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Véronique Salze-Lozac'h

Downtown Manila 

Can Asian Cities Lead the Way to a More Sustainable Future?

September 21, 2016


Asia’s urban population is growing at an unprecedented rate. It took 130 years for London to grow from 1 million to 8 million, but Bangkok did it in 45 years, Dhaka in 37 years, and Seoul in only 25 years. Asia’s rapid urbanization—driven by entrepreneurial and commercial dynamism—has been pivotal for its stellar growth, but often to the detriment… Read more


Boosting Economic Mobility in Asia: SMEs as Drivers of Inclusive Growth

August 12, 2015


Over the last four decades, Asia has experienced unprecedented economic growth that has shifted the global economic center of gravity to the region. Asia enters 2015 as the world’s fastest-growing region, with the International Monetary Fund predicting that GDP will increase by 5.5 percent this year.


To Be or Not To Be Part of AIIB

July 22, 2015


June 29, 2015, may have marked a turning point in multilateral development financing in the Asia-Pacific region. On that day, 50 countries signed the articles of agreement of the $50 billion, China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). While there is a lot of excitement about the potential of this new multilateral financing institution…


Financial Inclusion for Asia’s Unbanked

May 13, 2015


Asia’s developing economies will continue their steady growth, with GDPs expected to rise by an average of 6.3 percent in each of the next two years, according to the annual flagship report, Asian Development Outlook 2015, from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).


Trends That Will Shape Asia’s Economic Future (Part 2)

February 11, 2015


In last week’s blog, I highlighted four top trends to look out for in Asia’s economic future, including: Asia as the driver of growth, the growing tide of inequality and disparity, Asia’s trendsetters, and regional integration and regional fragmentation. Here are four more top trends to watch…


Trends That Will Shape Asia’s Economic Future (Part 1)

February 4, 2015


Last month, the International Labour Organization (ILO) announced troubling global trends in unemployment, which is expected to worsen in the coming years. According to its 2015 Employment and Social Outlook report, young workers aged 15-24 are particularly hard hit by the crisis, and Asia is home to the largest number of these young people.


As Driver of World Economic Growth, Asia’s Vulnerabilities Emerge

January 7, 2015


2014 will be remembered as the year when China became the world’s biggest economy in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, overtaking the United States for the first time in history. This move, which did not come as a surprise, is the sign of a superpower transition…


AT APEC, Ministers Endorse Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chains

November 12, 2014


This year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in Beijing kicked off Nov. 7-8 with the 26th Ministerial Meeting, which focused on three priority areas: advancing regional economic integration, promoting economic growth, and strengthening connectivity and infrastructure development. In its joint ministerial statement, the group endorsed the “APEC Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chain Development and Cooperation” as a mechanism to strengthen mutual economic cooperation within the global value chain network.


Betting on Women in the Fight Against Poverty

June 18, 2014


Today about six out of 10 of the world’s poorest people are women. That means, of the estimated 1.5 billion people living in extreme poverty worldwide, 60-70 percent are girls and women. However, if girls and women account for a large percentage of the poor…


New Report Highlights Benefits for Consumers of the ASEAN Economic Community

March 26, 2014


With the December 2015 target date for the economic integration of ASEAN fast approaching, last week ADB economist Jayant Menon echoed increasing skepticism as to whether the targets for integration could be met.


Inclusive Growth in Asia is Impossible Without Including Women

March 5, 2014


A report from Oxfam released in late January put down on paper what many already feared was true: almost almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population. This is also the case in Asia, where income and wealth disparity is growing rapidly.


Can Political Dynamics Cause Thailand and Malaysia to Fall into the Middle-Income Trap?

January 15, 2014


Despite the troubling political unrest and protests that continue to unfold across Asia in 2014, the New Year actually looks good for the region’s economies. Asia continues as one of the world’s fastest growing regions, projected to experience 5.25 percent growth in 2014…


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…


United Efforts, Not Boycotts, Will Help Bangladesh’s Garment Workers

May 15, 2013


The horrific collapse three weeks ago of an eight-story garment factory building in Savar, just outside of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, took the lives of more than 1,100 people, and was followed just last week by a deadly fire in another garment factory that left at least eight dead. The tragedies have left a nation in mourning, shining a spotlight on the lack of safety for garment sector workers in Bangladesh. These incidents have drawn international attention on the urgent need for better working conditions for workers, starting with safer, more secure buildings.


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.


Thailand Adopts Nationwide Minimum Wage Policy Amid Controversy

January 30, 2013


From January 1 of this year, Thailand’s employers must pay all employees at least 300 baht (about $10) a day. If they don’t, they will face six months in jail and/or a 100,000 baht fine for not complying. The 300-baht minimum daily wage policy, the fulfillment of a 2011 election campaign pledge by the ruling Pheu Thai Party, has been piloted in seven provinces since May 1, 2012 (including Bangkok), with much debate and division among employers, labor unions, government ministries, and academics about the actual and perceived impact of the policy on the economy, productivity, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and inequality.


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.