Asia and the Pacific accounted for 42.6% of global GDP at purchasing power parity in 2017, up from 30.1% in 2000. While around 780 million people from the region moved out of extreme poverty from 2002 to 2013. These are just some of the staggering numbers outlined in a new report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The report, Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2018, provides the latest available economic, financial, social, and environmental statistics for the 48 regional members of ADB. These statistics reveal a region whose share of global GDP continues to increase, growing from 30.1% in 2000 to 42.6% in 2017 (at 2011 purchasing power parity), and whose labor force is steadily shifting away from agriculture towards employment in industry and services. At the same time, the region’s economies continue to strengthen their participation in trade and global value chains making the area’s number better all the time.
“Statistics clearly show that Asia and the Pacific continues to make solid progress in reducing poverty, improving its social and physical infrastructure, and increasing its participation in global production networks,” said ADB Chief Economist Mr. Yasuyuki Sawada. “However, the region’s development agenda is still unfinished and better data is crucial for helping policymakers identify priority areas and implement successful interventions. Key Indicators 2018 can help decision-makers by bringing together a wide variety of statistics and highlighting data gaps that need to be bridged.”
A special supplement to this year’s report features new research demonstrating the role of remote sensing in improving the quality, timeliness, and granularity of paddy rice area, yield, and production statistics. The report builds on methodological work undertaken in collaboration with the national statistical offices and agriculture ministries of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The study finds that use of satellite imagery and remote sensing technology, compared to traditional methods, can significantly improve data accuracy. The supplement emphasizes the need to make investments in better data collection and management practices, including through technological innovations.
ADB’s mission is to achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.
These numbers are impressive and hopefully Asia’s incredible growth trajectory will continue to move hundreds of millions out of poverty in the years ahead.