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East Asia and Pacific

MDGs: a new picture

With the countdown half-way through, the data on the Millennium Development Goals are finally available via interactive maps. The timeline feature (step 3 on the map) tracks progress on any of the eight goals, throughout 189 countries.

I left my belly on Mount Seulawah

David Lawrence's picture

Mt_seualwah_2 Until recently, the mountains of Aceh were known for rebel activity and were basically off-limits. Even without gunfire, I didn’t have much interest in having anything to do with mountains other than look at them.

Land, the single greatest asset for the poor

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.

Reform yourself and the equity returns will follow

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.

World Bank's Internal Evaluation Report is out now

Ieg_report_2 Since the mid-1990s, 86 middle-income countries (MICs), defined as having GDP per capital ranging from $1000 to $6000, have borrowed the total of $163 billion and their average real incomes grew by 4 percent a year.

When do creditors' rights work?

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?