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Asian Credit Unions Learn Emerging Markets Will Contribute 80% to Global GDP Growth Over Next Five Years

Even though the economy of Asia has taken a step back in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has suffered less than other regions of the world and is poised to be a major force in global GDP growth over the next five years.

That was one the projections laid out to Asian credit union professionals by Projit Chatterjee, Global Emerging Markets and Asian Equities Managing Director for UBS Global Asset Management, during World Council's Virtual Asian Financial Symposium: The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Credit Unions.

“Over 80% of growth over the next five years is expected to come from emerging markets,” said Chatterjee. “One of the reasons is that these are markets that are still adding working-age population.”

Despite that projected growth, Chatterjee said many Asian countries have an under-penetration of credit—which means there are opportunities for credit unions and other financial institutions to increase their lending. That news comes at a time when many have seen loan growth slow and non-performing loans rise due to the pandemic.

But that projected growth is only half of the economic story in Asia. Elenita San Roque, CEO of the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU), told attendees they will also have to work to lift even more of their members out of poverty next year.

“The World Bank estimates the pandemic will push 88 million to 115 million people into extreme poverty this year, with the total rising to as many as 150 million individuals by 2021,” said San Roque. “We should remember they are the members and potential members of our credit unions.”

The webinar, presented by World Council's COVID-19 Response Committee, ACCU and the National Credit Union Federation of Korea (NACUFOK), is available to view its entirety on the World Council YouTube Channel.