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Photo Credit: Chor Mui Lee

Capacity development | Economics

Myanmar: Cautionary tales for a country on the move

Can a nation once intentionally isolated from the world be rebuilt from the outside in? After decades of isolation, Myanmar has an extraordinary amount of work to do on every imaginable front. The country needs access to billions of dollars to bring modern irrigation systems to rural farmers, roads and electricity to remote communities, as well as technical and vocational training to prepare the country's youth for the jobs of the future.

Stephen P. Groff

Economics | Social development and protection

Aging: A threat to People’s Republic of China’s growth

Aging can adversely affect economic performance, demanding changes in social and economic policies to address the challenge. While the best-known dimension of aging relates to fiscal sustainability due to spiraling health care and pension costs, the repercussions are wider. More worryingly, aging will ultimately constrain economic growth because labor supply shortages result in lower GDP growth in the absence of increases in total factor productivity.

Yolanda Fernandez Lommen

ADB-funded Woman and Child Health Development Project helped this blood center  in Tashkent City, Uzbekistan upgrade its equipment and facilities.


Re-examining ADB’s future role in the health sector

ADB is currently reviewing its role in the health sector. Strategy 2020 proposes 80% investment in core sectors, and 20% in other sectors including agriculture, and health and social protection as non-core sectors. But investments in health have been declining in the past few years, and based on new Country Partnership Strategies, will decline further in coming years. ADB has now reached a point where it struggles to sustain a critical staff capacity in the health sector. 

A view of smog, haze in the city’s skyline in People’s Republic of China.


Pollute first, clean up later: Could we avoid this development model?

Resource depletion and environmental pollution are serious issues in developing Asia. This was well illustrated in January of this year when northern People’s Republic of China (PRC) suffered its worst air pollution on record. The level of pollution moved many to question the old development model of “pollute first, improve later”. 

Aiming Zhou