April 5, 2007 – Ten years on from the 1997 East Asian Financial Crisis and the region is far wealthier, has fewer poor people and a larger global role than ever before. People’s incomes are well beyond where they were before the crisis and in some countries, like China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao PDR, they’re growing at exceptional rates. Over 100 million people across East Asia have left the ranks of the extreme poor since 2000 and poverty continues to fall.
Having grappled with the crisis and overcome many of the economic vulnerabilities that led to it, East Asia is fast becoming a middle income region. But with this incredible progress comes the next wave of tough challenges which could slow growth if not handled properly.
Vietnam and East Asia will need to continue to focus on:
- The reform of its investment climate
- Meeting skilled labor shortages
- Liberalizing the trade in services
- Investing in infrastructure
- Deepening and diversifying capital markets, and
- Building better social protection systems.