Recently IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde noted: “In too many countries, the benefits of growth are being enjoyed by far too few people”. She was making the point that high levels of inequality are a global concern.
Last Friday, 7 March, 2014, Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science and Technology Co Ltd defaulted on its 1 billion yuan ’Chaori-11 bond‘ when it failed to pay in full the coupon due that day. The default should not have taken investors by surprise as the company has been struggling over the past few years due to general weakness in the solar panel market.
Where are Asia’s economies headed to in the short and long term? What shape are they in to withstand future financial crises? And how can they respond to the yawning rich-poor divide, now a key concern among Asian and global policymakers? These were some of the key points discussed over the first two days of business at our 47th Annual Meeting, held in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Asian success stories have broken down the old distinctions between rich countries and poor, developing and developing, development assistance providers and aid recipients.
Almost 1,500 years ago in the sixth and seventh century, southern Kazakhstan was part of the famous Silk Road that carried goods, ideas and cultural influences from as far as China to Europe.
We’ve wrapped up our 47th Annual Meeting in Astana today with plenty of food for thought on what lies ahead for our vast, diverse region.
Thomas Piketty, a young French economist, has redefined the relationship between capital and inequalities in his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century.
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.
Rapid and dynamic changes in Southeast Asia including population growth and movement, as well as booming urbanization, have contributed to the complexity of combating the spread of tropical diseases. Now the region is faced with an even greater challenge: climate change
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.