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East Asia and Pacific

FDI in 2011

The Economist Intelligence Unit together with the Columbia Program on International Investment released the World Investment Prospects to 2011 which forecasts FDI flows for 82 countries over the next five years. Eight out of top twenty recipient countries will be in emerging-markets.

The report focuses on political risk, and Jeffrey Sachs analyzes ways to address growing risks in the energy sector.

The graph shows predicted inflows to Asia + China:

Improving aid: consensus or competition?

The aid community has undergone sweeping changes since the 1960s when the number of donors per recipient country averaged at 12. Today this figure is 33 and the number of organizations exceeds 230.

Microfinance meets Islam

Mohammed Obaidullah, a senior economist at the Islamic Development Bank, argues for the compatibility of microfinance with Islam:

Contemporary mainstream Islamic finance has expended considerable effort in developing Shariah-compliant products and services for deposit mobilization, finance, remittance, […]. These products with minor modifications if required, can be used for microfinance as well.

Green computer returns

ZonbuZonbu is a new $99 Linux-based computer with a monthly subscription fee. Interesting about it is the absence of a disk drive and a fan inside. The result is a 15-watt PC, rather than standard 200-watt, and up to $10 in energy savings per month.