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Southeast Asia to keep growth momentum through 2016 - OECD

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Growth for six Southeast Asian economies will slow down but overall will keep a solid growth momentum through 2016 although global uncertainties and natural disasters shed a negative light on the growth prospects of the region, the Paris-based OECD said in its Southeast Asian Economic Outlook (SAEO) released Tuesday.

In the six Southeast Asian economies, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam, the OECD figure shows that the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth will be 5.0 percent in 2011, and is projected to be 5.6 percent during 2012-2016, 2 percent lower than in 2010.

The new release came at a time after the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development which groups 34 advanced economies forecast a looming recession in the area in its Monday's publication of the OECD Economic Outlook.

As the OECD economies remain sluggish, Director of the OECD Development Center Mario Pezzini said "Every cloud has a silver lining. The global uncertainty is an opportunity to re-invent growth," noting that a new type of economic growth is needed in Southeast Asia.

The OECD in its report commended that Asia is becoming more balanced, inclusive and sustainable."Previously heavily dependent on external demand, domestic drivers will play a more important role in Southeast Asian economies going forward," said the report, citing the large-scale investments in infrastructure and private consumption driven by the growing middle class and reforms in social policies as two increasing engines of growth in the region.

According to the OECD, implementing structural policies necessary for enhancing productivity is critical to the success of Southeast Asian countries. Many Southeast Asian countries already recognize the need to shift their development strategies, focusing on human capital development, healthcare, infrastructure development, SME development, taxation, labor market reform and agriculture.

The OECD suggested a Green Growth as a viable development model for ASEAN countries in the long term.

"Although ASEAN's CO2 emissions remain modest relative to OECD countries, emissions from ASEAN countries are growing faster by 5.5 percent a year between 1990 and 2010 compared to 0.7 percent in the OECD," said the OECE in a news release, projecting that as a fast-growing economic bloc with a projected population of 700 million by 2030, ASEAN countries will make a much larger contribution to global CO2 emissions.

By PNA/Xinhua




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