The Okura-sho’s old school ties

Japan's Ministry of Finance building has the feel of a British public school, and its occupants consider themselves the real rulers of Japan.

Undaunted by the battle in Seattle

In spite of the battle in Seattle and the subsequent inertia that has gripped the World Trade Organization, Supachai says he is looking forward to taking over from Michael Moore as WTO director-general.

Korea: Intervention, interference or encouragement?

With a first round of bank restructuring that killed off more than half the country’s banks behind it, Korea is now facing up to consolidating what is left, ostensibly to enhance competitiveness and create economies of scale.

Vietnam: Small but perfectly formed

Vietnam’s newly created stock market boasts only five stocks, yet one foreign investor reckons its dematerialized system is far superior to London’s.

Supachai's Asian history lessons

In a wide-ranging interview, Supachai Panitchpakdi, Thailand's deputy prime minister and director-general-elect of the WTO, talks about the successes and failures of government strategy in bringing Thailand out of the 1997-98 Asian crisis and assesses the prospects for a successful continuation of the work of the WTO