Building a platform with Southeast Asia

A truck drives through a special economic zone near Yangon and pas the flags of Myanmar and Japan, which has been a strong supporter of the OECD Southeast Asia Programme ©Soe Than Win/AFP

Southeast Asia, with more than half-a-billion people, is among the fastest growing regions in the world. However, levels of growth and prosperity within the region are very uneven. 

GDP per capita ranges from as high as US$48,000 in Singapore and Brunei to just $1,300 in Myanmar. Poverty remains high in some countries. Policy reforms will be needed if the region is to maintain strong growth and become more inclusive, boost productivity, reduce poverty, and avoid the “middle income trap” by moving up the global value chain. Policies that facilitate and promote regional integration are key. 

Southeast Asia Regional Programme

The OECD Southeast Asia Regional Programme, which will be launched at the 2014 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting, will build on 25 years of engagement by providing a stronger platform for sharing good practices among policymakers in Southeast Asia and OECD countries. The aim is to inform and support reform, both at national and regional level, in policy areas such as investment, education and skills, SMEs, tax, regulatory reform and public-private partnerships for infrastructure. There will also be work on trade, innovation and gender.

Sharing perspectives will be a clear benefit of the programme. After all, many of the challenges facing Southeast Asian countries today are global challenges that also affect the OECD.

For more information, visit http://www.oecd.org/globalrelations/seaforum.htm  

©OECD Yearbook 2014 

Read more at www.oecd.org/forum/oecdyearbook

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Economic data

GDP growth: +0.6% Q4 2017 year-on-year
Consumer price inflation: 2.8% June 2018 annual
Trade: +2.7% exp, +3.0% imp, Q4 2017
Unemployment: 5.2% May 2018
Last update: 02 Aug 2018

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