Free trade, integration seen key to region’s growth | Inquirer Business

Free trade, integration seen key to region’s growth

THE ASIA-PACIFIC region will continue to outpace the rest of the world in terms of growth as countries embrace free trade and closer integration.

Cementing progress in the long term, however, will require governments to take more drastic steps to encourage globalization. In particular, members of the recently approved Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) led by the United States should welcome more economies to the multilateral pact.

“Asia is the only region where there are more positive outlooks than negative outlooks. Asia is moving to a position of real strength,” Moody’s Corp. CEO Raymond McDaniel Jr. said Tuesday.


Latest forecasts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) showed global growth was expected to reach 3.1 percent in 2015. The Asia-Pacific region would outperform the rest of the world with a projected expansion of 5.4 percent, the multilateral lender said.


Officials speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) CEO Summit Tuesday said fears of a regional slowdown were unfounded.

Mark Tucker, head of insurance giant AIA Group Ltd., said Southeast Asia, in particular, was a global standout. As a whole, the 10-member bloc benefits from low global fuel prices. Terrorism and extremism in the region also remains low, in contrast to heightened security concerns in the European Union.

“There are also few concerns on China’s hard landing. Asia has managed the external shocks of 1997 and 2008 exceptionally well,” Tucker said.

Looking ahead, Apec CEOs urged the region to let go of its remaining protectionist policies.

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TAGS: apec 2015, Business, economy, News

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