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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.

Agriculture and natural resources, Capacity development, Environment, Governance and public sector management, Health, Water

Do the socioeconomic spillovers from sewage treatment plants in developing countries justify heavy investment in them?

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.

Economics, Governance and public sector management, Regional cooperation and integration

Tackling the challenge of growing inequality in Asia

Tackling the challenge of growing inequality in Asia
Income inequality is one of the most profound social, economic, and political challenges of our time. A survey conducted by Pew Research Center (2014) found that more than 60% of worldwide respondents regard the gap between the rich and the poor as a major concern. Piketty (2014) draws the unequivocal conclusion that growing inequality between the rich and the poor—between the owners of capital and the rest of society—is the normal state of affairs under capitalism, and that periods of decreasing inequality, such as during a post-war boom, are the exception, not the rule.

Governance and public sector management

Malaysia’s affirmative action should be based on need

Malaysia’s Affirmative Action Should Be Based on Need
When Malaysians came out in numbers to replace the government that had ruled since Independence, they signaled a clear desire for change. But what kind of mandate does the new government have? Pakatan Harapan’s election campaign included a host of promises, most of which are now being pursued without much controversy.

Agriculture and natural resources, Governance and public sector management

Land trust laws as a solution to the land acquisition dilemma for infrastructure development in Asia

Land trust laws as a solution to the land acquisition dilemma for infrastructure development in Asia
Many developing countries struggle with the dichotomy of acquiring land for infrastructure development and balancing landholder interests. Industrialization of rural villages across developing Asia (particularly in India) has created widespread social and political tensions in the recent past. Most of these are attributed to land acquisition (Sarkar 2007). The “right” of sovereignty on land has long been a contested subject. Even in democracies, the exigencies of collective benefit versus individual land rights have been at loggerheads. In the long run, growth dividends from infrastructure development and industrialization are likely to materialize (Paul and Sarma 2017), and acquisition of land to facilitate this process remains one of the main development challenges in many Asian countries.

Governance and public sector management, Private sector development

“Monsters” in the house? What to do about Malaysia’s government-linked companies

“Monsters” in the house? What to do about Malaysia’s government-linked companies
About a month before Malaysia’s parliamentary election in May 2018, then-opposition leader Mahathir Mohamad raised concerns over the role that government-linked companies (GLCs) were playing in the economy, being “huge and rich” enough to be considered “monsters”. Data support his description—GLCs account for about half of the benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index, and they constitute seven out of the top-10 listed firms in 2018. They are present in almost every sector, sometimes in a towering way. Globally, Malaysia ranks fifth-highest in terms of GLC influence on the economy.

Finance sector development, Governance and public sector management

Japan’s Local Government Debt Control System

Japan's Local Government Debt Control System
Japanese local government bonds or loans are viewed as secure and almost the same as Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs). The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), which is responsible for matters related to local government finance in Japan, states that even though decentralization reforms have been executed and are still in progress, there are three reasons that assure the financial security of local governments.

Economics, Governance and public sector management

What Do Structural Economic Reforms Promise for the Future of Azerbaijan?

What Do Structural Economic Reforms Promise for the Future of Azerbaijan?
After the oil price crunch in mid-2014, Azerbaijan entered into a new stage of economic development. During 2004–2014, thanks to high oil prices, Azerbaijan achieved substantial growth rates, which were accompanied by improved social conditions and macroeconomic stability. Azerbaijan’s average annual growth rate during 2000–2013 of 11.3% played a key role in the improvement of the country’s international economic ranking.

Economics, Governance and public sector management, Industry and trade, Regional cooperation and integration

Impact of Retaliatory Trade Enforcement Actions on the World Trade Organization and Trade Governance

Impact of Retaliatory Trade Enforcement Actions on the World Trade Organization and Trade Governance
The international regulatory instruments in international trade boast a remarkable story of evolving sophistication. Their transformation from voluntary export restraint agreements showed that the world trade system was poised to keep pace with rapidly expanding trade ties and diversifying supply chains. To keep the reins on an increasingly dynamic global trade system, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) sought to formalize instruments that would help keep trade balanced and fair by isolating international trade from government intervention, in alignment with the economic thinking of the period: neoliberal convergence.

Economics, Finance sector development, Governance and public sector management, Industry and trade

FDI and Its Impacts on Entrepreneurship and Informal Markets: A Double-Edged Sword?

FDI and Its Impacts on Entrepreneurship and Informal Markets: A Double-Edged Sword?
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is attractive, especially for developing and emerging markets, as it brings new technologies and mitigates the constraints imposed by low domestic capital formation. Lawmakers enact various policies to make such investments attractive for foreigners, and businesses often actively seek foreign collaborators. India, for instance, under the present government, has been aggressive in seeking foreign investments through its “Make in India” campaign.