ADB chief says developing Asian economies must focus on inclusive growth

November 20, 2012
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A woman studying the Asian market/XINHUA
PHNOM PENH, Nov 20 — Asia’s emerging markets need to diversify sources of growth while advanced economies gradually rebuild their balance sheets, Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda said Tuesday.

“Tomorrow’s successful economies will focus on effectively transforming themselves through growth that reaches more people, especially the poor,” Kuroda addressed the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Global Dialogue at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh. “Growth must be more inclusive, green and knowledge-led.”

The first ever ASEAN Global Dialogue brought together leaders and key officials from ASEAN and East Asia countries, as well as development partners, to explore challenges and discuss solutions to a range of issues facing the region, including the ongoing global financial crisis, climate change, conflicts, and food and energy security.

While global growth remains sluggish, developing Asia is in better shape with 6.1 percent growth expected this year, Kuroda told participants, adding that ASEAN economies have shown particular resilience.

With 420 million Asians entering the labor market by 2030, job creation will remain a daunting challenge for the region, he said, adding that infrastructure development is essential to job creation efforts, and in response to ASEAN’s massive infrastructure needs, the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund was created earlier this year.

Kuroda also noted that freer trade and greater macroeconomic cooperation within the region will enhance efficiency, strengthen stability and sustain growth.

The ASEAN Global Dialogue was held back to back with the 21st ASEAN Summit and related Summits.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the dialogue on Tuesday, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, chair of ASEAN in 2012, said that ASEAN economies remain resilient despite the world has not completely got out of the global financial crisis.

However, he warned that the bloc will be inevitable from the consequences of the crisis if the global economy is still weak.

“The dialogue is very important to reflect the rising role of ASEAN in interactions to determine economic policies in the region and the world,” Hun Sen said.

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