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CGD in the News

August 22, 2018

Top generator brands compete with new features amidst growth (Vanguard)

By Princewill Ekwujuru 

Ten generator brands have upgraded their products with new features aimed at attracting additional share of a growing market. With average power generation mostly below 4,000MW in the face of power demand estimated to be above 10,000MW, most homes and organisations are increasingly relying on petrol and power generators for electricity supply.


A report by the Centre for Global Development noted: “At present, almost 40 per cent (80 million) of the Nigerian population has no access to grid-connected electricity. In 2015, power supply in Nigeria averaged 3.1 GW, whereas the country’s demand was more than three times the supply.”

Read the full article here.

August 22, 2018

Why countries might want out of China’s Belt and Road (Washington Post)

By Adam Taylor 

China has never spared any effort to portray its “Belt and Road Initiative,” a grand trillion-dollar-plus global investment plan, as a positive vision for the world. Last year, China released cringeworthy videos featuring children who were, somewhat unrealistically, excited by the idea of infrastructure investment.

“The future’s coming now,” a group of children sang in one clip. “The Belt and Road is how.”


Another Belt and Road project in Sri Lanka, a deepwater port, is now in the hands of a state-owned Chinese company on a 99-year lease after it failed to attract enough business to make its loan payments. This could swell into a bigger problem. A study released by the Center for Global Development in March suggested that Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, the Maldives, Mongolia, Montenegro, Pakistan and Tajikistan would also struggle to repay Chinese Belt and Road loans. 

Read the full article here


August 22, 2018

Malaysia leads “blowback” against China’s Belt and Road Initiative (Global Trade Review)

By Finbarr Bermingham 

Amid mounting debts and fears over China’s perceived expansionary intentions, more and more countries are becoming disgruntled with the much-vaunted Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad this week used a state visit to Beijing to announce he was shelving plans for two major infrastructure projects that fall under the BRI umbrella. 


“I would totally agree that there’s blowback occurring on all fronts regarding China’s state-centric soft power, including BRI. I think there’s pushback on all fronts on China Inc’s ambitions to promote Chinese firms and technology,” Alex Capri, visiting senior fellow at the National University of Singapore’s business school, tells GTR.

“On BRI, the debt model that Beijing has been pushing for to emerging countries, it’s increasingly seen as a honeytrap that has backfired,” he adds.

The situation is laid bare in a recent study by the Centre for Global Development (CGD), a US think tank. Researchers evaluated the current and future debt levels of the 68 BRI countries, finding that 23 of those are at risk of debt distress today. The study found that for eight of those countries, future BRI-related financing will significantly add to the risk of debt distress. 

Read the full article here.

August 22, 2018

How deporting immigrants from the U.S. increases immigration to the U.S. (Washington Post)

Note: Although CGD is not mentioned by name, the article hyperlinks Michael Clemens' working paper, "Violence, Development and Migration Waves: Evidence from Central American Child Migrant Apprehensions - Working Paper 459"

By Christian Ambrosius and David Leblang 

The Trump administration’s deportation policies and rhetoric have been controversial. The family separation policy, the zero tolerance policy, the language tagging immigrants as “animals” all appear to be trying to reduce the number of illegal immigrants, asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors who come to the United States.


Why are so many people from Latin America attempting to enter the United States? Although some want to be reunified with their families or hope to find better economic opportunities, the vast majority of unauthorized migrants and asylum seekers arriving at the U.S. border are escaping from widespread violence. Many flee Central America’s so-called Northern Triangle — Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala — which are among the most violent places on Earth, with homicide rates approaching that of the world’s most deadly war zones. A large number of unaccompanied Central American minors arriving at the U.S. border since 2014 are trying to escape either being killed or forced into a gang. 

Read the full article here.

August 21, 2018

The Risks of Reining in Foreign Investment From China (World Politics Review)

By Kimberly Ann Elliott 

In just four decades, China has become a major global economic power. In recent years, it has surpassed Germany as the world’s largest exporter of merchandise. It is the world’s second-largest source of foreign investment, and third-largest recipient. Using an exchange rate that takes into account the lower cost of living in China, it has surpassed the United States to become the world’s largest economy, though still a much poorer one. And under its “Made in China 2025” industrial plan, the government wants to become an innovation hub and move up the manufacturing value chain to become largely self-sufficient in cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence and 5G mobile communications, and emerging sectors including robotics and green cars

Although there is much to welcome in the sharp reduction in poverty that has accompanied China’s economic success, the means by which it achieved this growth, and how it plans to maintain it, are an increasing source of concern around the world. 

Read the full article here

August 21, 2018

What A World Without Borders Might Look Like (Huffington Post UK)

By Vince Raison 

Some borders are formed naturally, by oceans, seas, rivers or lakes. By mountain ranges and even forests. But most are entirely man-made. They are essentially imaginary lines, either agreed or imposed. They keep people in, they keep people out. 

A great deal of time, money and resources are spent defending these arbitrary constructs. Millions of lives have been lost to protect the integrity of something entirely made-up. 


The first consequence of the removal of borders would be the free movement of people. Some are fearful of the consequences of free movement, but Michael A Clemens of the Center for Global Development argues that, “The world impoverishes itself much more through blocking international migration than any other single class of international policy.” 

Read the full article here.

August 21, 2018

Crisis In Family Care Demographics, Women Pay The Price (Worldcrunch)

By Megan Clement 

When it comes to care provision, the world faces something of a perfect storm as populations age, family structures shrink and more women enter the workforce. It's a crisis in the making, the International Labour Organization (ILO) warned in a recent report. And unless governments start properly investing in care services, gender inequality will increase and economies will suffer.

The demand for care work is set to increase significantly in the next decade, with 2.3 billion people needing care by 2030, the ILO report concludes in its report released in late June. What remains to be determined is whether this work will be high quality and well remunerated, or low quality and exploitative. The answer to that question, lead author Laura Addati explains, will determine in large part how the crisis plays out. 


Mayra Buvinic, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, says this dynamic applies to the elderly as well, and that the developing world will be affected just as much as the developed.

"In the developing world, you're still under the notion that families will take care of their elderly, but that's not the case anymore in a lot of places," she says. "And then what do you do with your elderly?" 

Read the full article here.

August 19, 2018

Anita Käppeli: "Exclusion is expensive for the whole society" (Le Temps)

*Note: this article was translated from its original copy in French to English using Google Translate. 

By Ram Etwareea

The Center for Global Development, based in Washington, London and Brussels, tracks good and bad practices in international politics and cooperation. Switzerland's Anita Käppeli, a member of the board of directors, points out that poverty is declining in the world, but paradoxically, security and the environment are deteriorating

Since 1990, at least 1.1 billion people have emerged from poverty. But the other side of the coin is less glittering. According to Oxfam, one in ten people in the world lives below the UN's $ 1.90 per day poverty line - while 5% of the world's population share 60% of the income . The World Health Organization says half of the world does not have access to basic health services. And in the same vein, Unicef ​​deplores the fact that 60 million children do not have the slightest access to education.

Faced with this sad fact, rich countries and international organizations are not giving up. Last year, according to the OECD, they spent $ 146 billion fighting exclusion. But for Lucerne's Anita Käppeli, aid is not enough if the economic system is not inclusive. For the Director of the Research and Advocacy for Europe Division of the Center for Global Development, aid must go hand in hand with coherent economic and social policies in donor countries.

Le Temps: What do you mean by "inclusive economy"?

Anita Käppeli: It's an economic and social system that aims to end poverty not only in poor countries, but also in rich countries. Its components: a fair distribution of income, access to essential services (education, health, social protection), but also access to markets and the fight against corruption. An inclusive economy still ensures that population groups are not the losers of globalization, which is itself an awesome process of creating wealth and raising standards of living. 

Read the full article here.

August 19, 2018

Turkey crisis rattles Asian nations with rising Belt and Road debts (Nikkei Asian Review)

By: Motonao Uesugi

TOKYO -- Turkey's currency crisis is adding to the financial troubles of emerging Asian economies that have taken big loans for infrastructure projects under China's Belt and Road initiative.

The plummeting lira is forcing Asian nations to consider rate hikes to shore up their currencies (Indonesia tightened policy this week). Failure to get back on an even keel could add to heavy debt-servicing costs that undermine financial stability.

Loans from China help emerging economies pay for the infrastructure improvements they need to foster economic growth, but heavy debt-servicing costs threaten to undermine their financial stability.

The Center for Global Development, a U.S. think tank, says Laos, the Maldives, Mongolia, Pakistan and four other countries taking part in the Belt and Road initiative are already at risk.

Read the full article here.

August 18, 2018

Indo-Male Relations Going Downhill? (Sri Lanka Guardian)

By R.M. Panda 

Maldives Relation with India is going downhill and could soon be beyond repair if Yameen continues to be in power. By getting closer to China, Saudi Arabia and even Pakistan, Yameen is seen to be sending a message to hapless India that Maldives can survive and even thrive without India. There were apprehensions in Maldives when Yameen declared an emergency and put behind bars all the emerging leaders and of the judiciary that India may physically intervene. Nothing happened. Soon, without keeping Yameen guessing India declared and even informed China that it will not intervene. 


Governor of Central Bank of Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) Dr. Fazal Najeeb had said that Maldives is currently experiencing its most serious economic crisis of all times. Chinese Lending is putting the Maldives the risk of debt distress, a study from the Centre for Global Development Said. The study says China is heavily involved in three major projects that put together will be about $1.5 Billion and there will be repayment problems. IMF and World Bank both have predicted that Maldivians debt might reach 121% of its GDP by 2020.

Read the full article here.