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Asia’s Middle-Income Challenge: An Overview

Publication | November 2017
Asia’s Middle-Income Challenge: An Overview

This paper explores key developmental challenges facing middle-income Asian economies, and puts forth concrete policy options for tackling those challenges.

Developing Asia has undergone a relatively rapid transformation from a region that consisted mainly of low-income economies toward one that is largely middle income. A key challenge for the region is sustaining rapid growth to move further to high income. The experience of newly industrializing economies shows that innovation, human capital, and infrastructure are critical to enabling a quicker shift to high income.


  • Asia's Transformation to a Middle-Income Region
  • Some Evidence on the Middle-Income Challenge
  • Addressing the Middle-Income Challenge