As the development agenda beyond 2015 takes shape, it is increasingly being recognized that inequality is an impediment to the integration of economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. Despite high and enduring economic growth and significant progress in terms of poverty eradication, inequalities persist in Asia and the Pacific, and in some instances they have intensified, between women and men, girls and boys, urban and rural areas, and different age and ethnic groups.
The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of regional progress in implementing the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Survey data collected in 2013 from ESCAP countries, and publicly available data suggest that there has been progress in the past decade towards achieving the WSIS objectives. However, progress is incomplete, and in some instances the digital divide has actually increased as more advanced countries have surged ahead in implementation of WSIS objectives.
Transport services are vital for facilitating the implementation of government policies. An organized public transport service system provides a mechanism for delivering social services, particularly health care and education, to the broader population, including those living in rural areas, which often tend to be poor and in most need of those services. Government policies in terms of budget allocation and fare-setting affect the quality of transport services.
This Staff working paper explores potential synergies in deploying fiber optic cables for data transmission and other infrastructures, chiefly transport and energy. It provides information on the cost of deploying fibre optics, exploring potential win-win strategies in the co-deployment and cohabitation of fibre and transport infrastructure and drawing lessons from good practices in the Asia- Pacific region and beyond. It contains a set of key policy measures to maximize win-win outcomes, which include synergies with the Asian Highway and Trans-Asian Railway.
The Statistical Yearbook 2014 is an electronic file only, it consists of (1) short analytical texts on 32 selected diverse topics, such as population, education, health, poverty and inequalities, gender, economy, environment and connectivity in the region and related key messages as well as relevant data tables, and (2) country profiles of main development indicators for each of the 58 regional member countries/areas of ESCAP.
The Statistical Yearbook is accompanied by the following products:
The November 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ meeting in Beijing has generated momentum behind the proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). This note reviews the prospects for the FTAAP which are strongly linked to progress in two other large regional trade agreements currently under discussion: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
This handbook serves three purposes, namely: i) to identify best practices in responsible and sustainable banking and finances; ii) to raise awareness and undertake policy advocacy in the area of responsible banking and finance; and iii) to serve as a tool for undertaking capacity development through training and other pertinent programmes. The approach taken to producing this handbook has been to highlight three aspects, namely: i) corporate governance; ii) corporate social responsibility; and iii) corporate sustainability, as they pertain to banks and financial institutions.
This paper examines the agenda of this year’s G20 Brisbane summit – namely, to promote strong economic growth and employment outcomes and to make the global economy more resilient to future shocks – in the context of key policy debates in the Asia-Pacific region and the discussions of the United Nations post-2015 development agenda. In particular, priority areas related to investment and infrastructure, trade, employment, financial inclusion and remittances, financial regulatory reforms, international tax cooperation and anti-corruption measures, and energy markets are explored.
This note reviews the emerging imbalances in the Chinese economy and the attendant need for structural reforms, including financial sector and services liberalization. The role that the recently launched Shanghai Free Trade Zone could play in accelerating these reforms is then considered, alongside an assessment of progress to date.