South and South-West Asia remains one of the fastest growing subregions in the world even though its economic growth has slowed down in 2012 due to a deteriorating global economic environment. Although the subregion continues to push the world’s economic centre of gravity to the East, as India is on track to become the world’s second largest economy by 2050, it faces many challenges to making the development process more inclusive and sustainable. These include widespread poverty and hunger, poor levels of human development, wide infrastructure gaps, food and energy insecurity and the threat of natural disasters. In addition, the subregion’s least developed and landlocked developing countries face unusual obstacles.
The South and South-West Asia Development Report argues that regional cooperation can help solve many of the subregion’s challenges and help secure a more sustainable future. In the decade ahead, the subregion’s member States have a chance to cooperate amongst themselves to ensure that their dynamism and development success are sustained, and that the subregion re-emerges as the hub of East–West trade that it once was.
As a development partner of South and South-West Asia,now with a new office dedicated to the subregion, ESCAP in this Reporthighlights elements of a regional policy agenda for harnessing the potential of cooperation in select areas.
The South and South-West Asia Development Report will be an essential resource for policymakers, development professionals, economists, as well as those concerned with development in South and South-West Asia and beyond.