News / Economy

UN: Asia Pacific Economies Face 'Subpar' Growth

A man rests inside a stock exchange in Kuala Lumpur, Dec. 19, 2013.
A man rests inside a stock exchange in Kuala Lumpur, Dec. 19, 2013.
Ron Corben
— A new United Nations report says Asia Pacific economies face subpar growth in 2014, fueled by international trade protectionism and against the backdrop of added uncertainties after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced it is scaling back efforts to boost the American economy. While China remains a mainstay of the region's growth, protectionist measures by the European Union and United States have cost exporting nations more than $60 billion in lost trade over the past two years.

The report released Thursday by the UN's economic commission for Asia and the Pacific [UNESCAP] says regional growth remains below levels before 2008 amid a backdrop of uncertainties in the U.S. and European Union economies, as well as regional issues and growing economic inequalities.

China remains the linchpin in the regional economic fabric, with U.N. economists forecasting better than 7.0 per cent in 2014. Overall growth for the Asia Pacific developing region, though, is at a sub-par 6.0 per cent.

The U.S. Federal Reserve decision to taper off its massive stimulus program in 2014 is set to reduce funds making their way to regional investment markets. Economists say capital volatility may reduce economic growth in Malaysia, the Russian Federation, Philippines and Thailand.

UNESCAP economist, Anisuzzaman Chowdhury, said the weaker outlook will affect how governments address issues such as growing income inequalities and the environment.

"We are likely to continue to have sub-par growth and that will have implications for what we can do to address inequalities, to address the environmental issues, because you need growth and you need money to address those things. So that is why we said (the region) is at a tipping point. You need to really look at very hard how we conduct our business, our structural impediments," said Chowdhury.

The economies of China and India together account for over half of the gross domestic product, or GDP, of the developing Asia Pacific region and remain crucial drivers of economic growth.

Chowdhury said China's policy shift towards boosting domestic consumption is set to have wider implications for the region.
   
"China's economic growth has been driven so far by investment. Now it will be what the Chinese Government is doing consciously - re-orienting these policies to address various disparities - they will now look at raising wages. So there will be demand from China for consumer goods. For countries which are exporting consumer goods to China they will benefit. So that rebalancing is happening," said Chowdhury.

The U.N. says a key concern has been the rise of international trade protectionism, which has cost Asia Pacific developing economies more than $62 billion in lost export value in trade over 2012 and 2013 alone, especially affected by measures adopted in the European Union and United States.

The concerns over trade protectionism come despite the recent agreement on the World Trade Organization [WTO] Doha round negotiations. Protectionist policies have included anti-dumping measures, import tariffs, customs procedures, and other restrictions.

The U.N. says China's economy was the hardest hit with $13.5 billion worth of exports negatively affected over the past two years, along with Russia, South Korea, and exporters in South Asia and Southeast Asia.

The report says Thailand and Malaysia have faced slowing growth and rising household debt, while policy uncertainties have led to sharp declines in the currencies of India and Indonesia.

The U.N. says the Asia Pacific is now facing the "new normal" of subpar growth and calls on governments to implement policies to better manage the volatility triggered by short term capital flows, as well as support small and medium sized enterprises.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.