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Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2001

Financing for Development

image of Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2001

Following the impressive recovery in 1999, the economic performance of the ESCAP region strengthened further in 2000 in an environment of low inflation. Prospects for 2001 are mixed. This year's issue of the survey reviews the economic progress in the ESCAP region over the past year and analyzes population dynamics and their related policy implications. It also provides a regional perspective on the subject of 'Financing for Development' looking at such issues as: domestic and external resources; trends in and current distribution of Official Development Assistance; and reform of the international financial architecture.

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International systemic issues

Following the reduction in ODA flows, national efforts to mobilize external resources from the private sector have assumed much greater importance, as discussed in the preceding chapters. Such efforts, in turn, inevitably imply closer integration with the international financial system. However, that system has been beset by serious bouts of instability over the last 20 years, with adverse consequences for the developing countries as a group, involving sharp reductions, or reversals, in the flow of resources or significant increases in costs, or both. Following the collapse of the Bretton Woods regime, for instance, at least three such episodes can be listed: the debt crisis of the early 1980s, the Mexican default of 1994-1995 and the Asian financial and economic crisis of 1997-1998. A stable international financial environment is thus a prerequisite for national efforts to raise external resources for development.

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