Hanoi The wealth gap in India and China is widening as the two new economic giants grow, the president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Haruhiko Kuroda warned. Asia is now in its second round of fast economic development, following the rise of the four original “Asian tigers,” South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, said Kuroda on the sidelines of a Hanoi aid conference. But while the tigers had managed to share rising wealth relatively equally, he warned, “this time income inequality appears to be rising.”
In population giants China and India and much of Southeast Asia, Kuroda said, “the poor people’s income is increasing and absolute poverty is being reduced, but the income of the rich people is increasing much faster. Although absolute poverty is being significantly reduced, the gap between the poor and the rich is rising,” he said at the end of a four-day conference of the World Bank, ADB and UN and other development agencies and banks.
The ADB president also warned that “with all the quite rapid growth, the environment is negatively affected in many developing Asian countries, including China and India.” Air and water pollution, soil damage, biodiversity loss and greenhouse gas emissions were on the rise in the region, he said, warning that “economies and societies will be seriously affected. The environment is crucial.”