UNESCAP pitches for domestic reforms in Asia-Pacific region
The Dollar Business Bureau The developing economies in the Asia-Pacific region continue to fare well in comparison to the rest of the world, however, the region’s developing countries will witness only a slight growth in 2015, with no significant change expected in 2016. This was stated by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in its macro-economic outlook report released on Thursday. Stating that the structural weakness constrains growth prospects in the region, the report noted that the growth potential of the developing economies in the region is being held back by the infrastructure shortages and the excessive commodity dependence on some countries. The fragile global economic recovery and consequently subdued global trade pose additional challenges, it noted and emphasized that the inclusive economic growth is key to ensuring sustainable prosperity for all. As per the country-specific projections of the report, ‘China’s planned moderation is expected to lower its growth to 7% in 2015 compared to that of 7.4 % last year and is also expected to be partially offset by an acceleration of growth in India to 8.1% from 7.4% last year. However, the outlook depends critically on solid and sustained domestic reforms in the case of China and India, it noted. In his address, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary Shamshad Akhtar also made a similar pitch, where he urged the Asia-Pacific governments to focus on domestic-resource mobilization. He further made a series of recommendations to the governments to tap private sector resources for sustainable development– in particular for climate-friendly infrastructure and social financing, along with the focus on increasing their own revenues. “While the traditional sources of finance such as tax revenues and official development assistance are important to bridge the wide financing gap, efforts to deepen the region’s capital markets and engage the private sector must be intensified,” he added.
May 14, 2015 | 7:07 pm IST.