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.
The US Fed has been winding down its bond purchase program, widely known as “quantitative easing,” since December 2013. The program was introduced in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis to fight the recession and foster a rapid economic recovery. With the improvement in the US economy, the Fed suggested at its policy meeting in March that the program may end this coming fall and it may start raising interest rates about six months from then.
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.
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.
The establishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the United Nations in 2001 was a defining moment. It rallied a global effort in the fight against poverty, hunger, and disease, while promoting universal education, gender equality, and environmental sustainability. However, new challenges have emerged while remaining ones are complex. Meanwhile, the 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs is almost upon us, raising the question: where do we go from here?
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.
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).
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.