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East Asia and Pacific

The winds of change are blowing in Malaysia

Philip Schellekens's picture

The winds of change are blowing in Malaysia, as the government is taking on an ambitious agenda of structural reform. The objective is to climb up the income ladder and join the league of high-income economies. This is a difficult challenge – one which not many countries have successfully met in the post-war period.

Against this backdrop, the World Bank’s launch of a new report on the Malaysian economy (full disclosure: I lead the team who authors the report) is timely. The Malaysia Economic Monitor, which will be published twice a year, aims to provide context to the challenges facing Malaysia and serves as a platform for discussion and the sharing of knowledge.

New Google feature lets users quickly search World Bank development data

James I Davison's picture

If you haven’t already taken the time to do some development-related Googling after last week’s announcement that World Bank statistics are now available through the ubiquitous search engine’s public data tool, I’d suggest exploring the exciting new feature. Now, anyone can easily access 17 World Development Indicators by searching for them in Google. Give it a try by searching for the GDP of China or CO2 emissions of Indonesia or exports of Thailand – or another country and any of these indicators.

When you click on the search result, an interactive chart page shows you how the data have changed over time and allows you to compare to other countries (or the world). (You can also embed the chart, like the one below.) For example, take a look at how the GDP growth rate of China compares to Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines in the last 50 years.

To further explore the data, check out another nifty tool, also launched last week by the World Bank. DataFinder lets you research more about these development indicators and see how they look on an interactive map. Read more about DataFinder here.

Your questions about East Asia and Pacific's rebound from the crisis, answered by World Bank economists

Claudia Gabarain's picture

Almost like an audience-customized appendix to the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific Update November 2009, the live online chat held last Thursday by the regional Chief Economist, Vikram Nehru, and the lead author of the report, Ivailo Izvorski, answered a good number of questions in detail.

DM2009 Winner Is Doubly Happy

Tom Grubisich's picture

Clutching two crystal globes at Friday's DM2009 awards ceremony was David Manalo of the Philippines, who won with two of his three finalist projects -- one for "bell and bottle" rain gauges to provide an early warning system against storm-caused floods and landslides, and the other to put 2,000 to 2,400 people rural people on the electrical grid through floating hydropower generators.

"I didn't expect this," he said, elated but a bit dazed from his and his projects' double honors.  "Winning once would make me more than happy."

Manalo's brother, Eugenio, a partner in the early-warning project, stayed behind in the Philippines to aid victims of recent typhoons.  "I will call him, but not right now – he's sleeping," said David, at 1 a.m. Manila time.

Transparency Delayed, Transparency Denied?

Antonio Lambino's picture

Is transparency delayed, transparency denied? How about when disasters, such typhoons or earthquakes, strike? Should transparency and citizen access to information as regards the disbursement of calamity funds be considered a priority? Or should transparency temporarily take a back seat during disasters with all efforts going into emergency response?

Responsible Finance: The Case of the Philippines

Yesterday I attended a presentation at CGAP on responsible finance, which featured three excellent guest speakers, including Fe de la Cruz, Director of Corporate Affairs, Central Bank of the Philippines (the other guests included a former member of the Brazilian Central Bank, and Daryl Collins, co-author of Portfolios of the Poor).

Innovative ideas to save the planet (and East Asia Pacific region) from climate change

James I Davison's picture
David Manalo's organization wants to distribute unique floating generators to provide electricity to people in a remote part of the Philippines.

From Finalist Winner in 2003 to Juror in 2009

Tom Grubisich's picture

DM2009 team member Alexandra Humme shares this story:

During our live webcast on Wednesday (Nov. 11) I interviewed Dr. Tran Triet from Vietnam. He is a juror at this year's Development Marketplace. But six years ago, he was one of the finalists and eventually a winner of the 2003 Development Marketplace on Biodiversity. Dr. Tran comes from Phu My Village in Kien Giang Province, a small place located in the southwest corner of Vietnam, close to Cambodia.

Phu My Village is home to 5,000-acre wetland which supports a vast grassland ecosystem of the Mekong River Delta. The Phu My wetland is not only important for bioddiversity

conservation but also provides an economic base to the Khmer ethnic minority who harvest Lepironia (photo at right) for production of woven goods.

In 2003, Dr. Tran, who is working for the Crane Foundation in Vietnam and also is with Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City, presented the "Ha Tien - Habitats - Handbags" project which protects this important wetland by implementing an innovative model that combines nature conservation with improving daily income of local people whose livelihood depends on harvesting natural resources from the wetland.

The project provided skill training to enable local people to make fine handicraft products like hats and handbags from the Lepironia sedge they harvested. The project also assists local community in marketing and selling their products to higher-value tourist and export markets.

With the Development Marketplace award of about US$ 200,000, the project was able to expand its work and eventually 

The BRIC Temptation

My final posts on Crisis Talk addressed issues concerning capital flows and emerging markets (see here and here). As most of the world emerges from the crisis, the demand for 'safe' investments, such as American and European government bonds, has diminished.


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