Asia’s global awareness increases despite small economic growth

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2013In 2013, the Asian developing countries slowly recover from the slowdown of last year’s economic growth, while domestic growth and regional trade focus will accelerate growth from 6.1% in 2012 to 6.6% in 2013 and to 6.7% in 2014, shows the Asian Development Outlook 2013 report published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The increase will have effects in China from 7.8% (in 2012) to 8.2% (in 2014), influenced by strong consumption and investments. Also, India will record a growth from 1% to 5% (in 2012) to 6% (in 2013) and 6.5% (2014), but South Asia should create a favourable investment environment if it targets to sustain a high growth rate.
However, although the developed economies have met the expectations so far, according to the latest estimation of ADB (published in July 2013), developing countries have not yet reached the prognoses included in the report Asian Development Outlook 2013; thus, growth in the region is expected to rise from 0.3% to 6.3% in 2013 and to 6.4% in 2014. For China, the first half of the year was marked by a fall and estimations stood at 7.7% for 2013 and at 7.5% for 2014. Also, growth in Eastern Asia is downgraded from 7.1% in 2013 to 6.7% in 2014.
Within the recent publication (August 2013) “Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2013”, ADB underlines some of the priorities to consider in the continuous transformation of Asia. “Developing Asia needs to make a significant qualitative leap in structural transformation and to focus on transferring labour from sectors of low productivity (typically agriculture) into sectors of high productivity ; policyma-kers ought to focus on facilitating firms and workforces to develop the capabilities they need to manufacture new products, to enter new markets, and to move up the development ladder. Developments in agriculture will be key for Asia’s future; another priority is the importance of production and industrialisation should be essential so that an economy could reach a high level of re-venues”, the ADB report says.
Although in 2012, economic growth in the region was below expectations, worldwide Asia gained awareness. Asia and the Pacific represent more than half the global population, over one third of the world GDP (as regards the purchasing power) and one third of the world exports. However, importance also brings growth problems: the region consumes 2/5 of the world’ energy, greenhouse gas emissions are increasing (together with other pollutants), and is confronted with a high level of traffic congestion.
Regarding railway transport, the networks are focused in three economies of Asia and the Pacific-China, India and Japan. “China massively invested in the railway system and extended the network by 24.1% in 1990-2011. At the same time, Thailand extended the network by 14.7%. India, with the second largest network, expanded its infrastructure by 2.6%. However, in several countries, such as Japan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Vietnam, rail networks declined. Japan has the largest railway density estimated in 2011 at 55 km/1000 square km”, the ADB report informs.

[ by Pamela Luică ]
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