World Economy

Asia-Pacific Region Making Significant Progress

Asia-Pacific Region Making Significant ProgressAsia-Pacific Region Making Significant Progress

The overall economy of the Asia-Pacific region is making progress with a stable performance, a sign of further recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. The region remains a major world economic powerhouse, Zhang Yunling, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said.

Despite the end of high-speed growth, the Chinese economy, under the “new normal,” will continue to be the most promising in the region, with an expected growth rate of 6.9% for 2018. The ASEAN economy is growing steadily with an expected growth rate of over 5%. However, Japanese economic growth is expected to be slow, with a rate of about 1%, Xinhua reported.

Generally, the main drivers of growth in Asia-Pacific are rising investment and domestic demand as well as rebounding international trade.

Asia-Pacific economies are highly interdependent and interactive. The 2008 US subprime crisis broke the industrial chain of the whole region, throwing almost every country into recession. Its influence was so powerful that the Chinese economy, though very resilient, shifted from a sustained period of high-speed growth to a more moderate medium-to-high rate.

In the aftermath of the crisis, the economy of East Asia entered a period of structural readjustment, characterized by improving the development environment, boosting internal driving force, promoting innovative industries and changing the export structure.

The adjustment now has considerable momentum, evidenced by deepening structural reform, accelerating investment in infrastructure and the rapid development of emerging sectors led by information technology. All these are building up energy to power sustainable development in the future.

The economies in Asia-Pacific are closely interconnected. Maintaining and promoting market openness is essential to future development and prosperity.

To this end, APEC members agreed to the Bogor Goals, a set of initiatives for realizing free and open trade in the Asia-Pacific, but the inaction of developed members created difficulties in achieving them.

President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy, opposition to regional openness and cooperation as well as emphasis on “Indo-Pacific” over “Asia-Pacific” also cast a shadow.

However, there is a bright side–APEC leaders reached consensus on enhancing openness and cooperation in the region, advancing the achievement of the Bogor Goals, promoting interconnectivity as well as advocating multi-lateral trade regime during their meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam, on Nov. 6, 2017.

A joint leaders’ statement on the Negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership stressed the importance of progressive openness, special and differential treatment for underdeveloped members as well as enhancing cooperation and development.

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