Annual Reports
Asian Development Outlook 2008: Workers in Asia
Asian Development Bank

The annual Asian Development Outlook provides a comprehensive economic analysis of 44 economies in developing Asia and the Pacific. This 20th anniversary edition examines trends and prospects in Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. Developing Asia's performance in 2007 broke records in almost two decades. Aggregate gross domestic product grew at 8.7%, on supportive global economic conditions, a largely favorable policy environment, and productivity gains as the region continued its remarkable modernization and transformation. Conditions in the global economy now look distinctly unsteady with the United States, Japan, and Europe set for a synchronized slowdown this year. Still, developing Asia will not be hostage to the global slowdown, even if it cannot remain immune to it, and its growth this year and next should be only a little below longer-run trends. But with commodity prices soaring and despite government price restraints, inflation is accelerating and is likely to hit decade-long highs. Rising inflation expectations are a more immediate threat to developing Asia than the prospect of a moderate slowdown in growth. This year's theme on workers in developing Asia spotlights three issues. Will the region reap the demographic advantages of its many young people about to enter the workforce? Can it resolve its silent crisis in terms of its skills shortages? Third, with migration burgeoning within the region, will policies move to keep up with the reality on the ground?


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2008
Annual Reports
UNEP 2007 annual report
United Nations Environment Programme

This summary of UNEP's activities in 2007 provides an overview of the organization's contribution to the fight against climate change in a year in which unequivocal evidence established that global warming is the defining challenge of our era. The report also looks at the broad range of other activities carried out by UNEP as it follows its mandate to provide environmental leadership and promote sustainable development.


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2008

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Annual Reports
Asian Development Outlook 2008 Update
Asian Development Bank

The annual Asian Development Outlook aims to present an analysis of the recent past and forecasts for the next couple of years for the developing economies of Asia. In this Update to April's publication, regional economic growth for 2008 is taken down marginally to 7.5%, largely on unstable financial markets and elevated commodity prices. Regional growth in 2009 is expected to further decelerate to 7.2%. Inflation forecasts are revised up—reflecting rising global prices of food and fuel and earlier loose monetary policy—to 7.8% in 2008 and to 6.0% in 2009. The Update presents four thematic chapters discussing recent global commodity price rises and their impacts on developing Asia. They suggest that high international commodity prices are here to stay. But, given that demand-pull rather than cost-push factors are causing high prices, the role of monetary policy is still relevant in containing price pressures. Indeed, there has to be a reshifting of the basic monetary stance toward tightening throughout developing Asia, to prevent inflation from becoming entrenched.


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2008