Posts By V. Bruce J. Tolentino

In The News

Cautious Optimism Dominates 2010 Economic Outlook

January 6, 2010

As nations emerge from the grips of a global recession, numerous economic reports reveal some unexpectedly good results from the Asia-Pacific region. The region looks to lead the global economic recovery, with a 2010 growth rate forecast at 6.3 percent, the highest in the world. Early signs of new hiring and rallies in regional stock […]

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In The News

The G20 and Persistent Food Insecurity

September 23, 2009

World leaders will gather this week for the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh – a city that has re-invented itself, leaving behind its dependence on steel and heavy industry and moving forward into services, information technology, and education. Last week, the United Nations (UN) called on all nations to honor their commitments to aid in the […]

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In The News

Measuring President Corazon Aquino’s Presidency

August 5, 2009

In early 1992, toward the end of the administration of President Corazon Aquino, I participated in a Cabinet meeting where the discussion focused on her administration’s achievements and failings. Discussion was lively, and at times heated. There was much detailed argumentation on vision, strategy, programs, policy reforms, and delivery. President Aquino, as was her wont, […]

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In The News

At the India-Pakistan Border: History, Replayed Daily

May 27, 2009

Each day, from sunup to sundown, at the Wagah border gate between India and Pakistan, the complex, intertwined, and still painful histories of these neighboring countries are replayed in scenes of joy, reunion, patriotism, belligerence, and battle. At sunup, the border gates trundle open and travelers hurry in both directions across the border, which has […]

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Notes from the Field

An Afghan Farewell to George Varughese

April 29, 2009

After four years of stellar service in Afghanistan, George Varughese is moving on to represent The Asia Foundation in Nepal. Earlier this year, I was fortunate to participate in one of many going-away tributes to George – one organized by The Asia Foundation’s Kabul staff. The events of that day are going to be difficult […]

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In The News

Foreign Aid & the Global Economic Crisis

April 1, 2009

The global economic crisis is having far-ranging effects, as we hear every day. One place that might be impacted severely is ODA, or official development assistance. ODA is financial assistance provided by the world’s wealthiest countries to the world’s poorest. Those recipient countries might soon feel more pain As of 2008, ODA totaled U.S. $80 […]

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In The News

Economic Integration: A Lesson from ASEAN

October 15, 2008

Discussed at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum this week, in Kuala Lumpur, were lessons that could be learned by the Islamic world – particularly the Middle East – from the experience in economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).  The discussion immediately made it apparent that ASEAN’s performance in economic integration may be […]

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In The News

Taking the Long View in Asia as the U.S. Financial Crisis Unfolds

September 24, 2008

Over the past few weeks, as the U.S. financial system has reeled from a shocking series of major “adjustments,” Asia’s economists and bankers remind themselves of the key lessons — painfully taught — by the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s:  (a) all markets are linked; (b) financial markets are much more volatile than […]

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In The News

In Laos: Land-linked, not Land-locked

August 27, 2008

With its GDP growing at an average of 6-7% annually since 2000, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) is a country on the move. Not very fast when compared to its rapidly-burgeoning neighbors China and Vietnam, but fast when compared to its historically languid pace. In meeting after meeting with senior Government officials and […]

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In The News

Doha Round Collapse: The New Reality of High Food Prices

August 6, 2008

Last week, the latest round of talks under the “Doha Round” of multilateral trade negotiations ended in disarray and disappointment. The trade ministers and negotiators gathered in Geneva could not — again — reach agreement on reforms in agricultural support and trade. The mainstream press reports that the refusal of China and India to reduce […]

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