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How to scale up financial inclusion in ASEAN countries

José de Luna-Martínez's picture
MYR busy market

Globally, around 2 billion people do not use formal financial services. In Southeast Asia, there are 264 million adults who are still “unbanked”; many of them save their money under the mattress and borrow from so-called “loan sharks”, paying exorbitant interest rates on a daily or weekly basis. Recognizing the importance of financial inclusion for economic development, the leaders of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) have made this one of their top priorities for the next five years.
 
Last week, the World Bank Group presented the latest data on financial inclusion in ASEAN to senior representatives of the ministries of finance and central banks of all 10 ASEAN member countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam). The session, held in Kuala Lumpur, is one of the joint activities the new World Bank Research and Knowledge Hub and Malaysia is undertaking to support financial inclusion around the world.
 

快速老龄化的东亚地区怎样才能保持其经济活力?

Axel van Trotsenburg's picture
Also available in: English
Panos Agency


过去三十年来,东亚地区收获了人口红利。大量且不断增长的劳动力对上世纪六十至九十年代人均收入增长的贡献接近三分之一,使得该地区成为全球增长引擎。
 
当前,东亚地区正面临另一个人口趋势构成的挑战:人口快速老龄化。新发布的一份世界银行报告发现,东亚和太平洋地区人口老龄化速度和规模均位于全球各地区首位。
 
目前,超过2.11亿65岁及以上人口居住在东亚和太平洋地区,占全球该年龄组别总人口36%。到2040年,东亚地区老龄人口将增长一倍以上,达到4.79亿;韩国、中国、泰国等国适龄就业人口将萎缩10%-15%。
 
纵观该地区,随着适龄就业人口减少和老龄化加速,政策制定者正关注人口老龄化对经济增长的潜在影响以及医疗卫生、养老金和长期养老体系对公共支出日益增加的需求。

随着该地区人口快速老龄化,政府部门、用人单位以及各家庭应如何确保辛勤工作的人们在进入老龄阶段后过上健康且有产出的生活?东亚和太平洋地区各社会应如何促进生产性老龄化并且提升包容性?

How can rapidly aging East Asia sustain its economic dynamism?

Axel van Trotsenburg's picture
Also available in: 中文
Panos Agency


In the last three decades, East Asia has reaped the demographic dividend. An abundant and growing labor force powered almost one-third of the region’s per capita income growth from the 1960s to the 1990s, making it the world’s growth engine.
 
Now, East Asia is facing the challenges posed by another demographic trend: rapid aging. A new World Bank report finds that East Asia and Pacific is aging faster – and on a larger scale – than any other region in history.
 
More than 211 million people ages 65 and over live in East Asia and Pacific, accounting for 36 percent of the global population in that age group. By 2040, East Asia’s older population will more than double, to 479 million, and the working-age population will shrink by 10 percent to 15 percent in countries such as Korea, China, and Thailand.
 
Across the region, as the working-age population declines and the pace of aging accelerates, policy makers are concerned with the potential impact of aging on economic growth and rising demand for public spending on health, pension and long-term care systems.
 
As the region ages rapidly, how do governments, employers and households ensure that hard-working people live healthy and productive lives in old age? How do societies in East Asia and Pacific promote productive aging and become more inclusive?
 

Five facts about rice and poverty in the Greater Mekong Sub-region

Sergiy Zorya's picture

The Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) is a major global rice producer and exporter but its population suffers from serious levels of poverty and malnutrition.
 
Spanning six countries – China, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam – the region is home to 334 million people. Nearly 60 million of them are involved in rice production, growing collectively over 44% of the world’s rice. All of the countries, except China, are net exporters of rice. This means they have more rice available than required for domestic consumption. Yet, nearly 15% of the population is seriously malnourished and about 40% of children under five are stunted, in other words, too short for their age as a result of under nutrition.
 

我们必须时刻准备再次迎来严重厄尔尼诺现象

Axel van Trotsenburg's picture
Also available in: English
厄尔尼诺现象又回来了,而且可能会来的更猛。
 
干旱季节印尼东爪哇省Madiun的Dawuhan大坝干裂的河床上搁浅的木船。  2015年10月28日 © ANTARA FOTO/路透社/Corbis


今年上半年太平洋水域开始出现新一轮周期性变暖,亚洲、非洲和拉丁美洲都已感受到其影响。首次观察到太平洋海水变暖是在数百年前,自1950年以来正式开始监测跟踪。

气象专家预测此次厄尔尼诺现象将会持续到2016年春并有可能造成大破坏,因为气候变化可能导致一些地区暴雨和洪水加剧,另一些地区出现严重干旱和缺水。

厄尔尼诺的影响是全球性的,预计南美地区会遭遇暴雨和大洪水,非洲地区会经受酷热和干旱。

We must prepare now for another major El Niño

Axel van Trotsenburg's picture
Also available in: 中文
El Niño is back and may be stronger than ever.
 
A wooden boat is seen stranded on the dry cracked riverbed of the Dawuhan Dam during drought season in Madiun, Indonesia's East Java province.  October 28, 2015 © ANTARA FOTO/Reuters/Corbis



The latest cyclical warming of Pacific Ocean waters, first observed centuries ago and formally tracked since 1950, began earlier this year and already has been felt across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Weather experts predict this El Niño will continue into the spring of 2016 and could wreak havoc, because climate change is likely to exacerbate the intensity of storms and flooding in some places and of severe drought and water shortages in others.

El Niño’s impacts are global, with heavy rain and severe flooding expected in South America and scorching weather and drought conditions likely in the Horn of Africa region.

Các đô thị hiệu quả đóng vai trò then chốt giúp Việt Nam chuyển đổi sang nền kinh tế thu nhập cao

Axel van Trotsenburg's picture
Also available in: English

Quá trình đô thị hóa nhanh chóng là một điểm nhấn quan trọng trong quá trình phát triển của Việt Nam trong những thập kỷ qua. Năm 1986 dân số đô thị của Việt Nam chỉ là dưới13 triệu người; hiện nay con số đó đã là 30 triệu. Các thành phố đã trở thành trụ cột phát triển mạnh mẽ, tăng trưởng kinh tế của khu vực đô thị cao gấp hai lần mức bình quân của cả nước, đóng góp trên một nửa tổng sản phẩm quốc nội (GDP).
 
Các khu vực đô thị ngày càng đóng vai trò quan trọng trong tăng trưởng, và điều đó không có gì đáng ngạc nhiên. Một thực tế được thừa nhận trên phạm vi toàn cầu là nếu quản lý tốt, quá trình đô thị hoá sẽ góp phần làm tăng năng suất lao động và tăng trưởng kinh tế nhờ hiệu ứng tập trung, chẳng hạn như thị trường lao động sẽ có quy mô lớn hơn và hoạt động hiệu quả hơn, chi phí giao dịch thấp hơn và tri thức được lan tỏa dễ dàng hơn. Tuy nhiên, khi quan sát cụ thể hơn, có thể thấy đô thị hóa ở Việt Nam hiện nay cần những thay đổi lớn về tư duy để đảm bảo rằng quá trình này sẽ đóng góp toàn diện vào mục tiêu trở thành nước thu nhập cao.
 
Việt Nam cần sắp xếp lại quá trình đô thị hóa để xây dựng những thành phố hiệu quả hơn – những thành phố có mật độ dân số vừa đủ, kết nối tốt trong nội bộ và trong vùng, cũng như được quản lý tốt. Bên cạnh đó, để phù hợp với ưu tiên mạnh mẽ của Việt Nam trong đảm bảo công bằng xã hội, các thành phố cũng cần đảm bảo rằng mọi người dân đều được hưởng lợi từ quá trình phát triển, không một nhóm người hoặc khu vực nào bị bỏ lại phía sau. 
 

Bộ mặt mới của TP. Hồ Chí Minh: Giải pháp phát triển bền vững đang thay đổi thành phố như thế nào

Madhu Raghunath's picture
Also available in: English


Khi đến thăm thành phố Hồ Chí Minh lần đầu cách đây 3 năm tôi cố hình dung hình ảnh thành phố lấy từ các bộ phim của Hollywood với các tòa nhà nhìn ra bốn phía theo kiểu kiến trúc Pháp, những hàng cây được trồng thẳng hàng gọn ghẽ, những đường phố dài và các món ăn địa phương hấp dẫn.

How Ho Chi Minh City got a facelift: sustainable development solutions are changing a city

Madhu Raghunath's picture
Also available in: Tiếng Việt



When I visited Vietnam for the first time three years ago, I imagined a Ho Chi Minh City out of Hollywood movies, with panoramic buildings of French architecture, tree-lined, long boulevards and the melting pot of Indochine cuisine.

After I began working in the city as an urban professional in 2012, I quickly learned to see it as much more: a vibrant, young, hip and energetic city with a vision and determination to become a leading metropolis in East Asia, not just in Vietnam, one of the fastest-growing emerging economies in the region.

And it has taken all the right steps just to do that, combining infrastructure development with social services to make sure the city is more livable and growth more sustainable. As the World Cities Day approaches, I thought it would be useful to share the city’s experience with the world. 
 

Vietnam: Breaking gender stereotypes that hinder women’s empowerment

Victoria Kwakwa's picture
Also available in: Tiếng Việt
Empowering Women with Job Opportunities


In August 2015, I traveled with colleagues to An Giang Province in southern Vietnam to visit beneficiaries of an innovative project that is helping 200 Cham ethnic minority women learn embroidery.  Selling their embroidery, they earn incomes for themselves. We were inspired by the positive change that the small amount of money invested in this project is bringing to the lives of these women and their families.
 
This project, with funding from the 2013 Vietnam Women’s Innovation Day, supported by the Vietnam Women’s Union, the World Bank, and other partners - private and public - has helped improved economic opportunities for Cham women.  All through the old traditional art of embroidery.    
 
“This training and job creation project has helped a group of women get a stable monthly income of more than two million Dong (about $100), without leaving their homes. This means they can still take care of their children and look after their homes,” Kim Chi, a local female entrepreneur and leader of the project, told us. “Women participating in the project not only learn embroidery skills, which preserve Cham traditions, but also provide opportunities to share experiences in raising children and living a healthy life style, and support each other when needed.”
 
While we were all excited about the successes under the project, a bit more reflection reminded me that unless cultural norms which require Cham women to mainly work from home, are addressed, it will be hard for projects like this, no matter how well designed, to have a lasting impact in helping Cham women realize their full economic and social potential. 
 

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