HKS Library Virtual Book Tour


Alfred Schipke
Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy
Harvard Kennedy School

About the Book

While emerging markets have played an important role on the global economic stage for some time and are now a major driver of global growth, a new group of fast-growing low-income countries, sometimes referred to as frontier economies, is receiving increased attention and has become the darling of capital markets. But can these frontier countries become the next generation of emerging markets, and what can they teach other low-income countries that want to grow more rapidly and join their ranks.

With a combined population of more than 350 million people, frontier and developing Asia, which includes countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Mongolia, and Vietnam is in the world’s fastest-growing region and has favorable demographics. And although diverse, they share a number of common macroeconomic, financial, and structural challenges. This book sheds light on these issues, with analysis of factors such as economic growth, structural transformation, poverty traps, rising income inequality, and important financial sector and monetary policy framework matters.


Even as the emerging market economies deal with their growing pains we can see on the horizon the next set of developing countries poised for breakout. These frontier economies have already shown enormous potential for reform, structural change, and rapid growth, and within Asia alone they account for more than a third of a billion people. Their macroeconomic, financial, and institutional environments present both upside potential and significant risks. This path-breaking book helps us understand the complex development challenges these countries face.

-Alan M. Taylor, Professor of Economics and Finance University of California, Davis

The publication of this book on Frontier and Developing Asia: the Next Generation of Emerging Markets is very timely. It closes an important information gap about the progress that many of the fast-growing low-income countries in Asia have made. Cambodia, for example, has experienced robust economic growth and rapid poverty reduction during the last two decades. These achievements have been supported by political, economic, and financial stability. The government has maintained a strong reform momentum to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth. In line with the Royal Government’s policies, the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has successfully maintained macroeconomic and financial stability. The banking sector has been resilient, stable, and integrated within the regional and global markets. The NBC has promoted financial deepening and inclusion while ensuring stability. These improvements have contributed to enhancing confidence in the banking sector as well as the economy as a whole. The insights of this book will be extremely valuable for readers both within and outside of Asia.

-Dr. Chea Chanto, Governor, National Bank of Cambodia

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Frontier and Developing Asia: The Next Generation of Emerging Markets

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