High income

Today, more than 95% of Asians live in middle-income economies, compared to less than 10% in the early 1990s. This remarkable shift was driven by rapid economic growth, especially in the People’s Republic of China, India, and Indonesia. The question now is: Can this largely middle-income region make a successful transition to high-income status?

The experience of developing countries in the last 50 years suggests this will not be easy. Many Latin American countries such as Brazil and Colombia have been middle-income economies for decades. Yet the rapid transition of the Republic of Korea and Singapore from middle to high income in only 25 years shows that it can be done. Growth drivers tend to change as economies evolve.

Accumulating physical capital remains critical as economies transition from middle to high income. But countries attempting this transition must make greater efforts to boost total factor productivity growth... — blog.adb.org/blogs