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East Asia and Pacific

Formalization, growth and poverty

The informal sector plays a significant role in developing countries viz. the provision of employment, income and supplying ignored markets. However, working and employment conditions within the sector are still poor. Its expansion and changing structures have thus drawn the attention of scholars and international policy makers to the factors hindering its formalisation. Among the factors addressed are the high costs of formalisation and the lack of incentives for operating in the formal sector.

Does foreign aid help?

ABC News argues that food and financial aid often only enrich the corrupt, not reaching the poor they are meant to help. See this great six minute video with John Stossel on the story, where he sees for himself how hard it is to register a business in some countries and has some tough questions for Sachs and Bono on the benefit of giving more aid.

Emerging market retail priorities

Against a backdrop of accelerating modern retail globalization, India retained its position as the world’s most attractive emerging market, according the 2006 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI), an annual study of retail investment attractiveness among 30 emerging markets. The study also found Asia has overtaken Eastern Europe as the dominant region for global retail expansion.

Are China’s factories running out of workers?

One of the defining myths of modern China - that it has a bottomless well of unskilled, low-wage laborers - is coming apart at the seams. And hardest hit are the southern coastal cities that produce much of America's consumer bounty.

As migration trends and personal preferences shift, the employment and incentive policies of Chinese factories will have to adapt to new labor pools if they want to remain competitive.

The potential of the Chinese consumer

Morgan Stanley chief economist Stephen Roach discusses some surprising data emerging out of a recent Gallup poll in China. He sees amazing potential - once some key constraints are overcome. Mainly the urban-rural gap and building a new safety net.


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