East Asia and Pacific
From the e-commerce site Taobao.com to the social media app WeChat, China has drawn global attention to its digital platform economy. A third of the top-200 digital platforms were born in China according to the Global Platform Survey 2016. They are also growing fast. A 2017 report published by Ali Research shows that the digital platform sector contributes to 10.5% of China’s GDP.
China’s worldwide e-commerce transaction value grew from less than 1% a decade ago to over 40% now, exceeding that of France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States combined, according to a McKinsey study. In rural China, the development of e-commerce shows strong signs of clustering. The number of Taobao villages – those significantly engaged in e-commerce with a total annual e-commerce transaction volume of at least RMB 10 million and at least 100 active online shops – has increased from 20 in 2013 to 3,202 in 2018.
With support from the World Bank Group, Singapore invested heavily in infrastructure during the early stages of our growth. This included 14 World Bank loans between 1963 and 1975, which financed the development of the deep sea terminal at the Port of Singapore, the doubling of the country’s energy capacity, and the construction of water pipelines to Malaysia—all of which remain a part of our core infrastructure today.
If, like most people, you think antimicrobial resistance is something that only doctors and scientists need to worry about, you should probably think again.
We humans have co-evolved with microbes for millions of years. Our bodies have provided a safe environment for thousands of species of microbes to flourish and in return microbes have provided us with many benefits – like protection against “bad” organisms and regulation of many of our physiological processes. We now know that a healthy, balanced microbiome is essential to human wellbeing.
Mengembangkan sebuah usaha bukanlah sesuatu yang mudah. Terlebih bagi perempuan yang memiliki suatu usaha, ini merupakan tantangan yang besar, khususnya ketika kondisi mereka miskin dan usahanya hanya cukup memenuhi kebutuhan sehari-hari. Di negara-negara berkembang, 22 persen perempuan tidak melanjutkan usaha mereka karena tidak adanya dana. Menurut Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, perempuan lebih rentan dibandingkan pria menutup usahanya disebabkan masalah keuangan. Sementara itu, simpanan pribadi merupakan sumber yang penting dalam pendanaan usaha, dan hampir 95 persen pelaku usaha menyatakan bahwa mereka menggunakan dana pribadi untuk memulai atau mengembangkan usaha mereka. Akan tetapi, perempuan menghadapi kendala tersendiri dalam menyisihkan tabungan mereka untuk diinvestasikan guna mengembangkan usaha mereka.
Growing a business is not easy, and for women firm owners the challenges can be acute, especially when they are poor and run subsistence level firms. In developing countries, 22 percent of women discontinue their established businesses due to a lack of funds, and women are more likely than men to report exiting their businesses over finance problems, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Meanwhile, personal savings are a crucial source of entrepreneurial financing, and nearly 95 percent of entrepreneurs globally state that they used their own funds to start or scale up their businesses. Women, however, face unique constraints in accumulating savings to invest in growing their firms.
There is a unique space where you can encounter everyone from developers of self-driving cars in Silicon Valley to city planners in Niamey to humanitarian workers in Kathmandu Valley: the global OpenStreetMap (OSM) community. It comprises a geographically and experientially diverse network of people who contribute to OSM, a free and editable map of the world that is often called the “Wikipedia of maps.”
What is perhaps most special about this community is its level playing field. Anyone passionate about collaborative mapping can have a voice from anywhere in the world. In the past few years, there has been a meteoric rise of locally organized mapping communities in developing countries working to improve the map in service of sustainable development activities.
The next opportunity to see the OSM community in action will be the November 14th mapathon hosted by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)’s Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI). Mapathons bring together volunteers to improve the maps of some of the world’s most vulnerable areas, not only easing the way for emergency responders when disaster strikes, but also helping cities and communities plan and build more resiliently for the future.
The unveiling of Malaysia’s much-anticipated 2019 budget last Friday by the Minister of Finance, Lim Guan Eng comes at a challenging time for the country. On the external side, Malaysia’s exports are facing growing headwinds – as opposed to the fair winds of recent years – due to heightened trade tensions and slower global growth. On the domestic front, a new emphasis on addressing the stock of government debt and contingent liabilities is likely to narrow fiscal space and prevent public investment from driving economic activity as it did before. In this situation, Malaysia will depend more on private consumption and investment to support economic growth in the next few years.