ANGKOK-The different experiences of East Asian "miracle" economies can teach
poorer neighbors how to develop and maintain rapid economic growth, United
Nations and World Bank officials said.
The UN Economic and Social
Commission on East Asia and the Pacific (Escap) and the World Bank presented
studies of Asia's model economies to poorer South and Southeast Asian nations at
a two-day conference in Bangkok starting on May 19.
"Look behind the talk
of an East Asian miracle and see the many contrasts and country differences
which are at least as important as the overall picture," the World Bank's
Callisto Madavo said at the opening ceremony.
Successful economies being
held up as examples were Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore
Countries at the conference are Bangladesh, India, Iran,
Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China, Mongolia, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Philippines
"The rich diversity of experience in the region...provides
fertile ground for drawing policy lessons and to benefit from each others'
experience," Escap Secretary-General Rafeeuddin Ahmed said at the ceremony.
countries into complacency, he said, adding that per capita income
in East Asia remains at $600 and that many people lifted from absolute poverty
are now just above the poverty line.
"Their future, and the prospects of
generations to come, depends on continuing bold reforms to build on the
achievements so far," Madavo said.
If developing nations sacrifice their
environments for economic gain, their growth will be slowed or stopped later
when they have to pay to clean up their mistakes, Madavo said.
fight against poverty, the fight against environmental destruction is something
best done as a society develops," he said.-Reuters