The smaller of the two nationalist parties standing in Northern Ireland, the SDLP said it will argue for greater economic powers, including the ability to issue bonds to support infrastructure projects.
It wants the minimum wage to be set by the Stormont executive, and to have control over energy and natural resources.
It reaffirmed its commitment to a united Ireland, but says that in any new arrangement the Stormont assembly should remain, as should health and education provision for the most vulnerable.
The party also pledged to set up a Scottish-style commission on devolving fiscal powers to Northern Ireland during the next parliament.
Mr McDonnell said: "Through this mechanism, Scotland has succeeded in winning the argument to allow them to borrow money and issue their own bonds.
"The same powers should be extended to Northern Ireland to enable us to stimulate our private sector through infrastructure projects."
The SDLP envisages a united Ireland as a merger between two equal partners.
The manifesto does not outline what the cost of the prosperity process might be, but it is understood that it would require more money from the treasury to pay for what is an ambitious spending plan.
The party also ruled out supporting the Conservative Party in the event of a hung parliament in May's General Election.
The SDLP's other policies include:
Reducing VAT in the tourism sector to 5% and to have control of lottery spending
Opposing a reduction in the benefit cap to £23,000
Support for older job seekers and introducing "social tariffs" for energy