The Yangon Circular Railway is the local commuter rail network in Yangon, Myanmar. In this recording, World Bank Country Manager Kanthan Shankar boards the train on a three-hour ride around the city. "You see a panorama of life unfolding before you and you feel a part of the picture," he says, reflecting on the daily lives of the people in Yangon, "There's a huge opportunity for commerce and private sector growth. Yangon and Myanmar is lucky that it has basic infrastructure in place. It's a matter of rehabilitating these and aiming for a smoother ride to pave the way for commerce,"
Private Sector Development
Financed by the mining boom, government spending on new infrastructure in Mongolia has increased 35-fold in the past 10 years. But you would not know this from driving the pot holed streets of Ulaanbaatar or inhaling the smog filled air of the city, particularly in the ger areas.
A new World Bank report I co-authored examines why this increased spending is not resulting in equivalent benefits for the citizens of Mongolia in terms of better roads, efficient and clean heating, and improved water and sanitation services.
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In this digital age, it’s easy to forget that there is a staggering amount of physical goods moving across the globe. Most trade—80 percent by volume—moves through seaports. Trade in developing countries makes up a good chunk of the total, and is growing fast. Handshake, IFC’s quarterly journal on public-private partnerships (PPPs), reports trade in developing countries is growing at nearly 14 percent.
And a lot of this trade is happening in Asia. In its June 21, 2012 issue, the Economist reports that the center of gravity of cargo trade is shifting from Europe to Asia. So it should come as no surprise that Asia is leading investment in seaports. Handshake reports that from 2000-2011, the East Asia Pacific region accounted for nearly $14 billion—32 percent—of private investment in seaports, mainly from China. The Philippines and Singapore are also major Asian investors in seaport projects.
Much of this investment comes through PPPs. Does this really make a difference? I’d say it does. Private sector financing and expertise make seaports and shipping more efficient. This in turn benefits emerging markets, which are becoming more and more engaged in global trade.
Could seaport investments be a predictor of future trends in trade? If so, Asia will become even more of a trade hotspot than it is today.
For further information, read Issue #6 of Handshake: Air & Sea PPPs.
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Bandar udara baru di Banda Aceh seindah Taj Mahal – terang, dengan lantai marmer yang luas dan kubah yang indah. Kita bisa membayangkan ada sebuah kolam yang indah atau taman…OK, mungkin saya mulai berlebihan. Tapi bagi yang pernah merasakan bandar udara yang lama – mirip terminal bis di kota tua yang ditempeli landasan – pasti bisa mengerti kenapa saya sangat antusias.
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Ambisius dan naik pesat – kata-kata ini secara tepat menggambarkan Indonesia yang modern. Di tengah melambatnya ekonomi global, pada tahun 2009 Indonesia merupakan negara dengan pertumbuhan ekonomi tercepat ketiga di antara negara G-20 dan terus menunjukkan pertumbuhan ekonomi yang kuat, dengan proyeksi pertumbuhan sebesar 6,4% pada tahun 2012. Meningkatkan daya saing ekonomi dengan menciptakan iklim bisnis yang lebih kondusif merupakan salah satu prioritas Indonesia untuk tahun 2010-2014.
|Photo courtesy of christahasenkopf.com|
I recently read a quote by Edward Glaeser, an urban economist, in the latest issue of IFC’s quarterly journal on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), which caught my attention:
Statistically, there is a near-perfect correlation between urbanization and prosperity among nations. As a country’s urban population rises by 10 percent, the country’s per capita output increases by 30 percent.
The President of Mongolia, Elbegdorj Tsakhia, sat at the table behind a Greek salad. We were at a lunch hosted by the Corporate Governance Development Center, an NGO which brings international best practices in corporate governance to Mongolia. Also present were the Minister of Education, the Director of the Financial Regulatory Commission (FRC), the Deputy Chief of Party of the USAID-funded Economic Policy Reform and Competitiveness Project (EPRC), which helped to establish the Center with the Institute of Finance and Economics, and CEOs of leading Mongolian firms. Several International Finanace Corporation (IFC) clients were among them.
The salad looked delicious, but it would have to wait. President Elbegdorj was speaking about the role of corporate governance in Mongolia. "Corporate governance is important for Mongolia's competitiveness," he said. I was delighted. I've been waiting a long time for this moment.
Earlier today, the World Bank released its annual Doing Business report, which tracks business regulation reforms and ranks emerging economies on the “ease of doing business.”
The investment climate is the fundamental socio-economic framework in which firms operate – the macroeconomic and trade policies they face, the labor and financial markets in which they recruit and raise money, the available infrastructure and imposed regulations, as well a