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Who we are

Power. Influence. Resilience.

Asia Power Watch is an observatory of the economic power of Asia-Pacific nations, as expressed domestically and internationally.

With many APAC economies having reached maturity, the projection of their economic influence & power has become increasingly common and constitutes nowadays a major factor in the global balance of power.

An open, collaborative platform, Asia Power Watch monitors how economic power expresses itself in the APAC region and overseas, and how it leverages all aspects of business life (and beyond) to get a foothold in competitive markets and gain dominating positions. All aspects of strategic, economic and business intelligence are being watched: macro & micro-economics, finance, trade, politics, lobbying & influence, laws & regulations, norms & standards, narratives & theoritical discourse as well as culture.


FOUNDER & CHIEF EDITOR


Asia Power Watch was launched in June 2019 by Nicolas MICHELON, a 20-year veteran of Asia-Pacific business, finance & economics research. Currently based in Paris, Nicolas is the founder of Asia Intelligence Advisory, an economic & strategic intelligence consulting firm. He has worked for 15 years in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan as an economist (French Ministry of Finance, seconded to the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong), financial analyst (KPMG in Hong Kong), portfolio manager (Schroders in Singapore) and more recently as a strategic & business intelligence consultant specialized in North Asia (Japan and Greater China).

Nicolas is also a guest lecturer at Ecole de Guerre Economique (Paris School of Economic Warfare) and a speaker in various conferences, workshops and seminars: Japan Society of Competitive Intelligence, Tokyo Fintech, Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club, French Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Hong Kong & China, INALCO (France), ILERI (France), Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Peru), Norwich University (US), International Development and Security Cooperation (Philippines), University of Central Lancashire (UK), ESPM (Brazil)…


HONORARY CONTRIBUTORS & ANALYSTS


Paul COBAUGH – Paul is a retired US Army Warrant Officer, with a distinguished career in the US Special Operations counter-terrorism community, primarily focused on mitigating adversarial influence. Throughout his career, he has focused on the centrality of influence in modern conflict, whether from extremist organisations or state actors. He is now Vice President at Narrative Strategies, a US-based think-do tank specializing in the non-kinetic aspects of conflict. He has co-authored Soft Power on Hard Problems, Introduction to Narrative Warfare: A Primer and Study Guide and Countering Violent Extremism.


Moises DE SOUZA – Moises chairs the Northern England Policy Centre for the Asia-Pacific (NEPCAP), the University of Central Lancashire’s Asia-focused think tank. He is also Researcher in Asia Studies at the International Relations Research Center of the University of São Paulo (NUPRI-GEASIA). An Asia geopolitics scholar and expert in the South China Sea, he holds a PhD in Asia-Pacific studies from Taiwan’s National Chengchi University. Prior to his tenure at NEPCAP, he was Vice-Director of the South China Sea Think Tank in Taipei.


Amrita DHILLON – Amrita is the Co-Founder and Chief Editor of The Kootneeti, a New Delhi-based publisher specialized in International Relations and Diplomacy. A renowned scholar with prior experience of working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), she holds degrees in international relations and global communication from Annamalai University and the National University of Singapore. She is also an Honorary Analyst and Member of the Board of several European and Latin American think tanks, and takes an active part in initiatives committed to the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations.


Marta GARCÍA OUTÓN – Marta is the Founder and General Director of GIASP Intelligence & Strategy SL, a Spanish intelligence & training consultancy. An expert in Strategic Communication, she has carried out several projects for the Spanish Operations Command of the General Staff of the Defense, in the Influence Section (J9). She has also collaborated as an analyst with Intelligence Fusion and the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has taught at the Army War College of Spain. She holds a Masters in Intelligence from the International Strategic Studies Foundation and the San Pablo CEU University, as well as a Masters in Security, Crisis and Emergency Management from the Ortega y Gasset Foundation and the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid.


Takeo HARADA – Takeo is the Founder & CEO of the Institute for International Strategy and Information Analysis, Inc (IISIA), Japan’s first private intelligence agency specialized in providing corporate clients with forecasting and Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). A former career diplomat at Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, working as an Assistant Director of the North East Asia Division, dealing with North Korea, he is a graduate in law from the University of Tokyo, and holds a politics degree from Freie Universität Berlin and a law degree from Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen. He is the author of Pax Japonica. The Resurrection of Japan.


Jorge MALENA – Jorge is Director and Lecturer of the postgraduate courses on Contemporary China and “China in the Global Era” at Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA) in Buenos Aires. A member of the Academic Committee of UCA’s Centro de Estudios Internacionales (CEI), he chairs the China Working Group at Consejo Argentino de Relaciones Internacionales (CARI). He holds a BSc in Political Science from UCA, a MA in Chinese studies from University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a PhD in Political Science from UCA. The author of many publications on China’s relations with Latin America, he is the recipient of the 2013 “Special Book Award of China” for his book China: The Building of a Big Power.


CONTRIBUTORS


Giulia Valeria ANDERSON – Based in Italy, Giulia holds an MA in International Comparative Relations from Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia. She is a Research Analyst at the Africa Center for Strategic Progress and The Washington Kurdish Institute, and a freelance contributor at Istituto Analisi Relazioni Internazionali (IARI) and Il Caffè Geopolitico, focusing on the Middle East. Giulia has also matured several experiences at the United Nations, specifically at the UNESCO Office in Venice and at an NGO associated with the UN Department of Global Communications and ECOSOC.


Manjari BALU – Manjari is the Founder of Econfinity, an online research platform exclusively working on International and Development Economics. An aspiring economist, she graduated from the Symbiosis School of Economics, in Pune. Following graduation, she started working with the Corporate Social Responsibility department of a Swedish company and proceeded to be a research analyst with think tank based out of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Her research interests include labour economics, macroeconomics and international trade.


Ramzi BENDEBKA – Ramzi is a Researcher, Consultant and Trainer in International Relations, with a focus on regional studies and economic cooperation. A PhD holder from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), in Kuala Lumpur, he is currently an Assistant Professor at IIUM. He is also the author of The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC): A Study in New Regionalism, 1989-2009, as well as several articles on Regional Studies, the Asia-Pacific region and Middle East regionalism.


Gabriela BERNAL – Gabriela is a Korean affairs analyst based in Seoul. The Founder & Editor of The Peninsula Report, she is currently a PhD candidate at the University of North Korean Studies and works as a freelance writer covering North and South Korean affairs. Her writings have appeared in various outlets such as Nikkei Asia, Asia Times, The Diplomat, RT, The Korea Times and East Asia Forum. She holds two MAs from Sciences Po Paris and King’s College London and previously interned at the UN’s Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs in Bangkok, Thailand.


Shraddha BHANDARI – Shraddha is an experienced hand in strategic consulting / intelligence, crisis management and risk analysis for business, corporate and international organizations. She is the co-founder and CEO of Intelligentsia Risk Advisors, a strategy consulting firm that aims to facilitate ‘ease of doing business’ by managing and mitigating geopolitical, social, operational and security risks. In her last corporate avatar, Shraddha was heading the Asia-Pacific Intelligence team for Barclays Bank PLC, analyzing geopolitical risks for the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and their impact on business decisions, operational continuity and crisis response. She graduated from the London School of Economics with distinction in Comparative Politics.


Bipasha BHARDWAJ – Bipasha is the co-founder and COO of Intelligentsia Risk Advisors, a strategy consulting firm that aims to facilitate ‘ease of doing business’ by managing and mitigating geopolitical, social, operational and security risks. She has more than a decade of experience assisting clients in making informed business decisions by identifying risks and opportunities to ensure business operability. With a vast industry experience across all sectors in India and the subcontinent, she has consulted with her clients at various levels including business assurance, risk and strategy consulting, location and threat assessments and sectoral analyses.


Carlos Humberto BRANDT SIEM – Carlos is an independent consultant and researcher in political risk and energy security, with a focus on China-Venezuela relations. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Central University of Venezuela (UCV) and a Specialist degree in International Petroleum Policy and Trade also from UCV. He currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses at UCV’s “Power & Oil” Chair.


Santiago BUSTELO – Santiago is currently a PhD candidate in International Politics at Fudan University, Shanghai. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policies, Strategies and Development from the Institute of Economics of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He was a Researcher at the National Institute of Science and Technology, Brazil, and has served as Parliamentary Advisor to the National Chamber of Deputies of the Argentine Republic. He also worked as a Research Coordinator at the China-Brazil Business Council.


Otaviano CANUTO – Based in Washington, D.C, Otaviano is a senior fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, a non-resident senior fellow at Brookings Institution, a visiting public policy fellow at ILAS-Columbia, and principal of the Center for Macroeconomics and Development. He is a former vice-president and a former executive director at the World Bank, a former executive director at the International Monetary Fund and a former vice-president at the Inter-American Development Bank. He is also a former deputy minister for international affairs at Brazil’s Ministry of Finance and a former professor of economics at University of São Paulo and University of Campinas, Brazil.


Shubhra CHATURVEDI – Shubhra holds a PhD in Diplomacy and Disarmament from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her areas of interest include international security issues, ‘soft’ aspects of nuclear learning and dynamics of South Asian politics. Previously, she has worked in research organisations addressing issues including nuclear security perspectives, India-Pakistan dialogue and behavioural studies of nuclear ‘outliers’.


Dharish DAVID – Dharish is an Associate Faculty for the University of London at the Singapore Institute of Management – Global Education (SIM-GE), teaching courses relating to political economy. He has written widely on infrastructure development, Asian political economy, economic development, and international relations. He holds a PhD in International Studies from Waseda University and was a PhD scholar in International Relations at Jawaharlal Nehru University.


Jean-François DUFOUR – Jean-François is Chief Analyst at DCA Chine Analyse, an intelligence consultancy dedicated to monitoring the Chinese industry and its environment. An Editor of the specialized newsletter The China Industrial Monitor, he is also the author of several books on China’s economy, including China Corp. 2025 – Dans les coulisses du capitalisme à la chinoise and Made by China – Les secrets d’une conquête industrielle.


Jean-Philippe EGLINGER – Jean-Philippe is the Founder & CEO of Việt Pháp Strategies, a consultancy specialized in information, training and investment advisory for French and Vietnamese SMEs. A 20-year veteran of business support in Vietnam with experience in the private and public sector, he teaches Vietnamese economics and intercultural management at INALCO, Paris and is a visiting professor at Thăng Long University, Hanoi. He holds a PhD in Vietnamese studies from INALCO and an Executive MBA in Strategic Management & Business Intelligence from Ecole de Guerre Economique, Paris.


Akio FUJII – Based in Tokyo, Akio is an independent Management Consultant specialized in M&A, PMI and corporate turnaround. A graduate from Kobe University of Commerce, he has extensive experience in the financial services and gaming industries in Japan and the US, and advises C-level executives on consensus management and disruptive & sustained innovation.


Patricio GIUSTO – Patricio is an Associate Researcher and Associate Professor at the Center for International Studies (CEI) of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina (UCA). He is also a Visiting Professor at Zhejiang University. A Coordinator of the Australasia committee and member of the China and US committees at the Council on International Relations of Argentina (CARI), he is also an Executive Director of the Observatory on China-Argentina relations and a foreign policy advisor at the National Senate of Argentina. He is currently a PhD candidate in International Studies at Torcuato Di Tella University.


Ruvislei GONZÁLEZ SÁEZ – Ruvislei is Head of the Asia and Oceania team and Member of the Scientific Council at the Research Center of International Policy, Cuba. A PhD holder in economic sciences from Havana University, he is a professor and advisor on Asian affairs. His areas of interest include Southeast Asia (especially Vietnam), China, India and South Korea. He is also a Member of the National Consulting Group for the insertion of Cuba in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).


Sergio GUZMÁN – Sergio is the Founder and Director of Colombia Risk Analysis, a political risk consultancy based in Bogotá. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Business at Universidad Externado de Colombia and a Columnist at The Bogota Post. A graduate in history and international affairs from The George Washington University, he holds a degree in international economics and international relations from The Johns Hopkins University – Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).


Hirofumi HATOMI – Hirofumi is the Head of Research of Japan’s Institute for International Strategy and Information Analysis (IISIA) Global Intelligence Unit. A former news director at NHK and reporter covering the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, he is the author of several books on domestic affairs and intelligence, including Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office, Public Security Police. The three-way battle with the Public Security Intelligence Agency (Gentosha). He is assisted by Ms Nao SATO, a Public Policy and Social Research graduate from Tokyo’s International Christian University (ICU) specializing in Security and Peace Studies. Ms Sato is the recipient of the ICU’s Makoto Saito Academic Award in Peace Studies.


Gabor HOLCH – Gabor is a Shanghai-based intercultural leadership consultant, coach, author and speaker with a focus on East-West leadership. He holds a Masters Degree in International Relations and European Studies, an MPhil in Diplomacy and a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) degree in English and Mandarin. A former OSCE field mission official, China-based since 2002 and working globally, Gabor has served 100+ clients in 30+ countries. He is a visiting lecturer at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and a number of business programmes in the Asia-Pacific and Europe.


Dean KARALEKAS – Dean is the Associate Editor of Strategic Vision for Taiwan Security, published by the Taiwan Center for Security Studies. His research interests include military sociology, emergency management, Asia-Pacific security, and nation-building and identity. He holds a MA in Taiwan Studies and a PhD in Asia-Pacific Studies from Taiwan’s National Chengchi University.


Semiha KARAOĞLU – Semiha is a Japan Studies researcher and Project Coordinator at Boğaziçi University‘s Asian Studies Center, in Istanbul. She specializes in the history of Japanese international relations and foreign policy. A trained interpreter from Université Saint-Louis, Brussels, and Shanghai University, she holds a Masters in Asian Studies, with a specialization in Japanese Studies, from Boğaziçi University.


Federica LAI – Based in Rome, Federica is a due diligence, OSINT and SOCMINT analyst at Hermes Bay, and the OSINT coordinator for Centro Studi Roma 3000. An International Relations graduate from the University La Sapienza of Rome, Federica has also completed a postgraduate course in Economic Security, Geopolitics and Intelligence from SIOI – Italian Society for International Organisation.


Ingrid LEIRIA – Based in Sejong, South Korea, Ingrid is a Research Assistant in Economic Development at KDI School of Public Policy and Management, the graduate school of the Korea Development Institute, and a PhD candidate in Applied Microeconomics at Korea University. She holds a Masters degree in Economics from Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (Unisinos), in Brazil.


Vindu MAI CHOTANI – Vindu is a PhD candidate at Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo. Her dissertation focuses on Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s Kantei Diplomacy, while her research interests include the evolving security architecture of the Indo-Pacific. She earned a MSc in International Relations from the University of Bristol, and a BA (Hons) in Political Science from the University of Delhi.


Carmen MARTÍNEZ SAN MILLÁN – Carmen is a PhD candidate and Researcher at the University of Valladolid, Spain, where she is also a Professor in a Masters programme of International Relations and Asian Studies. Her fields of research cover international trade law and core labour standards. She holds degrees in Law and Business Administration from the University of Valladolid. She also holds a Master in International Law and European Law from the University of Granada.


Johan NYLANDER – Johan is an award-winning author, public speaker and freelance China and Asia correspondent. His work is published by CNN, Forbes and Sweden’s leading business daily Dagens Industri. He is the author of The Epic Split – Why ‘Made in China’ is going out of style, as well as Shenzhen Superstars – How China’s smartest city is challenging Silicon Valley, which became an Amazon bestseller.


John PABON – Based in Melbourne, John is the Founder & Chief Advisor of Fulcrum Strategic Advisors, an Asia risk management consultancy specialized in shifts in geopolitics, sustainability and strategic communication. A 10-year veteran of China sustainability advocacy and stakeholder engagement, he has been honored as one of the world’s top 100 voices on modern China and serves on the board of advisors to the US Green Chamber of Commerce and the Australian Chamber of Commerce CSR Committee.


Carlos Eduardo PIÑA – Carlos is a Researcher at Academic Network on China – Latin America and the Caribbean. He holds a degree in Political and Administrative Studies from the Central University of Venezuela (UCV), as well as a Master in International Petroleum Policy and Trade from UCV. He also holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He has written numerous papers and articles on the political and economic relations between China and Venezuela.


Miljan RADUNOVIC – Based in Belgrade, Miljan is an independent consultant delivering market due diligence and business development advisory for Chinese overseas FDI in Western Balkan markets. He is also acting as an energy and environment expert with Serbia’s National Convention on EU Accession. He holds a MSc in Industrial Engineering from the University of Belgrade and is currently a PhD candidate on Chinese infrastructure investment efficiency improvement at the Singidunum University in Belgrade.


Federica RUSSO – Based in Rome, Federica is a Researcher and Simulation Supervisor at geo-strategic consulting firm Wikistrat and an Associated Researcher at the European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS). She focuses on China’s engagement in the global scene and its international implications. Her commentaries and articles appear in Asia Times, China Global Television Network (CGTN), The Diplomat, OBOReurope, Scenari Internazionali, the Nepal Institute for International Cooperation and Engagement (NIICE) and other international media outlets. She is also a political risk analyst at OMNINVEST Independent Insights, Latin America’s first online research marketplace supporting investors in emerging markets.


Yoichiro SATO – Yoichiro is a Professor of International Relations and Asia-Pacific Studies at Ritsumeikan Asia-Pacific University, Japan. He has also taught at the US Department of Defense’s Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. He has published more than ten academic books in international relations, foreign policy, and comparative politics and is a frequent media contributor globally. He holds a BA in Law from Keio University, a MA in International Studies from the University of South Carolina, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawaii.


Hari SESHASAYEE – Hari is an Advisor at the India office of ProColombia, the Colombian export and investment promotion agency. He focuses, among other things, on increasing Colombian exports of non-traditional products to India. A Global Fellow at the Wilson Center, he is a regular commentator on India – Latin America relations. He holds a Masters in Latin American studies from Stanford University and a Bachelor in Journalism from the University of Mumbai.


Zukhra SHARAFUTDINOVA – Zukhra is an Intellectual Property (IP) specialist working with foreign brands in China. An international relations graduate from Moscow State Institute of International Relations, she has also accomplished her LLM in Shanghai University of Political Science and Law. She now focuses on helping foreign businesses enter and operate in the China market.


Alfredo TORO HARDY – From 1991 to 2017, Alfredo served as Ambassador of Venezuela to the US, UK, Spain, Brazil, Chile, Ireland and Singapore, as well as Director of the Diplomatic Academy. An author or co-author of 35 books and numerous academic papers on international affairs, he was an Advisor to the Diplomatic Academy of London, Fulbright Scholar and two times Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Resident Scholar. Selected as Simon Bolivar Chair Professor by the Council of Faculties of Cambridge University, he was also Director of the Center for North American Studies and Coordinator of the Institute for Higher Latin-American Studies at the Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, as well as a Visiting Professor at the universities of Princeton and Brasilia and an on-line Professor at the University of Barcelona.


Andre WHEELER – Based in Perth, Western Australia, Andre is the Founder & CEO of the Asia Pacific Connex consultancy. He holds a BSc (Hons) degree from University of Natal and an MBA in supply chain management from the Australian Institute of Business. Currently a PhD candidate on the impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on infrastructure and logistics in the ASEAN, he is the author of China’s Belt Road Initiative: The Challenge For The Middle Kingdom Through A New Logistics Paradigm, and has published numerous articles on BRI and the changing Eurasian trade paradigm.


WRITE FOR US

Asia Power Watch welcomes unsolicited news articles, analysis pieces and op-eds from external contributors. If you have an idea you would like to pitch, please contact the Editor.


PARTNERS


The Centro de Estudios Internacionales (CEI) is an interdisciplinary International Relations research center within the Department of Political Science and International Relations of the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA) in Buenos Aires. Represented by Dr. Jorge MALENA, the CEI’s main purpose is to contribute to the study and debate on the problems of Argentine foreign policy, the role of Latin America in global politics and the characteristics of the new international agenda. Specific research and teaching programmes are developped by CEI focusing on the role of Asia-Pacific economies in Latin America and the strategic interactions between the two regions.


GIASP Intelligence & Strategy SL is a Spanish company dedicated to the Strategic and Prospective Intelligence for its consulting services. Founded and headed by Mrs. Marta GARCÍA OUTÓN, GIASP also organizes specialized, high-level training courses in Intelligence methodology for the Departments and Units of Strategic Analysis. GIASP uses a unique methodology to produce Intelligence that supports senior management in the decision-making process, ensuring the expansion of corporate capabilities to obtain strategic advantage, reducing the ambiguity, uncertainty and complexity of scenarios.


As the first private intelligence agency in Japan, the Institute for International Strategy and Information Analysis, Inc. (IISIA)​ was established in 2007 by Mr. Takeo HARADA, a former career diplomat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Beyond the daily provision of analysis on current affairs, especially in the financial and intelligence world, the IISIA actively helps major companies with its original method of forecasting and Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). The IISIA is a partner of the International Security Network, Switzerland.


A privately owned, New Delhi-based online publication co-founded by Mrs Amrita DHILLON, The Kootneeti intends to promote international relations in India with readerships in English, Spanish and Hindi. Areas of publications include Indian Diplomacy, Geopolitics, Cultural Diplomacy, Economy, Global Elections, Environment & SDGs by the United Nations.


Narrative Strategies, LLC is a coalition of scholars and military professionals involved in the non-kinetic aspects of irregular warfare, large-scale conflict mediation, counter-terrorism and peace-building. Founded and headed by Dr. Ajit MAAN, and teamed with former Special Operations, high-level political advisors, intelligence professionals, and internationally recognized narrative and identity scholars, it is the only think-and-do tank currently postured to deliver both Operationalized Narrative services and training at the most elite level.


Within the University of Central Lancashire, the Northern England Policy Centre for the Asia Pacific (NEPCAP) was launched in June 2018. Chaired by Dr. Moises LOPES DE SOUZA, its aim is to play the role of maximising research impact into policy and practice, in various fields of studies related to the issues in the Asia-Pacific region.


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