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Expanding Indonesia’s middle class can help boost economic growth and broaden prosperity. This is a key message emerging from two new World Bank reports on the middle class in East Asia and Indonesia that were discussed today in Jakarta.

Stronger domestic demand, robust export-oriented manufacturing, and a gradual recovery of the agriculture sector, are driving Vietnam’s economy, which expanded by 6.4 percent during the first nine months of the year compared to the same period last year, says a new World Bank report. The manufacturing and services sector respectively grew by 12.8 percent and 7.3 percent during the same period.

The past decade has seen major changes across the energy sector, from the emergence of solar PV or shale oil and gas to electric vehicles and high-efficiency lighting. But one sector has seen very little change.

Uighur Foreign Fighters: Al Qaeda’s Connection

Analysis of military actions in Syria in the past month shows that Uyghur militants of Turkestan Islamic Party(TIP) hold their positions taken up earlier in Idlib province and are in no haste to go back to China. On November 23, 2017, the media center of TIPIslam Avazi (Voice of Islam)via Telegram posted a video in which jihadists destroyed two tanksТ-62 and nearly ten soldiers of the Syrian army. TIP used advanced anti-tank weapons, armored vehicles and drones, which confirms its good military technical capability.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the international system witnessed a number of transformations like globalization of trade exchanges, de-industrialization of the Western World and the rise of new powers like China, Brazil and even post-Soviet Russia.

High-speed rail (HSR) passenger activity totalled 625 billion passenger kilometres in 2015 with China, Europe and Japan together accounting for 95% of the global total. HSR is also the fastest growing passenger rail transport service worldwide – while global high-speed rail activity has grown steadily since 2005, growth accelerated to nearly 70% over 2013 to 2015, mainly as a result of a surge in China.

Six inspirational environmental leaders today received the United Nations' highest environmental honour, the Champions of the Earth award, during the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.

Syrian refugees in Turkey are leading the way pioneering web-based services that provide access to information their community needs to help them set up a new life. They have quickly won support from international companies and organizations, and now their apps and online platforms provide displaced communities with housing and job listings, translations of Turkish laws, advice on getting residence permits, opening a bank account, and more.

Weak productivity growth is a major problem afflicting most societies. It curbs growth in incomes and endangers the sustainability of social security systems. An important, but often ignored, source of the productivity slowdown is the increasing prevalence of weakly productive firms and, among them, “zombie firms” – in essence  firms  that would typically exit or be forced to restructure in a competitive market.

African economists attending the 12th African Economic Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, have called for more radical monetary policy reforms and an overhaul of the tax policy regime in most countries in order to guarantee the welfare needs of the local population.

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