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East Asian economies need to do more to meet future challenges

06-14-2011 14:40 BJT

JAKARTA, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Nobody would argue that East Asia economy has been shining so bright for the last few years, but the region still needs to do more, not only to maintain the achievement but also to face challenges in the future.

While developed countries, such as the United States, Japan and those in Europe, have been showing weak performance, emerging and developing countries in East Asia and Latin America have been posting a healthy growth.

Still, challenges remain. Higher food and energy prices as well as climate change that impacts food security are the most urgent issues that the world, particularly East Asia, needs to address.

In developing countries, there are 925 million people threatened by starvation and 600 million of the them are in Asia Pacific.

It means that East Asia must stay alerted to face the challenge because higher food and energy prices mean an increasing number of people are living in poverty.

During the World Economic Forum on East Asia held in Jakarta on June 12-13, officials highlighted challenges that East Asia must address.

Raja M Nag, managing director general of Asian Development Bank, said that Asia has made the most remarkable progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) but there is an urgent need to achieve all the anti-poverty targets by the 2015 deadline.

"We have four and a half years to go and we have a long way to go," Raja M Nag, managing director general of Asian Development Bank, told a plenary session.

Jeffry D Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University of the United States and special advisor to the UN Secretary General of the MDGs, blamed the crisis facing the traditional Official Development Assistance, with some OECD countries not living up to their commitments.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that there were several ways to make Asia the continent of the future.

He said, Asia must be part of the solution to address the global imbalances and that the world's economy cannot afford to rely on strong growth in emerging economies alone.


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