Inclusive economic growth that allows people tocontribute to, and beneﬁt from, economic activity isessential in the ﬁght against poverty. Such growthcreates jobs and improves access to goods andservices for all people – in particular those at the baseof the economic pyramid – giving them a chance toimprove their lives.East Asia and the Paciﬁc is often hailed as the regionwhere in recent decades the ﬁght against poverty hasbeen most successful.Indeed, China alone has lifted more than half a billionpeople out of poverty over the last 30 years. We arealso seeing progress in Indonesia, the Philippines, andelsewhere. Yet at the same time, more than 35 percentof the world’s poor who need to get by with $8 or lessper day live in East Asia and the Paciﬁc.The challenge doesn’t stop there. Highly productivegroups of people, such as women, often remainmarginalized. For example, more than half of thewomen in seven Paciﬁc island countries work and amajority of them are self-employed. Yet, their potentialis often constrained because they can’t obtain loansto grow their businesses. World Bank research showsthat including women and eliminating inequality inachieving economic progress could increase workerproductivity in East Asia and the Paciﬁc by as much as7 to 18 percent.The private sector is a key force in creating sharedprosperity as it provides nine out of 10 jobs in thedeveloping world. Governments play a vital role byensuring that the conditions are in place for strongprivate sector-led growth and by removing obstaclesthat hinder job creation.