Finance

Emerging Asia should brace for higher global interest rates

Emerging Asia should brace for higher global interest rates
The US Fed has been winding down its bond purchase program, widely known as “quantitative easing,” since December 2013. The program was introduced in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis to fight the recession and foster a rapid economic recovery. With the improvement in the US economy, the Fed suggested at its policy meeting in March that the program may end this coming fall and it may start raising interest rates about six months from then. Read more.
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Social Development and Poverty

Eradicating absolute poverty by 2030 – are we aiming too low?

The post-2015 development agenda is leaning toward a goal of eradicating absolute poverty by 2030. The World Bank’s recently approved corporate strategy has the same goal. I believe, however, that this target is absolutely meaningless for the Asia and Pacific region. Read more.
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Trade

The German Mittelstand – a model for Asia’s emerging economies?

German Mittelstand (GM), the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany—are a unique and highly successful economic phenomenon that could serve as a model to promote trade and industry for emerging Asia. Read more.
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Social Development and Poverty

The relevance of $1.25 – recounting the poor

The relevance of $1.25 – recounting the poor
The millennium development goals (MDGs), which end in 2015, are a remarkable set of agreed global aspirations, with the world community committing to eradicate extreme poverty for the first time in history. In the 19th century around 80% of the population was poor with affluence generally uncommon. Over the last two hundred years, however, thinking about poverty has changed dramatically. Where once poverty was considered the norm, governments now use public policy to make it the exception. Read more.
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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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