Asia-Pacific Remains Largest Export Destination for Arab Region - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
Press release

15 May 2015

Beirut, Lebanon

Asia-Pacific Remains Largest Export Destination for Arab Region

ESCWA Director of Economic Development and Integration Division (EDID), Moctar Mohamed El Hacene, today said, “The Asia-Pacific region remains the largest export destination for the Arab region, particularly Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Mauritania, and Yemen; and the deepening of inter-regional economic linkage has been remarked in the area of foreign direct investment and Islamic finance.” 

El Hacene was speaking during a discussion on “The Impact of East and South Asian Economies on the Arab Region” held in an expert group meeting organized by ESCWA on “The Regional Economic Situation and Prospects (2015)” during which the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015 published by the Bangkok based UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) was launched and distributed to participants. 

Al Hacene added, “The ESCAP growth projection of the Asia-Pacific region is good news for Arab economies. Among other external factors, the positive inter-regional linkages from the Asia-Pacific region provide a certain growth floor, particularly for Arab energy exporters. However, Arab countries need to be vigilant on the economic situation in the Asia-Pacific region as its impact can always be substantial. Some Arab countries became excessively reliant on their exports to the Asia-Pacific region and they may need to diversify their trading partners.” 

Developing economies in the Asia-Pacific region, including China and India, continue to fare well in comparison to the rest of the world, according to the ESCAP flagship publication, which was launched in Bangkok by UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary Shamshad Akhtar.

During the launching ceremony, Akhtar emphasized the need to promote quality growth and shared prosperity in the region, calling on regional policymakers to integrate and mainstream inclusive growth by adopting a mixed set of measures to achieve better social and environmental outcomes to enhance public welfare.

According to the ESCAP report, the economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region’s developing nations is forecasted to increase only slightly, to 5.9 percent in 2015 from 5.8 percent last year, with no significant change expected in 2016. The growth of the Chinese economy is expected to decelerate from 7.4 percent in 2014 to 7.0 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, India’s growth is expected to show a moderate acceleration from 7.4 percent in 2014 to 8.1 percent in 2015. Inflation is forecasted to decline further and remain low, largely due to lower international oil prices.

The report also emphasizes that the growth potential of Asia-Pacific developing economies is being held back by infrastructure shortages and the excessive commodity dependence of some countries. The fragile global economic recovery, and consequently subdued global trade, poses additional challenges.

The Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific can be accessed at: 
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For your queries, kindly contact: 
ESCWA Communication and Information Unit (ECIU) on either of the following numbers: 
Mr. Nabil Abu Dargham: +961-70-993144,; 
Ms. Maryam Sleiman +961-03-910 930,; 
Ms. Mirane Abi-Zaki +961-76-04 64 02, 
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