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Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2019

Ambitions Beyond Growth

image of Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2019

The region has seen tremendous economic and social progress over the last 50 years, However, this conceals increasing risks to achieving the 2030 Agenda. Despite progress on many fronts, the region is not on track to meet many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The gains from economic growth are not being shared by all. Available jobs do not fully translate into decent work. The region is home to five of the world’s 10 countries most affected by climate risks. Against such a backdrop, bold and wise policies are needed to maintain growth momentum while enhancing the drivers of sustainable development. The Survey explores the critical role of investment for SDG requirements.

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Towards a better world

The socioeconomic and environmental cost of the preoccupation with economic growth in Asia and the Pacific is becoming increasingly evident. Repairing and reversing the damage will require addressing high levels of inequality in wealth and opportunities, the snail-paced progress on climate change and biodiversity goals, alongside declining life satisfaction and well-being. The forthcoming ESCAP SDG Progress Report for Asia and the Pacific will show that progress on the 17 Goals is mixed at best, and a business-as-usual approach will not help the region achieve the goals laid out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In other words, Asia and the Pacific needs a change in mindset and economic philosophy to set the region on track. It is time for policymakers to put “people and the planet first”.

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