ADB urges ‘greater resilience’ in Asia dev’t plans

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) is urging economies in Asia to build “far greater resilience” into their respective national plans for development as emerging risks and destabilizers reshape its economic landscape.

In 2016 Annual Evaluation Review of its Independent Evaluation department, the multilateral lender said the region is confronted by slower growth, income inequality and climate change.

“The urgency for countries to adapt to the new environment is growing,” said ADB.

“Countries in Asia and the Pacific are already grappling with slower economic expansion and falling international trade, and need to find new growth drivers while maximizing the contributions of existing industries,” it added.

The multilateral lending institution said the region’s economic prospects are increasingly linked to China and India’s ability to address their economic, environmental and climate challenges.

“Asia today is also more exposed to external shocks through the closer integration of global markets,” said ADB.

The bank said external shocks, regardless of origins, quickly push people below the poverty line and the already poor deeper into poverty.

By the definition set by the review, these are people living in less than $1.90 per day, which number 450 million in the Asia and the Pacific region in 2011.

People struggling on earnings of $3.10 daily – 1.3 billion in number in 2011 – are at high risk of falling back into poverty because of the proximity of their incomes to the poverty line.

In March, the ADB cut its economic growth forecast for developing Asia in 2016, citing global headwinds and a weaker outlook for China.

Developing Asia is expected expand 5.7 percent this year and in 2017. In its December outlook report, the ADB had forecast a growth of six percent for the region this year. The region grew 5.9 percent last year.

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