The Indian government has approved proposals for 170 special economic zones (SEZs) and counting. SEZs can invite foreign direct investment, provide jobs, and promote the development of secondary industries to service firms. Why, then, the spirited outcry over India’s recent moves in this direction? For one thing, many of the approved sites are located on prime agricultural land – leading to complaints that the SEZs are more of a coordinated land grab by the rich than coordinated economic development.
Today is World Habitat Day. In 2050, six billion people will live in urban areas. That's two-thirds of the projected population. In 1950, one-third of us lived in urban areas. Wow.
News on Poverty and Growth issues from around the world.
Elections in Brazil
Lula was unable to secure a victory in the first round of the Brazilian presidential elections. He has a wide support among the poor, thanks to anti-poverty programs such as Bolsa-familia. The challenger Geraldo Alckmin criticizes what he describes as “pathetic” growth, falling short of its potential at a projected three percent this year.
The Economist this week says Tanzania is an "African country that deserves the money it gets". While still very poor, Tanzania is set for 5.8% GDP growth this year and perhaps 6.7% next. A popular president, former foreign minister Jakaya Kikwete, hopes to build up the country's sparse infrastructure, expand access to drinking water, and improve agricultural productivity.
News items of varying interest for your perusal...
Like every Friday, from Raj Nallari and Breda Griffith's lecture notes.
Although there exists a near-consensus among economists that trade liberalization strongly promotes growth and reduces poverty, concern about its ill effects has not abated among policymakers and the general public. Against this backdrop, in upcoming weeks we will review the links between openness, growth, and poverty reduction after first presenting the rationale for trade.
This is the title of a new report recently published by the World Bank's South Asia Region department.
Through this seed funding we are hoping to break a chicken-and-egg situation where investors will not invest in emerging markets for lack of information, and research providers will not enter the market for lack of demand. The object of the competition is to lead the market and to provide tools to a mainstream investment audience.