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Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2015

Strengthening Institutional Capacity

image of Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2015

The Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India is an annual publication on Asia’s regional economic growth, development and regional integration process. It focuses on the economic conditions of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries  – Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam –, and also addresses relevant economic issues in China and India to fully reflect economic developments in the region. The Outlook provides an annual update of regional economic trends and policy challenges, and a thematic focus which is specific to each volume. The 2015 edition of the Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India comprises two main parts, each highlighting a particular dimension of recent economic developments in the region. The first part presents the regional economic monitor, depicting the medium-term economic outlook and macroeconomic challenges in the region. The second part consists of three chapters on “institutional capacity”, which is the special thematic focus of this edition.

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Strengthening institutions to address informality in Emerging Asia

OECD Development Centre

While it is difficult to accurately define and measure informal output and employment, these appear to be quite high in several countries in the region. Tax and regulatory burdens, along with cyclical and structural economic factors and social norms, contribute to this situation. Fundamentally, these factors and the degree of informality over the long run depend on government capacities in developing market-building institutions to support formality and in enforcing tax and regulatory requirements on firms and workers. Informality appears to have been declining recently in many Emerging Asian economies and provides employment for marginalised workers. Nevertheless, it remains an important policy challenge to be addressed to support government capacity and economic strength and flexibility. Reforms to improve capacities generally and target informality and the areas of the economy where it is often found therefore need to be included in the development strategies of many countries.

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