Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 1986

image of Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 1986

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.



Rational complexities

Developing countries in the ESCAP region in the mid- 1980s contain some 2,600 million people, who constitute 54 per cent of all people on planet Earth and 70 per cent of people in all developing countries. The population in the developing countries of the region is growing at 1.8 per cent per annum; this is an addition of 45 million people each year. The labour force in these countries amounted to approximately 1,500 million in 1984 and it is increasing at the rate of 1.4 per cent per year. The developing economies of the region are generally densely populated. Excluding the special cases of Hong Kong and Singapore, the density varies from 12,960 persons per square kilometre of arable land in Papua New Guinea to 230 per square kilometre in Afghanistan. Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, the Cook Islands, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, the Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka are some of the more highly densely populated developing countries in the region, each with a density of over 1,000 people per square kilometre of arable land. Consequently, opportunities for expanding the physical frontiers of production by developing new land for cultivation and mining available in Australia, Canada and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics even today and in the United States of America in the nineteenth century, are severely limited. Capital accumulation is also unlikely to grow as fast as before. This is, in part, due to remarkable domestic resource mobilization efforts in many countries of the region in the past decade or so and in part, due to the likelihood of continued stagnation in inflow of external resources. In consequence, human resources development has to play a greater role than before in promoting and sustaining growth.


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