Economics, Energy

Political risks in energy-transporting countries and energy security in the Caspian Basin

Political risks in energy-transporting countries and energy security in the Caspian Basin
Energy security is a crucial issue in contemporary international relations but not a new one. It is usually defined as the reliable and sufficient supply or demand of energy at acceptable prices and is at the top of the agenda for both energy-importing and energy-exporting countries.

Economics, Governance and public sector management, Industry and trade

Land readjustment in Japan: Beyond the myth of Japanese consensus and harmony

Land readjustment in Japan: Beyond the myth of Japanese consensus and harmony
The landscape of Misato City in Japan has changed drastically in the last 35 years. In the 1980s, Shin-Misato Station was the Mushashino marshalling yard for freight services. Most of the land near the station was used for agriculture, but once residential houses increased and more people came to settle in the area the government built a passenger train station.

Economics, Energy

Feed-in tariffs and loans for boosting private investment in renewable energy

Feed-in tariffs and loans for boosting private investment in renewable energy
Investment in renewable energy of $9 trillion is required to meet global energy supply needs by 2040 (International Energy Agency 2016), but investments in fossil fuels still dominate those in renewable energy. Many countries are implementing national energy policies, including fiscal, financial, information and education, institutional support, strategic planning, regulatory, and voluntary measures, to promote greater private investment in renewable energy.

Economics, Finance sector development

What explains the growing global demand for cash?

What explains the growing global demand for cash?
In recent years, cashless payment methods have become increasingly prevalent around the world due to the use of various innovative tools and convenient financial services through mobile phones. This trend is contributing to greater efficiency in our economies and financial systems. Nevertheless, a puzzling phenomenon is that the demand for cash has been rising in many countries. This means that growth in the demand for cash reflects factors other than the transaction motive used for payment. These factors might include opportunity cost, precautionary motives, and other motives such as aging and demand from abroad.

Governance and public sector management, Transport

Thinking beyond the suitability of high-speed railway in India

Thinking beyond the suitability of high-speed railway in India
In India, the project to build the country’s first 500-kilometer high-speed railway (HSR) from Mumbai to Ahmedabad is underway. For comparison, all top 10 economies in the world except the United States have constructed several HSR lines in the past 30 years. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) alone has built nearly 28,000 kilometers of HSR in the past 20 years. Nevertheless, opinion makers in India are expressing contradicting views, questioning whether it is suitable for the country to develop expensive infrastructure such as HSR.

Industry and trade, Information and Communications Technology, Private sector development

Expanding trade opportunities for SMEs in Asia and the Pacific

Expanding trade opportunities for SMEs in Asia and the Pacific
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.

Governance and public sector management, Transport, Urban development

Don’t be derailed by rights-of-way

Don't be derailed by rights-of-way
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.

Economics, Governance and public sector management

Bridging the digital tax divide in Asia

Bridging the digital tax divide in Asia
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).

Transport, Urban development

Delivering safety for high-speed rail

Delivering safety for high-speed rail
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.

Finance sector development, Governance and public sector management, Information and Communications Technology

Will Facebook’s Libra scramble the regulatory calculus for crypto assets?

Will Facebook’s Libra scramble the regulatory calculus for crypto assets?
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.