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Boon or bane: Trade agreements in Malaysia

Smita Kuriakose's picture

In the past several decades Malaysia has witnessed strong economic growth and has become one of Asia’s newly industrialized countries. In one generation it transitioned successfully from low to upper-middle-income status, due in large part to outward looking policies, trade, and foreign direct investments (FDI) — which contributed to the successful diversification of the economy. Today, Malaysia faces the challenge of escaping the middle-income trap as its productivity slows and it becomes less competitive.
Free trade agreements (FTAs) such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Malaysia EU-FTA bring the potential for greater market access for Malaysia. This new generation of free trade agreements offers opportunities for Malaysia to strengthen reforms beyond tariff reduction, covering commitments such as competition and investment policies, non-tariff measures, intellectual property rights, labour standards, and opening up government procurement for competition.  With a market-friendly government and a strong track record of reforms, there are new opportunities for reinvigorating structural reforms to support private sector-led economic growth. Accelerating productivity growth is a key element of the 11th Malaysia Plan, which aims to bring Malaysia to high income status by 2020.

Cambodia is now a lower-middle income economy: What does this mean?

Sodeth Ly's picture
Also available in: Cambodian
Two decades of economic growth have helped make Cambodia a global leader in reducing poverty.
The success story means the Southeast Asian nation that overcame a vicious civil war now is classified as a lower-middle income economy by the World Bank Group (WBG).
The new classification this year is based on thresholds set by the WBG in a system with roots in a 1989 paper that outlined the methodology. The table below shows the different levels of classification based on Gross National Income (GNI): 
Threshold GNI in July 2016
Low-income <$1,025
Lower-middle income $1,026 - $4,035
Upper-middle income $4,036 - $12,475
High-income > $12,476

Empowering Myanmar’s rural poor through community-driven development

Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez's picture
Poverty and isolation create a host of development challenges for Myanmar's rural communities, from poor road connections to lack of clean water and unreliable electricity.
Since 2013, the Myanmar National Community-Driven Development Project (NCDDP) has helped improve access to basic infrastructure and services with support from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's fund for the poorest. The community-driven development (CDD) approach responds well to local development challenges, in that it lets community groups decide how to use resources based on their specific needs and priorities.
Implemented by Myanmar's Department of Rural Development, NCDDP now operates in 5,000 villages across 27 rural townships梙ome to over 3 million people梐nd plans to reach about 7 million people in rural communities in the coming year.
In this video, Ede Ijjasz and Nikolas Myint reflect on what has been achieved so far, describe some of the challenges they met along the way, and talk about plans to take the NCDDP to the next level.

China: how have farmers benefited from the World Bank Integrated Modern Agriculture Development Project?

Alessandra Gage's picture
Also available in: 中文
 Alessandra  Gage/FAO
Evergreen Cooperative member, Photo: Alessandra Gage/FAO
On a warm, rainy day in Shantian Village of Luo Fang Town in Jiangxi Province, farmer Liu Jian, along with five other locals, welcomed our World Bank mission team, including technical experts from the Investment Centre of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), into his home.

All six have benefited from the Integrated Modern Agriculture Development Project  (IMAD)  Project since 2014, when implementation began by the County Office for Comprehensive Agriculture Development.


Alessandra Gage's picture
Also available in: English
 Alessandra  Gage/FAO
常青种植合作社的农户, 图片:Alessandra Gage/联合国粮农组织

他们都是2014年县农业综合开发办公室启动实施的综合现代农业发展 项目的受益人。

Supporting inclusive growth in Cambodia

Victoria Kwakwa's picture
A Cambodian farmer. photo by the World Bank
A Cambodian farmer. Photo: The World Bank

Today, Cambodia is among the world’s fastest growing economies. Its gross national income per capita increased by more than threefold in two decades, from $300 in 1994 to $1,070 in 2015.

Strong economic growth has helped lift millions of people out of poverty.

The Cambodian people have benefited as the economy diversified from subsistence farming into manufacturing, tourism and agricultural exports. Poverty fell to 10% in 2013, from 50% in 2004. Cambodians enjoy better school enrollment, literacy, life expectancy, immunization and access to water and sanitation.

Ангилал ямар учиртай вэ?

Jim Anderson's picture
Also available in: English

Албан бус орчуулга.

Нэг жилийн өмнө Монгол улсын нэг хүнд ногдох ҮНО бага-дунд, дунджаас дээш орлоготой орнуудын босгыг давж, дунджаас дээш орлоготой орон гэх тодотголтой болсон. 1990-ээд оны удаан үргэлжилсэн хямралаас хойш бид хэр хол явсныг илтгэж байна хэмээн Монголчуудын зарим нь баярлаж байсан. Бас нэг хэсэг нь хөнгөлөлттэй санхүүжилт авах боломжид ямар нөлөөлөл үзүүлэх бол хэмээн бодлогоширч байсан. Харин бусад нь яг ийм орлоготой байж чадах уу хэмээн эргэлзэж байсан. Монголын гаргасан ахиц, дэвшил гарцаагүй үнэн боловч нийт хүн амын 22% нь ойролцоогоор 2.70 долларын орлоготой буюу үндэсний ядуурлын шугамаас доогуур орлоготой амьдарч байгааг бид бүгд мэднэ. Ийм статистик байхад “дунджаас дээш орлоготой улс” байна гэдэг юу гэсэн үг вэ?
Өнгөрсөн долоо хоногт Монгол улс бага-дунд орлоготой ороны ангилалд буцаад шилжлээ. Яаж яваад ийм юм болов?  Энэ чухам юу гэсэн үг вэ?

What’s in a category?

Jim Anderson's picture
Also available in: Mongolian

One year ago, Mongolia was designated an Upper Middle Income Country (UMIC) when the country’s GNI per capita crossed the threshold between lower and upper middle income countries.  Some Mongolians celebrated, seeing the designation as a reflection of how far the country had come since recovering from a prolonged slump in the 1990s.  Others wondered what it means for the availability of concessional financing in the future.  And others just wondered if it was accurate.  While Mongolia’s progress is unmistakable, we also know that 22% of the population lives below the national poverty line of roughly $2.70 per day—what does it mean to be an “upper middle income country” in the face of such a statistic?

Last week, Mongolia was re-designated a Lower Middle Income Country (LMIC).  How is this possible and what does it mean?

Dari bukti ke dampak: Menjangkau masyarakat termiskin Indonesia dengan sasaran lebih baik

Maura Leary's picture
Also available in: English

Bukti dan analisis, ketika dipakai dengan baik, bisa menjadi dasar membuat kebijakan yang efektif. Namun,  apa yang terjadi ketika sebuah laporan analitis dipublikasikan dan temuannya disebarluaskan? Pada kasus terburuk, sebuah laporan bisa saja hanya tersimpan sampai berdebu di lemari.
Sebaliknya, pada kasus terbaik, bukti yang kuat dan yang disiapkan dengan baik bisa membawa dampak nyata bagi mereka yang kurang beruntung. Belum lama ini kami berusaha mencari tahu bagaimana mempraktikkannya untuk kasus di Indonesia.
Bantuan sosial yang efektif merupakan sesuatu yang bukan saja penting untuk membantu masyarakat keluar dari kemiskinan, tapi juga untuk menjaga agar mereka tidak jatuh miskin. Namun sering kali program-program dengan tujuan yang baik tidak menjangkau mereka yang paling memerlukannya. Masyarakat miskin tetap miskin, masyarakat rentan tetap berisiko jatuh ke dalam kemiskinan karena guncangan,, dan ruang fiskal terbuang untuk program-program yang tidak mencapai tujuannya.

From Evidence to Impact: reaching Indonesia’s poorest through better targeting

Maura Leary's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Indonesia

Evidence and analysis, when used well, can form the foundation for effective policymaking. But what happens once an analytical report is published, and the findings are shared? In the worst case, these reports sit collecting dust on a few lucky office shelves.

In the best cases, however, smart, rigorous, and timely evidence leads to real impact for the least well off. We set out recently to find out a bit more about how this can work in practice, looking at the case of Indonesia.
Effective social assistance is crucial not only for helping people move out of poverty, but also keeping people from falling into poverty. Too often, however, well-meaning programs do not reach those who need them the most. The poor stay poor, shocks push the vulnerable into poverty, and fiscal space is wasted on programs that are not doing what they need to do.