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Although several countries in Asia have experienced rapid economic growth within the past several years, a vast majority of people in Asia have yet to benefit from these gains. The World Bank estimates that 14 percent of people in East Asia and the Pacific, and 36 percent of people in South Asia, live on less than $1.25 a day.
Economic integration is expected to spur the movement of goods and services and promote more broad-based economic growth, including through the increased use of mobile and other technologies. USAID fosters such economic integration in a region that encompasses economies at significantly different stages of development. USAID supports the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Lower Mekong Initiative and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in their efforts to enhance trade and economic growth. USAID also strengthens regional competitiveness through supply chain integration, legal reform, good governance efforts, and support for micro-, small-, and medium-sized businesses. In addition, USAID promotes private sector engagement and regulatory harmonization within ASEAN, as well as regional learning exchanges with South Asia, to improve conditions for food security and agricultural sector growth. USAID’s engagement in regional food security, including technical and other support for food security priority countries, will accelerate the rate at which novel agricultural technologies and improved crop varieties are adopted throughout the region.
Last updated: February 11, 2015