As West falters, Asia Pacific region emerging as new global economic engine

UNITED NATIONS — Despite the persistent economic headwinds which are expected to slow economic expansion this year, “growth in the Asia and the Pacific area remains better than in any other region; continuing as an anchor of stability and a new growth pole for the world economy.”

That’s the guardedly optimistic prognosis from the 2012 Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific survey.

Produced by the UN’s Bangkok-based Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the annual survey concedes that the region continues to face a challenging external environment which will slow regional growth this year to 6.5 percent from last year’s average of 7 percent.

More than any one event, the devastating tsunami and aftermath created severe shocks to the already ailing Japanese economy through a dislocation of industrial production, the supply chain, and the enduring psychological trauma following the disaster. Equally but largely overlooked has been the serious floods in Thailand which have created havoc in large urban areas such as Bangkok the capital in both manufacturing as well as tourism sectors.

Yet the Survey states that despite the slowdown “the region will remain the world’s fastest growing with China forecast to grow at a robust 8.6 percent, decelerating from the 9.2 percent rate of 2011.” It adds, Growth in India is projected at 7.5 percent in 2012, up from 6.9 percent in the past year.

Full article: As West falters, Asia Pacific region emerging as new global economic engine (World Tribune)