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International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
This paper discusses that from shifting demographics to climate change, Southeast Asia confronts a host of challenges. Summoning them will require both resilience and flexibility. Advances in artificial intelligence, including robotics, together with innovations such as 3-D printing and new composite materials, will transform manufacturing processes, making them less labor-intensive while creating opportunities for new products. This will enable new ways of making things and change the drivers of competitiveness. There will be indirect effects as well. For example, aircraft manufacturers, taking advantage of new composite materials such as carbon fibers, have developed a class of superlong-haul aircraft that could bring more tourists to Southeast Asia as relatively cheap point-to-point travel options emerge. The region should still enjoy synergies from globalization and other modes of economic integration, but the form and shape of such integration could change. For Southeast Asia, the next couple of decades could prove exhilarating in terms of the opportunities presented by technology and global growth, but also tumultuous because of the continuing risks, such as those posed by an unreformed and unstable international financial architecture. There clearly is much hard work to be done. Policymakers still have not gotten everything right, but they are heading in the right direction.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This technical note examines the implications of fintech for the regulation and supervision of the Singaporean financial services sector. It provides an overview of the financial system with a focus on fintech developments. The note looks at not only fintech developments but also the institutional setup as well as Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) approach to fintech. The MAS has so far managed to strike the right balance between innovation and safety and soundness. MAS has responded quickly to the challenges of fintech. The impact of fintech on the financial services sector has largely been internalized by financial institutions (FI). FIs are swiftly digitizing and modernizing their systems, products and business models. Because of their market knowledge and higher investment capacities, incumbent FIs are getting better at providing services and products by adopting new technologies or improving existing ones. The note also recommends that it is imperative to develop a cyber network map that considers both financial linkages and Information and Communications Technology connections and use it for cyber risk surveillance.
Christian Harm and Mr. Joshua Charap
This paper argues that corruption patterns are endogenous to political structures. Thus, corruption can be systemic and planned rather than decentralized and coincidental. In an economic system without law or property rights, a kleptocratic state may arise as a predatory hierarchy from a state of pure anarchy. A dictator minimizes the probability of a palace revolution by creating a system of patronage and loyalty through corrupt bureaucracy. Competitive corruption patterns are associated with anarchy and weak dictators, while strong dictators implement a system of monopolistic corruption. Efforts at public sector reform may meet resistance in countries featuring such systemic corruption.
Mr. Ali J Al-Sadiq
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has helped accelerate the digitization of public services. The lockdown initiated by most governments to curb the spread of the coronavirus forced most public agencies to switch to online platforms to continue providing information and services to the public. It is widely recognized that information diffusion and communication technology play a large role in improving the quality of public services in terms of time, cost, and interface with the public, business, and other agencies. Potentially, e-government could enhance a country’s locational advantages and attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows. This hypothesis is tested empirically using an unbalanced panel data analysis for 178 host countries over the period 2003-2018. The results suggest that e-government stimulates the inflow of FDI.
Mr. Dong He, Mr. Karl F Habermeier, Mr. Ross B Leckow, Mr. Vikram Haksar, Ms. Yasmin Almeida, Ms. Mikari Kashima, Mr. Nadim Kyriakos-Saad, Ms. Hiroko Oura, Tahsin Saadi Sedik, Natalia Stetsenko, and Ms. Concha Verdugo Yepes
New technologies are driving transformational changes in the global financial system. Virtual currencies (VCs) and the underlying distributed ledger systems are among these. VCs offer many potential benefits, but also considerable risks. VCs could raise efficiency and in the long run strengthen financial inclusion. At the same time, VCs could be potential vehicles for money laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion and fraud. While risks to the conduct of monetary policy seem less likely to arise at this stage given the very small scale of VCs, risks to financial stability may eventually emerge as the new technologies become more widely used. National authorities have begun to address these challenges and will need to calibrate regulation in a manner that appropriately addresses the risks without stifling innovation. As experience is gained, international standards and best practices could be considered to provide guidance on the most appropriate regulatory responses in different fields, thereby promoting harmonization and cooperation across jurisdictions.