ADB’s 14 Pacific developing member countries make up a subregion like no other. On a map many of these tiny specks of nations are barely discernable in the vast Pacific Ocean which connects them. Most are home to less than 100,000 people and each country has their own closely held languages, cultures and traditions. Development has been constrained by limited or unevenly distributed resources and endowments, and environmental fragility.
For the past 6 months, my work spins around the Post 2015 development agenda, the successor of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is amazing to follow the numerous tweets, blogs, working papers, which are sprouting out daily and which discuss old and new aspects of the Post 2015 development agenda.
Bhutan, located in the eastern Himalayas, is a small landlocked country between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and India. Virtually the entire country is mountainous. Despite challenging geography and limited connection to the global markets, the country managed to ignite and sustain strong economic growth by unlocking its hydro potential.
In March 2013, the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will convene to appoint the new General Secretary of the Communist Party Xi Jinping as President. At the same time, Li Keqiang is expected to be confirmed as Premier heading a newly appointed State Council.
A well-developed services sector plays a major role in improving production efficiency and promoting technical progress and innovation. The services sector has expanded rapidly in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) since economic reform was launched in 1979, and particularly after PRC joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. However, the size of the sector as a share of GDP appears to be significantly smaller than expected based on PRC's income level and development stage.
The global financial crisis of 2008-2009 has reignited the debate on the role of macroeconomic policies. The role of macroeconomic stabilization policies can be contentious, especially as the policy room is increasingly limited in most advanced economies.
“Inclusive growth” and “green growth” are two buzzwords that we often hear in the development sphere nowadays. This is not surprising since these two form key part of many development strategies. While Asia has done extremely well in expanding its economies in the last two to three decades, rapid growth has brought with it rising inequality—within and across countries. It has also badly damaged the environment along the way.
In recent discussions that I have had with decision makers and economists working on People’s Republic of China (PRC), the question on the incoming leadership’s approach to economic reforms inevitably comes up. Is the transition to new leadership a good opportunity to rethink economic policies?
My second meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was in early November. I had returned to the country to meet with officials and discuss next steps following our Board’s approval of our interim country partnership strategy. Following a variety of meetings in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, we returned to her residence on the outskirts of the capital. Madame Suu Kyi again greeted us at the entrance to her home and ushered us to the same table.
Over the course of our eleven-month “re-engagement” with Myanmar and my three trips to the country since June, I have discussed prospects for the country with literally hundreds of people. In a September op-ed, I quoted Rudyard Kipling who referred to the country as "quite unlike any land you know about" in his 1898 collection Letters from the East and these discussions leave me convinced that this century-old observation holds true.