Low-Income Countries in Asia and the Role of the IMF Wanda Tseng Deputy Director IMF Asia and Pacific Department September 14, 2006 Outline Recent performance of low-income PRGF countries in Asia Key policy challenges Role of the Fund 2 Low Income Countries in Asia Low income countries in Asia at a Glance 1/ Poverty $1 a day (percent Per capita GDP Population of Life expectancy (in U.S. dollar) (in millions) population) at birth (years) Low income Asia 3/
East Asia South Asia Pacific Islands ASEAN 4 and NIEs Sub-Saharan Africa 4/ Adult literacy, age Under five 15-24 mortality (percent of (per 1,000) population) UN Human Development Index 2/ 532 480 567 833 366 162 196
62.8 0.46 Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook; World Bank, World Development Indicator. 1/ Regional averages are weighted by GDP valued at purchasing power parties. In case data for all sample economies are not available, averages are calculated using available sample economies. 2/ A composite index measuring achievements in three aspects of human development, longevity, knowledge, and a decent standard of living. The index ranges 0-100, with the higher value indicating better achievements. 3/ East Asia includes Cambodia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam; South Asia includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka; and Pacific Islands include Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu. 4/ Excludes South Africa. 3 Growth performance has been generally encouraging..... Per Capita Real GDP Growth (2000-05 average; percent) 5 4 3
2 1 0 Total low income Asia Of which: East Asia Of which: South Asia Developing countries excluding China and India Source: IMF World Economic Outlook; and World Bank Global Monitoring Report 2006. 4 And the region as a whole have already met the MDG poverty goal. Poverty Headcount By Region 1/ Source: World Bank, Global Monitoring Report 2006. 1/ MDG goal on extreme poverty eradication: halve between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day. East Asia
and Pacific includes China, and South Asia includes India. 5 There are also encouraging signs of progress on human development indicators. Under five mortality rate (per 1,000 births) 1990 1995 2000 2004 44 145 133 87 131 30 102 100
-5.8 -5.3 -5.1 -5.1 -4.7 Source: World Development Indicators 6 Some Caveats, however, ............ Gains in poverty reduction have not been always even Global environment could become less benign Suspension of the Doha Round trade talks is a set back Avian Flu pandemic
7 ... and a large development gap remains. Development gap Low income Asia 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Per capita GDP 1/ ASEAN4 and NIEs Poverty $1 a
Under five Adult literacy UN Human day (percent mortality (per (percent of Development of population) 1,000) population) Index Sources: IMF World Economic Outlook; World Bank, World Development Indicators; and UN Human Development Index. 1/ Ratio to ASEAN4 and NIES (=100). 8 Key Policy Challenges Maintaining sound macroeconomic policies Developing human capital
Further growth and poverty reduction Building strong institutions 9 Case study I: Vietnam What was the issue? Support for the Doi-Moi reform program How did we help? Intensive support under IMF financial programs (19942004). Technical Assistance General policy advice 10 Case study II: Cambodia What was the issue? Strengthening public finances
How did we help? Technical Cooperation Action Program, designed jointly with the authorities and donors. 11 Case study III: Bangladesh What was the issue? Expiration of quotas under WTOs Multifiber Agreement How did we help? IMF lent Bangladesh $78 million under the Trade Integration Mechanism in April 2004. 12 Thank you 13
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