ASEAN economy continues growing: experts

09:46 | 24/02/2017 Global Economy

The economy of the 10 ASEAN member nations is expected to remain its growth in 2017, with emerging Southeast Asia economies growing at approximately 5 to 7 percent, according to experts.

Illustrative image (Source: EPA/VNA)

Indonesia and the Philippines top many economists’ 2017 winners list for their domestically-sourced growth, the Jakarta Post quoted Anna Marrs, Director of the Standard Charter Bank’s ASEAN and South Asia region, as saying.

Intraregional trade of ASEAN will maintain its growing trend, accounting for about a quarter of total bloc trade. Therefore, ASEAN markets, with increasing consumer base, may remain a business attraction.

On the other hand, businesses of ASEAN are also advised to look at the expanded region of ASEAN and South Asia, which offers an access to almost one-third of the world’s population.

According to the World Bank, around one million people enter South Asia’s workforce every month. By 2030, ASEAN and South Asia will be home to more than one-fourth of the world’s working adults.

South Asia and Southeast Asia’s trade has also grown from four billion USD in 1990 to 90 billion USD in 2013, stated the Asian Development Bank.

In the same period, Southeast Asia’s share of South Asian trade only rose slightly from 11 percent to 12 percent, while South Asia’s share of Southeast Asian trade doubled from 2 percent to 4 percent. This modest trend suggests that there’s room for further growth.

As businesses in ASEAN face slowing exports and rising production costs, including South Asia in a business strategy will generate longer-term benefits. There are many opportunities in the ties between ASEAN and South Asian markets.

Besides, the expected investment flows to South Asia and Southeast Asia also present new prospects. Increased fund flows from China could help both regions adapt to potentially increased trade protectionism in some countries.

More business exchanges will call for greater connectivity, which will present enormous gains to ASEAN and South Asia. Better transportation and infrastructure networks will make it easier to engage in cross border business.

2017 is considered an unpredictable year of international and regional economy. However, businesses can thrive through exploiting the strong opportunities in ASEAN and South Asia despite the many uncertainties. Businesses should have a broader view and invest in potential new markets, thus enhancing regional economy.

Theo VNA