Infrastructure

The case for connecting South Asia and Southeast Asia

The case for connecting South Asia and Southeast Asia

The case for connecting South Asia and Southeast Asia

A new opportunity for South Asia–Southeast Asia integration

The time is ripe for enhancing economic integration between South Asia and Southeast Asia. The new “normal” era of slow growth in advanced industrial economies following the global financial crisis suggests that Asian economies will need to rely more on domestic and regional demand to secure inclusive growth. The recent slowdown in growth in the People’s Republic of China suggests further grounds for tapping growth opportunities between South Asia and Southeast Asia. The move toward an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 and beyond will provide for a large and more integrated market with notable purchasing power and scale economies. Read more.

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Education

Asia: The next higher education superpower?

Asia The next higher education superpower
In most higher education discourse today it is not unusual to hear the claim that the world’s center of gravity is shifting toward the East. Indeed, no region has undergone as profound a transformation as Asia during the past half-century, from the 1970s to the present. Unprecedented economic growth has driven major social and demographic change and institutional reform and, in most countries, has brought about greater stability. The advent of a large middle class, coupled with openness and market reforms driven by economic imperatives, has contributed to greater interconnectedness among Asian states and between them and the rest of the world. Read more.
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Economics

The necessity of developing SME databases in Asian economies

The necessity of developing SME databases in Asian economies
Considering the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for employment and GDP and the number of such firms in Asian countries, further efforts need to be made to offer SMEs access to finance. Asian economies are often characterized as having bank-dominated financial systems and underdeveloped capital markets, and as a result, banks are the main source of financing for SMEs. Read more.
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Public-Private Partnership

PPPs in ASEAN: Why I’m excited, and how to keep the momentum

PPPs in ASEAN: Why I’m excited, and how to keep the momentum
Discussions I’ve had around public-private partnerships (PPPs) in Asia have typically focused on India and the PRC because of their strong deal volumes. Having listened to and interacted with agencies in several ASEAN countries, I believe ASEAN is at an inflection point that could soon make it the bustling PPP market ADB has long been working toward. Read more.
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Poverty Reduction

How to channel migrant remittances to deliver growth

How to channel migrant remittances to deliver growth
Over the past decade, many developing countries have made substantial progress toward reducing poverty, and remittances sent by migrant workers have hugely contributed to this progress. Read more.
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Economics

Middle-income economies: Slowdowns, traps and transitions

Middle-income economies: Slowdowns, traps and transitions
The notion of a middle-income trap has generated much interest and discussion, but little consensus. There is no agreement on what the trap is or how long a country needs to be at the middle-income stage to be considered trapped. Much of the current discussion is about growth slowdowns, but is a slowdown the same as a trap? It is also possible that the trap does exist but we do not know what causes it. Read more.
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Trade

Exploring the implications of TPP negotiations for Latin America

Exploring the implications of TPP negotiations for Latin America
Chile, Mexico, and Peru are the three Latin American countries participating in the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Although these countries have cultural and geographical proximity, they exhibit different export structures and consequently different objectives toward the ongoing TPP negotiations. Even more intriguing is to understand the particular interests of each country in light of the key issues being negotiated and discussed, such as agriculture, intellectual property rights, and trade in services. Read more.
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Trade

Investor-state dispute settlement: Rule of law or law of the jungle?

Investor-state dispute settlement: Rule of law or law of the jungle?
It is sometimes said that in politics it is not the text that counts, but rather the context. Policies that are seen as benign or even ignored by the electorate in one political constellation can suddenly fuel intense debate when there is a shift in the alignment of external forces. Think of Chancellor Merkel’s sudden decision to abandon nuclear power in Germany after the Fukushima reactor meltdown caused by the March 2011 earthquake in Japan. Nothing had changed about the safety of the German reactors themselves, but everything had changed about the broader context. Read more.
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Education

Learning crisis in South Asia

Learning crisis in South Asia
South Asia is home to a growing youth population and widely considered to benefit from the “demographic dividend” in the coming decades. The United Nations Population Fund’s State of World Population 2014 report The Power of 1.8 Billion: Adolescents, Youth and the Transformation of the Future therefore calls for increased investment in youths and adolescents. Read more.
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Economics

People’s Republic of China: The challenge of the middle-income transition

People’s Republic of China: The challenge of the middle-income transition
The Chinese economy grew by 7.4% in 2014 and is expected to expand by 7.0% this year. These are impressive growth rates for any country but lower than what has been achieved in the past. For 3 solid decades, since the beginning of market reforms in the late 1970s, the economy expanded by an annual average of almost 10%. Read more.
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