BANGKOK – Economic growth in the developing countries in East Asia and the Pacific is estimated to be a 6 percent in 2019 and 2020, according to the latest World Bank projections announced on Wednesday in Bangkok.
These countries recorded 6.3 percent growth in 2018 due to global headwinds and a gradual slowdown in China, the organization said in a statement.
According to the World Bank, the developing countries in East Asia and the Pacific survived the financial market volatility of 2018 well due to effective policy, diversified economies along with flexible exchange rates among other factors.
According to the data, China, the major economic power of the region, is expected to record 6.2 percent growth in 2019 and 2020.
The report said that growth of smaller economies such as Laos and Mongolia is expected to be favorable due to investments in big infrastructure projects while Myanmar will have a positive outcome because of structural reforms and expansionary fiscal policy.
“The region’s resilient growth should bring about further poverty reduction, already at historic lows. By 2021, in fact, we expect extreme poverty to dip below 3 percent,” said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific.
She warned about the consequences of economic insecurity for 500 million people.
“While the economic outlook for EAP remains largely positive, it is important to recognize that the region continues to face heightened pressures that began in 2018 and that could still have an adverse impact,” said Andrew Mason, World Bank Acting Chief Economist for the East Asia and Pacific region.
Among the challenges, Mason said that, “uncertainty stems from several factors including further deceleration,” in economies like China with a possibility of a “faster-than-expected slowdown.”
The World Bank has introduced a series of short and mid-term response measures to face these “persistent risks” such as increasing the productivity and boosting competitiveness apart from creating an environment that would promote private sector investment.
The report excludes countries in the region which are considered to be developed, such as Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.