Developing economies in the Asia-Pacific region grew at 7.9% in 2006, up from 7.6% in 2005. The continuing buoyancy of external demand remained a source of growth for many countries. Exports of electronics continued to be a key source of growth, while oil and gas exports remained strong in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the oil and gas exporters of North and Central Asia, and South-East Asia. Domestic demand drove gross domestic product (GDP) growth in South and South-West Asia, particularly on the back of high investments.
By Jayatilleke S. Bandara
Agriculture has been the most protected and distorted sector in the Asia-Pacific region similar to many regions in the world. Many countries in the region are currently following a combined approach to agricultural trade reform. While many of them have been making some progress towards multilateral trade liberalisation through the WTO trade negotiations and regional trade liberalisation through RTAs,
Road transport is the most important mode of freight transportation in terms of transportation output in almost all countries in the world, in particular in Asia and the Pacific region. For many years, the dimensions of road vehicles for freight transport have remained fixed, although road infrastructure in many countries has improved considerably and technical progress in vehicles has made them safer, quieter and more powerful.
This report on progress towards the MDGs in Asia and the Pacific has two parts. Part 1 assesses whether countries are on or off track for the various indicators. Part 2 examines disparities within countries. Overall, much of the news is good. Asia and the Pacific is one of the world's most dynamic regions, and has been forging ahead on many of the MDGs.