ADB warns fast-growing Asian economies of middle income trap

May 4th, 2011 - 1:31 pm ICT by ANI  

Hanoi, May 4 (ANI): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in its report on Wednesday that fast-growing Asian economies cannot afford to fall into the middle income trap when seeking to move from resource-driven growth that is dependent on cheap labor and capital to growth based on high productivity and innovation.

The report, named “Asia 2050 — Realizing the Asian Century,” was unveiled at ADB’s 44th Annual Meeting and will be a topic of discussion among participants at the Governors’ Seminar, including the finance ministers of Bangladesh, France, India.

According to the report, Asian countries would face six key drivers of transformation: technical progress, capital accumulation, demographics and the labor force, the emerging middle class, climate change mitigation, the competition for resources, and the communications revolution, Xinhua reports.

The report compared the potential outcomes for Asia under two competing scenarios: the Asian Century and the Middle Income Trap.

The first scenario predicts an additional three billion Asians could enjoy higher living standards by the middle of this century.

The region could account for about half of global output in 2050, up from the current 27 percent, as well as half of global trade and investment.

However, if Asia can’t sustain its present growth momentum and address daunting multigenerational challenges and risks, it will fall into the middle-income trap of slowing growth rates and stagnating income levels over the next five to ten years.

“The difference in outcomes under the two scenarios and thus the opportunity cost of not realizing the Asian Century scenario is huge, especially in human terms,” Haruhiko Kuroda, President of the ADB said. (ANI)

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