Interview with Asian Development Bank Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada

Interview with Asian Development Bank Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada


With the A-I-I-B meeting underway, it’s worth
noting that Asian countries are outpacing the rest of the world in terms of economic
growth,… accounting for 40 percent of global GDP. To hear from an expert on how to keep business
booming in the region,… our Oh Soo-young sat down with the Chief Economist of the Asian
Development Bank. Asian economies face a range of uncertainties
that could affect their global trade — the rise of U.S. interest rates, an economic slowdown
in China and the spread of protectionism. But according to the Asian Development Bank’s
Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada, through deeper regional integration,… crisis can be turned
into opportunity. “In terms of TPP withdrawal by Trump administration
and possible policy change in U.S. and Eurozone, it can be a positive and negative impact on
Asian economy because this new policy change may accelerate other trade arrangements, such
as the RCEP and ASEAN. So I think in Asia, it’s important to continue
for more open trade and investment policy position.” Over the past few decades,… Asian countries have embraced business on
a global scale. They make up forty percent of global production
and it lead the world as the fastest growing region in terms of annual GDP. Transactions within the region have been a
key driver of that boom,… accounting for almost 60 percent of trade and nearly half
the flow of investment. But Sawada says there’s more room for growth. Asia’s financial markets are still regarded
as risky and underdeveloped. And with a high ratio of dollar-denominated
bonds,… they are highly vulnerable to risks of capital outflow as well as currency mismatch. At the same time, Asian countries are in need
of long-term investment — some 26 trillion US dollars by the year 2030 for infrastructural
projects. “There are of course developing markets that
are very hungry for more infrastructure, more investment. Would you say regional integration is the
answer?” “So question is how to attract global liquidity
and monetary and make them invest long-term? I think one way is to develop a local currency
financial market infrastructure in Asia so that people can invest within the region as
well as overseas in a credible manner.” In terms of promoting growth and integration
across the region,… Sawada says Korea has been leading by example. “”Korea is one of the very successfully cases
where country continued to grow and develop over decades and poor country joined middle
income class and then further proceeded to high income group. Korea already concluded 26 free trade areas
and close to 100 bilateral investment treaties. So Korea is really playing a very important
role to keep maintaining and gather momentum of Asian growth.” Looking ahead,… Sawada says the ADB will
support sustainable development in the region –… reducing the poverty rate, improving
education, and tackling climate change — among other goals for the year 2030. Oh Soo-young, Arirang news.

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