5 Energy Challenges Confronting India

By Sean Durns / Global Risk Insights: On March 12, 2014, India and the United States renewed talks regarding cooperation on clean energy. The talks concluded positively with memorandums of understanding for the two countries to cooperate on research and development, more extensive use of environmentally friendly technologies, and greater coordination on scientific development. The dialogue […]

The Promise of Bangladesh Amid U.S. and Chinese Rebalancing

Recently the US Ambassador in Dhaka, Dan Mozena, said that Bangladesh would be a “mighty contributor” to the huge flows of commerce along this 21st century trade route by turning the hub of the Indo-Pacific economic corridor thanks to its “geographical gift.” However, Mozena added that there were constraints and challenges that need to be addressed […]

Sustaining Progress and Avoiding Emerging Market Volatility in Myanmar

After half a century of isolation, Myanmar’s immediate challenge is to sustain reforms, boost foreign investment and diversify its industrial base. Unlike other Asian tigers, it must cope with a far more challenging international environment. Recent headlines from Myanmar have caused unease in the United States, Europe and Japan. While the controversies are social by […]

Pakistan: The Realities of Economic Reform

By Jeffrey Franks (Version in اردو) Following my most recent visit to Pakistan I noticed there seem to be many different and contradictory views about the government’s reform agenda supported by the IMF program. This piece addresses some of the key concerns on people’s minds. 1. The IMF dictated the content of the program. The government mostly […]

Sino-Bangladeshi Cooperation: The Rise of South Asia’s Economic Corridor

Despite escalating strife in Bangladesh, Dhaka and Beijing are intensifying plans for an economic corridor. It has an important role in China’s regional strategy and South Asia as a whole. Recently, Bangladesh’s foreign minister Dipu Moni met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing to push forward the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor. The initiative follows […]

For Richer, Not Poorer: Energy Subsidies in India

Many countries seek to protect poorer households by subsidizing the consumption of fuel products. However, recent IMF research shows that fuel subsidies are both inefficient and inequitable, including in India. But what about India? Are fuel subsidies also anti-poor? Sadly, yes. A new IMF working paper  shows that India’s fuel subsidies are both fiscally costly and socially regressive. […]

The Lethal Lemons on the Road to Bangladesh

I wrote yesterday about the “control frauds” (in which the person controlling a seemingly legitimate entity uses it as a “weapon” to defraud) that target purchasers of bad quality goods (“lemons”) and employees.  The example I used to explain these concepts was the collapse of the building housing garment factories in Bangladesh. As I write, there are terrible […]

South Asia and the Geography of Poverty

The world has become relatively less poor in the last few decades. People under conditions of extreme poverty—that is, living on less than $1.25 per day—has declined as a proportion of the world population, from 52 percent in 1981 to 22 percent in 2008. Thirty years ago almost 75 percent of the developing world lived […]

Food Inflation in India—The Government Has to Act and Not Hope

Inflation, especially food inflation, in India remains essentially a government monopoly. Surprised? What I mean is that high food inflation is the cause of faulty government policies that has a distortionary effect on prices. Given the elevated level of food prices in urban India, the common perception is that urban inflation is higher than rural […]

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