Vaccinations Key to Asia Pacific Economic Recovery: PECC
According to a new report by the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), vaccination is the key to Asia Pacific economic recovery but inequitable distribution, climate change and inflation may derail growth.
The report further adds that while the economy of the Asia Pacific has declined significantly in the year and a half since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is now set for a sharp recovery thanks to unprecedented policy support and the accelerated distribution and adoption of vaccinations.
The report, which is the sixteenth annual State of the Region for 2021-2022, was released at the side-lines of the Economic Leaders and Ministers’ Meetings, hosted by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in New Zealand.
As part of the report, the State of the Region also surveyed 598 respondents from the regional policy community, to provide a representation of the insights from key political and business decision-makers.
The report finds that the region is now expected to grow by 6.1% in 2021 and by 5.1% in 2022, largely coming from economies that have been able to progress with vaccinating a larger portion of their populations.
However, the progress has been far from even across the Asia Pacific as while some economies have managed to achieve vaccination rates of over 70%, there are many others lagging significantly behind.
The leading concern for policymakers in the coming year is dealing with potential future waves of Covid-19 and their consequences.
According to PECC estimates, economies with current vaccination rates of above 30% are expected to recover from the pandemic at a faster pace and grow by 6.3% in 2021, compared to the 5.4% growth of those with vaccination rates below 30%.
The recovery is expected to become more broad-based across the region as vaccines become more widely available in 2022. This may be because there are challenges for certain developing economies in both accessibility and affordability when acquiring vaccines.
In the case of Pakistan according to the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2021 Update, ADB’s annual flagship economic publication, Pakistan’s economy is expected to continue recovering in FY2022, supported by stronger private investment, improving business activity, a steady vaccine rollout, and economic stimulus measures for FY2022.
Yet, significant uncertainty clouds the economic outlook over the course of the pandemic in Pakistan and worldwide.
“Pakistan’s economy is on the path to recovery, supported by promising growth in the industry and services sectors,” said ADB Country Director for Pakistan Yong Ye.
He said, “The continued rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program, structural reforms, and the expansion of social protection programs are all key to ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth.”
“Fiscal incentives and policies to boost export competitiveness, bolster the performance of the manufacturing sector, and augment private investment will continue to play an instrumental role in strengthening the economic outlook,” Ye added.