Asia Pathways

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Asia Pathways
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Asia Pathways is a blog of the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI). ADBI welcomes contributions to Asia Pathways. Information on how to contribute to the blog is available at our guidelines for authors.

Located in Tokyo, Japan, ADBI is the think tank of the Asian Development Bank. Its mission is to identify effective development strategies and improve development management in ADB's developing members countries. ADBI has an extensive network of partners in the Asia and Pacific region and beyond. ADBI's activities are guided by its three strategic priority themes of inclusive and sustainable growth, regional cooperation and integration, and governance for policies and institutions.

Kazakhstan's Doing Well, now about those Public Finances

Date: 13 May 2016

As a highly globally integrated, resource-rich, upper-middle income country, Kazakhstan has been facing significant challenges in the current global environment. Kazakhstan’s major challenges include managing its public finances to preserve fiscal stability and generating broad-based economic growth.

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A Slowdown in Potential Growth Looms over Asia

Date: 9 May 2016

Economic growth in both developing and advanced economies has slowed since the global financial crisis. Developing Asia’s growth also moderated after the crisis, largely driven by the slowdown in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

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Asian Trade Forges Ahead with the RCEP

Date: 22 April 2016

There seems to be a pushback against trade agreements in the post-global financial crisis era. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was signed in early 2016, but US presidential candidates have spared no effort criticizing it so near-term ratification is highly uncertain.

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Energy Consumption Shift Puts India in the Spotlight

Date: 18 April 2016

Access to energy sources at low prices will continue to drive the world’s political agenda, as energy is a component as well as an object of national power. The world’s primary energy consumption from commercial sources of energy has grown from approximately 8,600 million tons oil equivalent (mtoe) to 13,000 mtoe from 1995 to 2015 and is forecasted to grow approximately by the same amount to 17,300 mtoe by 2035.

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Fallout of a Slowing China on Emerging Asian Economies

Date: 11 April 2016

With its rapid economic growth and integration into the global economy over the last 3 decades, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has emerged as a major economic power and an important source of growth for the world economy. Now it is the second-largest economy at market exchange rates and the largest exporter in the world.

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To Catch a White-Collar Thief via the Internet

Date: 1 April 2016

The increasing use of the internet in recent years has caught the fancy of consumers and producers, in commodities, services, and leisure activities. The wide prevalence of wireless internet access and the portability of devices such as smartphones and tablets have increased access and diffusion of related services and products as possibly no other technology in history.

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Unconventional Monetary Policy and Unintended Consequences

Date: 29 March 2016

On August 2015, the People’s Bank of China devalued the yuan with the aim of appreciating the currency against the US dollar. On October 2015, the European Central Bank signaled the intention to pump more liquidity into the Eurozone economy. On October 2015, the Federal Reserve postponed its intention to conduct tapering on its monetary policy.

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Indonesia's Unhealthiness is Biased Toward the Poor

Date: 23 March 2016

New ADBI research (Aizawa and Helble, forthcoming) studies how overweight and obesity have become major threats to public health in Indonesia. The evidence shows that obesity, which was previously a problem among high-income groups in the country, has spread across all income groups. Obesity in the lower-income groups, in particular, has been rising rapidly.

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When Two Percent Inflation is Too Optimistic

Date: 15 March 2016

The Bank of Japan had a difficult start into 2016. The latest data shows that inflation in the last quarter of 2015 was lower than expected. Furthermore, doubts are increasing about the recovery of the economy. At the end of January, BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda surprised markets by announcing negative interest rates for specific commercial bank deposits at the BOJ.

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Can Giant Infrastructure Projects Economically Reintegrate South Asia?

Date: 10 March 2016

Despite strong linkages in the past during the colonial period and strong ethnic and traditional ties, South Asian countries have become increasingly more diverse since their independence. While they are geographically closely connected, this does not mean that they are well integrated. Countries in the region have vastly different sizes, populations, and topography, and there are significant differences in their economies and income per capita.

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Budget Primer: A Broader Lesson from Singapore's Reporting

Date: 24 February 2016

Singapore has regularly reported considerable surpluses in its annual fiscal budget. Budget surpluses have been an essential part of the country’s growth strategy (Asher et al. 2015) as they are perceived to provide a signal of sound public sector financial management to foreign investors, key stakeholders in Singapore’s development planning.

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Global Production Networks Transformative Characteristics

Date: 17 February 2016

Slowing growth in the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) – the world’s second largest economy – is grabbing the headlines with some suggesting a third wave of the 2008 global financial crisis. While this topic deserves attention because of its global economic implications, there is insufficient analysis of firms in global production networks (GPNs), which were at the forefront of the economic transformation in PRC and the rest of East Asia, and lessons for latecomers to GPNs.

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China Viewed as a Convergence Success Story

Date: 10 February 2016

China’s diminished growth prospects have figured prominently in recent commentaries about global economic conditions and world stock markets (e.g. Frankel 2016). The general view, with which I concur, is that China will grow in the future at a much slower rate than it has in recent decades. This growth slowdown will reduce international trade and has probably contributed already to the depression in oil prices (Blanchard 2016).

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CAREC Countries E-Commerce Progress

Date: 8 February 2016

In 2015, Central Asia made some important improvements in the environment for cross-border e-commerce: Kazakhstan’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) will boost commercial transparency, while the Kyrgyz Republic’s membership in the Eurasian Customs Union expands its consumer base.

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Maximizing Labor Market Performance

Date: 28 January 2016

Research has demonstrated that in general, training has a positive impact on an individual’s labor market performance: wages grow faster after training, training has positive impact on employment security and training increases the probability of re-employment after job loss.

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Strengthening Economic Ties Across Asia

Date: 25 January 2016

As the world deals with the “new normal” of a slowing China, regional financial and economic integration is more important than ever, and South Asia is strategically poised to play an influential part.  There are several reasons why it is time to take a fresh look at the potential bridging role of South Asian economies in Asian integration.

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When Housing Policies Go Bad

Date: 18 January 2016

Lack of affordable housing is a serious policy concern in many countries. In large prosperous cities such as London, New York, Beijing, or Tokyo, the affordability crisis is particularly acute. In these cities, households often live in excessively expensive and crammed spaces. Homeownership remains an unachievable dream for many.

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Asian Health Risks Remain Stubbornly High

Date: 7 January 2016

If you live in Asia and the Pacific, do you ever wonder how high your risk is of contracting antimicrobial-resistant bacteria or emerging infectious diseases such as a new strain of avian influenza? Unfortunately, I have to tell you that the risk here is higher than in any other region in the world.

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A Future with a Low-Carbon Asia

Date: 28 December 2015

As the world celebrates the Paris agreement, after 20 years of fraught meetings, its significance for the future development pathways of the emerging economies of Asia cannot be underestimated. Critically, it will increase the flow of additional public and private finance for vulnerable countries for both low carbon and climate resilient investments.

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Alarms are Sounding in Asia Over Agricultural Yields

Date: 22 December 2015

The green revolution has done wonders for Asia. Yields for most crops, particularly the region’s main staple of rice, have doubled over recent decades. In the Lower Mekong Delta, considered Asia’s rice bowl, the new technologies and crop strains that the green revolution brought were a big success.

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