April 21, 2014 3:00 pm JST

Asian emerging markets to overcome poverty by 2022: Asian Development Bank

MINORU SATAKE, Nikkei staff writer

MANILA -- Emerging markets in Asia will overcome poverty by 2022 due to their continued economic growth, according to new estimates by the Asian Development Bank.

     The World Bank and the ADB, define extreme poverty as those who live on less than $1.25 a day. Ending extreme poverty is understood as lowering the percentage of the poor in the world's population to less than 3%.

     The estimates, made in an ADB document obtained by The Nikkei, come ahead of the international organization's annual general meeting in Kazakhstan in May. The fight against poverty is high on the conference agenda. The new estimates indicate that the ADB has made significant progress toward poverty eradication in Asia, one of its key goals.

     According to ADB, there were some 733 million poor people within the populations of emerging markets in Asia in 2010. This is about 21% of the total population of those countries.

     The ADB predicts that the percentage of people living below the poverty line in emerging markets in Asia will drop below the 3% threshold in 2022, with a further drop to 1.5% in 2025.

     In 2012, there were seven low-income countries in Asia. Low-income countries are defined as countries with a per-capita gross national income of less than $1,036.

     In 2025, only Nepal and Afghanistan will remain low-income countries. The other five countries, including Myanmar and Bangladesh, will become middle-income countries with a per-capita GNI of between $1,036 and $12,615 by 2025.

     Continued economic growth is seen as essential to reducing poverty in Asia. The ADB said that emerging markets in the region will see gross domestic product growth of 6.2% in 2014 and 6.4% in 2015 due to increased domestic demand.