When ADB recently hosted a conference on using information and communication technology (ICT) in universal health coverage, it was vital not to miss the opportunity to pin down practical steps that participants could commit to taking in their own workplace. The conference culminated in the iCTen Steps: practical next steps with both quick wins and some longer-term goals that can be adapted to specific country settings, regardless of where they are on the road to universal health coverage.
Creativity has little space where tasks are practiced as regimentation. “Business unusual” is a catchphrase about doing things differently, to bring about change, to innovate. Times are becoming more complex. For economic gain, nature can no longer be simply considered as something to be “conquered” by people to extract wealth
Mobile financial services have proven to be an ideal means to connect rural and remote populations to the financial sector. In several countries now—for example, Kenya, Uganda, Pakistan, or the Philippines—financial services are successfully delivered to the rural population using mobile phones and agents.
The offshore renminbi bond market has boomed since the People’s Republic of China (PRC) authorities first allowed domestic banks to issue them in Hong Kong, China in June 2007. But appetite for the paper—popularly known as “dim sum bonds”—is starting to wane as access to onshore markets becomes easier. To stay relevant, the dim sum market must develop further.
Over just 3 years, Myanmar has introduced ambitious reforms which have put it on track to become a modern economy. But big challenges still lie ahead.
Fifteen years ago I was working for a nongovernment organization (NGO) in Bangladesh documenting stories of training and economic empowerment of communities. A common recurring theme in virtually all the communities was the gender stereotyping in skills training programs.
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.
Over the past couple of decades, no one can deny that the Asia and Pacific region has represented a remarkable success story. Absolute poverty levels have fallen significantly and the region is on course to achieve a number of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).