7 April 2015
Environment, productivity and work hours are all big issues
Asia is home to some of the largest urban centres in the world.
Jakarta, in Indonesia, is home to some 25 million people. Manila is huge. Tokyo and Seoul are both large. Smaller Hong Kong and Singapore are large by any standard. High urbanisation rates are making these cities even larger, but not necessarily more sustainable.
As Cornelia Zou reports in China Daily Asia Pacific last week the challenges are quite significant, but so are the opportunities for Asian cities to start taking issues of sustainability seriously and make significant leapfrogs in terms of the environments, quality of life, education, even work hours and governance.
30 January 2015
Lower subsidies cut government costs and could help build infrastructure
Cheap oil has helped Indonesia eliminate punishing subsidies and while the move is likely to bump inflation up, it will also free up a about US$21 billion that the government can now spend on infrastructure or social programs.
Looking ahead, inflation is, however, expected to remain above its long-run average. — Bank Negara Malaysia
Malaysia’s central bank welcomed Ramadan fasts and celebrations through July and August by raising the country’s interest rate for the first time in three years.
As many economists expected, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) announced after a routine meeting at the beginning of July that it decided to raise its overnight policy rate by 25 basis points. The new interest rate is 3.25 percent with floor and ceiling rates raised to 3 percent and 3.5 percent accordingly.