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

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week 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.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7975
JPY
USD
118.23
GBP
USD
0.6371
CAD
USD
1.1324
INR
USD
61.929

Rates may not be current.