Search | Poverty Spotlight | Past Editions | Print
TOP HEADLINES 7 May 2012
1. ASIA: Guarding against risks coming from developed world
2. BANGLADESH: Scoring well on girls' schooling
3. TIMOR LESTE: Land reform proves hard
4. SE ASIA: Regional currency swap agreement set to double
5. ASIA: Universal access to modern energy sources
6. INDIA: Top architect warns of urban breakdown
7. LAO PDR: Roadmap for teacher development
8. MYANMAR: Japan firms to help create bourse
9. PHILIPPINES: Ratchet up infrastructure spending
10. PRC: An emerging donor
IN DEPTH
1. ASIA: Guarding against risks coming from developed world
Source: Indian Express

"Emerging economies in Asia need to guard against the impact of problems emanating from the developed world, Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda said on Saturday. While there are many challenges, the region's fundamentals are strong which bodes well for the future, he said.

Asia has an unprecedented opportunity to chart a new course and provide a better life for its people and also contribute to global growth and their well being. Kuroda further said that replenishment of the Asian Development Fund by $12.4 billion for the next four years would help in fighting poverty in nations of Asia and the Pacific region."



2. BANGLADESH: Scoring well on girls' schooling
Source: ipsnews.net

"Bangladesh continues to score good grades in achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of gender parity in education by 2015, with the trend of more girls than boys attending primary school accelerating this year. Early estimates show an enrolment ratio of 52:48 favoring girls, which is consistent with the trend since 2010 when girls overtook boys in primary school enrolment.

Hiring female teachers, involving non-government organizations, and paying out cash subsidies are among interventions that helped turn around the situation of a decade ago when schooling for girls was unthinkable in parts of Bangladesh because of social and religious barriers."



3. TIMOR LESTE: Land reform proves hard
Source: The Economist

"Along with oil, coffee is Timor-Leste's only export industry. About a quarter of the population farms the crop. Timorese coffee has gained a degree of international popularity, with Starbucks, among others, a buyer. Much of the coffee land farmed by smallholders could, by law, be claimed by the state. Governments, with only tenuous authority in such a conflict-ridden country, have dodged this controversial possibility.

This uncertainty over tenure extends beyond the coffee regions. About a quarter of the country's 200,000-odd land parcels have been formally registered. Of these, most were processed under Portuguese or Indonesian rule, and many will have been ill-gotten. In February parliament passed three laws that would allow authorities to grant titles for land with uncontested ownership. Yet many villages and civic groups feel the laws were designed more to help corporate investments than protect individuals."



4. SE ASIA: Regional currency swap agreement set to double
Source: Yomiuri

"Finance chiefs from the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and their three dialogue partners -- Japan, China and Korea -- reached an accord last Thursday to boost their emergency dollar swap program to tackle potential ramifications from the European debt crisis.

At the ASEAN plus Three meeting in Manila, finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the 13 countries agreed to double the size of the Chiang Mai Initiative, the swap line that can be tapped in times of financial crises, to $240 billion from $120 billion. The Chiang Mai Initiative, launched in 2000, is designed to provide emergency dollar funds to member countries hit by a financial crisis and seeking capital outflows, in an effort to ensure the stability of foreign exchange rates."



5. ASIA: Universal access to modern energy sources
Source: UPI

"Asia needs to spend about $12.3 billion a year to alleviate energy poverty affecting hundreds of millions of people, said a top U.N. official. While global energy demand is expected to rise 33 percent from 2010-35, Noeleen Heyzer said 50 percent of that increase is expected to come from China and India. Asian growth currently depends on fossil fuels for 80 percent of primary energy supply.

Heyzer's comments come ahead of the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development meeting to be held in Rio de Janeiro from June 20-22. The gathering will mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 U.N. Rio Earth Summit."



6. INDIA: Top architect warns of urban breakdown
Source: Dawn

"Charles Correa, India's most famous modern architect, has not given up his campaign for more livable cities in India as overcrowding, pollution and the destruction of open spaces gather pace. He hopes that small and medium-sized towns can be developed and grown, integrating efficient public transport and proper planning which are missing in the current urban centers of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata or Bangalore.

Only 30 percent of India's 1.2-billion population live in cities currently, far lower than the 50.6 percent in China or the 70-80 per cent in developed countries, according to the UN's 2011 World Urbanization Prospects report. It forecasts India's urban population will grow 28 percent from its current level of 377 million to 483 million by 2020."



 DEVBlogs ROUNDUP
Pakistan suffers losses to the tune of Rs343.7 billion each year due to the economic impact of inadequate sanitation, resulting in 4 percent loss to the country's GDP. According to Jaeyhang So of the World Bank, of the 1.1 billion people who still defecate in the open, 40 million live in Pakistan, the third highest number in the world.


7. LAO PDR: Roadmap for teacher development
Source: Vientiane Times

"The Lao government has issued a decree that separates teachers from other public servants by providing better incentives and comprehensive measures to develop teaching standards. It is hoped this will improve the long-standing issue of poor teaching standards in Laos.

The decree stipulates that teachers at intermediate and elementary-level vocational institutions will be rewarded with 15 percent of their salary, while those teaching in secondary schools will receive an additional 20 percent. Teachers at primary schools and kindergartens will receive 25 percent of their basic salary. The decree also stipulates that those teaching in rural and hardship posts will be provided with special funding from the government."



8. MYANMAR: Japan firms to help create bourse
Source: Japan Times

"Myanmar, the so-called last frontier for business opportunities in Asia, will be establishing a stock market by 2015 with the help of Japan's Daiwa Securities Group Inc. and Tokyo Stock Exchange Group Inc. The move is in line with Myanmar's attempt to bring its economy on par with neighboring countries.

The plan to set up a stock market by 2015 comes the same year as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plans to integrate their economies to create the ASEAN Economic Community. In the planned integration, ASEAN countries would do away with trade barriers and promote cross-border investment within the community."



9. PHILIPPINES: Ratchet up infrastructure spending
Source: inquirer.net

"The Philippines, along with other developing countries in Asia, must invest heavily in education, technology and infrastructure -- such as those for transportation, power and telecommunications -- if it hopes to escape the 'middle income trap.' Haruhiko Kuroda, president of Asian Development Bank, said the institution would like the Philippines and its neighbors to adopt the strategies of newly industrialized Asian economies such as Korea and Singapore.

Middle-income trap is used to describe a country which, after emerging from poverty, tends to linger quite a while in the middle income level. Kuroda also said that heavy investments in areas that matter must be combined with measures to improve the integrity of government, promote rule of law, and provision of social services to reduce poverty incidence."



10. PRC: An emerging donor
Source: lowyinterpreter.org

"Currently, there is agreement among academics that China needs to study the lessons and experiences that Western aid donors have accumulated over an extended period. However, due to historical and national differences, China will not completely follow the same route or system that the West has in delivering its aid.

China has extensive experience as an aid recipient, and is now becoming an increasingly important aid donor. Due to this, China is very willing to share its experience of using aid for successful economic development with the international community. China is well-known for the infrastructure component of its aid program. In reality, China has been providing health and education-related development aid for a long time. For example, China has been sending medical teams to countries in Africa since the 1960s."



Please share this e-newsline with others interested in the development of Asia-Pacific.

For questions, comments, complaints please visit our online contact form

To change your email address or to unsubscribe from ADBI e-newsline please visit:
http://www.adbi.org/e-newsline/subscribe.php

Sign-up for ADBI's free e-notification service to ensure you receive an e-mail when we post new publications and opportunities.

Follow us on Twitter

Visit ADBI's blog ASIA PATHWAYS

The stories and links selected and the views expressed in e-Newsline are those of the authors and editors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the ADB Institute. The Institute does not endorse them and accepts no responsibility whatsoever for any consequences of their use. Original name usage is retained in quoted articles, although it may not necessarily follow ADB naming conventions.

ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK INSTITUTE, TOKYO
3-2-5 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6008
Tel (813) 3593-5490 Fax (813) 3593 5571
Website: http://www.adbi.org/