New policy approach needed for East Asia and Pacific to achieve inclusive growth: World Bank

Monday, 2017-12-04 16:44:24
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NDO - The countries of developing East Asia and Pacific – among the most successful in the world in reducing poverty and improving living standards – need to adopt a new thinking if they are to achieve inclusive growth going forward, says a new World Bank report.

Growth that is inclusive – one that reduces poverty while providing upward mobility and economic security for all – will require countries to go beyond its successful “growth with equity” model, according to the report.

Achieving economic security for all is a challenging task, particularly as the region faces newer challenges: rapid aging, less certain growth prospects, and greater urbanisation.

The region has transformed from being comprised of mostly poor countries in the 1980s to a group of middle-income countries made up of varying economic classes.

The share of the extreme and moderate poor has fallen dramatically but the percentage of individuals vulnerable to falling back into has remained constant between 2002 and 2015, at about a quarter of the population.

Policies for inclusive growth need to recognise and address the varying constraints faced by different economic classes while policies for the remaining extreme poor need to ease their barriers accessing economic opportunities, as well as sustain broad-based growth, so as to help them move up the income ladder.

There are three pillars that can underpin the policy agenda, including fostering economic mobility, providing greater economic security and strengthening institutions. Better management of rapid aging and urbanisation as well as enhancing competition will also help.