East Asia and Pacific
While nearly 1 billion people still live on less than $1 a day, according to World Bank estimates the incidence of poverty shrunk from 29 percent of global population to 18 percent between 1990 and 2004.
In 2006, the income of Chinese urban residents was 3.28 times that of the rural ones, where 700 million farmers or 56 percent of total population live.
The new survey from the Cato Institute shows how secure land rights can reinvigorate China's rural economy. The graph (below) displays a correlation between issuance of contracts and certificates and farmers' mid and long-term investment in land.
How did Eastern Europe overtake East Asia? In a four-minute video interview, Michael Klein, World Bank-IFC Vice President for Financial and Private Sector Development, explains why countries that didn't make it to the top of the Doing Business 2008 report don't have to despair.
By the way, did you know that Estonia and Poland have as many registered businesses per capital as Hong Kong? The same holds for Georgia and Malaysia.
At 00:01 GMT, the World Bank released its annual ranking of the ease of doing business in 178 economies.
There's much talk about the need for creditor-friendly laws in order to provide more capital to private sector. But how much is a better lenders' right to collateral worth in an absence of effective enforcement?
The disinterest in vaccine development throughout the 1990s led many to call for government intervention.