Economics, Finance sector development

Should emerging Asia worry about a “taper tantrum” post-COVID-19?

Should emerging Asia worry about a “taper tantrum” post-COVID-19?

With an improved growth outlook in the United States (US) in the second half of 2021 as the economy recovers from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in part related to the substantial fiscal stimulus in the US introduced at the start of 2021, the Federal Reserve (Fed) is on course to slow down its asset purchases program, or so-called quantitative easing (QE) tapering. This has sparked fears of sharp capital outflows from emerging market economies (EMEs) and currency depreciations, as occurred during the “taper tantrum” episode of May 2013. At that time, emerging markets reacted abruptly to the announcement by the Fed that it may wind down its quantitative easing program, signalling tighter monetary policy (Sahay et al.

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Economics, Social development and protection

Supporting the creative economy for sustainable development in Southeast Asia

Supporting the creative economy for sustainable development in Southeast Asia
Many efforts have been made in Southeast Asia to support creative industries and boost the creative economy, realizing the ability of knowledge-based economic activities to foster income generation, job creation, and export earnings while promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity, and human development (UNCTAD 2010: 10).

Economics, Finance sector development

Foreign holdings of local currency bonds: A double-edged sword for emerging Asia

Foreign holdings of local currency bonds: A double-edged sword for emerging Asia
Local currency bond markets (LCBMs) have continued to develop in emerging Asian economies since the early 2000s, with foreign investor participation rising markedly since the global financial crisis of 2007–2008. LCBMs help to enhance domestic financial stability by enabling governments and companies to borrow in domestic currency.

Governance and public sector management, Health, Poverty, Social development and protection, Water

How can the private sector help solve the sanitation challenge?

How can the private sector help solve the sanitation challenge?
The private sector can play a vital role in solving the sanitation challenge. The following four aspects highlight the importance of private sector participation in sanitation in developing countries, including in Asia.

Governance and public sector management, Health, Poverty, Social development and protection

Lessons for the informal sector from COVID-19

Lessons for the informal sector from COVID-19
The informal sector, which employs over 62% of the global population, is a fundamental source of livelihood for over 2 billion people (ILO 2020). Here, “employment” includes self-employment, and the informal sector refers to the part of the economy that is generally not monitored by a tax authority or other forms of government. Before the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the informal sector accounted for 87.7%, 51.5%, and 55.7% of the population in low-, middle-, and high-income countries, respectively (ILO 2018a).

Climate change, Energy, Finance sector development

Green bonds show promise for financing energy-efficient buildings in Southeast Asia

Green bonds show promise for financing energy-efficient buildings in Southeast Asia
The member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have been experiencing a surge in energy demand due to their growing populations, expanding economies, and rising living standards. One reason for this rising energy demand is increased activity in the building and construction sector.

Agriculture and natural resources, Governance and public sector management, Health, Poverty, Social development and protection

Rebooting food systems to achieve the unfinished agenda of global food security

Rebooting food systems to achieve the unfinished agenda of global food security
Food insecurity continues to be a pressing issue worldwide, despite scientific innovation and technological advancements in agriculture. Therefore, food security continues to be at the center of the global development agenda. The burgeoning demand for food due to exponential growth in the world’s population and the mismatch between demand and supply due to factors such as climate change, loss of soil fertility, land degradation, water scarcity, food loss and waste, and inefficient distribution systems, have exacerbated the problem of food insecurity.

Economics, Finance sector development, Health, Social development and protection

Remittance inflows giving resilience to Bangladesh’s rural economy amid COVID-19

Remittance inflows giving resilience to Bangladesh’s rural economy amid COVID-19
While the World Bank has identified Bangladesh as one of only three big economies that had increases in remittance inflows in 2020, along with Pakistan and Mexico (Ratha et al. 2020), and remittances have long made up a substantial share of people’s income in the country, preliminary results from a recent study supported by the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) finds surprising resilience for remittance inflows into the rural economy during the first wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Bangladesh.

Energy, Governance and public sector management

Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic need more than energy access to promote clean fuels

Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic need more than energy access to promote clean fuels
Air pollution in the cold countries of Central Asia is particularly high during winter due to the consumption of solid fuels for space heating. Evidence-based policy recommendations are needed to facilitate the transition from solid fuel consumption to the use of cleaner fuels for residential heating and cooking, particularly in Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic. This is important not only for improving health conditions for the inhabitants and visitors in these countries but also for reducing the life-threatening health hazards arising from indoor cooking and heating.

Climate change, Finance sector development

Which financing sources matter for private investment in renewable energy in Asia?

Which financing sources matter for private investment in renewable energy in Asia?
The mobilization of climate finance is critical for limiting global warming to within 1.5°C and preventing catastrophic climate change (IPCC 2018). Annual green investments totaling $1.5 trillion are needed (United Nations 2017). Despite the falling cost of renewable energy technologies, energy investments remain dominated by investments in fossil fuels. In Asia and the Pacific, annual investments fell after 2017 and until 2020 remained below the 2017 level.