Promoting Rural Development, Employment, and Inclusive Growth in ASEAN
This paper looks at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) cooperation on rural development, employment creation, and inclusive growth beyond 2015. Rural development policy has been implemented in various ASEAN member states, but as a priority by itself rather than a complement to industrialisation. Such efforts contribute to higher growth and more employment in rural areas. This in turn makes way for alleviating rural poverty. Although the poverty incidence is scattered, the rural poverty gap attracts attention. The visions for rural development, employment creation, and inclusive growth beyond 2015 should thus cover: (1) Diversified and climate-resilient rural economy; (2) Employability of rural labour; (3) Rural democracy and deconcentration; (4) Sufficiently upgraded rural infrastructure; (5) Material improvement of living conditions in rural areas; (6) Sufficient rural-urban links; and (7) Ensured social protection and substantial reduction in chronic poverty. The paper also presents several recommendations for ASEAN and for Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV) related to the three main aims.