Category: Southeast Asia

Duterte Faces GDP Headache

FORBES William Pesek Rodrigo Duterte’s efforts to cozy up to China these last few years isn’t paying the economic dividends the Philippines hoped.  It all seemed so simple in June 2016, when Duterte grabbed the keys to the presidential palace from Benigno Aquino. His predecessor drew Manila close to Barack Obama’s America. In his six

The ‘Dutertefication’ of America

FORBES William Pesek “The Donald Trump of Asia.” That’s how the international media labeled Rodrigo Duterte in 2016, when the firebrand won the Philippine presidency. Turns out, it’s the other way around. True, Duterte’s shock election win predated the U.S. president’s by 183 days. But the strongman rallied voters with Trumpian bluster, anti-establishment populism and

‘Teflon Thailand’ feels the heat

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW Political upheavals will impose economic cost and deter investment William Pesek Thailand’s “Teflon” coating shows serious signs of stress after the March 24 election. The upheaval-prone Southeast Asian economy earned its nothing-sticks reputation time and again since 2006, when the latest cycle of coups and political intrigue began. The first democratic contest