East Asia's success over the past half century has been built on a combination of policies that fostered outward-oriented labor-intensive growth while building basic human capital and providing sound economic governance. This model of “growth with equity” has delivered rapid and sustained growth that has lifted the region's developing countries into middle-income status while moving hundreds of millions out of poverty and into economic security.
But as the world and the countries themselves change, there are now growing concerns about the efficacy of this East Asian development model in supporting countries' transitions from middle- to high-income status. Changes in technology and trade are occurring rapidly, but at an uncertain pace and with consequences for growth and jobs that are not always easy to anticipate. With greater prosperity also have come rising societal expectations for higher-quality services and greater voice and accountability. There are concerns, therefore, that these changes could slow productivity growth and hinder economic inclusion in the region.
A Resurgent East Asia is about how the countries of the region can navigate the changes in the world and at home to sustain their progress on growth and inclusion into the next decade. Specifically, how can they revive productivity growth, ensure inclusive development, and improve governance to achieve even greater and more broadly shared prosperity?