Op-Eds and Opinion | Asian Development Bank

Op-Eds and Opinion

ADB management and subject experts share knowledge, views, and insights on development issues in op-ed articles and opinion pieces published in international and regional publications.

Latest Op-Eds and Opinions

  • December 2005

    Asia United: How Far Should We Go with Regional Integration?

    All eyes will be on the East Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur this month as our leaders tackle the big question of greater regional integration. We explore the problems they will encounter in trying to unite such a diverse region. In southern Cambodia, where a rough road through a turbulent countryside once connected the country to Vietnam, a transformation is taking place. A smooth new highway now links the two neighbours, and businesses are springing up along the roadside.
  • December 2005

    HIV Prevention in Asia

    In a region that is home to two-thirds of the world's population, the HIV prevalence rate of 0.4 percent -- significantly lower than Sub-Sahara Africa -- translates into more than 8 million adults and children living with HIV. More than one million people were newly infected with HIV in South and Southeast Asia in 2005. The good news is that infection rates need not continue to rise. The Asia-Pacific's low prevalence means that governments in the region still have a unique opportunity to stop the epidemic before it is too late.
  • November 2005

    Is Water a Human Right?

    Consider these stark facts: Over one billion Asians lack access to safe drinking water. Half of the 3.5 billion people living in the region are without adequate sanitation. Pollution levels in Asia's rivers are among the highest in the world, while forest cover is among the lowest. Between 1950 and 1995, the amount of water available to each person in Asia dropped by more than half. That figure could halve again by 2025. Simply put, people in the world's most populous region are running out of water fast.
  • November 2005

    Mekong a Difference

    The Greater Mekong Sub-region is Asia's new economic frontier. Opportunities to shape its future are attracting the best resources and talents. India's business community should not miss this opportunity The rapid growth of the Indian economy creates new opportunities for development in many areas. As India and its business community assess these opportunities, the experience of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) warrants close inspection.
  • October 2005

    Chance to Avert Tragedy of Bird Flu Pandemic

    With the winter flu season approaching and the world possibly on the verge of a bird influenza pandemic, the ensuing tragedy would be one counted not only in health and human lives, but also in economics. So far, it is the poor, especially those in rural areas, who have borne the brunt of the epidemic. Some 60 people have died in four Asian countries since the current outbreak began in December 2003. The economic fallout, although already significant, has also been largely confined to rural areas. This is, however, no longer a rural or specifically Asian problem.
  • September 2005

    Asia Must Find Ways to Prioritise Job Growth

    Asia's rapid growth has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. But almost 1.9bn Asians, more than four times the population of the European Union, still survive on less than $2 a day. If this number is to fall, Asian economies must create more jobs. At least 500m Asians out of a total labour force of about 1.7bn are unemployed or underemployed. And some 245m new workers will enter the region's labour markets over the next 10 years. The outlines of an employment crisis are already taking shape.
  • September 2005

    A Future within Reach?

    Twenty-two-year old Rina was 13 when she was forced into marriage. She had her first baby while she was still a child herself. Deprived of proper care and with a body too weak and undeveloped to deal with pregnancy and childbirth, she lost control of her bowel and bladder movement, and is incontinent for life. There are millions of women like Rina across Asia Pacific whose stories tell us what it means to be poor, and to be a woman with limited or no access to basic services.
  • June 2005

    Mekong Area Faces Environmental Challenges

    The six countries that share the Mekong River are experiencing a remarkable transformation. The area has seen its economy grow by more than 6 per cent a year since 1992. To support this growth, the governments in the region, backed by international development agencies, are implementing about US$3.4 billion worth of infrastructure projects. Some 40 other projects - totalling an estimated US$10-15 billion - are in the works. These development initiatives cover telecommunications, energy, cross-border trade, tourism and various other sectors.
  • June 2005

    Can India Live Up to Its Potential?

    India is a paradox. The success of a group of sectors, from information technology to industry and services, is creating an urban elite showcased as the builders of a modern and vibrant country on the cusp of joining the world's major economic powers. But just outside their corporate campuses and air-conditioned shopping malls, 840 million Indians continue to survive on less than US$2 (S$3.30) a day.
  • March 2005

    Maldives Faces Opportunity in Wake of Tragedy

    Seeing dejected fishermen on Guraidhoo Island, one of the many tsunami-devastated islands, it was hard to find words of comfort for those who had been through such trauma. The giant waves had swept away not only their homes and boats, but also damaged a nearby resort where the fishermen had sold their catch to tourists.