News / Economy

    UN Forecasts Slow Growth for Asia Pacific Amid Weak Global Economy

    A pedestrian walks past an electronic board showing the Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, August 6, 2014.
    A pedestrian walks past an electronic board showing the Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, August 6, 2014.
    Ron Corben

    A United Nations survey for Asia Pacific nations finds economic growth in the region remains subdued amid calls on governments to reform tax systems, reduce income inequities and boost employment, especially for the young unemployed. The U.N. says that although China and India are expected to experience steadier growth, the Russian Federation, faced with ongoing geopolitical conflict, is showing little growth.  

    The report, released by the UN's Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), says sluggish growth in major industrialized economies is spilling over and holding back growth in the Asia Pacific region.

    The U.N. says growth in the developing economies, including China and India, is also set to be hit by a tightening of U.S. monetary policy, as the program of quantitative easing meant to spur U.S. growth is tapered back. At the same time, restrictive trade policies in developed economies will undermine exports.

    Shamshad Akhtar, UNESCAP executive secretary, said average forecast growth of 5.8 per cent is still below that seen before the 2008 financial crisis, and is not sufficient to ease high unemployment rates, especially among the young.

    "There are some worries… for one, the growth is subpar when you compare it with the pre-crisis period where it was much higher. So it's a region that has a potential to deliver much higher growth and we obviously need much higher growth to solve job problems and other attended problems," said Akhtar.

    Youth unemployment remains a key issue. The report says nearly 717 million of the region's population are young men and women aged 15 to 24 years. The report calls for "active labor market programs" linking education, training and skills development, and overcoming gender inequalities in education.

    India's growth is forecast for 2014 at 5.5 per cent, marginally higher following the election of a pro-business government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Akhtar said to spur growth the government needs to ease investment restrictions and reduce bureaucratic red tape.

    "India needs to open up as much as possible. India needs to welcome more foreign and domestic private investment. It needs to resolve the age-old practices of ineffective clearance mechanisms. Openness, transparency, predictability of the investment policies could be quite critical," said Akhtar.

    In China, many have expressed worry that overinvestment in real estate and housing has created a dangerous economic bubble. The U.N. report forecasts growth at 7.7 percent for the year. Akhtar said China's outlook remains positive with the government controlling policy, but she raised concerns if growth further slowed.

    "China has been able to intervene when required to stimulate the economy, either for domestic reasons or for keeping the global economy going. So I think it's a pretty reasonable process that's underway. [But] I think if growth got more compressed that there would be more worries because China is a large economy,” said Akhtar.

    Of key concern is the economy of the Russian Federation, which is now in recession with growth forecast of less than one per cent in the year. The growth rate stands in sharp contrast to over 7 per cent prior to the 2008 financial crisis and 3.5 per cent two years ago.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.9036
    JPY
    USD
    102.32
    GBP
    USD
    0.7297
    CAD
    USD
    1.3005
    INR
    USD
    68.004

    Rates may not be current.