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East Asia and Pacific Growth Remains Resilient

Despite a less favorable external environment, the growth outlook for developing East Asia and Pacific (EAP) remains positive

Boris Sullivan

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Credits : ADB

Despite a less favorable external environment, the growth outlook for developing East Asia and Pacific (EAP) remains positive, according to the latest World Bank economic report on the region.

Growth in developing EAP is expected to be 6.3 percent in 2018, lower than in 2017 due to the continued moderation in China’s growth as its economy continues to rebalance.

Navigating Uncertainty, the October 2018 edition of the World Bank East Asia and Pacific Economic Update, underscores however that in recent months a combination of trade tensions, higher US interest rates, a stronger US dollar, and financial market volatility in many emerging economies has increased the uncertainty around the region’s growth outlook.

At the same time, inflation has begun to rise across the region, particularly in Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

“Robust growth has been and will continue to be the key to reducing poverty and vulnerability in the region,” 

said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific. 

“Protectionism and turbulence in financial markets can hurt the prospects for medium-term growth, with the most adverse consequences for the poorest and most vulnerable. This is a time for policy makers across the region to remain vigilant and proactively enhance their countries’ preparedness and resilience.”   

China is expected to slow moderately to 6.5 percent in 2018, after growing faster than anticipated in 2017. Growth in developing EAP, excluding China, is expected to remain stable at 5.3 percent from 2018 to 2020, driven primarily by domestic demand. In Thailand and Vietnam, growth is expected to be robust in 2018 before slowing in 2019 and 2020 as stronger domestic demand only partially offsets the moderation in net export growth.

“The regional and global integration of most economies in the region intensifies their vulnerability to external shocks. The main risks to continued robust growth include an escalation in protectionism, heightened financial market turbulence, and their interaction with domestic fiscal and financial vulnerabilities,”

said Sudhir Shetty, World Bank Chief Economist for the East Asia and Pacific region. “In this context of rising risks, developing EAP economies need to utilize the full range of available macroeconomic, prudential, and structural policies to smooth external shocks and raise potential growth rates,” he added.

East Asia and Pacific Growth Remains Resilient Despite Heightened Global Uncertainty, World Bank Says

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50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.

The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.

Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.

The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.

The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.

The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.

Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.

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