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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?
 

HIV in the Philippines: Up close and personal

Rennan Ocheda's picture
As a nurse manager assigned to the Taguig City Social Hygiene Clinic and Drop-In Center for more than a year now, I have gone through unpredictable, funny, scary, sad, happy, thrilling and worthwhile experiences that even in my wildest dreams I never imagined would happen in my life.
 
The days that I spent on the Big Cities project taught me how to handle different people from all walks of life, who were diagnosed HIV positive. Working there, I learned that HIV/AIDS does not choose its victims, whether rich or poor.
 
One of them happened to be my close friend. I really didn’t know how to tell him about his HIV status. It was hard… really hard to be his HIV counselor. It was difficult putting myself in his shoes, for example, when this diagnosis must’ve felt like the end of the world for him. But I knew that I had to be strong for my friend.
 
I wondered how I could help him if I wasn’t strong myself, so I promised him that I would do my best to support him, which was similar to what I do for other people living with HIV.
 

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.

Open insights is the next step to Open Data

Kenneth Abante's picture
One must think of government data like a matchstick; it must be taken out of its box and lit. The first step to generating public trust in a government institution is to show it has nothing to hide. The disclosure of data, or Open Data, is a public-private partnership for solving social issues transparently.
 
However, more than establishing moral authority, Open Data  also gives public institutions deeper insight and understanding into their own operations. Moving a step further, voluntarily disclosing not just data in comma separated values or excel spreadsheets, but insights -- even weaknesses -- to the public, can accelerate change across institutions and society. I say this with a caveat: disclosure should be made with a nuanced message, such as the acknowledgment of data and its limitations, the humility to accept limitations as an agency with scarce time and resources, and the courage to come up with clear steps for implementation. In the Philippines, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima echoes this, noting that “We must be the first to admit our weaknesses.” Open Insights is the next logical step to Open Data.
 

How good are Filipinos with their finances?

Nataliya Mylenko's picture
Making ends meet is a challenge for many Filipinos, and not only for those who are poor.  A recent survey on financial capability and inclusion, conducted by the World Bank in collaboration with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), for the first time provides data on household financial behavior decisions and knowledge of financial concepts.

The survey results indicate that 55% of respondents in the Philippines report not having enough money to pay for food or basic necessities and 26% say that this is a regular occurrence. Estimates derived from the survey data indicate that about 23 million adults making financial decisions face this situation.

The majority identify lack of income as the main reason for running short of money for basic necessities. Among households earning less than 10,000 Pesos ($217), 62% report lack of income as the reason.  Somewhat surprisingly, 64% among those with income of 50,000 Pesos ($1,086) or more also say that lack of income is the reason for not having enough money for basic necessities.

동아시아의 도전 과제

Axel van Trotsenburg's picture
Also available in: English | 中文

동아시아는 지난 30년 간 이어진 전례 없는 경제 성장 덕분에 전 세계 경제의 25%를 차지하는 경제 동력원으로 성장했다. 중국, 인도네시아, 말레이시아, 태국, 베트남을 비롯한 이 지역은 좀 더 노동 집약적이고 포용적인 성장을 이루어낸 덕분에 수억명의 사람이 극심한 가난에서 벗어나 더 큰 번영을 누릴 수 있었다.

이러한 성공에는 대가가 따랐다. 지난 해를 기준으로 동아시아 인구 중 1억명이 아직도 하루 1.25 달러로 생활한다. 약 2억 6000만명이 여전히 하루 2달러 미만으로 생활하고 있는데, 이들은 세계 경제가 악화되거나 자국에 보건 악재 혹은 식량난이 발생하면 다시 가난에 빠질 가능성이 있다. 이들의 불확실한 미래야말로 동아시아의 급성장이 낳은 불평등이 갈수록 커지고 있음을 보여준다. 

이 지역의 소득 격차는 2008년 세계 금융위기로 말미암아 한층 가중되었다. 중국과 인도네시아의 경우 소득 격차가 악화되었으며 싱가포르, 말레이시아, 필리핀에서는 소득 격차의 정도가 계속해서 높은 수준에 머물러 있다..

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