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Asia-Pacific Needs To Tap Financial Systems

Asia-Pacific Needs To Tap Financial Systems To Benefit Region's Poor, Un Says

The Asia-Pacific region, by harnessing market forces and maintaining the world's highest savings rate, has become a global economic leader, but needs to tap the potential of its financial systems to benefit 800 million people struggling to survive on less than $1 a day, the head of the United Nations regional economic body said today.

"In the Asia-Pacific region, the economic integration process has been mainly driven by market forces. This has accelerated the integration of the region into the global economy, but many countries are unable to reach their potential," Executive Secretary Kim Hak-Su told the 60th session of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) in Shanghai, China.

With the Asia-Pacific area now standing as "a newly emerging brain centre of the world," tapping the region's sound financial systems would help bring benefits to 800 million people of the region now living on less than a dollar per day, he said.

The Commission is scheduled to meet from 22 to 28 April. After Mr. Kim opened the deliberations, senior officials from many member countries discussed poverty reduction, managing globalization and social issues. The Ministerial segment begins on Monday.

In 1947 Shanghai became the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East, the organization which evolved into UNESCAP.

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