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Fed Up With Corruption

01.17.2006
There is a serious crisis brewing in Mongolia.  The government has resigned last week, amid a growing citizen discontent with country’s poor economic performance – low incomes, high unemployment, etc.  People in Mongolia are also fed up with corruption. “Dawn has broken in Mon...

Gazprom: Investors Wanted

01.13.2006
Russian natural monopoly Gazprom is making the headlines again - but this time its not the Russia-Ukraine-EU oil "crisis."  This week, Gazprom opened its doors to foreign investors.  The result?  It now surpassed Wal-Mart and Procter and Gamble to become one of the world's 10 largest companies. ...

Tools to Fight Corruption

01.12.2006
The U.N. Convention Against Corruption has now entered into force as a result of 38 countries ratifying the convention out of the 140 that have signed the treaty. The Convention, which was adopted by the U.N.'s General Assembly in October 2003 is built on four pillars of prevention and criminalizati...

Evolving Corporate Governance in China

01.11.2006
Since the late 1980s, China's state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have been undergoing a gradual process of transformation and privatization known as gaizhi. The government has reduced its share in smaller SOEs to as little as 10%. It has also introduced new governance mechanisms for both privatized and ...

Can and Can’t Do in Ukraine

01.11.2006
In one of the more surprising developments yesterday, the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) sacked the government.   But the vote of no confidence has caused a lot of confusion in the country, which is dealing with harsh economic and political realities following the euphoria of the Orange Re...

Demographics, Economic Growth, and China

01.10.2006
The Economist has an interesting article on declining populations.  Clearly, there is a demographic problem (and I was really surprised by some of the numbers), The shrinkage of Russia and eastern Europe is familiar, though not perhaps the scale of it: Russia's population is expected to fall by 22...

On Microfinance in Africa…And Elsewhere

01.09.2006
Many discussions on economic development today center on supporting the development of small and medium enterprises.  This is understandable, since small business constitutes a very significant share of economic activity in developed and successful transitioning economies.  “Think small...

To Eradicate or Not to Eradicate? That is the Question.

01.06.2006
There has been increased focus recently on the subject of the prevalence of opium production in Afghanistan and the commitment and effectiveness (or lack thereof) of efforts to combat it by both the Afghan government and coalition forces operating in that country.  Newsweek magazine recently publis...

Building a Private Sector-based Economy in Iraq

01.06.2006
Just came across this brief update on USAID’s activities in Iraq.  My impression – they are addressing both short-term, immediate needs of the Iraqi community (water program, for example) and long-term institutional objectives (providing training to business leaders). “We are wor...

The Lebanese Transformation

01.05.2006
The Washington Post has recently added a section to their sidebars on Lebanon and the changes that have occurred within the country since Syria's departure in March 2005.  The materials on that page paint a picture of a slow, gradual movement towards Lebanese freedom and economic development.  How...
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