Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2017

Governance and Fiscal Management

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The Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2017 presents the latest macroeconomic trends, identifies emerging risks and challenges, and takes stock of fiscal, monetary and structural policy developments in the region, providing recommendations for policymakers and other relevant stakeholders. The report shows that, while the recent expansion of Asia-Pacific countries has been steady, it is modest compared to recent historical trends amid prolonged weak external demand, rising trade protectionism and heightened global uncertainty. Decades of rapid economic growth came at the expense of rising inequalities and environmental degradation. Addressing such economic, social and environmental challenges in a coherent and decisive manner will be critical to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. In view of these challenges, the Survey 2017 highlights the importance, and transmission mechanisms, of better governance to achieve effective fiscal management and deliver impactful domestic structural reforms.



Economic outlook and quality of growth

The Asia-Pacific region’s high and steady economic growth has served as an anchor of stability in recent years for the struggling global economy. In considering its high openness to trade, the region’s relative resilience to weak external demand may come as a surprise. One explanation is the increased size of domestic and regional demand. The region’s developing economies now account for a third of the world’s output, only slightly less than the combined share of the developed economies in North America and Europe. If the region continues to outpace global economic growth at the current pace, it would account for more than half of global output by 2050. The region’s income level would converge towards the global average and make the region home to the majority of the global middle class. The Asia-Pacific region’s prominence is also likely to increase in such areas as global trade, finance, technology and education such that what the region does will affect the rest of the world compared with the past when the region was primarily affected by external developments.


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