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Draft V2/14/05/10 65 per cent. The economically least developed countries (Cambodia, the Lao PDR, Myanmar, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam) have levels of urbanisation below 34 per cent. 8. The urban population of the region will grow by 2.2 per cent per year during 2010-2015. The growth rate of the least urbanised countries is much higher: 5.0 per cent in Timor-Leste, 4.8 per cent in the Lao PDR; 3.2 per cent in Cambodia. Almost all countries will have a majority of their population living in urban<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2401.161449">doi:10.3201/eid2401.161449</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29260679">pmid:29260679</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PMC5749452/">pmcid:PMC5749452</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/release/zm3tbdwpinfzlff756giqrgkim">fatcat:zm3tbdwpinfzlff756giqrgkim</a> </span>
more »... eas by 2050. 9. Much attention is given to urban agglomerations which often cover several cities and towns. The mega-urban regions of Manila and Jakarta have a population of over 21 million each, while Bangkok has more than 10 million inhabitants and Ho Chi Minh City 5 million inhabitants. 10. A majority of the urban population of Southeast Asia (67 per cent or almost 165 million people) lives in small cities and towns with less than 500,000 inhabitants. These small cities and towns often struggle to improve the local economy and develop infrastructure, because they lack urban management capacity. Cities as engines of development 11. The growth of the urban population occurred in tandem with the growth of the region's economy. Port cities, connected to global markets, became major economic centres Singapore ($215 billion), Manila ($149 billion), Bangkok ($119 billion), Jakarta ($92 billion), Ho Chi Minh City ($58 billion), Hanoi ($42 billion). 12. Despite rapid economic growth, the region cannot be complacent. Some cities and towns need to develop their economy and others need to renovate it. They need to compete globally to attract foreign direct investments. In the past, they could compete on low labour costs and good connectivity. 13. There is a shift in the global economy from manufacturing to services. To compete, urban areas need to develop higher-added value sectors, particularly knowledge-based services. They require a highly skilled labour force, good infrastructure and services and an attractive living environment. Demographically, 2000 was a global milestone, as the world became predominantly urban (UNPD, 2010). The United Nations Population Fund wrote in its State of the World Population 2007 report (UNFPA, 2007: 1): "For the first time in history, more than half its human population, 3.3 billion people, will be living in urban areas. By 2030, this is expected to swell to almost 5 billion. Many of these new urbanites will be poor. Their future, the future of cities in developing countries, the future of humanity itself, all depend very much on decisions made now in preparation for this growth." Southeast Asia is somewhat behind the world as a whole in terms of urbanisation, as more than 41.8 per cent of the region's population now (2010) lives in urban areas. At this time, it is of critical importance that the governments of Southeast Asia take a hard look at the challenges that urbanisation brings to the region, in particular because urbanisation in Southeast Asia is closely connected with two other major trends that affect the region: economic globalisation and climate change. The nature and the impact of urbanisation and the challenges it brings are, however, not always well understood. Therefore, participants at regional workshops on "Urbanisation in Southeast Asia" held in Singapore in December 2009 and March 2010 concluded that it was necessary: "to develop a better understanding among decision-makers of how best to manage urbanisation in order to promote economic growth, improve people's well-being, preserve the cultural heritage and develop a socially and environmentally conscious society so that urbanisation becomes an engine for sustainable development." Over the past few years, both the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have dedicated ministerial meetings to the issue of urban policy. The OECD General Secretary (OECD, 2007a) stated that the OECD recognises the need for more attention for urban areas, as cities are engines of economic growth and drivers of entrepreneurship and innovation, places with poverty and criminality and generators of almost 70 per cent of total gas emission. This overview paper on urbanisation in Southeast Asia aims at contributing to the better understanding of urbanisation by decision-makers in Southeast Asia.
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