Asia needs to focus on domestic demand: ADB

The multilateral lending agency, however, noted that regional growth would be under severe pressure, in the wake of the global economic downturn.

“... while the global economy will no doubt recover from the current crisis, a return to a fast-growing developing Asia will require some re-balancing of growth toward domestic demand in the region as a whole,” the Asian Development Bank  said.

According to the agency’s report ‘Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2009’, the region is facing serious challenges on goals linked to sanitation and maternal mortality.
Further, the agency pointed out the region’s fast growth in recent years has also put severe strains on the environment, with developing Asian countries becoming heavy contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

The multilateral lending agency said large parts of Asia continues to be poor despite many of the economies in the region witnessing record growth rates.

It added that over 10 per cent of the population in Asian nations, including India, are affected by extreme poverty.

The report noted that Asia and Pacific countries have made good progress in bringing down poverty but hunger continues to be widespread.

“Over the past 15 years, Asia has made rapid progress in the fight against poverty, reducing the number of poor from around one in two people to around one in four.
“However, large pockets of extreme poverty continue to persist even as many economies have posted record growth rates over that time,” the Asian Development Bank said. Going by the report, in many Asian economies, including India, over 10 per cent of the population were living on less than $1.25a day.

Press Trust of India.

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