Asian development outlook 2017: transcending the middle-income challenge

Developing Asia has continued to perform well, even as recovery in the major industrial economies remains weak. The region is forecast to expand by 5.7% in 2017 and 2018, nearly the 5.8% growth achieved in 2016. Decades of rapid growth transformed developing Asia from a low-income region to middle income. Sustaining growth to power the transition to high income will depend on much greater improvement in productivity. Innovation, human capital, and infrastructure are the three pillars of productivity growth. Supportive institutions and policies, underpinned by macroeconomic stability, can strengthen all three pillars. Asia’s dynamic track record suggests that attaining high income status, while challenging, is achievable.