HomeAsia-Pacific Social Science Reviewvol. 6 no. 1 (2006)

Comparing Social Development Experiencesin Asia and Latin America

Joaquin L. Gonzalez Iii

Discipline: Social Science



According to a recently released 2006 World Bank report, Poverty Reductionand Growth: Virtuous and Vicious Circles, while economic growth is criticalfor poverty alleviation, poverty itself is a major roadblock to progress amongLatin American countries. The World Bank (WB) report adds that LatinAmerica remains one of the most unequal regions in the world, with close toone person in four living on less than US$2.00 a day. In that same report,Pamela Cox, WB Vice-President for Latin America and the Caribbean, pointsout comparatively that, "the economic performance of Latin America in thelast decades has been disappointing, with the region lagging behind thedynamic Asian economies." Statements such as these have been of relevanceto lesson sharing from the Asian side of the Pacific Ocean to the LatinAmerican end. But apart from a few high-performing Asian economies, whichnow include China, isn't a majority of Asia in the same dismal state? Aren'tmany Latin American countries doing better than Bangladesh, Sri Lanka,Nepal, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia?