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East Asia and Pacific

The world in 2006

An excellent series of companion podcasts to the popular forward-looking edition of The Economist, The World in 2006. Some highlights:

  • Paul Wolfowitz on the priorities for world development
  • Amartya Sen on India’s rising star
  • Daniel Yergin on the future of the oil market
  • Daniel Franklin on the world’s biggest economies, and
  • Simon Long on India’s emerging market.

Harvard Business School on global poverty

HBS recently hosted the ‘Global Poverty: Business Solutions and Approaches’ conference. Nothing groundbreaking, but an interesting group of speakers and papers. Its great that the event happened, but I would have liked to have seen more private sector people and less academics presenting. Thanks to NextBillion for pulling the material together.

The future of African techno-entrepreneurship

Audio and video from the recent United Nations and Sun Microsystems sponsored Pop!Tech event is now available online (Part 1 & 2). This excellent event brought together young African thought leaders to discuss the role of technology in changing communities and fighting poverty and disease. Several of those in attendance were also blogging from the event.

Lessons from reconstruction

Long-term reconstruction differs significantly from the provision of immediate postdisaster rescue and relief. While speed remains important, proper planning becomes even more crucial. Putting up temporary housing is relatively fast and easy, but rebuilding a viable and vibrant community is not.

In praise of the persons of the year

Bono and Melinda & Bill Gates have been named persons of the year by Time Magazine (subscription required). Nancy Birdsall and Steve Radelet offer a defense of them at 'Views from the Center'.

Aceh Diary: Coordination

Coordination is the biggest buzzword within the donor community in Banda Aceh. Everybody’s heard of it, everybody’s talking about it, everybody thinks it’s a great thing, everybody wants to be a part of it; so is everybody doing it? No, not really.

Better regulation in the UK?

The U.K. Better Regulation Task Force has released its annual report. They find that 30% of the U.K.’s regulations should be trimmed – at an estimated annual savings of 1% of GDP. To the Economist this sounds like an old record; they argue for action beyond annual reports and podium statements. (They of course also cite Doing Business.)

China vs. India

Johan Norberg, everyone's favourite Swedish libertarian, is just back from the Asian giants and writes:

India's hidden strength is that the country is already extremely entrepreneurial - but in the informal sector. An Indian friend mentions that most of the cars we see on the roads, and many computers in the offices, are assembled in small, informal factories, outside the law, to avoid the many regulations and taxes that still curbs the Indian economy.


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