Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

ADB head: Asia must tackle poverty, climate change

ADB head: Asia must tackle poverty, climate change

Asia must do more to cut poverty and take the lead in fighting global warming, the Asian Development Bank president said Monday, as the region emerges from the economic crisis with more clout on the world stage.
The global turmoil suggests the era of rich Western countries having unlimited appetite for Asia's exports "has passed," Haruhiko Kuroda told the bank's annual meeting in Bali, Indonesia. That puts the onus on the region's governments to boost their own domestic economies, he said.
Faced with the worst global slump since World War II, many of Asia's economies are contracting as demand for their exports _ long the engine of the region's growth _ evaporates in big Western markets.
Indonesia's Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the severity of the downturn is "rivaling the Great Depression" of the 1930s.
The crisis is an opportunity for Asian nations to restructure their economies to become less export-dependent _ "to become not only a major source of goods and services but also a major destination," Kuroda said.
The comments come a day after Japan, China, South Korea and the 10-member ASEAN, or Association of Southeast Asian Nations, agreed on the sidelines of the meeting to set up an emergency currency pool of $120 billion. Governments would be able to borrow from the fund, expected to be operational by year-end, to cope with short-term credit crunches.
As Asia takes a bigger role on the world stage, it must also take responsibility for tackling other problems like global warming, Kuroda said.
The ADB says that by 2030 Asia may account for more than 40 percent of carbon emissions, which many scientists believe are the cause of the rise in the planet's average temperature over the past century.
"Unless proactive steps are taken to make growth environmentally sustainable, the region will quickly become the main driver of climate change," Kuroda said.
The May 2-5 meeting is being held at an international convention center nestled amid plush resorts that provides a stark contrast to one of its main talking points: tackling Asia's endemic poverty. Some hotels hosting the conference delegates have nightly rates that are more than a poor family in Asia earns in a year. More than 900 million in Asia live on less than $1.25 a day.
On Sunday night, complementary wine and beer flowed freely and delicate canap


Updated : 2021-05-07 05:52 GMT+08:00