Despite shocks, Asia-Pacific economies make best showing since 2000: UN

BANGKOK, April 25 (AFP) – Shrugging off a stream of disasters and shocks, the Asia-Pacific region last year managed to post its strongest economic gains since 2000, the United Nations said Monday in an annual survey. BANGKOK, April 25 (AFP) – Shrugging off a stream of disasters and shocks, the Asia-Pacific region last year managed to post its strongest economic gains since 2000, the United Nations said Monday in an annual survey. Matching that performance in 2005 is unlikely as a raft of challenges including a weak dollar and continuing high fuel costs weigh on Asia, according to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

Record high oil prices, bird flu and a series of natural disasters culminating in the cataclysmic December tsunami failed to prevent the region’s developing countries from posting combined growth of 7.2 percent.

“The region experienced its highest growth rate since 2000,” UNESCAP executive secretary Kim Hak-Su told reporters at the launch of its annual report on the region, which comprises 60 countries and territories from Turkey to China.

The performance is linked to the strongest global growth in about 30 years and pegged to Asia’s impressive export