Asia Economy: Planning for Disasters is Key

January 7th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

For the Asia economy to thrive and for the region to remain attractive to overseas investors, it must find a way to enhance its “disaster management capability.”

One way to do this is through education. According to Jagan Chapagain, Asia-Pacific Director of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, since it is the community that responds fastest to disasters, it is the community that needs to know how to respond.

Japan has already done this on some level. Every year, offices and schools are subject to simulation exercises on dealing with disasters. Thus many Japanese now know the proper course of action to take and behavior to engage in should an earthquake occur. The rest of Asia now needs to follow suit.

Indeed, much education and preparation still needs to take place in Asia. An Oxfam report showed that almost 80 percent of natural disaster fatalities lived in Asia. However, Asia only had 43 percent of these disasters. That means that Asia is bearing the financial brunt of approximately half of these disasters over the last two decades. Hence for those investing in the area, it is somewhat problematic. Part of why this is happening is because increasingly large amounts of people are populating the most vulnerable areas. In addition, the Oxfam report found that “the number of people exposed to coastal flooding in Asia is expected to increase by 50 percent by 2030.”

In more positive news however, CFOs believe that Southeast Asia’s economic forecast is looking good. Currently, according to data from the Deloitte Southeast Asia CFO Survey 2014, the region is experiencing “manageable inflation and moderate interest rates.”

So if Asia takes care of its climactic issues, economic growth and become an attractive investment location in the foreseeable future remain not unrealistic possibilities.



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