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Regional roundup: Finance in East Asia – Jan. 16

James Seward's picture

Unfortunately, we start this roundup as we did the last – with more economic bad news. Exports dropped 2.8 percent and imports declined 21 percent in China on annualized basis in December. Also, China reported the first slowdown in growth of its foreign reserves since 1998, although reserves still rose by $45 billion in the fourth quarter of last year to about $1.95 trillion. Debate is also now swirling about rate of China’s economic growth for 2009, and even the central bank governor now is publicly setting expectations that the target rate of 8 percent may not be achievable.

Cities on the rise?

Alexander Lotsch's picture

The developing world is rapidly urbanizing, as a previous World Development Report noted. Low and middle-income nations are home to three quarters of the world’s urban population. Urban areas are likely to absorb almost all of the world’s population increase over the next two decades. The most populous urban areas tend to concentrate in coastal zones--China and India alone have more than a quarter of the world’s urban population and the world’s largest population living in low-lying coastal zones. Even Africa, generally considered a rural continent, has two-fifths of its population in urban areas, and a large concentration of coastal cities.

From the Learning & Technology World Forum

Michael Trucano's picture

Big Ben was watching (image courtesy Andrew Dunn used according to its CC license, see bottom of blog post for more info) The first Learning and Technology World Forum kicked off this week in London, the successor to the invitation-only Moving Young Minds conference.  In its new incarnation, LATWF featured both public and closed ministerial-level sessions examining topics related to ICT use in education. 

Climate Change: Contests, Conferences and more

Saadia Iqbal's picture

The biggest annual event on climate change recently took place in Pozna?, Poland. The goal of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) was to get participating countries to agree on a concrete plan of action, and pave the way toward reaching an agreement, so that the next meeting, in Copenhagen in December 2009, could bring negotiations to a close.

Customary forest, coffee growing and dancing on Buton, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Tony Whitten's picture

Four years ago, the Lambusango Forest project started on Buton in Southeast Sulawesi.  Conservation contracts have included introducing village cooperatives to niche markets (for more, see my previous blog post). This film records parts of the final supervision mission:

Correlations between Press Freedom and Human Development Demonstrated

Andrea Cairola's picture

With the new year, the UNESCO printing house has just come out with the copies of the paper “Press freedom and development: an analysis of correlations between freedom of the press and the different dimensions of development, poverty, governance and peace.”

It is satisfying to see brand-new books containing the study on which I’ve been working as part of a research project implemented by the Centre for Peace and Human Security (CPHS) at Sciences Po University, with UNESCO's support. And it is even more interesting to see some of the conclusions that the independent scholars reached in this research -- namely, that press freedom is positively correlated with good governance, human development, and democracy. This is, of course, one more argument to corroborate the theories on how a functioning public sphere contributes to peace-building and governance.

Ethiopia announces first diaspora corporate bond

Sanket Mohapatra's picture

Ethiopia announced perhaps the first sub-sovereign corporate bond aimed at the diaspora. A release by the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that the bond launched on December 23rd will provide funds to the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) for investments which will increase power supply to the nation, where only 27 percent of the people currently have access to electricity.


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