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A s i a n D e v e l o p m e n t B a n k I n s t i t u t e

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ADBI News 2010 Volume 4 Number 3

ADBI-BNM Conference Tackles Issues of

Macroeconomic and Financial Stability in CONFERENCE
Asian Emerging Markets
At a conference on Macroeconomic
and Financial Stability in Asian
Emerging Markets, organized by
the Asian Development Bank
Institute (ADBI) and co-sponsored
with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM),
held in Kuala Lumpur on 4 August,
participants grappled not only with
the issues of how to strengthen
frameworks for monetary policy,
macroprudential supervision and
regulation, as well as how to
promote financial development and
inclusion in the region, but also with
the question of how Asian economies
can influence the debate on these
Conference participants grapple with issues of macroeconomic and financial
issues at the global level. The stability and financial inclusion in Asian emerging markets
conference was attended by high-
level policymakers from Asia and the United States experience in the postcrisis period. Specifically, he
(US), senior officials from international institutions favored capital controls in some specific
such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), circumstances. By contrast, Charles Collyns,
and top academics. assistant secretary for finance at the US Treasury,
Participants generally agreed that argued that strong regulatory standards and fiscal
macroprudential supervision and regulation can policy were better suited than capital controls to
supplement the role of monetary policy in deal with surges in capital inflows.
achieving financial stability, but that they need to
be synchronized. Moreover, regulators must have
scope for independent action in cases where In this issue
information is still incomplete. Shyamala
Gopinath, deputy governor of Reserve Bank of ADBI-BNM Conference 1–2
India (RBI), provided an overview of RBI’s Trade in Central Asia 2
approach to macroprudential regulation and The Rise of Asia’s Middle Class 3
systemic risk management and reviewed lessons Skilling Up for Development 4
drawn from the Indian experience. She noted that
Post 2010 Trade Agenda 4
harmonization of monetary policy and prudential
objectives may not be possible if banking Distinguished Speaker Seminar 5
supervision is separated from central banks. New Publications 6
Volatile capital flows remain a threat to Forthcoming Publication 6
economic and financial stability in the region.
Upcoming Events 7
ADBI Dean Masahiro Kawai discussed the policy
challenges and measures needed to manage the Recent Working Papers 7
surge in capital flows that Asia is likely to Finnish Education 8

A s i a n D e v e l o p m e n t B a n k I n s t i t u t e

Dato’ Muhammad Ibrahim, deputy governor of imperatives of broadening financial inclusion and
BNM, in his keynote address said that Asia had the experience of Malaysia in this regard. He
benefited greatly from its integration into the argued that the poor need a variety of financial
global economy, but that this also raised two key services, but that there is a lack of delivery
challenges. The first is to balance domestic and channels for such services. ■
external considerations in determining monetary
policy actions. The second is to continue
developing financial markets despite the global
financial turmoil, while maintaining their strength
and soundness. He called for greater trade and
financial integration among Asian countries and
greater regional cooperation to improve stability
and harness the growth potential of the region.
Regarding the goals of financial development
and inclusion, IMF’s Mangal Goswami presented a
paper outlining the priorities for developing bond
markets in the region. Naoyuki Yoshino of Keio
University advocated the construction of a small-
Dean Kawai sets out Asia’s policy challenges
and medium-sized enterprises database in order to
synthesize information and allow banks to Read more details of the event at
undertake better risk assessment. Sukudhew Singh, 3836.climate.change.adaptation.natural.resource.mngt/
assistant governor of BNM, discussed the ?sectionID=35.

Toward Smoother, Cheaper Trade in Central Asia SEMINAR

Trade drives economic growth across Asia. In the meeting at ADBI in September. The meeting
landlocked Central Asia region, eight countries are reviewed each country’s progress in the
working together under the Central Asia Regional simplification and harmonization of customs
Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program to procedures and documentation, including
improve the trade environment with a focus on six single-window development; information and
transport and trade corridors linking the countries communication technology for customs
to each other, and the CAREC region to major modernization and data exchange; risk
markets across Eurasia. management and post-entry audit; joint customs
Modern customs and logistics arrangements will control; and regional transit development.
be critical to cut trade costs and time, and to ensure As the Program considers options for a regional
the Program’s large investments in transport customs modernization project, the CCC studied
infrastructure bring the greatest benefit to the region. the Time Release Study (TRS) methodology
The CAREC Customs Cooperation Committee developed by the World Customs Organization and
(CCC), which is supported by the Asian its use in Japan. The TRS is a tool to measure the
Development Bank (ADB), held its 9th annual efficiency of customs procedures and identify
bottlenecks. Japan Customs has implemented nine
TRSs since 1991. The findings have helped it fine-
tune customs processes and shape new initiatives
such as its Authorized Economic Operators
program. The results have been impressive—a two-
thirds reduction in the mean time required for the
clearance of imported goods transported either by
sea or by air. Achieving similar progress in CAREC
economies will require strong political support for
modernization efforts and effective coordination
among trade-related ministries and agencies. ■
CAREC customs officials inspect the container management For more information on the CCC and the CAREC Program visit
system at Yokohama Port

A s i a n D e v e l o p m e n t B a n k I n s t i t u t e

ADB Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific DISSEMINATION EVENT
2010: The Rise of Asia’s Middle Class

Strong economic growth in Asia over the past two classes as global consumers, and will play a key
decades has been accompanied by the emergence role in rebalancing the world’s economy. Mr.
of a sizeable middle class and significant Brooks also emphasized the role of governments in
reductions in poverty. As a result, developing Asia initiating proper policies to cultivate the quality
has become one of the foremost global consumers, and size of the middle class. Governments should
with expenditure second only to the Organisation promote higher quality jobs, education, social
for Economic Co-operation and Development safety nets, conservation, public health, and
(OECD) countries. infrastructure development to support the growth
ADB’s study The Rise of Asia’s Middle Class of middle income classes.
was presented at ADBI on 31 August. It was the In conclusion, Dean Kawai observed that the
main theme of ADB’s flagship annual statistical demand of Asia’s growing middle class would
data book, Key Indicators for Asia and the evolve from durable products, to higher quality
Pacific 2010. It contends that the growth of Asia’s medical and educational services, to better
middle class may hold the key to greater and more infrastructure, and to better social protection. As
efficient poverty reduction across the region, but it needs are increasingly fulfilled, the new middle
will also place extraordinary demands on the class may demand higher levels of policy
environment and governments will be confronted participation, which in turn should lead to better
with the challenge of adequately responding to the governance, Dean Kawai predicted.
demands of this emerging middle class. Carefully Assessing regional development, Kaushal
constructed policies to bolster Asia’s emerging Joshi, statistician at ADB, presented key economic
middle class and fulfill its needs will be indicators on regional growth and revealed
indispensable. progress made in terms of meeting the Millennium
Masahiro Kawai, Dean and CEO of ADBI, Development Goals (MDGs). Despite a slowdown
stressed the importance of Asia’s new middle class in Asian growth in 2009 as a result of the global
in terms of providing the potential domestic financial crisis, its impact was less severe than had
demand to support global sustainable growth: as been anticipated at the beginning of 2008. Instead
Asia’s middle class continues to grow it will be an of relying on export oriented strategies, Asian
increasingly important force for driving global governments increased their government spending
economic growth and development. to cushion the impact of the crisis. Progress
Douglas Brooks, assistant chief economist at towards meeting the MDGs was mixed. In terms of
ADB, observed that developing Asia’s middle class poverty reduction, universal primary education,
has rapidly increased in terms of size and gender equality, combat of disease, and
purchasing power, as strong economic growth in environment sustainability, acceptable levels of
the past two decades has helped to reduce poverty improvement could be seen, but achievements in
significantly and lift previously poor households terms of child mortality reduction, maternal health
into the middle class. He argued that Asia’s improvement, and global partnership development
emerging consumers are likely to assume the remained unsatisfactory. ■
traditional role of the US and European middle

Panelists discuss Asia’s growing middle class

A s i a n D e v e l o p m e n t B a n k I n s t i t u t e

Skilling Up for Development CONFERENCE

In the wake of the global financial crisis, of a recent OECD/ADBI conference on Skills
developing Asian economies need to “rebalance” Development in the Post-Crisis Era.
their growth towards greater reliance on domestic Policymakers from developing Asia agreed that
and regional demand. US and European Union some of the major challenges in adapting skills
(EU) markets could be weak for some years. policies are to ensure that they are aligned with
However, for such rebalancing to take place long-term economic strategies, are based on
effectively, skills development policies will need to accurate and reliable forecasts of various skills
be adapted to complement this new pattern of needed, and are well coordinated (both horizontally
demand. These issues were at the top of the agenda and vertically) within government. Other critical
elements are building the capacity of trainers and
developing effective partnerships with local
stakeholders, especially from the business sector.
Participants agreed that this Conference made
an important step towards a more coherent and
coordinated approach to policymaking as it brought
together policy makers from both education and
employment ministries. They also proposed to
organize a follow-up conference next year to take
stock of progress and lessons learned rebalancing
skills development policies. ■
Read more details of the event at
Participants debate skills development

A Post 2010 Trade Agenda for the Asia-Pacific CONFERENCE

“America and Europe cannot be the strong engines organized the conference where policy makers and
for global trade and investment for some time to leading trade scholars from APEC economies
come, and the need for new sources of growth grappled with various issues of multilateral trade
from domestic and regional markets has made and regional economic integration. Some points of
regional economic integration more appealing than consensus emerged on the continuous importance
ever”, Masahiro Kawai, Dean and CEO of ADBI, of the World Trade Organization (WTO)-Doha
said at a two-day conference entitled A Post 2010 Development Agenda (DDA) and the building of
Trade Agenda for the Asia-Pacific held at ADBI an Association of Southeast Asian Nations
on 6-7 July 2010. (ASEAN) Economic Community. However, the
The year 2010 is viewed as a watershed year political economy of regional integration remains
for trade policy in the Asia-Pacific region. It is the fraught with difficulties. ■
year when industrialized Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation (APEC) economies will be assessed
on their progress in meeting the Bogor Goals of
APEC. More importantly, 2010 marks a “new
beginning” as the global economy crawls out of the
global financial crisis. The postcrisis scenario
implies a changed environment for trade policy.
To discuss the next steps for APEC’s trade and Sherry Stephenson of the Organization of American States
investment agenda, the Pacific Economic discusses labor mobility in preferential trade agreements
Cooperation Council (PECC), ADBI, and Inter- Read more details of the event at
American Development Bank (IDB) jointly

A s i a n D e v e l o p m e n t B a n k I n s t i t u t e

Sustaining Growth and

the Environment: What Asian DISTINGUISHED SPEAKER
Governments Can and Should Do

Asian economies continue to grow and projections case that economic instruments can and should be
for economic growth in the short- to medium-term used to solve these problems. To achieve
are rosy. However, this growth is also having sustainable development, therefore, it is important
negative local, regional, and global environmental to assess how to deal with environmental
impacts. Euston Quah, head of the economics spillovers from economic development. He
department and acting chair of the School of suggested a number of policies crucial, in his view,
Humanities and Social Sciences at Nanyang for sound local environmental management. Each
Technological University, Singapore, delivered a is based on basic economic principles, namely:
lecture entitled “Sustaining Growth and the getting prices right (in that the price observed in
Environment: What Asian Governments Can and the marketplace should reflect the true social
Should Do” at an ADBI Distinguished Speaker opportunity cost of using the resources); greater
Seminar in Tokyo on 2 September 2010. employment of appropriate and inclusive cost-
Professor Quah argued that the key challenge benefit analysis; accounting for externalities and
facing Asian governments is to pursue the twin non-market goods; adopting so-called damage
goals of continued economic growth and affluence, schedules; expanding market solutions (e.g.,
on the one hand, and environmental conservation, emission taxes, cap-and-trade systems, deposit
on the other. The success of achieving this will refund systems), which are instrumental for
hinge on whether Asia will be able to develop creating incentives and disincentives; establishing
sustainably. For this, he believes, more pragmatism baselines and green accounting for environmental
is needed at all policy levels. At the local level, variables and pollutants; pursuing green
individual governments should adopt sound, technology; and working with stakeholders.
pragmatic environmental policies, whereas at the Although these policies seem easy to implement,
regional and global levels, they should adopt a governments have been displaying many
“bottom-up” approach, rather than the “top-down” shortcomings in trying to do so. ■
approach of imposing a global benchmark on
countries. Policies adopted within a country tend to
be more useful than international treaties.
He believes Asian governments are faced with
five key challenges in resolving the environment
issue: the so-called not-in-my-back-yard challenge,
that can lead to the failure of a planned project due
to insufficient support by the people immediately
affected; the challenge of pricing non-market
goods; the challenge of solid waste disposal arising
from the fact that countries are becoming
increasingly affluent resulting in higher
consumption and an increase in waste generated; Professor Quah makes the case that
environmental problems are economic problems
the challenge of trans-boundary pollution; and the
challenges posed by climate change. Read a more detailed summary of this event at
In Professor Quah’s view, environmental See the video of this seminar at
problems are economic problems and he made the 4049.quah.distinguished.speaker/video/.

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A s i a n D e v e l o p m e n t B a n k I n s t i t u t e

New Publications

Effects of Social Policy on Domestic Demand

Edited by Masahiro Kawai and Gloria Pasadilla
This book is based on ADBI’s 12th Annual developed and emerging
Conference, which had the objective of economies? How do
formulating appropriate long-term responses to the factors like demographic
global financial crisis, focusing on social policies developments and income
and their impact on domestic demand. The distribution between labor
conference examined the extent to which improved and capital affect savings
social protection policies can help reduce and demand? What is the
household savings in Asian countries with very impact of increased social
high savings rates and induce a long-term increase protection spending on
in consumption spending. The conference tackled household savings and consumption in Asian
the following questions: What are the theoretical countries? ■
and empirical relationships between social Read or order “Effects of Social Policy on Domestic Demand” at
protection, household savings, and income? What
is the experience of social protection policies in domestic.demand/.

Promoting Financial Inclusion through Innovative Policies

Edited by John Conroy, Julius Parrenas and Worapot Manupipatpong
This book covers six key areas for financial
inclusion, namely: agent banking, mobile phone
banking, diversifying providers, reforming public
banks, financial identity regulation, and consumer
Read or order “Promoting Financial Inclusion through Innovative
protection. It highlights best practices for Policies” at
introducing innovative policies in these areas. ■ inclusion.innovative.policies/.

Forthcoming Publication

Asia’s Free Trade Agreements: How is Business Responding?

Edited by Masahiro Kawai and Ganeshan Wignaraja

The spread of Asia’s free trade agreements (FTAs) FTA preferences, reducing
has sparked an important debate on the impact of costs of FTAs and creating
such agreements on business activity. This a region-wide FTA.
pioneering study uses new evidence from surveys This well-researched
of East Asian exporters—including Japan, the and documented book will
People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea appeal to undergraduate
and three ASEAN economies, namely of the and postgraduate students
Philippines, Singapore and Thailand—to shed light in international business,
on the FTA debate. international economics,
Critics are concerned that FTAs erode the economic development, public administration and
multilateral trading process and foster an alarming public policy. Academics, researchers and
“noodle bowl” of overlapping regulations and rules members of think-tanks around the world will also
of origin requirements—which may be costly to benefit from this book as will trade negotiators and
business. Asia’s Free Trade Agreements makes key trade policy officials from developed and
recommendations for improving business use of developing countries. ■

A s i a n D e v e l o p m e n t B a n k I n s t i t u t e

Selected Upcoming Events

Innovation for Balanced and Sustainable Growth (Tokyo)

This round table will deal with innovation today, innovation for balanced and sustainable growth, making
24-26 innovation work for development, seizing the benefits of the global value chain at the local level, green growth,
November innovation and technological transfer, and international cooperation for innovation.
The Environments of the Poor: Responding to Climate Change and the Green Economy — Making
Sustainable Development More Inclusive (Delhi)
This conference will review the linkages between the environment and poverty reduction from a spatial, climate
change, and green economy perspective.

3 The Political Economy of Asian Regionalism (Tokyo)

December The ADBI annual conference 2010 will explore what reforms and innovations are needed to the current
institutional architecture in the region to promote further economic integration.
Postcrisis Employment and Social Policies in Developing Asia (Tokyo)
This conference will deal with jobs and the recovery, youth employment, role of active labor market policies,
promoting employment recovery while meeting fiscal goals, rebalancing Asia's economy and jobs, and social
December cohesion and employment.

Recent Working Papers

Asia’s Role in the Global Financial Architecture Asset Market Structures and Monetary Policy in a
Authors: Masahiro Kawai, Peter Petri Small Open Economy
This paper suggests that federalism be introduced on a global Author: Yongseung Jung
scale by creating hierarchies of global and regional organizations This paper sets up a canonical new Keynesian small open
with overlapping ownership structures in various functional economy model with nominal price rigidities to explore the
areas. Asia could contribute to this transformation by building impact of habit persistence and exchange rate pass-through on
effective institutions to promote macroeconomic and financial the welfare ranking of alternative monetary policy rules.
stability and deepen regional trade and investment integration. Read Working Paper 251 at
Read Working Paper 235 at 2010/10/27/

ASEAN Services Sector and the Growth Measuring the Environmental Impacts of Changing
Rebalancing Model Trade Patterns on the Poor
Authors: Rafaelita Aldaba, Gloria Pasadilla Authors: Kaliappa Kalirajan, Venkatachalam Anbumozhi,
This paper argues that ASEAN governments should pursue Kanhaiya Singh
policies that support new growth areas of services investment This paper attempts to measure the environmental impact of
(environmental protection, low carbon growth, and green changing trade patterns on the poor and argues that poverty
strategies) by encouraging research and development, reduction can be achieved without causing damage to the
strengthening mechanisms for the transfer of green technology, natural environment through energy-efficient production
and promoting greater private sector participation. methods and service-led growth.
Read Working Paper 246 at Read Working Paper 222 at
2010/09/07/ 2010/08/10/

Estimating Demand for Infrastructure in Energy, Investigating the Effect of Exchange Rate Changes on
Transport, Telecommunications, Water, and Sanitation Trans-Pacific Rebalancing
in Asia and the Pacific: 2010-2020 Authors: Willem Thorbecke, Ginalyn Komoto
Author: Biswa Nath Bhattacharyay This paper investigates the role exchange rate changes can
This paper estimates the need for infrastructure investment, play in rebalancing transpacific trade. It presents evidence
including energy, transport, telecommunications, water, and from a gravity model indicating that the exports from the
sanitation during 2010-2020, in order to meet growing demand for People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the United States (US)
services and facilitate further rapid growth in the region. By using are a key outlier in the global economy and that imbalances
“top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches, this paper provides a between the PRC and the US have remained large during the
comprehensive estimate of Asia’s need for infrastructure services. financial crisis that began in September 2008.
Read Working Paper 248 at Read Working Paper 247 at
2010/09/09/ 2010/09/08/4060.effect.rate.changes.transpacific.rebalancing/.

A s i a n D e v e l o p m e n t B a n k I n s t i t u t e

“Finnish-ing” Top in Education

High-school students in Finland have the OECD’s education is comprehensive and non-selective. It is
shortest school hours and rarely have more than based on the principle of equal opportunity,
half an hour of homework a night. They have no irrespective of the place of residence and the
classes for the gifted. They have no school economic situation of the parents. And above all,
uniforms, honor societies or valedictorians. They education is “free”, with all expenses covered by
do not even have sport teams, marching bands or government.
proms. Teaching is a well paid vocation in Finland. All
And yet, Finnish teenagers score highest overall teachers hold university Masters degrees. They
in the OECD’s Program for International Student have personal life-long learning programs.
Assessment which measures reading, scientific and Teachers tend to stay with the same kids for years,
mathematical literacy. Moreover, the gap between rather than moving on to another school. Most
Finland’s best and worst schools is the smallest of importantly, teachers are highly respected members
any country. of society.
What are the secrets behind its success? Students are encouraged to be self-reliant and
Finland’s Ambassador to Japan, Jari Gustafsson, independent. Parents do not fuss over
shared some of the evidence in a keynote address accompanying their children to and from school,
to a recent ADBI/OECD conference on skills and arranging every play-date and outing. Young
development. Finns do much on their own. More responsibility
In Finland, there is a broad political consensus means less need for standards and rules.
that since the country does not have oil and other Schools have a free hand in choosing the
riches, or a big domestic market, it should invest curriculum, and teachers have freedom to choose
in education. Knowledge is power. Finnish textbooks and create lessons to fit their students.
And when it comes to marshalling
scarce resources, Finland
concentrates on weaker students
rather than pushing gifted students
ahead of everyone else. Bright
students can help average ones
without harming their own progress.
Thus, remedial teaching is taking
place during school hours, not
outside the classroom.
In short, the Finnish education
success story is based on a strong
partnership between well qualified
Finland’s Ambassador Jari Gustafsson with ADBI’s Takashi Kihara. teachers and responsible children. ■

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Publisher: Takashi Kihara
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