Asian Development Outlook 2003: Competitiveness in Developing Asia

Publication | April 2003

Growth in developing countries in Asia and the Pacific generally improved in 2002. Fiscal and monetary policies contributed to strengthening demand in many countries while firmer external markets provided a boost to industrial production.

This 15th edition of the Asian Development Outlook provides a comprehensive analysis of 41 economies in Asia and the Pacific based on the Asian Development Bank's in-depth knowledge of the region. It also includes a broad diagnosis of macroeconomic conditions and growth prospects for the region in 2003-2004.

Growth in developing Asia and the Pacific generally improved in 2002. Expansionary fiscal and accommodative monetary policies contributed to strengthening aggregate demand in many countries while firmer external markets provided a boost to industrial production. Growth, however, remained below long- term potential in most countries and it was insufficient to substantially raise income and reduce poverty.

The outlook for 2003 is highly vulnerable to the risks of a further weakening in the prospects for industrial countries, volatility in oil prices, and disruptions in tourism and other international markets relating to the conflict in Iraq and the recent outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome.

This issue of the Outlook also includes a chapter on what competitiveness - one of today's buzzwords - is and is not. Misconceptions of the nature and role of competitiveness in national economic development can be counterproductive. An understanding that it is firms that compete in an increasingly global market, both at home and abroad, and that the national policy environment can either constrain or improve their efforts, is critical.

The Asian Development Outlook 2003 features:

  • An overview of aggregate trends and medium-term prospects by main subregion in Asia and the Pacific in the context of global economic trends.
  • An overview of recent fiscal policy in Asia and the Pacific
  • Macroeconomic profiles and prospects for 41 economies in the region, including analyses of growth, savings and investment, employment, monetary and fiscal developments, and balance of payments, as well as an analysis of policy issues.
  • Competitiveness issues as they relate to long-term growth prospects in Asia and Pacific region.
  • A statistical appendix detailing historical trends and projections for major economic indicators.


  • Foreword, Acknowledgments, Acronyms and Abbreviations, Definitions
  • Part 1 Developing Asia and the World
    • Overview of Economic Trends and Prospects
    • Overview of Economic Trends in Developing Asia in 2002
    • Macroeconomic Conditions in 2002
    • Outlook for Industrial Countries
    • Developing Asia: Subregional Trends and Prospects
    • Developing Asia: Risks and Uncertainties
    • Overview of Fiscal Policy in Developing Asia
  • Part 2 Economic Trends and Prospects in Developing Asia
    • East Asia
      • People's Republic of China
      • Hong Kong, China
      • Republic of Korea
      • Mongolia
      • Taipei,China
    • Southeast Asia
      • Cambodia
      • Indonesia
      • Lao People's Democratic Republic
      • Malaysia
      • Myanmar
      • Philippines
      • Singapore
      • Thailand
      • Viet Nam
    • South Asia
      • Afghanistan
      • Bangladesh
      • Bhutan
      • India
      • Maldives
      • Nepal
      • Pakistan
      • Sri Lanka
    • Central Asia
      • Azerbaijan
      • Kazakhstan
      • Kyrgyz Republic
      • Tajikistan
      • Turkmenistan
      • Uzbekistan
    • The Pacific
      • Cook Islands
      • Fiji Islands
      • Kiribati
      • Republic of the Marshall Islands
      • Federated States of Micronesia
      • Nauru
      • Papua New Guinea
      • Samoa
      • Solomon Islands
      • Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
      • Tonga
      • Tuvalu
      • Vanuatu
  • Part 3 Competitiveness in Developing Asia
  • Statistical Appendix
    • Statistical Notes and Tables