Apec regional growth seen to slow to 3.2%
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) is expected to grow by 3.2 percent this year, its slowest rate since the global financial crisis of 2008, thus highlighting the need to look at alternative and inclusive “growth strategies,” the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council said yesterday.
“Apec’s agenda has moved on from a focus on trade liberalization to addressing a broader set of issues since the Philippines last hosted the meetings in 1996. While continuing with the implementation of the vision Apec set out when it started, there needs to be a much greater focus on ensuring that future growth is more inclusive,” said PECC secretary general Eduardo Pedrosa.
The PECC thus urged Apec leaders to steer discussions toward ensuring that the region’s growth would be more inclusive to benefit more communities, even down to the grassroots level.
Based on the results of the annual survey conducted by PECC, the top areas identified for promoting inclusive growth were the provision of public education; reducing corruption; providing support to the micro, small and medium sized enterprises; quality of health services, and social safety nets including healthcare, unemployment, and pension reforms.
“Over the course of Apec’s history, almost 300 million people have been lifted out of poverty but there are still many more that are currently excluded from the growth story. In such a big grouping, the priorities for reform will always diverge depending on the circumstances of each individual economy,” Pedrosa added.
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