Roland Rajah

Lowy Institute Lead Economist; Director, Indo-Pacific Development Centre
Areas of expertise

International economic policy; Asia Pacific economies; macroeconomics; economic development; aid and development finance; globalisation; geo-economics.  

Roland Rajah
Biography
Publications
News and media

Roland Rajah is Director of the Indo-Pacific Development Centre, a dedicated policy research centre within the Lowy Institute. The Centre is committed to producing fresh policy insights and ideas on the most pressing economic development challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region — principally focusing on the emerging and developing economies of Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and South Asia. He also serves as the Lowy Institute’s Lead Economist, a position he has held since joining the Institute in 2017.

Roland directs the overall work program of the Indo-Pacific Development Centre across its key thematic pillars of post-Covid growth and development, globalisation and regional integration, climate change and development, technology and digital economy, aid and development finance, and geoeconomics. The Centre also houses the Lowy Institute Pacific Aid Map project, which provides the world’s most comprehensive data tracking of all official aid and other development finance flows to the Pacific Islands.

A development economist by background, Roland has extensive experience working across both emerging Asia and the small island developing states of the Pacific. He has previously worked for the Asian Development Bank, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and the Reserve Bank of Australia. Roland holds a master’s degree in economics from the Australian National University, where he was awarded the Helen Hughes Prize in International and Development Economics. He also serves on the board of the Cambodia Development Resource Institute, one of Southeast Asia’s leading independent policy research think tanks.

Upgrading Cambodia’s Economic Model for a Post-COVID-19 World
Commentary
Upgrading Cambodia’s Economic Model for a Post-COVID-19 World
Published by the Cambodia Annual Outlook Conference ↗
Five reasons Australia should establish a Development Finance Institution
Five reasons Australia should establish a Development Finance Institution
A DFI would expand Canberra’s development toolkit and re-establish the country as a serious financing partner in Asia.
Does Southeast Asia need a new development model?
Interactives
Does Southeast Asia need a new development model?
A Lowy Institute debate, with contributions from leading Southeast Asian experts.
Is the East Asian growth and development superhighway closing? So what?
Commentary
Is the East Asian growth and development superhighway closing? So what?
Published by the Development Intelligence Lab ↗
India’s economy after Covid
India’s economy after Covid
Digitalisation is helping the top and the bottom, but jobs are a big concern.
Worries about China's economic power are overdone
Commentary
Worries about China's economic power are overdone
Core realities suggest that it will never establish a meaningful lead over the West. Originally published in Nikkei Asia.
Revising down the rise of China
Analyses
Revising down the rise of China
Despite being on track to become the world’s largest economy, China will struggle to avoid a future of significantly slower long-term growth.
Sanctions bite – but how dangerously?
Sanctions bite – but how dangerously?
As long as Russian energy revenues continue to flow, Moscow will retain a critical financial lifeline.
Towards a Better Vaccine Diplomacy
Commentary
Towards a Better Vaccine Diplomacy
If vaccine diplomacy is the new great game, it is being played wrong by all sides, with the risk that no one will be left a winner. Originally published in The Diplomat.
Top