News / Economy

Economy Experts Call on Asia to Lead the World in Reducing Poverty

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono gestures as he speaks during a session at the World Economic Forum On East Asia In Jakarta, Indonesia, June 12, 2011
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono gestures as he speaks during a session at the World Economic Forum On East Asia In Jakarta, Indonesia, June 12, 2011

Participants at a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Indonesia are calling on governments in Asia to lead the world in reducing poverty.

In the year 2000, 192 countries agreed to support the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to eradicate extreme poverty and significantly reduce child mortality rates by 2015.

In the years since, many Asian countries have experienced sustained double digit economic growth that has raised the living standards of millions of people.

But Rajat Nag, Managing Director General of the Asian Development Bank, joined a panel of economists and leaders at the World Economic Forum in Jakarta who say governments must do more to meet the Millennium Development goals.

Nag says despite the robust growth, 900 million people still live on $1.25 a day, 450 million people lack access to clean water, and more than 100 million children still die each year during childbirth.

He says governments in Asia must do more to fund basic nutrition programs, provide health care and education. Nag says paying for these programs will mean significantly raising taxes.

“In Asia the average taxes collected as a percentage of GDP is likely under 10 percent. In the developed world it is easily 20 percent. So there is a huge amount of public resource mobilization which needs to happen. Not just by raising tax rates but by increasing the tax base, improving the tax collection,” said Nag.

Indonesian Vice President Boediono says while significant progress in reducing poverty has been made in his country, he agrees that more programs and increased tax revenues are needed to address the problem.

“I belong to the school that the government should play an appropriate role and even in and especially in the social program, should intervene, proactively. And this requires financing and that I think has to be, to come from our own resources,” stated Boediono.

American economist and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University Jeffrey Sachs says Asian countries experiencing robust economic growth should shoulder the responsibility for poverty reduction with a mix of public and private initiatives. He says the slow economic recovery in the developed world has left Europe looking inward and the United States overly focused on cutting taxes.

“My own country the United States wants it for free. We're on a constant tax cutting binge. The rich want no taxes," said Sachs. "They say let the market do it but we end up without the social policy. We have lots of poverty. We end up without the environmental policy.”

While U.S. income tax rates are still higher than those in Asia, they remain lower than those in European countries. Opponents of higher taxes say they inhibit economic growth from private business that ultimately does more to lift people out of poverty.

Sachs says Asia's dynamic economic growth in recent years also brings an increased responsibility to meet its pledge to eradicate extreme poverty in the next four years.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7537
JPY
USD
103.79
GBP
USD
0.6032
CAD
USD
1.0957
INR
USD
60.522

Rates may not be current.