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By Gerald Sun. Posted September 19, 2019
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the Asian economy. They already account for over 95% of all businesses in Asia and employ an estimated 60% of the region’s workforce (Mastercard and the Economist Intelligence Unit 2019). Hence, helping SMEs grow can translate directly into economic and workforce expansion.
The disappointing scale-back of California’s showcase high-speed rail system between San Francisco and Anaheim has many experts asking what lessons can be learned. Similar pushbacks have occurred on other continents: witness the popular resistance to construction of a new superstation as part of Stuttgart’s urban renewal, which escalated into violent demonstrations, delays, and stalemates.
Digitalization has transformed the global economy and had significant impacts on Asia and the Pacific, home to some of the world’s biggest and most advanced e-commerce markets, such as the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and the Republic of Korea (Asian Development Bank and United Nations ESCAP 2018).
As we are increasingly relying on technical innovations to solve some of society’s most complex problems, technological advancements such as artificial intelligence are contributing to new, modern modes of transportation, especially to enhancing safety. However, technology is only one of many critical factors for safety, and there is a need to understand the other factors.
By Sayuri Shirai. Posted August 8, 2019
There are currently over 2,000 crypto assets like Bitcoin that can be exchanged for goods and services in many countries anonymously, instantaneously, and at any time. These emerging forms of private sector money, or crypto currencies, provide their own units of account and are based on ledger technology such as blockchain which makes the falsification of transaction data difficult. Unlike cash, transactions using crypto assets are also technically traceable and a positive or negative interest rate can be charged, potentially improving the effectiveness of monetary policy.
In 2015, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) signed an Upgrade Protocol to improve the original Framework Agreement for the ASEAN-People’s Republic of China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) as well as their Agreement on Trade in Goods, Services, and Investment. The Upgrade Protocol entered into force in July 2016, and implementation will start from August 2019.
Currently at the frontier of financial development, cryptocurrency provides both opportunities and risks in financial markets and has driven a large interest in its early years. The new business model provided by cryptocurrency along with the exponential increases in its prices may have enticed investors, with many utilizing cryptocurrency as a speculative asset to take advantage of the early gains. However, the subsequent crash in prices provided a wake-up call to speculators dealing with cryptocurrency.
There is much discussion about the rapid expansion of capital market issuances by emerging market firms in international markets. This expansion has been driven by deepening financial globalization, which started in the 1990s, and, more recently, by low interest rates in advanced economies after the 2008–2009 global financial crisis.
Do the socioeconomic spillovers from sewage treatment plants in developing countries justify heavy investment in them?
Decent sanitation for all is crucial for rapidly urbanizing developing countries, such as India. As large volumes of wastewater in developing countries remain untreated, the investments in treatment facilities have not kept pace with the steady increases in population and urbanization and the resulting increases in wastewater volumes.
By Peter J. Morgan. Posted June 28, 2019
Education is a key driver for sustainable development (UNESCO 2018). However, the goal of realizing education for all in the Digital Age faces two major challenges. First, many countries and economies are still not ensuring quality education for all. Millions of children and youth still lack the necessary tools to realize their potential amid economic, political, and social strife. Second, with the emergence of the fourth Industrial Revolution and the growing use of automation, big data, and artificial intelligence, human labor is being substituted increasingly by machines or algorithms.
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