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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.

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  • In the diverse forces driving social unrest around the world this year – the Arab Spring, the Occupy Wall Street protests and the growing concerns about inequalities across Asia – there is a valuable lesson that can no longer be dismissed. Economic growth alone is not enough to resolve the problems of unemployment, discontent and exclusion. Countries and institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), must seek ways to draw broad segments of people into economic activities – in other words, inclusive growth.
  • As the world's advanced economies continue to limp toward recovery from the global economic downturn, questions are again being raised about the need for ― and value of ― official development assistance.
  • It is only 75 kilometres long, but its impact could be enormous. The rail link that is scheduled to open early next month between Mazar-e-Sharif and Hairatan on the Uzbek border marks a significant milestone in Afghanistan's journey toward peace, progress and prosperity. Without a doubt, Afghanistan faces some daunting challenges. Scarred by decades of insurgency, the country must build a sustainable economy while grappling with weak governance, rampant gender inequality, few jobs and endemic poverty. Afghanistan today is, in many ways, a place in-between.
  • Turn on a major international television channel these days and one can't but help to notice the catchy "Remarkable Indonesia" investment promotion advertisements. During three days on a working visit to Indonesia — walking in rural villages and meeting local residents, witnessing the bustle in Jakarta, talking with government, private sector and civil society representatives — I've come to appreciate that Indonesia is indeed a remarkable nation on the move.
  • China has introduced its first national plan on groundwater pollution control, which is an important step to tackle water scarcity in the country. With about 20 percent of the world's population but only about 7 percent of global freshwater resources, China has been feeling the impact of water scarcity on its economic development and its people's livelihoods in many areas. China draws groundwater heavily, a large proportion of which is used to irrigate more than 40 percent of the country's farmlands.
  • In a world beset by climate change, even local weather has global implications. Thailand's historically heavy monsoon this year – swamping several northern provinces and threatening low-lying Bangkok – fits into a troubling list of recent weather events around the world, with grave implications for what lies ahead.
  • Catastrophic flooding and crop losses in Thailand, the world's leading rice exporter, are raising concerns that another food crisis may be in the offing. Also disquieting is that the world may have already entered a new era of persistently high food prices. At a time when policymakers are grappling with a host of thorny economic issues, the possibility may be unwelcome, but must not be ignored.
  • The world economy is a worry once again. Sluggish recovery in advanced economies has been aggravated by Europe's sovereign debt problems and budgetary discord in the United States. Close ties with these markets affect Asia's exports. Yet, despite this, Asia's economy continues to thrive.
  • There is an unfinished agenda across Asia and the Pacific: to provide the basics to which every person is entitled. Australia, which has been an important partner contribution to Asia's growth and has in turn benefited from its trade and investment links with Asia, has a real stake in seeing this agenda through to completion.
  • Nervous sell-offs in Asia's equity markets in response to debt problems in the United States and euro zone underscore the region's growing links to financial events on the other side of the world. But with increased integration comes the increased threat of contagion. It is therefore not only in Asia's interest to promote global financial stability -- increasingly, its economic fate depends on it.