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.
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.
With its stunning, modern architecture, crisp blue skies, and myriad influences, Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, provides a dramatic backdrop for ADB’s 47th Meeting of the Board of Governors that starts 2 May and concludes three days later.
Central Asia has for centuries been seen as a neglected Russian “backyard,” but international interest in the region has increased over the last two decades because of its vast stores of energy and natural resources. To achieve a brighter future the region must pursue greater economic integration.
Striking rates of economic growth notwithstanding, 550 million people remain hungry in Asia and the Pacific, 65% of the population has no safe piped water, and more than 600 million people live without electricity. Overcoming these problems requires a combined approach in which food, water and energy are treated as a nexus, rather than as separate, standalone issues, which has too often been the case in the past.
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.
Any contemporary story on development in Asia-Pacific begins with reflection on massive gains achieved in the fight against poverty. The incidence of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell from 54.5% in 1990 to 20.7% in 2010, with the number of extreme poor declining from 1.48 billion to 733 million. This precipitous decline in poverty incidence has been accompanied by tremendous gains in access to health and education.
As articulated by Cavoli, Rajan, and Siregar (2004) in their survey of East Asian financial integration, financial integration is a multidimensional process closely associated with development of financial markets.
Regional cooperation and integration (RCI) has played an important role in Asia’s growth and development, and will have to play a role in managing the consequences of this ascendancy going forward.