Technology could make aging a 'Silver Dividend' for Asia's economies

2019-11-14 15:15:00
Aging populations could be a boon to economies in the Asia and Pacific region if governments adopt technology policies that improve elderly people’s health, extend skills and working lives, and facilitate job matching, according to a new report from ADB.

The Asian Economic Integration Report 2019/2020 (AEIR): Demographic Change, Productivity, and the Role of Technology reviews Asia and the Pacific’s progress in regional cooperation and integration. The report features a special chapter on the role and potential of technology in boosting the productivity of aging economies.

 

Today’s elderly are better educated and healthier than in the past. The right policies on technologies could extend working lives, generating a substantial contribution to the overall economy, says ADB Chief Economist Mr. Yasuyuki Sawada. (Source: ADB)

“The aging trend is irreversible in much of Asia and the Pacific, but governments could turn that into a ‘silver dividend’,” said ADB Chief Economist Mr. Yasuyuki Sawada. “Today’s elderly are better educated and healthier than in the past. The right policies on technologies could extend working lives, generating a substantial contribution to the overall economy.”

The average healthy life span increased by nearly 7 years from 57.2 to 63.8 years between 1990 and 2017 for the economies in Asia and the Pacific. The average years of education among 55 to 64-year-old people also increased from 4.6 in 1990 to 7.8 in 2015.

Exact measures that should be taken depend on an economy’s specific aging and education profile but broadly one of four types: fast or slow aging and above or below median education levels.

Countries that are fast aging and have above-median education levels would benefit from adopting automation and labor augmenting technology to supplement the low supply of labor for routine work, while countries with slow aging and below-median education levels could prioritize technical applications in education to help a younger population access high-quality education.

Regardless of the aging and education profiles, the report calls for a rethink of education and skills training to include lifelong learning as well as the adoption of technologies and approaches to make work and workplaces more suitable for older employees. Labor market, social security, and tax system reform would also encourage older people to continue working. Lastly, policies that ease the movement of capital, labor, and technology across borders would be useful to help countries at different stages of demographic transition and technological adoption to cope.

The report notes that regional economic cooperation remains strong in Asia and the Pacific, providing a buffer against the effects of global trade tensions. The latest Asia-Pacific Regional Cooperation and Integration Index, based on 2017 data, shows infrastructure and connectivity made the largest advance but overall regional integration fell nonetheless due to a drop in the money and finance measure. East Asia and Southeast Asia are most integrated with Asia as a whole, while Central Asia and South Asia trail the region’s average.

Asia and the Pacific’s trade is expected to decelerate further in 2019 amid slowing global economic growth. The region’s share of intraregional trade by value remained a robust 57.5% of global trade in 2018, up from the average of 56.3% in 2012–2017. Asia’s inward and outward foreign direct investment grew in 2018, while remittance inflows hit a record USD302.1 billion last year./.

Viet Nam lures over $25 billion in foreign investment in 11 months

Viet Nam received US$25.1 billion in foreign investment in the first 11 months, up 0.5 per cent month-on-month but down 5 per cent year-on-year, the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) has said.
09:59:54 | 29/11/2022

2022 a quiet time for M&As

Figures from KPMG show that Vietnam’s merger and acquisition (M&A) market was down sharply in 2022 compared to 2021 both in deal numbers and size. No M&A deal worth in excess of $1 billion has been seen this year. It is forecast that the M&A market will be active once more in the next few years as foreign investors become more involved because domestic money is limited due to rising interest rates and lower liquidity.
21:40:42 | 07/11/2022

Vietnam treasures ties with Belgium: PM

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh hosted a reception in Hanoi on November 6 for the newly-appointed Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam Karl Van Den Bossche, during which the host affirmed that Vietnam always treasures its ties with Belgium.
21:32:32 | 07/11/2022

Problems in PPP projects still waiting to be solved

There are still shortcomings in the implementation of public-private partnership (PPP) projects, which need to be resolved promptly and thoroughly, in order to show the attention and support from the State, and create an equal investment environment.
07:52:49 | 02/11/2022

Forum seeks ways to promote Vietnam - U.S. trade in new context

Trade has become a pillar of the growing bilateral relationship between Vietnam and the U.S., Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Hoang Quang Phong said on November 16.
15:48:10 | 17/11/2021

Airborne security force set up to prevent terrorism, illegal interference

The Ministry of Public Security has officially established an airborne security unit under the Immigration Department, which is responsible for preventing and combating terrorist attacks and unlawful interference to ensure aviation security in Vietnam.
15:44:56 | 17/11/2021