Connections E-Newsletter Issue 18, May - June 2015  

Activities
 
ENEA Office Launches ESCAP’s Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015 in ROK 
15 May 2015, Songdo, Republic of Korea
 
ENEA Office Director Mr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna presents the findings of Survey 2015 at the country launch, aired on 21 May by Arirang TV.
ENEA Office Director Mr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna presents the findings of Survey 2015 at the country launch, aired on 21 May by Arirang TV. 

 
The East and North-East Asia (ENEA) Office launched the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015 on 15 May. Graduate students from Korea’s Yonsei University studying international development and public administration as well as representatives from other UN Offices in ROK attended the launch. The launch was covered widely by Dong-A Daily and Arirang TV among others.
 
The launch event included a screening of the video message of ESCAP Executive Secretary, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, on the key findings of the Survey 2015. ENEA Program Officer, Ms. Yejin Ha, gave a presentation on the major themes and policy recommendations of the Survey. Ms. Ha explained that many countries in the Asia-Pacific suffer from significant disparities across gender, urban and rural sectors, and income levels, despite the remarkable success in reducing poverty in the region over the past two decades. Therefore, the key message of the Survey 2015 is that the Asia-Pacific countries should strive to achieve inclusive growth, which encompasses the economic, social and environmental aspects of development. In particular, the Survey calls on the member states to go beyond just focusing on ‘inequality of income’ but instead promote ‘equality of opportunities’.
 
To reverse the trend of widening socioeconomic disparities, the Survey recommends that public expenditures be more development-oriented, particularly to enhance access to quality education and healthcare, and that countries strengthen their social safety nets. In line with its emphasis on inclusive growth, ESCAP stresses that equitable access to finance, water and energy is vital. Moreover, it urges the countries to prioritize fostering employment through paying greater attention to small- and medium-sized enterprises and agriculture and rural development.
 
For coverage on this significant publication, a team from Arirang TV visited the ENEA Office to film some parts of the event and to interview Mr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna for a segment in Arirang’s business news program “Money Matters” on the topic of the Survey 2015.

The interview on the findings of the Survey 2015 and their implications aired on 21 May. Arirang TV is the only 24-hour English broadcast network in the ROK that has over 112 million viewers worldwide. “Money Matters” is a weekly program that looks at the dynamic economic changes within North-East Asia. (Watch the video here.)

The host of Arirang TV’s business news program “Money Matters”, Hans Schattle, interviews ENEA Office Director, Mr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna, on the findings of Survey 2015.
The host of Arirang TV’s business news program “Money Matters”, Hans Schattle, interviews ENEA Office Director, Mr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna, on the findings of Survey 2015.
 

 

Survey Findings on North-East Asian Economy

 
The country launch of ESCAP's flagship publication, the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015, was organized in Songdo on 15 May 2015.
 
The 2015 report identified the slowdown in China's economic growth as an immediate challenge for the East and North-East Asia subregion. China has long since been the largest trading partner to all of the subregional economies and the impact of China's rebalancing has thus been channeled to the neighboring countries in the subregion through reductions in trade. In order to address this challenge, the subregion needs to accelerate efforts to lower trade barriers and increase connectivity to spur enhanced trade flows and at the same time boost domestic demand by vitalizing the services sector and domestic consumption.
 
In turn, boosting domestic consumption requires growth in the size of the middle income group and their income. At present, many of the economies in the subregion are experiencing increasing income inequality (i.e. shrinking of the middle income group). Adding to this is the issue of a rapidly ageing population and retardation of overall population growth in the subregion, which is likely to impact consumption patterns across the economy.
 
The Report's main message on reversing the trend of widening socioeconomic disparities and making growth more 'inclusive' is therefore very pertinent to the subregional economies. Augmenting and enhancing inclusiveness will only be achieved if accompanied by a multidimensional strategy that recognizes the need for simultaneous advances in the economic, social and environmental aspects of development.

 
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