Fast facts: How can Asia respond to global economic crisis

Posted at 05/03/2012 1:16 PM | Updated as of 05/03/2012 1:19 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Here are some facts about Asia and the possible effects of another global financial crisis on the region's economy.

  • 60 years ago, Asia was the world’s poorest region but it now accounts for a third of world GDP and is likely to exceed 50% by 2050.
  • The world’s fastest growing region is still home to nearly half of the world’s absolute poor.
  • The eurozone troubles have had little impact in Asia so far but could still spark a full blown economic crisis.
  • If GDP in the eurozone and US slumped to 2009 levels in 2012 it would hurt East Asia but not as badly as in 2008/09.
  • If the eurozone falls into recession in 2012, countries in East Asia could lose from 0.4 to 2.0 percentage points from forecast GDP growth. The East Asia region could lose 0.7 percentage point.
  • If the eurozone and US fall into recession in 2012, it could cut growth in countries of East Asia by 0.5 to 2.5 percentage points below forecast. The region would lose 0.9 percentage points of growth.
  • Any trade impact from a full blown crisis would still be less today than in 2008/09 as Asia’s export markets have diversified. Countries could lose between 0.6 and 3.7 percentage points with the region losing 1.2 percentage point.
  • Asia’s exports to the eurozone and US fell from over 33% of total exports in 1999 to 24.5% in 2010.
  • In the past two decades in Asia, the Gini-coefficient - the most common measure of inequality – has risen sharply from 38 to 47.
  • In the past 2 decades nearly 20% of developing Asia’s total income went to the top 5% in most countries.
  • In the past 2 decades if inequality had stayed stable instead of rising around 240 million more people in Asia could have escaped poverty.

Source: Asian Development Bank