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Corruption correlated to Doing Business

The 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index, out today, "reinforces [the] link between poverty and corruption [and] shows the machinery of corruption remains well-oiled, despite improved legislation." Transparency International finds that corruption is "rampant" in almost half the countries on the list.

How do enterprises become 'formal'?

A small brewer in Sierra Leone finds the only way he can compete with cheaper imported beers is by evading sales tax. He'd like to go legitimate but calculates that it would put him of business. Meanwhile, in Brazil, an auto-parts manufacturer would like to get a bank loan to expand but finds that doing so requires an external audit. Because the company has been hiding half its workers from the social security authorities for the last five years, this presents a problem.

New blogger: Tom Kenyon

Yet another new blogger? This one is a bit different, and I mean that kindly. Tom Kenyon, a political scientist with FIAS, is organizing a conference on informality in January - and he'd like to get a discussion going now around the topic of enterprise formalization. While attendance at the conference is limited, all of our readers are encouraged to participate in what should be a lively discussion.

Beijing gussies up for South-South trade

All eyes are on China today as dozens of African heads of state descend on Beijing for the China-Africa summit. As always, the BBC has excellent coverage, including a photo spread of Beijing rolling out the red carpet. Podcast fans will enjoy NPR's Morning Report on the conference.

What is that wireless worth?

Casting a wide net, McKinsey estimates that the economic impact of wireless is up to 8% of a country's GDP. To unlock this value, they encourage wireless providers and/or regulators to lower the minimum (but not average) cost of owning a cell phone and push coverage into rural areas. This is from a recent whitepaper, Wireless Unbound, which they were kind enough to send me. Check here to find your way behind the firewall and read the whole thing.

Remittances in Latin America: Not Manna from Heaven

Ignacio Hernandez's picture

Close to home


In 2005 migrant workers from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) sent a total of $48.3 billion back to their home countries.  In 2004, remittances represented about 70 percent of foreign direct investment (FDI) in LAC and were 500 percent larger than Official Development Assistance to the region.