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Photo credit: Lester V. Ledesma for ADB 2011

What you can do to improve access to finance

Did you know that there are over 2.5 billion people without any bank accounts in the world, and most of them are in Asia? And less than one quarter of the world’s 2.4 billion poor have a bank account. Managing their money using formal financial services – savings accounts, loans, insurance, and remittances -- is a wonderful, terrible, impossible dream for many, many families.  

Betty Wilkinson

BRICS countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Photo courtesy of www.silkespeaks.com, 2012.

The BRICS Bank — An idea whose time has come

Later this month, the leaders of five major emerging economies—some say they have already emerged— are likely to announce the establishment of a BRICS Bank. These countries are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. As the name suggests, the Bank will focus on investment needs in the BRICS countries, but might cover some other countries as well.

Indu Bhushan

Photo Credit: Guillaume Brialon

Make policies work: Getting the proof to the top of the pile

Policymakers are swamped. They have a wide range of interest groups talking to them all the time. They have large numbers of papers and emails and phone calls to deal with every day.  So if you approach them with a brilliant evaluation that is fifty pages long, complete with graphs and tables and lots of Greek equations, it will go straight to the bottom of the stack. And stay there.

Betty Wilkinson

Why Should People’s Republic of China Unlock Services?

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.

Yolanda Fernandez Lommen

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