East Asia Current Affairs - 2020

World Bank: 11 million to enter poverty in Pacific and East Asia

On March 31, 2020, the World Bank announced that around 11 million are to enter poverty in Pacific and East Asia due to the spread of COVID-19. The virus has affected more than 780,000 and has so far killed more than 37,000.

Highlights

According to the World Bank, around 35 million people in Pacific and Asia will escape poverty. This includes 25 million in China alone. The bank has projected the growth in the region to be slow and around 2.1%. In 2019, the bank had estimated the growth of the region as 5.8%.

The bank has projected growth rate of China as 2.3%. Earlier, in 2019, it had predicted China’s growth rate as 6.1%.

Suggestions

The bank recommends more investments in the health sector. It suggests for macroeconomic policies and integrated containment of the virus. The World Bank also recommends targeted fiscal measures such as health care and subsidies for sick pay. This will make sure the temporary deprivation is not converted into long term human capital losses.

East Asia Summit on Maritime Cooperation to be held in Chennai

The Ministry of External Affairs is to organize East Asia Summit in Chennai between February 6, 2020 and February 7, 2020. This is the fifth time the conference is being held in India. The first conference was organized in Delhi in 2015, second in Goa in 2016, third in Bhubaneswar in 2018. In 2019, the fourth conference was held in Bangkok.

Highlights

The conference is to be held in cooperation with the governments of Australia and Indonesia. More than 100 participants are expected to participate. The Conference will bring upon understanding of all the partners. It will foster the spirit of openness and inclusion.

The summit is important as a guide for ASEAN’s engagement in the Indian Ocean region and Asia Pacific. At the fourteenth East Asia Summit held in 2019, PM Modi mooted the idea of Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative.

About the Summit

The Summit is held annually by 16 nations in the East Asia, South Asia and South East Asia. The first such summit was held in Kuala Lumpur in 2005. US and Russia are also a part of the summit.