Tanjong Pagar Terminal in Singapore (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Growth in developing East Asia Pacific (EAP) countries is expected to slow slightly to 6.3 percent in 2018, compared to last year, due to the moderation in China’s economic expansion, according to the World Bank (WB)’s EAP Economic Update released on October 4.
Victoria Kwakwa, WB Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific, said: “Robust growth has been and will continue to be the key to reducing poverty and vulnerability in the region”.
However, she noted, 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 policymakers across the region to remain vigilant and proactively enhance their countries’ preparedness and resilience.
Meanwhile, Sudhir Shetty, WB Chief Economist for the East Asia and Pacific region, noted the regional and global integration of most economies in the region intensifies their vulnerability to external shocks.
“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.
According to the Update, a combination of trade tensions, higher US interest rates, a stronger US dollar, and financial market volatility in many emerging economies have increased the uncertainty around the region’s growth outlook.
In this report, the WB also predicts Vietnam’s GDP growth this year at 6.8 percent, compared to the 6.5-percent projection in April./.