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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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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Philippines has a lot going for it. It has concerned, committed and competent economic managers; there is a raft of essentially sound economic, social, environmental and regulatory legislation on the books; appropriate institutions have been established; the workforce is educated, entrepreneurial and eager; nature's gifts are in abundance; traditional Filipino friendliness is everywhere.
  • LAO BAO, Vietnam: In an era of divisiveness, it is heartening to see one part of the world, the Greater Mekong subregion, moving toward greater integration and harmonization. This is especially so since the area, comprising the six countries sharing the Mekong River, was divided until only recently by longstanding conflicts.