The Philippine government views inclusive growth as sustained growth that “creates jobs, draws the majority into the economic and social mainstream, and continuously reduces mass poverty” and that is rapid enough to matter (GOP 2011). In pursuing a development strategy that revolves around this goal, the government is currently implementing a development plan with the following key features: massive infrastructure investments, higher governance standards, human development and direct poverty relief, and employment generation.
The immediately visible manifestations of the elusiveness of inclusive growth in the Philippines are low economic growth, weak employment generation, and persistently high poverty and inequality. The average annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of the Philippines from 1998 to 2011 is 4.52 percent and GDP per capita currently stands at PhP61,738 or USD1,425. Unemployment has not significantly dropped from the 7 to 7.5 percent range for the last five years. More than a quarter of the population remains poor and past poverty reduction programs seem to have had little impact. The poverty incidence of the population in 1991 was 33.1 percent. As of the latest Family Income and Expenditure Survey in 2009, it was still high at 26.5 percent and this translates to more than 23 million Filipinos mired in poverty.
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Network of East Asian Think-Tanks

The Network of East Asian Think-tanks

Officially recognized at the “10+3" summit meeting, Network of East Asian Think-tanks (NEAT) is a mechanism for research and academic exchange, and a platform for the second-track diplomacy in the regional cooperation among “10+3" countries in East Asia. It aims at integrating the research resources in East Asia, promoting the academic exchanges and providing intellectual support for East Asian cooperation. To be more specific, by establishing a network among East Asian think-tanks, governments and enterprises and promoting the interaction of these three circles, it intends to study the key issues related to East Asian cooperation, work out strategic ideas and concrete policy suggestions for the regional integration and submit research reports to the “10+3" summit meeting.
In 2002, East Asian Studies Group (EASG), the second-track in the mechanism of East Asian cooperation, suggested 17 short-term measures to be taken for closer cooperation among East Asian nations, among which was establishing “Network of East Asian Think-tanks" (NEAT) within the framework of “10+3" regional cooperation. The suggestion was adopted at the informal meeting of “10+3"leaders held in Phnom PenhCambodia in September 2002.
The activities of NEAT fall into the following categories: 1) Hold annual conferences of NEAT members to promote exchanges among East Asian think tanks and submit an annual work report to the informal meeting of “10+3" leaders on the basis of the research of the key issues in East Asian integration process; 2) Set up a website of NEAT, bridging the governments with the academic circles, promoting the academic exchanges among scholars about East Asia, and educating the masses in the region; 3) Hold irregular international seminars on East Asian cooperation so as to facilitate the theoretic research on the integration and community building of East Asia and help to shape the theoretic framework, strategies and specific policies conducive to the regional cooperation in East Asia. 4) Cooperate in the research of the key issues in regional cooperation and figure out the solutions.
The founding as well as the first annual conference of NEAT was held in Beijing from September 29 to 30, 2003. There were delegates from the think tanks of all the member states at the conference. The three topics discussed were “Towards East Asian Cooperation", Important Steps Leading to East Asian Cooperation" and “Key Areas in East Asia Cooperation". The conference report was not only published, but also distributed at the “10+3" leaders meeting in 2003.