What APEC means to poor people in Asia — Cherian Mathews

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY CHERIAN MATHEWS

An opinion piece - file pic

An opinion piece – file pic

NOVEMBER 18 — Manila is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting, which is going to be attended by prominent world leaders. For Oxfam, this is a good time for APEC leaders to re-examine the prevailing development and economic paradigm that has increased the wealth of a handful while millions remain in poverty, creating a landscape of staggering inequality.

Steady economic growth in most of the countries across Asia in the last quarter of this century has created jobs, new wealth and reduced poverty.

But a study from the Asian Development Bank(ADB) found that inequality in the region between the mid-1990s and the late 2000s has risen by as much as 18 per cent and that 1.6 billion people continue to live on less than US$2 (RM8.77) a day.

Gini coefficient — a common inequality measure — has worsened during 1990s and 2000s in the countries where more than 80 per ent of the population lived in Asia. That inequality increased in the midst of the region’s much vaunted economic growth means that something is amiss. Read more