Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2017: governance and fiscal management

Although the recent economic expansion of countries in Asia and the Pacific has been steady, it is modest compared with the recent historical trend owing to prolonged weak external demand, rising trade protectionism and heightened global uncertainty. At the same time, decades of rapid economic growth, facilitated by globalization and technology, came at the expense of rising inequalities and environmental degradation. Addressing such economic, social and environment challenges in a coherent and decisive manner will be critical for the region’s future. In view of such challenges and the terms of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2017 highlights the importance of better governance and effective fiscal management. In particular, it is found in the Survey for 2017 that the quality of governance affects development outcomes through its impact on the composition and efficiency of public expenditure. At the same time, weak governance partially explains the low levels of tax revenues in several countries in the region. Governance has impacts on the way public revenues are raised, especially its effects on tax morale, as the willingness to pay taxes is affected by perceptions of how well tax revenues are used.