A “New Deal” for Informal Workers in Asia

2020-05-08T14:22:06-04:00April 30, 2020|

By Era Dabla-Norris and Changyong Rhee

عربي,  中文, Español, Français,日本語, Português, Русский

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.

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The Digital Accelerator: Revving Up Government in Asia

2019-03-13T13:58:38-04:00September 26, 2018|

By Vitor Gaspar and Chang Yong Rhee

September 26, 2018

عربي, 中文, Español, 日本語,  Português, Русский,

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. […]

Chart of the Week: The Digital Divide in Asia

2019-03-13T14:03:53-04:00September 25, 2018|

By IMFBlog

September 25, 2018

Young people on their phones in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia: about 70 percent of the country does not have internet access and can’t participate in the digital economy (Samrang Pring/Reuters/Newscom)

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. […]

Asia Needs More Access to Financial Services to Grow

2019-03-13T14:26:34-04:00September 18, 2018|

By  Sarwat Jahan, Elena LoukoianovaCormac Sullivan and Yongzheng Yang

September 18, 2018

中文, 日本語

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. […]

5 Things You Need to Know About the IMF and Climate Change

2019-03-14T10:35:05-04:00June 8, 2018|

By Ian Parry

June 8, 2018

Versions in  عربي,  中文,  Español, Français, 日本語Português, Русский 

A polar bear on shrinking ice in the Arctic: climate change means the world is getting hotter (photo: Sven-Erik Arndt/Newscom)

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.  […]

5 Things You Need to Know About Inequality

2019-03-15T12:00:53-04:00January 23, 2018|

By IMFBlog

January 23, 2018

Versions in عربي (Arabic),  中文  (Chinese), Español (Spanish), Français (French),  Русский (Russian)

A man with donations from a food bank in Los Angeles, California: inequality within countries is on the rise, including in advanced economies like the United States (photo: Lucy Nicholson/Newscom).

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. […]

Transparency Pays: Emerging Markets Share More Data

2019-03-25T13:55:00-04:00July 7, 2017|

By Sangyup Choi and Stephanie Medina Cas

July 7, 2017

Versions in عربي (Arabic), 中文 (Chinese), 日本語, Français (French), (Japanese), Português (Portuguese), and Русский (Russian)

On the move in Mexico City, Mexico: emerging market economies that are transparent with their data can lower their borrowing costs (photo: Edgard Garrido/Reuters/Newscom)

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.

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The IMF’s Work on Inequality: Bridging Research and Reality

2019-03-26T12:04:27-04:00February 22, 2017|

By Prakash Loungani and Jonathan D. Ostry

Versions in عربي (Arabic),  中文 (Chinese), Français (French), and Español (Spanish)

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. […]

The Fruits of Growth: Economic Reforms and Lower Inequality

2019-03-26T13:25:50-04:00January 26, 2017|

Lagarde.2015MDPORTRAIT4_114x128By Christine Lagarde

Versions in: عربي (Arabic), 中文 (Chinese), Français (French), 日本語 (Japanese), Português (Portuguese), Русский (Russian), and Español (Spanish)

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.  […]

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Myanmar: Awakening to Countless Possibilities

2017-04-14T02:13:06-04:00December 9, 2013|

MD's Updated HeadshotBy Christine Lagarde

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.

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