Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Building an Enabling Environment for Inclusive and Resilient Growth in the Asia-Pacific Region

The rapid development of Asia and the Pacific has positioned the region as a significant driver of global economic growth.

However, not everyone has benefitted from this prosperity, and the region is not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. As societies plan for the future, there are opportunities for driving sustainable and inclusive growth, and this will be discussed at a regional UN forum on trade, investment, enterprise, and business innovation.

Digital trade and the digitalization of trade processes offer new possibilities, making it easier for businesses to access new markets and participate in global and regional value chains. This, in turn, lowers the costs of cross-border transactions, reduces carbon emissions, and provides opportunities for more inclusive participation in the market for small and medium-sized enterprises, women-owned businesses, and those in remote locations.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) presents opportunities for scaling up projects that contribute to gender equality, empower small businesses, and bridge digital divides. Governments and investors must focus on investing for social and environmental impact, beyond investing solely for economic gains.

Partnership between the public and private sectors is crucial for infrastructure development in transport, energy, and health, which are critical for participation in economic and social spheres. Such partnerships can also serve as platforms for learning and sharing experiences and best practices in promoting sustainable development and building resilience to shocks such as pandemics and economic crises.

To realize these opportunities, decisive policy action is required to foster an enabling environment and take necessary steps forward, underpinned by greater commitment, collaboration, and regional cooperation.

Governments should implement supportive policies for social entrepreneurs and inclusive businesses, as well as provide public advisory services and training courses. The public and private sectors should work together to build a more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable future for the region.

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