ASEAN should boost quality of life to build resilient and inclusive community: ADB

- Friday, 26/05/2023, 15:25

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) must make greater efforts to improve the quality of life in the region to build a resilient community and achieve a faster recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, said a new report released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

ASEAN should boost quality of life to build resilient and inclusive community: ADB -0
Illustrative image. A boy plays with bubbles on the walking street around Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi. (Photo: VNA)

The region's path to progress must focus on achieving success in areas like reading, math, and science, better nutrition, and access to quality healthcare, the report noted.

According to ADB Director General for Southeast Asia Winfried Wicklein, fortifying health systems, raising the quality of education, and improving nutrition will equip young workers physically, mentally, and emotionally and improve their productivity as the region emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that rising incomes and a rapid reduction in poverty rates, along with improvements in financial inclusion and internet penetration will help the region overcome reversals in development gains caused by the pandemic.

The report also urged the ASEAN member countries to invest in digital skills, infrastructure, and finance to reduce the cost of business and build a more competitive region.

Lockdown measures implemented to curb the spread of the pandemic in the ASEAN countries led to a 3.2% contraction in the region's gross domestic product in 2020, while the growth improved to 3.5% in 2021 and rose further to 5.6% in 2022, according to the report.

ASEAN comprises 10 members, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.