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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 November, 2004, 23:47 GMT
Developing nations 'to prosper'
Could a slowdown in China hit the rest of the developing world?
Developing nations are this year set to record their strongest economic growth since 1974, the World Bank has said.

Many countries are on course to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals of cutting global poverty in half by 2015, its Economic Prospect 2005 report says.

But "daunting challenges" in sub-Saharan Africa meant the region was unlikely to see the same effects.

Growth of 6.1% in 2004 would be led by China and India but many nations are benefiting from economic reform.

"Developing countries could nearly double their 1990s growth rate as their investments in structural reforms begin to pay off," the Bank said.

Further reductions in trade barriers should also help developing countries reach an average growth rate of 3.4% between 2006 and 2015, up from less than 2% in the 1990s, the bank predicts.

Risks ahead?

Its 2004 predictions come on the back of 5.2% growth in 2003 as the developing nations were boosted by an upswing in the major industrial economies.

The Bank forecasts growth this year to be strongest in the East Asia region at 7.8%, followed by the developing countries of Europe and Central Asia at 7%; South Asia at 6%; Latin and America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa at 4.7%, and sub-Saharan Africa at 3.2%.

But the Bank said growth would slow in 2005 and 2006.

It admitted its forecasts were vulnerable to risks, including high oil prices and possible stumbles in China's economy, but assessed these as "manageable".

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