The "Asia miracle" of high economic growth and robust trade is fast disappearing, a nongovernmental and nonprofit international organisation said on Tuesday.
Economic indicators show an uncertain future for Asia as economic integration dawdles, according to the "Progress of Asian Economic Integration Report" of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA).
Asia’s goods trade grew only at the global average in 2013 with exports increasing only slightly over 2012, while growth of services fell below the world average, it said, while pace of Asia’s integration in trade and production is "also slowing significantly".
In the financial sector, Asia still relies heavily on intermediaries from the US and the European Union (EU) and despite being one of the world’s major investment destinations, its performance in attracting investment was disappointing.
"Asia has great potential and that potential must be tapped to support sustained prosperity," said BFA secretary general Zhou Wenzhong, calling for strong political will and immediate action on a more inclusive Asia-Pacific free trade area.
The forum also published the "Asia Competitiveness Report" and the "Development of Emerging Economies Report".
China’s overall competitiveness in Asia remained at the ninth place in 2014. Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea made up the top three places.
The annual conference of the forum this year is scheduled for March 26 to 29. Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Asian leaders will attend the opening ceremony.