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.

Asia's Lesson for Africa on Global Supply Chains

Date: 17 December 2015

At this week’s 10th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, trade ministers are trying to advance 15 years of Doha Development Agenda talks to reduce trade barriers. The real issue, however, is whether African economies can follow East Asia’s success in global supply chains amid “new normal” growth and rising inequality.

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Income Equality Equals Good Health among G20 Countries

Date: 9 December 2015

The G20 leader’s summit took place in November in Istanbul, Turkey. The emphasis of Turkey’s G20 presidency this year is on “inclusive and robust global growth.” Turkey recognizes inequality as a major problem within countries as well as across national borders and stresses the need for reducing inequality in order to achieve mutual growth.

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Regional Economic Cooperation Creates the TAPI Pipeline

Date: 4 December 2015

The Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India (TAPI) gas pipeline project was first conceived in October 1997 by Central Asia Gas Pipeline Limited (CentGas). Almost 18 years later, the pipeline—often dubbed as the “on/off pipeline,” the “pipeline dream,” and the “peace pipeline”—although still on the drawing board is inching closer to reality.

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Nothing TPP-ish is Happening with the Doha Development Agenda

Date: 25 November 2015

At the beginning of October, 12 Pacific Rim countries agreed on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The TPP agreement has been hailed as a landmark trade pact, as it includes many issues that have so far not found their way into the rule of law in the multilateral trading system.

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Energy for a Stronger East Asia Summit (EAS) Region

Date: 19 November 2015

Sustained population and economic growth have almost doubled both primary and final energy demand in the East Asia Summit (EAS) region.  This rising energy demand is posing an increasing threat to energy security.

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Moving an Economy from Low to Middle Income Requires Skills

Date: 11 November 2015

Education and skills are important policy levers for sustainable socioeconomic growth. With the right economic fundamentals, a highly educated population with the appropriate skills is a powerful tool for economies to move from the low-income to the middle-income status, or for those already in the middle-income category to avoid the middle-income trap and move to the high-income category.

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Two Economic Systems Reflected in Housing Policies

Date: 21 October 2015

To reiterate, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Hong Kong, China are under different economic systems. The PRC is basically socialism with more planned economy features, while Hong Kong, China is basically capitalism with more free market features. Reflecting on this “one nation, two systems” doctrine, my forthcoming ADBI working paper on the housing markets in the PRC and Hong Kong, China reveals that such distinction tends to be obscured when looking at their housing policies: there are more social welfare elements in Hong Kong, China and more market competitive elements in the PRC.

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Improving the Living Standards for Singapore's Elderly

Date: 15 October 2015

In 2015, the value of housing assets owned by households in Singapore at the aggregate level was 55% of their net worth. Ninety percent of Singapore households owned their homes, meaning that almost all households had wealth saved in housing, and households’ housing wealth was 2.1 times that of the country’s gross domestic product. In addition, Singapore is facing an aging population.

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Japan's Energy Efficiency is Changing its Energy Mix

Date: 5 October 2015

Japan is almost fully dependent on energy imports. In March 2011, a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit eastern Japan and damaged the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. This disaster led to the shutdown of all nuclear power plants due to the lack of government safety approvals. Japan replaced this significant loss of nuclear power with energy generated from imported natural gas, low-sulfur crude oil, fuel oil, and coal.

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Trying to Put India's Housing Crisis in Context

Date: 30 September 2015

The cliché “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” from Dante’s Inferno appears more appropriate to the current housing situation in India than anywhere else. India is facing a daunting housing shortage of 49 million units (Tiwari and Parikh 2012).

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China's Growth Imbalances and a Potential Solution

Date: 11 September 2015

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has achieved remarkable economic growth, but there are a number of serious imbalances between coastal and inland regions, and between urban and rural areas. The government wants to help bridge this gap by developing inclusive finance tools.

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Sustainable Development Goals are on the Way, but will They Help?

Date: 7 September 2015

On 25–27 September, less than 3 weeks from now, heads of state of 192 nations will sign up for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as the new global development agenda. Notwithstanding such an important change, poverty eradication will remain the most important goal and Asia expects to continue its dominant role in attaining this goal for the world.

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Does China's Economic Engine Continue to Slow?

Date: 14 August 2015

After many decades of driving regional growth, the economy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is now slowing down, and this is likely going to have a noticeable effect on the world economy and especially globally integrated economies in developing Asia.

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Reaching for Universal Health Care

Date: 6 August 2015

Universal health coverage (UHC) has become a key agenda of policy makers in many countries. According to the definition of the World Health Organization (2010), UHC is the goal that “all people have access to health services and do not suffer financial hardship in paying for them.” In most developing countries, the goal of UHC is not easy to reach because large, resource-poor populations have limited access to health services.

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Thailand's SMEs Overcoming Financial Obstacles

Date: 4 August 2015

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in the Thai economy. In 2012, there were 2.7 million SMEs in Thailand (see Figure 1) comprising 98.5% of total enterprises. In the same year, SMEs accounted for 37.0% of gross domestic product (GDP) and 80.4% of the workforce. Thai SMEs also contributed to 28.8% of total exports and 31.9% of total imports by value in 2012.

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Rough Sailing Ahead for the East Asian Credit Market

Date: 24 July 2015

After years of smooth sailing through calm market conditions, bond markets in East Asia are navigating through stormier weather.  Data from the supplement to the 2015 Asian Development Outlook released this week shows that weaker growth in the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has weighed down overall regional growth.

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Economic Partnership Agreements and Japanese Banks Warrant Further Study

Date: 16 July 2015

When viewed through the lens of trade deals negotiated with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Australia, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Japan has shown recent willingness to engage in global free trade. However, is there any indication that these deals are striking a chord where it matters most, with Japan’s services sector, which comprises 70% of its economic activity?

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Underscoring the Need for Macro and Microprudential Risk Monitoring

Date: 7 July 2015

The global financial crisis of 2007–2009 underlined the need for central banks and financial regulators to take a macroprudential perspective on financial risk, i.e., to monitor and regulate the buildup of systemic financial risk in the economy as a whole, as opposed to simply monitoring the condition of individual financial institutions (microprudential regulation).

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