Avian flu puts Asian growth under threat

INDIA - Spread of avian flu from birds to humans is one of the most underrated threats to Asia's fast-growing economies and could wipe out over $300 billion of their gross output, Ifzal Ali, Asian Development Bank's chief economist, has warned.

"It will have a crippling effect on Asian growth,"Ali told TOI on the sidelines of the annual meeting of ADB that ended in Hyderabad.

India had a taste of it last month when its poultry industry suffered heavy losses after chickens in Maharashtra were diagnosed with H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus, triggering massive fowl culling in the state.

Yet, Ali, who helps the multilateral financier to anticipate potential threats to growth, believes that Asia would remain the most dynamic region in the world over the next two years. "China, India and Korea, which account for two-thirds of Asia's GDP, will be the main drivers of growth in the region,"he said.

Source: The Times of India
calendar icon 8 May 2006
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