Asian Development Outlook 2003: Competitiveness in Developing Asia
This 15th edition of the Asian Development Outlook provides a comprehensive analysis of 41 economies in Asia and the Pacific based on the Asian Development Bank's in-depth knowledge of the region. It also includes a broad diagnosis of macroeconomic conditions and growth prospects for the region in 2003-2004. Growth in developing Asia and the Pacific generally improved in 2002. Expansionary fiscal and accommodative monetary policies contributed to strengthening aggregate demand in many countries while firmer external markets provided a boost to industrial production. Growth, however, remained below long- term potential in most countries and it was insufficient to substantially raise income and reduce poverty. The outlook for 2003 is highly vulnerable to the risks of a further weakening in the prospects for industrial countries, volatility in oil prices, and disruptions in tourism and other international markets relating to the conflict in Iraq and the recent outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome. This issue of the Outlook also includes a chapter on what competitiveness-- one of today's buzzwords--is and is not. Misconceptions of the nature and role of competitiveness in national economic development can be counterproductive. An understanding that it is firms that compete in an increasingly global market, both at home and abroad, and that the national policy environment can either constrain or improve their efforts, is critical.