Governance

India: Defeat of the inclusive growth agenda?

India: Defeat of the inclusive growth agenda?
Elections are complex affairs and the factors that give rise to a change of government normally include the three Ps of personalities, policies, and past performance. This is certainly true of the recent election in India. The Congress Party, led by the Gandhi dynasty, lost control of the government to a resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party headed by the former chief minister of Gujarat state, Narendra Modi. A key question is whether the policies of inclusion, pursued by Congress for a decade, were rejected by the electorate. Read more.
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Governance

Better urban management in the Pacific offers double dividends

Better urban management in the Pacific offers double dividends
A new report by Asian Development Bank (ADB), Moving from Risk to Resilience: Sustainable Urban Development in the Pacific, argues that efforts to improve urban management in the Pacific can improve both the quality of life in the region’s cities and towns and, at the same time, build greater resilience to natural hazards and climate change-induced events. Read more.
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Trade

Is finance a binding constraint for SME participation in trade in Asia?

Is finance a binding constraint for SME participation in trade in Asia?
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a very important part of Asia’s economy. In this article, we explore SMEs and their financing issues with respect to the performance of SMEs in international trade, based on the sample of more than 8,000 companies across the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states. The discussion is derived from a recent Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) working paper (Jinjarak, Mutuc, and Wignaraja 2014). Read more.
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Social Development and Poverty

Giving Asia’s elderly care and dignity

Giving Asia’s elderly care and dignity
There is a seemingly hidden problem for Asia in providing economic, social and emotional security for the elderly. But drawing on the experiences of more developed economies, I think there is a silver lining behind this—an opportunity if actions are taken now to provide care and to give dignity to the elderly in Asia. Read more.
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Trade

The new mega-regionals: the TPP, RCEP and beyond

The world may be on the verge of renewing the global trading system with huge “mega-regional” negotiations on the trade rules of the 21st century. These negotiations include the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP); the countries involved cover nearly 80% of global GDP. The hope is that these approaches will overcome constraints that have held up progress in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Read more.
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Environment

The food, water, energy nexus

The food, water, energy nexus
Striking rates of economic growth notwithstanding, 550 million people remain hungry in the Asia and Pacific region, 65% of the population has no safe piped water, and more than 600 million people live without electricity. Overcoming these problems requires a combined approach in which food, water and energy are treated as a nexus, rather than as separate, standalone issues, which has too often been the case in the past. Read more.
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Regional Cooperation

Pacific economies: Leveraging the benefits of East Asian and Southeast Asian growth

Pacific economies: Leveraging the benefits of East Asian and Southeast Asian growth
With the center of global economic activity shifting rapidly from the United States and Europe toward Asia, opportunities are being generated for the Pacific developing member countries (DMCs) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to benefit from increasing economic interdependence with Asia. Economic transmission channels are (i) trade in goods; (ii) trade in services, in particular tourism; (iii) finance and foreign direct investment; (iv) labor and remittance flows; and (v) aid. Read more.
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Environment

Green cities: Changing the culture of waste

Green cities Changing the culture of waste
Asia’s drive to urbanize is taking an increasing toll on the environment with growing mountains of solid waste as city dwellers consume and discard resources at an ever increasing rate. If “green” cities are to be the answer to these environmental stresses then they will need to develop much more effective programs to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover waste. Read more.
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Finance

What to look out for in Asian bond markets in 2014

2014 is shaping up to be another challenging year for bond markets in Asia after a see-saw 2013 which saw prices rise at the start of the year, and then fall back on news that the US Federal Reserve plans to reduce or ‘taper’ its quantitative easing operations. Read more.
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Trade

Use of national currencies for trade settlement in East Asia: A proposal

Use of national currencies for trade settlement in East Asia: A proposal
Financial cooperation and integration in East Asia has been languishing for almost a decade. But ASEAN, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Japan, and the Republic of Korea (henceforth, Korea), or ASEAN+3, have been more successful in promoting free trade in East Asia by establishing a number of bilateral and plurilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with countries in the region and outside the region. Read more.
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