Capacity Development Is Important in Asia—A Tool for Leapfrog

This chapter will explain the need to have capacity development (CD) in Asia, which is a so-called tool for leapfrogging to a low-carbon society. Comparison of emissions from the past and future projections will be drafted. The nature of Asian countries in terms of population and competition, resource utilization, understanding of the people on the ground, and some philosophies of implementation in specific countries will be illustrated. This will lead to the conclusion of capacity building for leapfrogging to a low-carbon society. Entering into a low-carbon society for developing countries is difficult. While there is the potential for Asia to lead climate change abatement, implementation is the key and this cannot be achieved if there is no capacity building at all levels.

The Power of Asia

The merging of 10 ASEAN countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) from 2015 onward makes ASEAN become more important in the Asian region. These ten countries of the AEC contribute 9 % (585 million people) of the world's population while their GDP contributes 3 % (1275 billion USD) of the global GDP. In addition, the ASEAN +3, with the coverage of China, Japan and South Korea, increases the share of the world's population by 31 % (2068 million people) with 18 % (9.901 billion USD) of the global GDP. The immense contribution with a high impact on economics can be

Fig. 10.1 Shares of population and GDP in the global situation

seen with the ASEAN +6 (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea) where the share of the world population is 50 % (3284 million people) and its contribution covers 22 % of the global GDP. Figure 10.1 indicates that the path of movement into the future of ASEAN and the Asian countries will have an impact on the world's development.

The Rise of ASEAN

The nature of the ASEAN countries varies, particularly their economic conditions. Regarding the classification of income in ASEAN countries, the composition of income classification is shown in Fig. 10.2. Four categories of income have been identified. Singapore and Brunei are identified as affluent countries while Malaysia and Thailand belong to the middle class. Three countries are in the process of transitioning to the middle class and the remaining three countries fall within the low-income range. The interesting aspect is that the ASEAN middle-income class is more than 25 % of the ASEAN population and in the year 2030 it is anticipated that the middle-income class segment in Indonesia will include more than 50 million people. While the share of the middle-income class increases, development of countries to move toward a middle-income trap has been raised in some countries like Thailand and Malaysia. How the rise of ASEAN can gear its direction toward a low-carbon society is challenging.

Fig. 10.2 Classification of incomes in ASEAN countries

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