World Bank trims growth forecast for East Asia, Pacific excluding China

MANILA (REUTERS) – The East Asia and Pacific region, excluding China, is expected to grow 4 per cent this year, World Bank president David Malpass said on Thursday (July 15), down from a 4.4 per cent forecast in March and with the pace of the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines a risk to the outlook.

Including China, the World Bank expects the region to grow 7.7 per cent this year, above a 7.4 per cent projection made in March, Mr Malpass said in a streamed news conference.

The speed by which nations could roll-out vaccines remained a risk to the outlook, with many countries in the region unlikely to be able to fully vaccinate their population until 2024, Mr Malpass said.

“The immediate priority for developing countries is widespread access to Covid-19 vaccines that match their deployment programmes,” he added.

Mr Malpass again urged advanced economies to give up excess doses of Covid-19 vaccines for developing countries that are facing greater needs.

Earlier this month, the World Bank announced it was raising total financing for Covid-19 vaccine purchases and deployment to US$20 billion (S$27 billion) from its previous target of US$12 billion.

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