Asia set for strong growth after China’s opening, ADB says

Manila-based development bank estimates region will grow by 4.8 percent in 2023 and 2024, up from 4.2 percent last year.

China's reopening is expected to boost Asia's economy growth [File: Aly Song/Reuters]

Asia will see strong economic growth this year following China’s scrapping of strict pandemic curbs, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said.

Economies in Asia and the Pacific are expected to grow by 4.8 percent in 2023 and 2024, up from 4.2 percent last year, amid rising consumption, tourism and investment, the ADB said in its latest growth outlook released on Tuesday.

The Manila-based development bank pointed to China’s reopening following the end of its strict “zero COVID” strategy as “the main factor” behind the brighter outlook.

Still, the ADB said the global outlook faces several risks that must be “carefully monitored and proactively addressed”, including a prolongation or escalation of Russia’s war in Ukraine, rising interest rates and high levels of debt.

China’s economy is on track to grow by 5 percent this year and 4.5 percent in 2024, the ABD said. The bank also highlighted a strong outlook for India, with growth estimated to hit 6.4 percent this year and 6.7 percent next year.

Inflation is expected to slow to 4.2 percent in 2023 and 3.3 percent in 2024, after hitting 4.4 percent last year.

“Prospects for economies in Asia and the Pacific are brighter and they’re poised for a strong recovery as we return to normalisation following the pandemic,” ADB Chief Economist Albert Park said.

“People are starting to travel again for leisure and work, and economic activities are gathering pace. Because many challenges remain, governments in the region need to stay focused on policies that support stronger cooperation and integration to promote trade, investment, productivity and resilience.”

Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam are also expected to post solid growth, driven by tourism and robust domestic demand, with the region’s economy predicted to expand by 4.7 percent this year and 5 percent in 2024.

The Caucasus and Central Asia are expected to post growth of 4.4 percent this year and 4.6 percent in 2024, while Pacific island economies are predicted to grow by 3.3 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

Source: Al Jazeera