Foreign Minister, Dr AK Abdul Momen has said, Asia-Pacific enjoyed the most vibrant economic growth during the past one and a half decades. “The region is home to 65 percent of the world’s population, and is generating 62 percent of the global GDP at present,” he said.
“As per the ADB, the share of Asia-Pacific region in global gross domestic product (GDP) continues to increase, growing from 30.1 percent in 2000 to 42.6 percent in 2017,” he said, while adding, “It further states that the ‘Asian Century’ will actually design the next global century.”
The Foreign Minister came up these statements while speaking at Plenary Session-1, the 33rd CACCI Conference titled ‘Asia Pacific in a changing Global Order the next decade’ jointly organized by the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon hotel in the city on Tuesday.
Dr AK Abdul Momen said Asia accounts for 30 percent of all global superstar firms which are those firms which are more innovative, productive, and profitable than others, up from 15 percent in the 1990s. Most of these companies are from China, India, Japan, Australia, Korea and the ASEAN region, he added.
The economic rise of Asia, based on export-led development and directed investment has been a net positive regional stability, he said. Role of Asia-Pacific as a fertile ground for technological development has been attributed to a powerful cocktail of relatively youthful population, freedom from clunky legacy systems, and a drive for financial liberalization, he informed.
This region is showing proper alignment with the next technological revolution, he added. Momen said, “The need for infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific region is massive, totaling as much as $50 trillion by 2040. Regarding innovation, if we count the number of patents, Asia-Pacific region will outnumber any other region by a large margin.”
“When we are talking about the next decade in Asia-Pacific, I may inform you that by 2030 the region will contain 66 percent of the world’s middle class and 59 percent of middle class consumption, he said. “Data showed that around 780 million people from the region have moved out of extreme poverty from 2002 to 2013, he said adding that, “Intra-regional trade is an important indicator of economic integration. Indo-Pacific region has witnessed an average 60 per cent intra-regional merchandise trade during 2007- 2017.”
With 65 percent intra-regional trade share in 2017, Indo-Pacific region comes next to APEC in the world, he said. “In 2017, almost 65 per cent of the region’s exports have taken place within the region. Out of US$ 7.91 trillion global export in 2017, intraregional export of Indo-Pacific region was US$ 4.976 trillion or almost 63 percent, he added.
Momen informed, “China’s BRI and the much-discussed ‘Indo-Pacific Alliance’ will further strengthen the Asia-Pacific region in the coming decades when these two mega-regional arrangements will be operational.” He said, Bangladesh always welcomes any idea of collective progress and prosperity and we want to be a party to all such arrangements which are economic in nature, help economic development, and do not infringe upon any sovereign rights of any country.
There is a major shift taking place in the world economy and Asia Pacific is both the place and the reason, he said. However, to gain from this development, we have to prepare ourselves with skills, quality education, infrastructure, good governance and above all, goodwill, he added.
“I hope that FBCCI will always be an important element in our quest for development vis-a-vis Asia Pacific, not only in the coming decade, but in the coming century as well, he mentioned.