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Jakarta Post

Asia Pacific needs to prioritize structural reforms: World Bank

The Jakarta Post
Jakarta   ●   Fri, September 20, 2013

The World Bank has said countries in the Asia Pacific region need to prioritize structural reforms to expand their economic potentials amid the declining economic climate among developing countries.

'€œIt will surprise no one at this table to hear that I am convinced that countries in the Asia Pacific region need to make structural reform a priority in order to extend their growth potential, which remains one to two percentage points below pre-crisis levels,'€ World Bank managing director Sri Mulyani Indrawati said as quoted by Antara news agency during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Friday.

Mulyani said that to maintain rapid economic growth, developing countries need to increase their efforts to reduce potential slowdowns by improving investment climate, infrastructure, increasing manpower and pushing for more productivity.

Mulyani added that so far, the APEC meeting had managed to identify infrastructure financing as one of the top priorities to be addressed.

'€œIn times of uncertainty, it is particularly important to focus on long-term and stable investment,'€ Mulyani said.

'€œIn developing countries alone, financing needs have been estimated in the range of US$1 trillion to $1.5 trillion per year,'€ she added.

The World Bank, Mulyani added, had begun an initiative by establishing the Global Infrastructure Facility as a means to improve resources both from the governments and private parties.

Mulyani also highlighted that the recent move by the US Federal Reserve to delay its quantitative easing tapering would give a positive impact in the short term for both developed and developing countries.

'€œThis is the time for policy makers to seize the moment and address domestic vulnerabilities and reduce external financing exposures,'€ she said.