The growth rate of developing economies in the Asia-Pacific region is projected at 7.3 percent in 2011, representing a drop compared with last year’s figure of 8.8 percent.

The report on “ ESCAP Economic and Social Survey”, which was released in Hanoi on May 5 by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), puts growth for East and Northeast Asia at 7.9 percent, North and Middle Asia at 4.8 percent, developing countries in Asia-Pacific islands at 5.5 percent, South and Southwest Asia at 6.8 percent and Southeast Asia at 5.5 percent, respectively.

In 2011, most economies are likely to see an increase in inflation from rising food and oil prices, that could push 42 million additional people in poverty, joining the 19 million already affected in 2010, the report said.

ESCAP urges the protection of poor and vulnerable households through strengthening of public food distribution systems, food vouchers, school feeding programmes and other targeted subsidies.

Governments need to moderate prices through tariffs and tax policies, regulation on hoarding and speculative activities and the countercyclical use of buffer stocks, the report said.

Vietnam ’s economic growth in 2010 reached 6.78 percent. In the first quarter of this year, the figure stood at 5.43 percent while the inflation rate was 6.12 percent./.