As in many other East Asian countries, the number of people living in poverty in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam has declined in the past decade. However, persisting poverty in less advantaged geographic areas and ethnic groups is still a challenge. The governments of the three countries were eager to gain practical lessons on innovative Community Driven Development (CDD) models that have been successful in several South Asian countries, such as Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka.
To decrease the negative effects of economic volatility induced by fluctuations in commodity prices and to improve management of natural resource revenues, Papua New Guinea wanted to learn international best practices through exchanges with other developing countries. The World Bank connected Papua New Guinea with Chile and Mongolia to learn how to implement policies and create governance institutions that would safeguard and manage windfall mineral resource savings, achieve long-term fiscal stability, and address acute social and infrastructural needs.
Mongolia has successfully transitioned from a centrally planned to a market economy but remains overly dependent on its mining industries.
The city of Ulaanbaatar (UB) had reached a secure budgetary position to fulfill its goal for obtaining creditworthiness and issuing municipal bonds to mobilize financial resources. But it lacked the knowledge and experience to move forward. Finding the cities with the necessary experience to share, UB engaged Johannesburg and Tshwane (Pretoria) in an exchange to learn how to prepare for a credit rating assessment and take actions for successful bond issuance.
With the continued economic growth of East Asian and Pacific (EAP) developing countries, public concern has increased about the appropriateness of and transparency around public expenditures. Recent corporate collapses and increased corruption cases focused attention once again on auditors’ roles and performance, since government auditing plays a vital part in safeguarding public assets. Compared with others in EAP, Mongolia’s and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s (Lao PDR) government auditors or Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) are weak.