When it comes to transparency and development, Asia is home to many paradoxes. China is ready to overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy, but also home to rapidly rising income income inequality. Hong Kong, China’s Special Administrative Region, is meanwhile the world’s fastest growing tax haven. And, as you will see in the presentation below, Asia is also home to alarming levels of endemic corruption and of financial opacity.
High income inequality can undermine social cohesion, create barriers to social and economic mobility, and result in increased corruption and cronyism. Meanwhile, illicit financial flows erode governance, constrain domestic investment and economic activity, and reduce governments’ ability to provide social services, such as healthcare and education. Both are indicative, but also side effects, of economic growth. The continent of Asia is perhaps the world’s most complex and fascinating example of these interactions. Enjoy.