JICA Ogata Research Institute

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How Can Developing Countries Achieve Sustainable Development: Implications From the Inclusive Wealth Index of ASEAN Countries

Since the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the concept of sustainable development has been widely accepted as a development slogan. However, few studies have been conducted to observe the ways in which countries can achieve sustainable development using comprehensive approaches including the economic, social, and environmental aspects.

To bridge this research gap, this study adopts the Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI), which comprehensively evaluates the values of produced and natural and human capital that contribute toward nations’ sustainable development. By using the IWI, this study examines whether developing countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region have been developing in a sustainable manner during 1990–2014.

The study results reveal that the development of ASEAN countries with rich natural resources was not sustainable. Contrastingly, countries with poor natural resources were able to overcome obstacles related to sustainable development by enhancing produced capital. The study thus concludes that effective conversion of natural capital to produced capital is the key to achieving sustainable development in the ASEAN region.

The paper was published online in the International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology.

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