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rapid monetary policy contraction in advanced economies,

Growth in Emerging Asia – Southeast Asia, China and India – is projected to continue at a steady pace in 2017 relative to 2016. Growth in China and ASEAN is picking up due to a strong trade rebound and resilient domestic consumption, while India’s growth is expected to nudge downward as a result of taxation and monetary reforms. Over 2018-22, Emerging Asia as a whole is expected to grow by an average 6.3% per year on the assumption that trade momentum holds and domestic reforms continue. The ability of governments to deliver on infrastructure programmes will also be a crucial factor in medium-term growth. The most prominent risks to growth in the region are the possibility of a more rapid monetary policy contraction in advanced economies, the expansion of trade restrictions globally coupled with limited progress in regional trade agreements and the rapid rise in private-sector debt. Over the longer term, technological change in general and the emergence of the digital economy in particular is a major factor driving economic growth in Emerging Asia. Due to the importance of this topic for the region, the thematic focus of this edition of the Outlook is fostering growth through digitalisation, including the impact of digitalisation on the manufacturing and services sectors in Emerging Asia. Over recent decades, digitalisation has transformed the world economy into a more integrated, complex and dynamic system. Emerging Asian economies have been active participants in this new wave of change. The region is being transformed by the rapid adoption of technologies. Internet use, a prerequisite for participation in most aspects of the digital economy, has risen steadily across the region in recent years, although there are still significant differences between countries. Business activity, trade and productivity in manufacturing and services sectors have been affected. These trends are expected to continue in the future, but will also be influenced by emerging technologies and business models. While digitalisation presents many opportunities, considerable challenges remain in realising its potential to support the development of inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the region. Looking to the future, digitalisation can benefit the region as a whole and help to level the playing field for small and large businesses in ASEAN. This was highlighted in the ASEAN 2017 MSME Business Summit held in Manila in July this year.