Full or partial lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19 are having crippling effects on businesses and workers across Asia, as elsewhere. Among the most vulnerable of the workers are the ones working in part-time and temporary jobs without social insurance, and in sectors of the economy that are neither taxed, nor regulated by any form of government.
September 26, 2018
A driver from the Malaysian ride-hailing tech startup, Grab, picks up a passenger in Jakarta, Indonesia: digitalization is transforming Asia’s businesses and governments (photo: Afif C. Kasuma/iStock by Getty Images)
Asia’s digital revolution shows no signs of slowing down. From e-commerce giants like China’s Alibaba and Japan’s Rakuten, to ride-hailing, and digital payment tech startups, like Indonesia’s Go-Jek and India’s Paytm, and the widespread use of industrial robots for manufacturing, digitalization is changing the way the region’s businesses operate. […]
September 25, 2018
The countries of Southeast Asia are young—more than half of its 643 million people are under 30— and together they live in an economy of $2.8 trillion. […]
September 18, 2018
A customer pays at a supermarket using her smartphone in Bangkok, Thailand: urban and rural areas in the region widely use mobile payment platforms to access financial services (photo: Li Mangmang Xinhua News Agency/Newscom)
In Asia, the world’s fastest-growing region, expanding access to financial services for more people will mean higher growth, as well as lower poverty and inequality. […]
By Ian Parry
June 8, 2018
The world is getting hotter, resulting in rising sea levels, more extreme weather like hurricanes, droughts, and floods, as well as other risks to the global climate like the irreversible collapsing of ice sheets. […]
January 23, 2018
Tackling inequality is not only a moral imperative. It is critical for sustaining growth.
Global income inequality has declined in recent years, with the Gini index—a statistical measure of income distribution with a value of zero indicating perfect equality—dropping from 68 in 1988 to 62 in 2013, reflecting relatively strong growth in many emerging and developing economies, particularly in China and India. However, inequality has increased within many countries, including in many advanced economies. […]
July 7, 2017
If sunlight is the best disinfectant, as US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once famously said, can it also be a money maker? We have tried to quantify the financial gains from greater transparency that emerging market countries can achieve.
Over the past three decades, income inequality has gone up in most advanced economies and in many developing ones as well. Why? Much of the research on inequality has focused on advances in technology and liberalization of trade as the main drivers. While technology and trade are global trends that are difficult to resist, IMF studies have shown that the design of government policies matters and can help limit increases in inequality. […]
Growth is essential for improving the lives of people in low-income countries, and it should benefit all parts of society.
Traveling through Africa in the last few days, I have been amazed by the vitality I have witnessed: business startups investing in the future, new infrastructure under construction, and a growing middle class. Many Africans are now making a better living and fewer are suffering from poverty. My current host, Uganda, for example, has more than halved its absolute poverty rate to about 35 percent from close to 90 percent in 1990.
But we have also seen a flip side. Poverty, of course, but inequality as well remain stubbornly high in most developing countries, including in Africa, and too often success is not shared by all. […]
Having visited Cambodia and Korea on this whirlwind tour of the region, I touched down in my third and last country—Myanmar.
What a place! It is rare to find such a combination of enchanting beauty, warm hospitality, and an unstoppable drive to succeed. Myanmar is undergoing a great awakening to the world and all that it has to offer. And it is engaging on multiple fronts. For example, it has recently taken over the chairmanship of ASEAN, and when I arrived I found the country in the midst of hosting the South East Asian games.