Katherine Loh

APEC app challenge winners 

APEC’s Most Talented App Developers Tackle Business Challenges at Trade Meeting

May 24, 2017


As trade ministers prepared to gather for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade meeting in Hanoi last week, a group of the region’s most talented developers were in a nearby room, competing in the first-ever APEC App Challenge. In the final hours of the competition, the room grew more intense as developers bent over their screens, codi… Read more


Does the Ghani Administration Mean a Greater Role for Women in the Afghan Economy?

November 19, 2014


At his inauguration on September 29, President Ashraf Ghani thanked his wife, Rula, for her support during the campaign, and to the surprise of many in Afghanistan, promised Afghans that she would continue her work advocating on behalf of the nation’s 750,000 internally displaced people. Having previously served as the country’s finance minister in 2002-2004…


Trade, Private Sector, Soft and Hard Infrastructure to Top Beijing APEC Agenda

November 5, 2014


Wednesday marked the first day of the week-long Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, hosted this year in Beijing. This year’s summit, themed “Shaping the Future through Asia-Pacific Partnership,” brings together ministerial leaders, CEOs of global corporations, and other leading voices in the private and public sectors to discuss the challenges facing Asian-Pacific economies. The week will culminate with the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on November 10-11. Heads of states from all 21 member economies, including U.S. President Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping…


Are Asian Economies Prepared for Higher Growth in 2014?

January 8, 2014


As all eyes turn to Brazil for the World Cup this summer, and to India and Indonesia for two of the world’s largest democratic elections, 2014 may as well be called the “Year of the Middle-Income Country.” Last year saw several economies make steady gains, including powerhouse China…


Combating Pervasive Corruption Must Take a Multipronged Approach

July 24, 2013


This month, Transparency International released its latest Global Corruption Barometer. Surveying over 114,000 respondents across more than 100 countries, Transparency International reports that more than half of those surveyed believe that corruption has worsened in their country in the last two years…


Will Asia Fall Into an Energy Gap?

April 17, 2013


Last week, the Asian Development Bank released its annual “Asian Development Outlook” report for 2013, with Asia’s success story of unprecedented growth in the last decades forecast to grow by 6.6 percent in 2013 and 6.7 percent in 2014.


Regional Integration: Asia’s New Frontier in 2013

January 9, 2013


Over the last several decades, Asia has become increasingly integrated with the rest of the world, its rapid development driven largely by exports to the United States and European Union. Yet, as the world’s main economic arteries shift eastward, intra-regional integration within Asia still lags behind.


Asian Nations Must Look to Neighbors as Partners

December 12, 2012


When President Obama made his first post-election international trip last month to Southeast Asia, his message was clear: as Asia becomes the driver of global politics in the coming decades, the U.S. is strategically reorienting its presence in the region. But the U.S. is not the only one that recognizes a need for reorientation – Asia itself does too.


What’s Holding Mobile Money Back in Asia?

August 22, 2012


My colleague Michelle Chang recently blogged about the promises of mobile money for Asia. It’s true that in many countries, like Pakistan and Afghanistan, where banking infrastructure is limited, mobile money represents a potential solution for the hundreds of millions of individuals who remain unbanked…


What Greater Trade Liberalization in South Asia Would Mean for Consumers

February 8, 2012


Global economic recovery in 2012 remains tenuous, with the World Bank recently downgrading its forecast for this year’s global growth from 3.6 percent to 2.5 percent. This slide in expectations and persistently high unemployment rates in many countries has sparked a resurgence of protectionist tendencies toward trade. These tendencies are couched in the language of “bringing jobs back,” while tariffs are euphemistically coined as “flexibility” needed to protect domestic producers. South Asia has suffered for decades from a low level of intraregional cooperation, both politically and economically.


Using Technology to Track Economic Policy Reforms across Asia

January 11, 2012


Female entrepreneurs in Bangladesh represent a miniscule percentage of business owners (0.05 percent), according to The Asia Foundation’s 2010 firm-level survey results. Issues of concern to women business owners, such as difficulties in accessing information on regulations…


After a Year of Challenges, Asia Emerges Stronger than Ever

January 4, 2012


In 2011, Asia grappled with a host of devastating shocks, both natural and man-made. As challenging and economically harsh as they have been, they have provided an opportunity for Asia’s emerging economies to dramatically assert their economic resilience and regional influence.


Nepal Economy Hindered by Political Uncertainty

May 11, 2011


In a recent edition of the Himalaya Post Anil Shah, CEO of Mega Bank – one of Nepal’s largest commercial banks – wrote an op-ed that laid out five pillars of sustainable economic development for Nepal.


In 2011, Hard-Earned Resilience Will Carry Asia’s Economies through the Crisis

January 5, 2011


One year ago in this blog, Asia Foundation chief economist Bruce Tolentino expressed “cautious optimism” about the prospects for global recovery and Asian growth in 2010. His positive prediction for Asia was more than fulfilled, in spite of a dispiriting lag in U.S. recovery and severe economic crises in the Eurozone. Vietnam is expected to lead So… Read more


Can Greater Regional Economic Cooperation Unite ‘Two South Asias’?

January 5, 2011


South Asia has seen remarkable economic growth since the 1980s, when the region began to adopt pro-growth policies such as foreign investment liberalization, privatization, and the dismantling of onerous business regulations. Since the mid-1980s, South Asia experienced an average annual growth rate of 5.6 percent in its per capita Gross National In… Read more