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This 75th-anniversary issue of the Survey argues that Asia-Pacific economies must prioritize inclusive growth – whereby citizens of all socio-economic groups are able to improve their livelihoods, incomes, health, and education levels. Given the constrained fiscal space and other challenges posed by the pandemic, it is difficult but very much possible.

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Can you imagine our region 30 years ahead from now?  We can! Universal healthcare available even in remote rural areas, social protection for all, quality education, and equal opportunities that create fair and sustainable societies across Asia and the Pacific. Watch this video to learn what needs to be done to make this dream come true. Looking ahead from 2022, we say: Building Forward Fairer is possible and it starts today!

 
Survey 2022: Chapter 1   Survey 2022: Chapter 2

 
Economic growth in Asia and the Pacific has been the fastest in the world in the last decade. The region’s economic success, however, has not been enjoyed by all. The failure of countries and areas to grow together at all income and social levels, as well as along urban-rural and gender lines, has led to scarring effects, which brings the issue of inequality and fairness to the fore.

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Economic activities in the developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region rebounded in 2021, thanks to robust external demand. The near-term outlook, however, is riddled with uncertainty and risks, including the possible emergence of new coronavirus variants and its associated disruptions, macroeconomic stability concerns, and potential risks from the ongoing geopolitical conflict.

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Survey 2022: Chapter 3

 

  Survey 2022: Chapter 4

 

 
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed countries in the region into a fiscal bind. The need to spend remains elevated, while the means to spend are reduced. Governments will need to ‘spend smart’ prioritizing health care, education, and social protection.
At the same time, fiscal revenues must be increased ensuring all pay their fair share.

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Tackling inequality should not be the job of governments alone. Central banks should play a role amid shrinking fiscal space and rising inequality. Beyond ensuring inflation stability, they can play a role by considering the distributional impacts of monetary policy, managing reserves with social gains in mind, and exploring central bank digital currency for financial inclusion.

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Survey 2022: Chapter 5

 

  Survey 2022: Chapter 6

 

 
“Building forward fairer” can benefit from policies that directly address the root cause of inequality by ensuring that the market would generate more equal outcomes in the first place, even before taxes and transfers. For developing countries, this requires creating a more equal distribution of economic power and, more importantly, economic opportunities that grow rapidly enough to leave no one behind.

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Two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have underlined the urgency of reducing the persisting and deep-rooted socioeconomic divides across Asia and the Pacific. Although high and sustained economic growth led to impressive reductions in poverty over the past three decades, insufficient attention to enhancing economic resilience has increased the risk of long-term scarring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as a result of high inequalities. 

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How is our Survey different from other economic reports? How was the topic of inclusion selected? 

Listen to Sweta Saxena, MPAS Chief at MPFD who has led the report, sharing her thoughts on the 75th-anniversary edition of Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2022.

Repeat after Sweta: “Yes, we will build a fairer future for all.”

Inclusiveness is essential to make Asia-Pacific economies resilient to shocks

We, not me: building a fairer future

Expert Group Meeting on Building Forward Fairer - Economic Policies for an Inclusive Recovery and Development, 1-3 December 2021

East and North-East Asia Policy Dialogue on the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2022, 17 May 2022

South Asia Policy Dialogue on the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2022, 31 May 2022

North and Central Asia Policy Dialogue on the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2022, 9 June 2022

Presentation of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2022 to UNRCO, 17 June 2022

Policy Dialogue on the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2022 with South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE), 1 July 2022

South-East Asia Policy Dialogue: Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2022, 6 July 2022

Public discussion in collaboration with INDEF on Exaggerating Inequality Issues in Indonesia and Asia-Pacific post COVID-19, 13 July 2022

Policy Dialogue on the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2022 with Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), 14 July 2022

Policy Dialogue with SEACEN on Central banking for inclusive and green development in Asia and the Pacific, 22 July 2022

Cambodia Policy Dialogue on the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2022, 28 July 2022

Policy Dialogue on the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2022 with Pakistan's Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives (MoPD and SI) and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), 25 August 2022