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East Asia and Pacific

Costa Rica wins big with Intel

Intel's investment and presence have had an overwhelmingly positive impact on Costa Rica, generating both direct and multiplier effects on the country's economy, industry, educational institutions and business culture. Intel's requirements served as an important motive for the country to immediately upgrade its infrastructure and enhance the investment climate to the benefit of all investors. The process of attracting Intel to Costa Rica helped shape the country's investment promotion strategy.

Brazilian companies pulverized

First was department store chain Lojas Renner, a JC Penney spinoff. More recently aircraft maker Embraer, online retailer Submarino, and industrial supply maker Eternit have been pulverized.

Two new serious games

Transaid Seems like every time I hear someone describing the development of African business, crumbling or nonexistent infrastructure is cited as a major limiting factor. Similarly, you can't talk about healthcare in Africa without mentioning the delivery systems on the ground.

Where is SME density the highest?

Answer: Cyprus, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Sweden and Britain. They all have over 70 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) per 1,000 people. Behind the bald statistics lie millions of stories of lives changed and jobs created. Last month I was in Bosnia and met a woman who had started by stitching clothes for her neighbours and now employs 4 people in a thriving retail and tailoring enterprise. The light was in her eyes as she described her plans and how her children would one day take over the business.

St Helena musings: A development project

St Helena, which is a British dependency, has dependencies of its own - one of which is Tristan da Cunha. Tristan is relatively rich thanks to a lucrative lobster industry. Why not St Helena too? Well, there was a St Helena lobster development project, about 20 years ago. Courtesy of a British government development aid project, a boat was sent out, with equipment and a trainer to teach the local fisherman how to catch lobster. Within a few months the "industry" had blossomed and then died. The lobsters had been fished out.

Gates pushes AIDS data sharing

Frustrated that over two decades of research have failed to produce an AIDS vaccine, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates is tying his foundation's latest, biggest AIDS-vaccine grants to a radical concept: Those who get the money must first agree to share the results of their work in short order.

Brands drive action on tough global issues

Michael Jarvis's picture

Sebastian Mallaby (of “The World’s Banker" fame) suggests that today’s big corporate players are tackling pressing global challenges without waiting for government to take a lead. In Monday’s op-ed “A New Brand of Power” in the Washington Post, Mallaby suggests that firms are driven by the need to protect their brands, prompting action in response to public concerns from everything from junk food to climate change.

South-South foreign bank entry

Banks from London and New York are not the only players getting into developing country banking markets. A little-known fact is that banks from 48 developing countries have already invested in the banking sector of other developing countries. Good news, because these banks are well-suited to offer inclusive financial services to the poor.

PSD Blog has a birthday!

It has been one year since the PSD Blog's official launch. We can't believe it either, or that almost 1,000 of you subscribe to our RSS feed. Thanks to all of our readers and to our fellow bloggers for making the development blogosphere such a vibrant place!

Is less more?

I’m out of practice blogging these days, but couldn’t help but notice the Financial Times line from a short while back on efforts to expand the remit of the aid industry:      

While development is a grand and multi-faceted affair, aid cannot afford to be. Modesty, focus and a willingness to make mistakes in public are assets. Simple projects have worked wonders: benchmarking exercises of red tape that have shamed politicians into action, or randomised controlled trials to show what really improves attendance and results in schools.


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