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Economic growth of developing Asia to reach 3.9% in 2009: ADB
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10:21, September 22, 2009

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The overall economic expansion of developing Asia this year is expected to rise to 3.9 percent, sustained by the region's larger economies like China and India, the Asian Development Bank said in a report released Tuesday.

The update to ADB's flagship annual economic publication Asian Development Outlook, upgraded its forecast of the region's growth from a slightly lower 3.4 percent projection made in March and said it is likely to top 6.4 percent in 2010.

The Philippines-headquartered development bank said Asia's resilience is more remarkable as a deeper contraction of 3.7 percent is expected in the G3 economies -- the United States, the Euro zone and Japan -- this year.

"Despite worsening conditions in the global economic environment, developing Asia is poised to lead the recovery from the worldwide slowdown," said ADB Chief Economist Jong-Wha Lee.

Economic growth in East Asia is upgraded to 4.4 percent as China is seen to grow by 8.2 percent, beating the previous forecast of 7 percent, while in South Asia, economic growth is raised to 5.6 percent from the previous 4.8 percent as the Indian economy is poised to expand by 6 percent.

But elsewhere in the developing Asia, growth prospects remain bleak, the ADB report said. Aggregate growth in the export-depending Southeast Asia is projected to slow to 0.1 percent this year, and the Central Asia would merely grow at 0.5 percent, much lower than the 3.9 percent forecast in March. The economy of the Pacific islands will also grow at a slower 2.8 percent.

"There are notable divergences in the outlook across economies," the report said, but citing firm action by many governments and central banks, the relatively healthy state of financial systems prior to the global crisis, and the rapid turnaround in the region's larger, less export-dependent economies as the positive factors.

To develop more resilient economies, developing Asia should broaden the scope and structure of its openness, the report said. Reducing its vulnerability to external shocks requires policy makers to tackle the geographically unbalanced structure of its trade, capital flows, and movement of workers.

By promoting closer economic linkages within the region and a more balanced internal economic structure with a bigger role for domestic demand, policy makers in developing Asia will be able to achieve rapid yet stable growth for the region, it added.


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