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.
Aging can adversely affect economic performance, demanding changes in social and economic policies to address the challenge. While the best-known dimension of aging relates to fiscal sustainability due to spiraling health care and pension costs, the repercussions are wider. More worryingly, aging will ultimately constrain economic growth because labor supply shortages result in lower GDP growth in the absence of increases in total factor productivity.
Can a nation once intentionally isolated from the world be rebuilt from the outside in? After decades of isolation, Myanmar has an extraordinary amount of work to do on every imaginable front. The country needs access to billions of dollars to bring modern irrigation systems to rural farmers, roads and electricity to remote communities, as well as technical and vocational training to prepare the country's youth for the jobs of the future.
This topic has been much discussed in recent years. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports argue that capability to innovate and to bring innovation successfully to market is a crucial determinant of global competitiveness.
Global food prices remain high and volatile since the peak during the global food crisis of 2008, exacerbating hunger and malnutrition around the world. High and increasing food prices can be an immediate threat to household food security, undermining population health, retarding human development, and lowering labor productivity for the economy in the long term.
As I sat through two days of discussions in the first meeting of the G-20 Development Working Group under the Russian Presidency in Moscow in February this year, an uneasy question kept coming to my mind—is the G-20 losing its way?
The famous poet Rumi once said, “Your true country is not where you are but where you are going.“ He wanted us to think about the afterlife because what we believe affects our action. But even Rumi could only guess and theorize what lies on the other side. Like the future the afterlife is unknowable.
ADB is expecting growth to moderate across ADB's Pacific developing member countries (DMCs) this year (including Timor-Leste), mostly as a result of solid but slower growth in a few of the region’s larger, natural resource–extracting economies.
Two weeks ago I attended the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons (HLPEP) meeting in Bali, which I had anticipated for many weeks. Working on the Asia and the Pacific perspectives of the post 2015 development agenda, the Bali meeting was one of the highlights where I expected to gain more insights into the HLPEP work and the thinking behind it.
This seminar to be held at the 46th Annual Meeting of the ADB Board of Governors today discusses the growing importance of knowledge based economic development for developing Asia.