Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 1981

image of Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 1981

This latest edition of the Survey analyzes current economic and social developments in the region against the background of events in the world economy. It also focuses on the serios problems of growth and transformation of the area's least developed and Pacific Island developing economies.



The world economy

The Third United Nations Development Decade has begun in the unfavourable circumstances of a world depression which shows little sign of improving in 1982. This depression, like the previous one, is characterized by rising unemployment and rising prices in advanced countries. It is also characterized by falling prices for primary commodities, in spite of world inflation, and by reduced demands for manufactured exports. These two features have adversely affected developing countries, although growth rate of real income has declined less for them than it has for advanced countries. Non-oil developing countries have also been badly hit by much higher payments for oil imports, due to big increases in the price of oil, but they are having less difficulty in financing them than was feared because multilateral lending agencies have enlarged their funds and loans have also been available from international capital markets. Inflation has reduced the real burden of their past debts, but the rise of world interest rates to extraordinarily high levels is adding to the real burden of loans raised currently. Very disappointing progress has been made in regard to international commodity agreements, or a Third Arrangement for the Multifibre Agreement which governs most of the world’s trade in textiles, in which some developing countries have come to participate substantially.


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