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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a vital role as a driving force in economies around the world, especially in Asia. SMEs in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region are estimated to comprise more than 98% of the total number of enterprises, and they contribute to around 40% of gross domestic product.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has many services dimensions; improved access to and provision of services are necessary for attaining many of the Sustainable Development Goals. Because of their effects on competition in services markets and the ability of foreign providers to supply services to consumers and firms in developing countries, services trade policies should be considered in the arsenal of policy instruments that can be used in efforts to realize sustainable development objectives.
By Erik van der Marel. Posted December 12, 2018
One long-standing concern in the economic field has been that services contribute little to economic development. Services would suffer from a so-called Baumol’s cost disease (Baumol 1967), meaning factors such as labor cannot be easily substituted for more productive factors using existing technologies, as it happens in manufacturing. Over time, this would lead services to become a drag on the economy relative to other more productive industries.
By Claude Bodart. Posted March 23, 2018
The rapid pace of aging in developed and developing countries, especially in Asia, requires data for informed decision-making to ensure the well-being of aging populations. But for many countries, data for sound policy-making, planning, and investment targeting have not been available. This has led to piecemeal public policies with little sense of priority.
By Kai Li. Posted August 17, 2017
Technological innovation represents modern corporations’ endeavors to develop and accumulate knowledge, and it has long been recognized as a catalyst for economic growth and productivity increase (Solow 1957; Romer 1986; Aghion and Howitt 1992) and as a key factor in the competitive advantages of nations (Porter 1998).
We’ve all heard the buzz about the potential applications of blockchain technology. But what’s actually happening in developing countries in Asia and the Pacific? Beyond bitcoin payments and remittances, blockchain exists largely in the pilot stage. Governments and banks are collaborating with technology firms to see if it can be used to solve persistent problems like traceability, identification, and trust.
By Alisa DiCaprio. Posted May 11, 2017
Electronic documentation in trade has made impressive recent gains in Asia and the Pacific. Up to 38% of banks in the region report progress in digitizing their operations in 2015, and more than a third of countries had partially or fully implemented electronic customs systems by the end of last year.
More than ever before, Pacific firms are moving online. Will this increase e-commerce? This online activity is particularly good news in 2016, as the Pacific has witnessed an 8.2% jump in tourism arrivals. According to Pacific niche exporters, tourists constitute the majority of their overseas customers, often by visiting the seller’s website after they return home to seek out more information or re-order souvenirs.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing economies often have difficulties improving their technological capabilities in terms of product or process innovation. Therefore, some kind of government support is necessary.
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