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7 May 2009

Asian lender sees Asean’s partners on recovery track

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China, South Korea and Japan appear to be recovering from the global financial crisis, the president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Haruhiko Kuroda, was quoted by German news agency DPA as saying.

"The Chinese economy may have already bottomed out ... and the Korean economy shows some signs of recovery," Kuroda told a news conference at the end of the bank's two-day meeting on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

Kuroda said even Japan, whose economy contracted 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, appeared to be recovering.

"I'm cautiously optimistic that Asia can recover by the end of next year," he said.

Kuroda said the region was facing its most difficult economic trouble since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

The bank has warned that the crisis would keep more than 60 million people in developing Asia trapped in poverty this year and nearly 100 million more in 2010.

Growth in the region is expected to fall to 3.4 per cent this year from 6.3 percent last year and record growth of 9.5 percent in 2007.

"The effects are being felt across the region, posing a serious threat to its poorest and most vulnerable citizens," he said.

He said the crisis also undermined the region's efforts to achieve the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals, which include halving poverty by 2015.

But he also expressed optimism that Asian countries could emerge from the crisis quickly and economically "stronger than before".






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