ACCORDING to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asias 41 economies will still be the worlds economic bright spot this year with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) aggregate growth rate of 5.3 percent.
The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic is likely to shave 0.1 to 0.2 percentage points off economic growth in developing Asia but the region will remain a strong global engine. The region's momentum is expected to carry into 2004, when a stronger world economy is predicted, with the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) report projecting higher aggregate GDP growth of 5.9 percent for developing Asia.
The main driving forces behind the robust outlook for Asia and the Pacific are expected strong domestic demand, improving export performance, a supportive policy environment, and prudent fiscal and monetary policies.
Asia's economic outlook remains highly vulnerable to risks such as further weakness in industrial countries and the impact of SARS on tourism and business travel. But the region is well positioned to face any emerging global challenges. …