24 August 2017 by Molly Harriss Olson, CEO Fairtrade ANZ
The Asia Pacific is often called the world’s economic powerhouse, and for good reason. The world’s most rapidly developing region is being transformed by population growth, a rising middle class and an explosion of economic activity. Governments and businesses view it as the global epicentre for development and, let’s be honest, the centre of potential commercial profits.
Global management consultant McKinsey has tracked the centre of the world’s economic activity, finding that it is shifting south and east towards Asia at a rate faster than at any time in human history.
As we know, trade is a central part of this economic movement and can be a force for good – or not. This explosive economic development comes at a price. An estimated 600 million people in Asia Pacific live in poverty – that’s more than half the world’s poor. More than 490 million are undernourished and another 11.5 million – or 56% of the global total for this metric – are trapped in modern forms of slavery.