economic diplomacy

Headlines explore the public diplomacy potential of economic cooperation in Africa, Asia and the United States.  

Asia is looking to complete a major economic agreement by early 2017 that offers the chance to lift its growth closer to potential by locking in domestic reform and liberalisation through regional cooperation. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement is Asia’s response to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and heralds the next phase in Asian economic cooperation. 

China has quickly changed before the world’s very eyes, becoming a global superpower and ironically, an impressive leader in capitalistic growth and economic supremacy. [...] These changes in China’s branding and it’s increasingly “Western” appeal have led to an influx of eager businessmen arriving in China with the hopes of enjoying a piece of the “prosperity pie”.

At a time when India is confronted with growing negative sentiments in Nepal, China has been reaping a good harvest of positive perceptions. [...] Other than soft power, China has used its economic diplomacy to project itself as a non-interfering neighbour by welcoming the new constitution of Nepal. 

It's been dubbed “fashion diplomacy” but critics of Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop say the ­Louboutin-loving politician’s hosting of overseas runway shows has gone too far. From celebrating Australian designers creating “modest wear” at an Islamic fashion festival to a fashion showcase in the Taj Mahal, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on promoting Australia as “a creative and innovative nation.”

The Philippines' decision to join China's multilateral development bank marks Manila's renewed effort to befriend Beijing via “economic diplomacy” despite the South China Sea dispute, an analyst said.

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the United States' government development finance institution, said it has approved funding for a $400 million solar farm in South Africa as part of new energy projects in emerging markets. [...] The company said the initiative was part of President Barack Obama's $7 billion plan to "Power Africa". Launched in 2013, the plan aims to boost electricity access in Sub-Saharan Africa.