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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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  • Bangkok is one of the great cities of the world, a true international hub with first-class facilities, bustling business centres and, of course, Thailand's legendary hospitality. As such, it is a natural venue for more than 3,000 senior officials and climate change negotiators to come together ahead of Copenhagen to discuss a new climate change agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol's provisions, which expire in 2012.
  • This Friday, leaders of the Group of 20 economies will meet in Pittsburgh, in the United States, to reaffirm their commitment to economic stimulus and begin forging a new global financial regulatory framework. This summit is critical. It passes the baton from the frenetic bailout emergency response phase of the crisis to one that must rebuild global confidence in the international financial firmament. The G-20 must not only continue to plot a course to a hoped-for worldwide recovery, but try to decipher what needs to be done to prevent this happening again.
  • Crisis creates opportunity. And as happened following the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the global crisis today will accelerate thought and action on the evolution of Asian regionalism in the 21st century. Eighty-five years ago, the founder of the first popular movement for a united Europe, Count Coudenhove-Kalergi, said that "all great historical ideas started as a utopian dream and ended with reality." Today, as a single, integrated market with shared policies and a common currency, Europe has achieved that dream.
  • While the rest of the world struggles, developing Asia is shifting from recession to recovery. Latest economic indicators from the world's advanced economies remain mixed. There are some signs of stabilisation - industrial output and consumer spending are, for example, falling much more slowly than they were.
  • The latest round of negotiations on a new global climate change agreement that recently concluded in Bonn showed promising signs that governments everywhere realize the urgency of cooperative action to address this global challenge.
  • ON THE PENINSULA WHICH TAKES ITS NAME, the Mekong River is its most evocative icon. Aeons ago, before national boundaries snaked across the Mekong Basin, a multitude of ethnic groups formed a rich human tapestry across this ancient land. Over time, kingdoms arose. Then, colonial powers arrived and, when they left, civil strife took hold in their wake. So it was that only 20 years ago, the region was still home to some conflict, it was considerably closed to the world beyond, and had a large proportion of its population mired in poverty.
  • In the middle of this financial crisis there is a debate taking place over whether governments can afford both massive tax-funded spending programmes needed to revive ailing economies, and the emissions cuts that are needed to combat climate change. Few regions on Earth throw this tension into sharper contrast than south-east Asia, where many nations are highly vulnerable to the effects of global warming while also having the chance to develop low-carbon economies.
  • This week's agreement by the Asian Development Bank board of governors to triple the bank's resource base is timely, welcome and crucial. Amid the global financial crisis, the bank is a source of predictable and affordable financing that can leverage substantial funds for investment in economic growth and poverty reduction.
  • Hundreds of islands in Indonesia and the Philippines, large swaths of VietNam's Mekong Delta, and great portions of Thailand and Singapore's sovereign territory are all under imminent threat. Why, then, the deafening silence? Why no call for urgent action? Perhaps it is because the foe is not a sovereign state, but climate change. With the world confronting the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, it is understandable that countries are fixated on short-term measures to stabilize their economies.
  • Today's global economic crisis is the worst since the Great Depression. And developing-Asia is being hit much harder than initially thought. It is now time-in fact it is an opportunity-to rebalance our recent rapid economic growth to help protect us from future external shocks and to strengthen our internal sources of growth. Average growth in the region declined about three percentage points last year - to 6.3 percent. Our 2009 Asian Development Outlook now forecasts that growth will slow this year again by close to 3 percentage points - to 3.4 percent.

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