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Report by ADB on businesses in Asia and the Pacific 2021

Context:

A report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), titled Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2021 demonstrated that the region made substantial progress in the last two decades with respect to several development targets.

Relevance:

GS-III: Indian Economy (Employment, Human Resource, Important International Institutions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Highlights of the ADB report
  2. About Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Highlights of the ADB report

Impact of the Pandemic

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed around 75-80 million people in the developing Asia-Pacific into extreme poverty in 2020.
  • More than 5% (more than 200 million) of developing Asia’s population lived in extreme poverty as of 2017, and this 5% would have declined to an estimated 2.6% in 2020 if the pandemic had not occurred. 
  • A significant number of households engaged in business were severely affected by the pandemic. Among households engaged in agriculture or relying on wages and salary, more than half reported an increase in income, no change or a decrease of less than 26%.
  • As unemployment rates increased by at least 20% in 2020 due to the pandemic across the globe, the Asia-Pacific region lost an estimated 8% of working hours. As businesses were disrupted, many workers lost their jobs, leading to higher unemployment and underemployment rates.

Other Highlights 

  • Asia and the Pacific’s economy has grown at a robust pace in recent years and contributed as much as 35% to global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in current US dollars in 2019. However, Covid-19 has arrested this growth.
  • From 2019 to 2020, labour force participation rates among women, on average, declined by 1.4%, while labour force participation rates among men declined by 0.8%.
  • 71% of Asia-Pacific’s workforce is now in non-agricultural employment. From 2000-2019, the region’s non-agricultural employment rate grew to 71% from 52%, one of the fastest growth rates worldwide.

About Asian Development Bank (ADB)

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established on 19 December 1966 to promote social and economic development in Asia.
  • It is headquartered in the city of Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines.
  • The ADB was modeled closely on the World Bank and an official United Nations Observer.
  • Japan holds the largest proportion of shares in ADB followed by the USA, and it has a weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions (just like the World Bank).
  • The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) and non-regional developed countries.
  • ADB defines itself as a social development organization that is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.
  • ADB aids in reducing poverty through investments in the form of loans, grants and information sharing (in infrastructure, health care services, financial and public administration systems), helping nations prepare for the impact of climate change or better manage their natural resources, as well as other areas.
  • ADB is an official United Nations Observer.
  • India was a founding member of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 1966 and is now the bank’s fourth largest shareholder and top borrower.

-Source: Down to Earth Magazine

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