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Inequalities rising in Asia-Pacific: ESCAP

Published: 20th November 2013 12:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th November 2013 12:34 PM   |  A+A-

By IANS

The Asia-Pacific region continues to outperform the rest of the world in economic progress, but the strong trade and investment growth has been accompanied by rising inequalities, says the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

According to the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2013, "Turning the Tide: Towards Inclusive Trade and Investment,", Asia and the Pacific registered the highest growth rates for exports and imports in the world, at 5.2 per cent and 5.9 per cent, respectively.

While continued growth of trade and investment remain top priorities in the region, the quality and patterns of growth must be enhanced to produce more inclusive societies, the report noted.

Additionally, the report found that unacceptably high trade costs undermine benefits for least developed and landlocked developing countries. In most cases, as shown in the ESCAP-World Bank Trade Cost database, it still costs more for Asian subregions to trade with each other than to trade with developed economies outside the region.

The report's release is part of the events being held here for the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Week, which would be attended by more than 100 government officials from over 30 countries in the region.

In addition, ESCAP and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Monday held a conference on regional cooperation in advancing responsible business practices.

Key conference findings suggest that Asia-Pacific governments should take a stronger lead in guiding and promoting responsible business practices and that this can be done by promoting a business climate that rewards good behaviour.



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