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Thursday, April 28, 2011
Emerging Firms in BRIC Countries raise FDI to #1.3 Trillion in 2010
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World Bank Press Review
show details9:00 AM (2 hours ago)
This summary is prepared by the External Affairs Department of the World Bank. All material is taken directly from published and copyright wire service stories and newspaper articles. The daily summary and other news can be found on the World Bank’s external website at http://www.worldbank.org/news. For inquiries call (202) 473-7660 or send a written request to the News Bureau.
Emerging Firms Raise Foreign Investment To Record High: UN. “Companies from emerging and developing economies raised their global direct investment abroad to record levels last year, a UN economic think tank said on Wednesday. ‘The BRICs are the leaders,’ said James Zhan, the director of the investment division at the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), referring to emerging nations Brazil, Russia, India and China. UNCTAD said in its latest Global Investment Trends monitor that global flows of outward foreign direct investment (FDI) reached $1.3 trillion in 2010, an increase of 13 percent….” [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
France 24 adds that “…UNCTAD underlined a shift in the pattern of investment abroad with a more dynamic economic recovery in Asia and Latin America than in developed Western economies and a strong Russian corporate presence abroad. ‘Outward FDI from developing and transition economies has reached a record high both in absolute terms and as a share of the global total,’ Zhan said….” [France 24]
However, Reuters reports that “…risks are increasing, threatening the rebound in FDI, UNCTAD said. Risk factors include ‘unpredictable global governance’ amid financial reforms, sovereign debt crises, rising energy prices, inflation risks, and currency volatility, it said. ‘So all these factors may derail the current fragile FDI recovery,’ said Zhan. ‘Overall it is cautious optimism.’…” [Reuters/Factiva]
OECD Urges Governments To Tackle Rising Child Poverty. “More children are living in poverty-stricken households in the world's most advanced economies and governments must work harder to protect the most vulnerable, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said Wednesday. ‘Poverty in households with children is rising in nearly all OECD countries,’ the OECD said in its first ever report on family well-being, Doing Better for Families….” [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
UPI adds that “…OECD said families with children have replaced pensioners as the group most likely to be living in poverty. The OECD report said the percentage of children worldwide living in economically poor homes rose to 12.7 percent in the last decade even though birth and marriage rates have declined. One in five children, 20 percent, in the US, Mexico, Israel and Poland are considered to be living in poverty….” [United Press International]
FT writes that “…entering work does not guarantee that children in a low-income family will be free of poverty - indeed, in-work child poverty has been growing recently. But work forms a crucial part of tackling child poverty. OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said: ‘Family benefits need to be well-designed to maintain work incentives.’ But benefits must also protect the most vulnerable, ‘otherwise we risk creating high, long-term social costs for future generations.’…” [Financial Times]
World Bank Says China's Growth Prospects Strong. “The World Bank raised its growth forecast for China and urged the government Thursday to tighten monetary policy to avert risks from inflation and its surging real estate market. The Bank's 9.3 percent growth forecast, up from its earlier 8.5 percent outlook, reflected the government's struggle to rein in an overheated economy and cool surging prices….” [Associated Press/Factiva]
Xinhua adds that “…In the latest China Quarterly Update, a regular assessment of China's economy, the World Bank said that China's economic growth has remained resilient as the macro stance moved towards normalization and the economic outlook remains broadly favorable…. The report predicted another decline in the current account surplus in 2011 with the surge in raw commodity prices. However, whether the trend towards a lower external surplus and lower dependence on external trade will be sustained remains to be seen, said the report….” [Xinhua/Factiva]
Dow Jones writes that “…a rising yuan exchange rate should be a key policy tool for China to control inflation, and a one-off revaluation would be most effective both at fighting inflation and relieving capital inflow pressures…. A one-off appreciation of the yuan would have the biggest impact on prices, Ardo Hansson, the lead economist of the World Bank's Beijing office, told Dow Jones…. In addition, a sufficiently large one-off revaluation would introduce uncertainty as to whether the yuan is still undervalued, making speculation on the currency a ‘two-way bet,’ Hansson said. That would reduce the incentive to bring money into China, thus reducing capital inflows which are another underlying cause of money creation and inflation pressure in China….” [Dow Jones/Factiva]
Asian Economy To Grow Robustly Amid Inflationary Pressures: IMF. “Economic growth in the Asia and Pacific region is expected to remain robust in 2011, but the potential overheating pressures and the inflationary risks remain on the upside, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its Regional Economic Outlook released on Thursday. The overall economy is seen to accelerate gradually over the course of 2011, leading to annual growth for the region of nearly 7 percent in both 2011 and 2012, unchanged from IMF's October forecast last year….” [Xinhua/Factiva]
Dow Jones adds that “…the IMF said that high commodity prices appeared to be spilling over into core inflation and influencing public expectations of price growth. It noted that interest rates were below levels consistent with stable growth and low inflation, and urged that greater currency flexibility be used as a key line of defense against overheating. ‘While we expect inflation in many Asian economies to increase further in 2011 before decelerating modestly in 2012, inflation risks in Asia remain tilted on the upside,’ said Anoop Singh, director of the IMF's Asia and Pacific Department….” [Dow Jones/Factiva]
AP reports that “…the IMF said turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa could also pose a risk by causing further spikes in oil prices, which would shave economic growth in countries reliant on oil imports, such as China and Japan. Asian economies could also be affected if higher oil prices result in a global slowdown, which would result in a drop in demand from wealthy countries for their exports….” [Associated Press/Factiva]
China Census Shows Population Ageing And Urban. “China's census shows its population grew to 1.34 billion people by 2010, with a sharp rise in those over 60. Nearly half of all Chinese now live in cities and people over the age of 60 now account for 13.3 percent of the population, up nearly 3 percent since 2000. But the figures reveal that China's population is growing more slowly than in the past. That could affect the economy, as the number of potential workers, especially from rural areas, could shrink….” [BBC News]
AP adds that “…Wang Feng, a population expert and director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy in Beijing, said the census results confirmed that China's population has turned a corner, with massive migration flows and a fertility rate of no more than 1.5 children per couple….He said the numbers showed that China has added about 40 million people aged 60 or older in the past decade. ‘We're looking at a province in China or a large country in the world and that's how many elderly people have been added,’ Wang said. ‘This is only the beginning of an accelerating process, given that fertility is so low right now, population aging will only get more serious.’…” [Associated Press/Factiva]
Bloomberg reports that “…China will eventually move to a two-child policy, the China Business News reported. Farmers and national minorities can often have more than one child, and rich people can pay fines for having a second or third child…. The one-child policy, which has led millions of women to abort female fetuses to have a prized male child, has resulted in men making up 51.3 percent of the population, with 34 million more men than women….” [Bloomberg]
Also in This Edition, Briefly Noted…Ghana's ministry of trade and industry has increased the price of seed cotton by 43.3 percent as part of the government's efforts to boost cotton production in the country, a statement by the ministry said. [Dow Jones/Factiva]
Drought has left more than 8 million people in the Horn of Africa short of food and water, and the number could rise sharply if funding to help them is not increased, the Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies said on Wednesday. [Reuters/Factiva]
At least 2.4 million Somalis – 32 percent of the country's population – are in need of humanitarian assistance but with the ongoing conflict coupled with the current drought blighting crops and killing livestock, many more Somalis may fall into crisis, the UN warned on Wednesday. [Xinhua/Factiva]
The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) on Wednesday said the region could establish a better cooperation strategy with the EU. [Xinhua/Factiva]
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday pledged to stabilize food and energy prices, an effort to prevent increasing poverty level. [Xinhua/Factiva]
The World Bank urged the Philippines on Wednesday to show more urgency in dealing with climate change, reiterating its offer of $250 million to help the country develop clean energy sources and better handle extreme weather conditions. [Reuters/Factiva]
The Indian government approved a $1 billion loan from the World Bank on Thursday to fund an eight-year project to clean the River Ganges, larges stretches of which are heavily polluted by industrial and domestic waste. [Reuters/Factiva]
The International Monetary Fund has cut its forecast for economic growth in unrest-hit Bahrain to 3.1 percent in 2011 from an earlier projection of 4.5 percent. [Agence France Presse/Factiva]