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April 2006

Chicago microfinance conference

University of Chicago and Northwestern are teaming teamed up for a solid one day event on April 21st, Microfinance at the Crossroads. An impressive mix of public, private and NGO speakers, including Andre Laude from the IFC. Though I wish they hadn’t divided the breakout sessions into ‘finance’ and ‘impact’ tracks. One of my qualms with microfinance is that people divide it into this pro-poor vs. for-profit dichotomy.

The potential of the Chinese consumer

Morgan Stanley chief economist Stephen Roach discusses some surprising data emerging out of a recent Gallup poll in China. He sees amazing potential - once some key constraints are overcome. Mainly the urban-rural gap and building a new safety net.

Future international business trends

According to the latest McKinsey Global Survey, top global executives believe that the growing number of consumers in emerging markets (and the resulting changing consumer tastes) will be the most important trend for global business during the next five years.

Vaccines for development

Owen Barder has a new short note on vaccines for development. The concise piece discusses important ideas such as performance-based grants, purchasing funds, pooled procurement, and advanced market commitments. Also see Glennerster, Kremer & Williams’ new paper on creating markets for vaccines.

Sports Illustrated on nets for development

Not basketball or soccer nets, but mosquito nets. The latest from uberfamous sports journalist Rick Reilly:

We need nets. Not hoop nets, soccer nets or lacrosse nets. Not New Jersey Nets or dot-nets or clarinets. Mosquito nets. See, nearly 3,000 kids die every day in Africa from malaria. And according to the World Health Organization, transmission of the disease would be reduced by 60% with the use of mosquito nets and prompt treatment for the infected.

No more sweatshops?

Michael Jarvis's picture

In a further sign of growing interest in corporate social responsibility within Chinese government, the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Labour and Social Security has released a new research report on CSR in the southern city and manufacturing base. As reported in the Shenzhen Daily, the report suggests most local companies are not very socially responsible, although a few Shenzhen firms do feature among the most respectable firms in China.