Latest Blog Posts

Banking integration in ASEAN gathers pace

By Thiam Hee Ng on Fri, 29 August 2014

The ASEAN Economic Community, planned to come into effect in 2015, is expected to liberalize goods, capital and skilled labor flows in the ASEAN region. While there has been considerable progress in the area of trade integration, financial integration still lags behind. The ASEAN Banking Integration Framework, which aims to liberalize the banking market by 2020, could help pave the way for further integration and the entry of ASEAN banks into regional banking markets.

Beating Malaria, Again

By Health Team on Tue, 26 August 2014

Malaria can be beaten. Proof of this can be found in the fact that across the Asia Pacific region, millions of people who would have died from the disease are living healthy, productive lives. Still, malaria remains a serious threat to lives and livelihoods. Endemic in 22 countries across Asia, it is contracted by an estimated 32 million people annually and kills 47,000 of them.

Women’s participation: Why quality counts more than numbers

By Gender Team on Wed, 06 August 2014

Nana lives in a remote village. She is married with three children. Both she and her husband are farmers. Nana went to school up to grade 3. Every now and then, the households in her community are asked to attend a meeting. One day, the village leader requested her to attend a meeting the next day.

To invest, or not to invest? That is the problem in Myanmar

By Kiyoshi Taniguchi on Thu, 31 July 2014

Myanmar opened a new chapter in its history in November 2010 when it adopted its open-economy policy. Since then, an impressive array of reforms have been implemented.
However, Myanmar’s sustainable and inclusive growth depends on it maintaining this momentum during its transition —particularly inflows of foreign direct investment.

From Farm to Fork—Combating Asia’s Hidden Hunger

By Bindu N. Lohani on Thu, 24 July 2014

Feeding the world is becoming an increasingly complex task. Providing all our daily bread—or rice—requires grappling with intense competition for natural resources, producing more from less land and dealing with changing dietary habits. But meeting food needs is not just about quantity. Quality is also important. Along with daily minimum calorie requirements, people also need vital micronutrients from their meals.  High levels of micronutrient deficiencies, a phenomenon we call “hidden hunger” remains pervasive, particularly in South Asia and Southeast Asia.