Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade » APEC region forecast to grow 4.2% in 2012

Despite the weak global economy, trade in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation region is predicted to remain healthy and outperform the rest of the world through 2013, according to new research presented at an APEC ministers’ meeting Thursday in Vladivostok, Russia.

Growth in merchandise trade for APEC economies moderated to 4.6 percent in May 2012, down from 12.1 percent growth in December 2011 due to weak global economic activity and deflated traded good prices. But it was enough to remain at the top of the heap, according to research presented by the APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU), APEC’s independent research arm, at the 2012 APEC Economic Leaders Week.

By comparison, the rest of the world contracted by 5.6 percent in May 2012.

“Though trade performance varied across the region in the first half of 2012, due to weak global demand and sharp falls in commodity prices, APEC members’ economic growth has been fairly robust and resilient,” said Denis Hew, PSU director.

“Foreign direct investment across APEC economies is also encouraging,” he added. As a whole, the region accounted for nearly half of the growth of global FDI inflows in 2011.

Economic activity in the APEC region is expected to remain relatively robust in the medium-term, despite trimmed growth forecasts caused by increased uncertainty abroad.

Based on International Monetary Fund data, member economies’ real GDP growth is on pace to accelerate from 4.1 percent in 2011 to 4.2 percent in 2012 and 4.5 percent in 2013, keeping ahead of the rest of the world.

To mitigate the downside risks to APEC members’ economic growth, the report suggests reiterating the pledge to maintain free and open markets, and renewing the pledge to withdraw existing restrictive measures and resist new protectionist measures in order to bolster the global economic recovery process.


Photo: Mark Fischer

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