Safeguarding Asia’s Growth

Since the onset of the global financial crisis, Asian economies – bolstered by dynamic growth in China and India – have proven to be resilient. But, as global instability begins to take its toll, Asian countries must pursue preemptive policies to reduce their vulnerability to regional and global shocks.

SEOUL – Emerging Asian countries should be proud of their economic resilience. Despite a global economy plagued by weak growth, persistently high unemployment, and heavy debt loads, the region’s emerging and developing economies grew at an average annual rate of 6.8% from 2000-2010, propping up global output and buttressing recovery efforts.

The region’s success has been underpinned by dynamic growth in China and India, which account for almost 60% of the continent’s total GDP in purchasing power parity terms. Furthermore, economic-policy changes and structural reforms that were enacted in the wake of the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis significantly reduced the region’s vulnerability to financial shocks over the past decade.

But Asia cannot be complacent: financial systems remain fragile; economies are burdened with high fiscal and current-account deficits; and Asia remains too heavily dependent on North American and European export markets, increasing its vulnerability to external shocks.

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