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NEAT Working Group on
East Asian Poverty Reduction
 
Final Report
Beijing, China
10 July 2015
 
Introduction
 
The NEAT Working Group Meeting on East Asian Poverty Reduction sponsored by NEAT China was held in Beijing on 10 July 2015. Twenty-five scholars from 11 of the ASEAN+3 countries participated in the meeting. Brunei and Vietnam were absent.
 
The theme of this Working Group Meeting is “Enhancing Regional Cooperation on Poverty Reduction in the Context of post-2015 Development Agenda”. Poverty is usually measured as either absolute or relative, with the former characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs while the latter being an index of income inequality. Although East Asia has seen the most impressive reduction in absolute poverty during the last two decades, poverty remains a major obstacle toward a region of prosperity. According to World Bank, about 350 million people in Southeast Asia, almost 44% of the world’s poor, still live in absolute poverty. And the income inequality in East Asia rose by over 20 percent in the past 20 years, which has aggregated the imbalance in economic development within and between the regional economies.
 
The NEAT Working Group on East Asian Poverty Reduction is oriented towards three specific goals. First, share information and expertise. Second, examine existing regional cooperation mechanisms and practices against the backdrop of the forthcoming post-2015 Development Agenda. The purpose is to build on the achievements of the past and find out the challenges in advancing the agenda. Third, produce practical and specific policy recommendations on poverty reduction and sustainable development.
 
For the full text of the report, click here.