor) samuel.ong.2010@business.smu.edu.sg Singapore Management University Singapore Ng Yongxiang (Marketing Deputy / Writer) yx.ng.2011@accountancy.smu.edu.sg Singapore Management University Singapore Tan Kwan Hong (Writer) Undergraduate School of Economics Singapore Management University kwanhongtan.2009@economics.smu.edu.sg Tan Wei Zheng (Writer) Undergraduate School of Economics Singapore Management University weizhengtoh.2009@economics.smu.edu.s

Ng Jia Wei (Vice President, Operations) jiawei.ng.2012@economics.smu.edu.sg Singapore Management University Singapore Yingyu Zeng (Liaison Officer) yingyu.zeng.2010@economics.smu.edu.sg Singapore Management University Singapore Darren Goh Xian Yong (Editor) darren.goh.2010@business.smu.edu.sg Singapore Management University Singapore Tong Kah Haw (Writer) Undergraduate Lee Kong Chian School of Business Singapore Management University kahhaw.tong.2009@business.smu.edu.sg

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