Seminar on Asia and Pacific Regional Economic Outlook

In this seminar both speakers from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) highlight the challenges and prospects facing economies in Asia and the Pacific
Friday, 6 May 2016 – The Regional Economic Studies Programme at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute hosted a seminar by Dr Ranil Salgado, Chief of the Regional Studies Division in the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department (APD) and Dr Tidiane Kinda, Economist, from the same department, on the economic outlook of economies in Asia and the Pacific.

From Left to Right: Dr Ranil Salgado (Speaker), Dr Cassey Lee (Chair), Senior Fellow, ISEAS, and Dr Tidiane Kinda (Speaker). Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute

Dr Ranil Salago provided a comprehensive and interesting discussion of the challenges facing Asia and the Pacific.

Asia-Pacific economies are forecast to grow by 5.3 percent during 2016-17.
Asia, however, is facing severe headwinds from a still weak global recovery, slowing global trade, and the short-term impact of China’s growth transition.  Growth is forecast to be 5.3 percent for 2016 and 2017.

Asia still retains its position as the most dynamic region, and contributes about two-thirds of global growth, with Singapore expected to grow by 1.8 percent and 2.2 percent in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

The downturn in commodity pricing has affected the low income and developing countries. Policy makers have to continue to build policy buffers (monetary and fiscal policies to support demand and address risks) and also continue to push for structural reforms to support economic transitions.

In terms of income inequality, Dr Tidiane Kinda noted that Asia has been facing rising income inequality in contrast to other regions. Asia also faces considerable inequality of opportunities (access to health, education, and financial services).

In China, the Gini coefficient rose from 33 in 1990 to 53 in 2013. The Gini coefficient rose from 45 in 1990 to 51in 2013.

Fiscal policies, improving access to education and health services, and boosting financial access and expanding the coverage of financial services will help to redress this imbalance.

Participants at the seminar (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

The full report can be downloaded here.