A recent study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asia 2050: Realizing the Asian Century, stated that if Asia continues in its current growth trajectory, by 2050 per capita GDP will attain a level similar to Europe today. The study cautions, however, that Asian countries will have to overcome the middle-income trap, a situation that occurs when a country’s growth plateaus and stagnates after reaching middle-income levels, unable to move up to more value-added production. While other Asian countries have based their growth on manufacturing exports, Indonesia has been a remarkable example of growth driven by domestic demand. However, employment generation has been a challenge in Indonesia since the 1998 Asian financial crisis. In fact, fewer jobs were created through manufacturing exports in 2005 than before the crisis.
On August 30, 2012, USINDO hosted a Joint Open Forum with ADB and The National Bureau of Asian Research. Douglas H. Brooks, Assistant Chief Economist and Director of the Development Indicators and Policy Research Division of the Asian Development Bank presented, while Meredith Miller, Vice President of Trade, Economic, and Energy Affairs & Outreach at The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) and Director of NBR’s Washington, D.C. office moderated the discussion.