Syndicate content

East Asia and Pacific

Reflections on forty years of China’s reforms

Bert Hofman's picture
Also available in: 中文
Photo: ©Li Wenyong/World Bank

Forty years ago in December, Deng Xiaoping delivered his historic speech "Emancipate the mind, seeking truth from facts and unite as one to face the future." This triggered four decades of reforms that have transformed China into the world’s second largest economy.  By some time in the next decade, China will be among the few countries in the world that will have transitioned from low income to high income status since World War II. 

Understanding the path China traveled, the circumstances under which historical decisions were made, and their effects on the course of China’s economy will inform future decision makers.  Increasingly, this reflection is important to the rest of the world as more and more countries see China as an example to emulate.  At the 19th Party Congress in November 2017, China accepted this mantle for the first time since the onset of reforms.

In some ways, China’s reforms were fairly mainstream.  The country opened up for trade and foreign investment, liberalized prices, diversified ownership, strengthened property rights, kept inflation under control, and maintained high savings and investment.  But this is simplifying the reforms and obfuscates the essence of China’s reforms: the unique steps China took reforming its system are what makes its experience of interest (see the Annex). Its gradual approach to reform was in sharp contrast to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.  Although often compared, China and other transition countries were simply too different in terms of initial economic conditions, political development, and external environment.  

Predominantly rural and among the poorest nations on earth, China was marred by the failure of the Great Leap Forward and the political disruptions during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Integration into the global economy was minimal. Industry was inefficient, but also far less concentrated than in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.  Perhaps most importantly, because China retained political continuity, the country could focus on an economic and social transition instead of a political one.

Comparison with much of the Latin American reforms also seems out of place. Brazil, Mexico and Argentina were far closer to a market-based system than China, and their reforms—liberalization and macroeconomic stability—were focused on macroeconomic stabilization, whereas China’s reforms aimed for a transformation of the economic system as a whole.  So there is no need to juxtapose the “Washington Consensus” with a “Beijing Consensus:” the approaches taken served very different purposes indeed.

“Vậy Sing-ga-po thì sao?” Những bài học từ chương trình nhà ở công cộng thành công nhất thế giới

Abhas Jha's picture

Photo of Singapore by Lois Goh / World Bank

 Trước thềm Diễn đàn Đô thị Thế giới lần thứ 9 tại Kuala Lumpur, vẫn còn một tồn tại đang thách thức công cuộc thực hiện Chương trình Nghị sự Phát triển Đô thị mới, đó là làm sao chính phủ các nước có thể cung cấp nhà ở cho đa số người dân với chất lượng cao với giá cả vừa phải. Đây cũng chính là thành phần chính trong Mục tiêu phát triển bền vững (SDG) số 11 về xây dựng các đô thị và cộng đồng bền vững.
 
Khi còn làm trong lĩnh vực nhà ở giá rẻ tại khu vực Mỹ La-tinh chúng tôi luôn luôn đưa ra ý kiến tư vấn với khách hàng rằng chính phủ không nên tự mình xây dựng và cung cấp nhà ở. Thay vào đó, theo ý kiến của một chuyên gia kinh tế kinh tế nổi tiếng của Ngân hàng Thế giới Steve Mayo (đã mất), là nên để thị trường nhà ở tự giải quyết. Các khách hàng luôn đáp lại rằng “Vậy Sing-ga-po thì sao?” Và chúng tôi luôn trả lời rằng Sing-ga-po quá đặc biệt và không thể bắt chước được.

Are we there yet? – A journey towards sustainable flood risk management in Pacific Island countries

Simone Esler's picture
The Mataniko River floodplain at Koa Hill, Solomon Islands, after the April 2014 flood. Many houses were completely washed away and several lives were lost. (Photo: Alan McNeil, Solomon Islands government)

 

‘Are we there yet?’ On a long road trip, perhaps you’ve asked or heard this question.

Let’s direct this question to the state of urban flood risk management in Pacific Island countries.  In this case, the ‘destination’ is flood-resilient communities.

For Pacific Island countries, no, we’re not there yet, but are we heading in the right direction?

GICA: Connecting the dots on global infrastructure connectivity

Kara Watkins's picture


The term “connectivity” is familiar to most of us, even if we don’t think about it much. When we bemoan the shortcomings of the mobile network in our neighborhood or thank the barista for the free and unexpectedly fast WIFI at our favorite coffee bar, we’re acknowledging the place connectivity has in our lives.
 
But connectivity also plays a larger, global role—one that links communities, economies, and countries through transport, trade, communications, energy, and water networks. In this broader form, it’s known as global infrastructure connectivity, and it boasts a special super power: the ability to catalyze infrastructure development.

교육을 통한 동아시아의 4차산업혁명 대응방안

Raja Bentaouet Kattan's picture
English
동아시아는 빠른 기술 진보에 대비하고 있다. (사진 : Gerhard Jörén / 세계은행)

'4 차산업혁명 (4IR)'으로 불리는 자동화와 급속한 기술 발전은 경제 환경과 노동력에 요구되는 기술의 특성을 변화시키고 있다. 이와 관련한 새로운 도전이 전세계에 대두되고 있고 동아시아 또한 이에 대한 준비를 하고 있다.

 세계적 도전

자동화가 확대됨에 따라 기술력이 부족한 저소득 국가는 자동화에 더 많이 노출된다. 특히 기술수준이 높은 지역에 산업이 집중되는 직업 클러스터링 (job clustering)으로 인해 문제 해결 능력 및 사회적 기술 등을 습득하는 능력은 근로자가 신흥 산업에 적응하는데 더욱 중요해지고 있다. 전세계 노동력은 이러한 변화에 적응하고 생산성을 유지하는데 필요한 기술개발을 하기 위해 끊임없는 협력과 혁신이 요구된다. “기술과 고용 관련 옥스포드 마틴 프로그램 (Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment)”의 Carl Benedikt Frey교수는  "새로운 산업의 출현과 함께 새로 창출된 일자리는 평균 일자리보다 훨씬 더 숙련된 기술을 요구한다."라고 시사하였다.

4차산업혁명이 교육에 시사하는 점

Harry A. Patrinos's picture
English | Français | Español
근로자의 신기술 응용 능력은 교육을 통해 개발될 수 있다. (사진 : Sarah Farhat / 세계은행)​

4차산업혁명은 교육과 기술간의 관계를 더욱 긴밀하게 할 것이고 교육의 역할을 다시 한번 강조할 것이다. 대다수 개발도상국의 경우 부진한 성과를 내는 교육 체제 때문에 자동화에 대응할 수 있는 노동 경쟁력이 발전을 멈춘 상태다. 그런 탓에 개도국은 교육 투자 수익률이 높음에도 그에 따른 경제적 혜택을 누리지 못하고 있다. 4차산업혁명은 고소득 산업국가에서 널리 화두가 되고 있는 주제다. 그러나 자동화는 다른 나라보다 개도국에 특히 더 큰 영향을 끼칠 수 있고 개도국의 정책입안자들은 자국의 체제에 미칠 영향을 지금부터 우려해야 한다. 개도국은 교육투자 수익률이 높지만 교육의 질이 낮다. 
 
동아시아 성장 모델의 한계
 
동아시아 성장 신화의 두 가지 필수 요소는 무역 개혁과 인적 자본이다.  동아시아는 수출 장려 정책이나 무역 자유화 정책에 힘입어 저임금 저숙련 노동력을 비교우위로 활용할 수 있었다.  일례로 1962년 한국의 1인당 국민소득(GDP)은 아프리카 사하라 사막 이남 국가에 상응하는 수준이었다. 그러나 10년 간의 노동집약적, 수출 주도형 성장에 힘입어 한국의 1인당 실질 GDP는 두 배로 뛰었다.

The New ASEAN Green Bonds Standards

Ashraf Arshad's picture
The ASEAN Green Bonds Standards are a big step forward towards more green investments in the region. Photo: bigstock/jamesteoh


Climate change poses a significant threat to the economic development of countries around the world. The World Bank estimates that up to a 100 million poor people could be pushed back into poverty by 2030 as a result of climate changein part due to a combination of higher agricultural prices and threats to food security and health – especially in the poorer parts of the world. The Paris Agreement and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have provided commitments to tackle the most urgent of these environmental challenges.

Making a VR film in Fiji: Q&A with the team behind 'Our Home, Our People'

Tom Perry's picture

In November 2017 at the COP23 climate change conference in Bonn, Germany, the World Bank – in partnership with the Fijian Government – launched its biggest foray yet into the world of 360-degree Virtual Reality (VR).

Our Home, Our People is a storytelling project that takes viewers to the heart of climate change in Fiji.

Within six weeks of going live, film has been viewed by more than 3,500 people at the COP23 event, more than 200,000 people on YouTube, 170,000 people via VeerVR, and has garnered significant global interest.

Here, the team behind the film provides an insight into how the project came about, some of the challenges of making the film in VR, and what the project meant to those involved.


Improving access to finance for SMEs in Tanzania: Learning from Malaysia’s experience

Djauhari Sitorus's picture
Malaysia’s experience in addressing access to finance for SMEs has been successful, serving as a learning point for countries like Tanzania. Photo: Samuel Goh/World Bank
Tanzania is set towards becoming a middle-income country as the economy grew by an average of 6.5% per year in the past decade. The “Tanzania Development Vision (TDV) 2025” highlighted small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector as one important contributor to the country’s long-term development. It is estimated that Tanzania’s SME sector consists of more than 3 million enterprises which contribute to 27% of overall GDP.  Most of them are in the agricultural sector, and more than half are owned by women.  

Pages