(March 2013) Malaysia’s economy enjoyed robust, domestic-led growth in 2012, and is expected to grow by about 5% this year, accompanied by low unemployment and subdued inflation.
(January 2013) Fast economic growth has helped to significantly reduce poverty in Asia and the Pacific over the years. However, much still needs to be done in a region that is home to about two-thirds of the world's poor. There are an estimated 1.7bn poor people in the region who are living on less than $2 a day.
(January 2013) The Great Migration: China has received the most FDI in the developing world since 1993 thanks to a surplus of labour, a large market and favourable policy. However, rising costs from increasing wages, an appreciating Chinese renminbi and a shrinking working population, are pushing multinationals to relocate some activities. Asian countries with large pools of labour, strong domestic demand and low costs are attractive destinations. Total foreign direct investment (FDI) into China fell 3.7% in 2012 to $111.72bn, the Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday, the first annual decline since the fallout from the global financial crisis in 2009. However, FDI into China is still flowing at record levels and there has been a big jump in outflows. Thailand has already been one of the biggest beneficiaries of Japanese FDI, supporting the country’s integration into the electronic global supply chain. Its inward FDI grew 63% in 2012.
(December 2012) After a subdued economic performance in Asia-Pacific in 2012, growth in the region is set to pick up gradually in 2013 helped by external demand and accommodative monetary policy. Many economies in the region have now reached a development stage that in principle exposes them to the risk of falling into a “middle-income trap.” Historically, the odds of a sustained growth slowdown have been 1/7 for a fast-growing middle-income country versus 1/11 for frontier, that is low-income, economies in the region. A complicating factor is rapid population ageing, which will exert a drag on growth in many high- and middle-income countries alike, from Japan to China, and also poses new fiscal challenges. And even where demographic trends are more favourable, such as in India and many of Asia’s low-income economies, making growth more inclusive and broad based remains a major challenge.
(December 2012) The surging economies of Southeast Asia have been a bright spot in developing Asia’s otherwise subdued 2012 growth performance, but the broader region should still pick up steam in 2013, according to a new analysis of the region.
(December 2012) Morgan Stanley, the US investment bank, forecasts that the four biggest economies of the Southeast Asia region - - Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore -- will expand by 4.5% in 2013, outpacing the 3.1% global growth estimate for the same period. The number of dollar billionaires in Indonesia has overtaken the number in Japan.
(November 2012) Advanced economies could learn from Asia’s experience to develop more resilient, sounder economies, says IMF chief Christine Lagarde, at the beginning of a week-long visit to Southeast Asia.
(June 2012) Clearstate, a provider of market intelligence on the Asia Pacific healthcare industry, has announced the findings of its latest annual analysis of the Malaysian medical technology market. The research, ‘Malaysia Healthcare Insights – Emerging Trends, Ensuing Opportunities’, highlights a number of investment and development opportunities for private companies, particularly in the areas of medical imaging, interventional therapies and minimally invasive surgery. Malaysia’s healthcare is the highest standard in Southeast Asia, after Singapore.
(June 2012) In the last decade, America’s share of the Asia-Pacific export market has fallen by 43%. A report on trade says that while, the humble shipping container isn’t much to look at, but this ubiquitous metal box has revolutionized world trade. Since 1990, global container shipments have surged by almost 600%, lowering costs for shippers and customers worldwide. In 2008, for every five cargo containers that Asia sent to the United States, America sent back only two, resulting in gluts of empty containers at US West Coast ports. Repositioning these unfilled containers can require sending entire boatloads of empty boxes back to Asia - - floating illustrations of America’s trade deficits with countries like China and Japan.
(May 2012) A global survey of CEOs and senior executives shows that demand for Sharia orientated products and services is strong, and expected to grow. Among the reasons: expanding Muslim populations, rising purchasing power, shifting consumption patterns, and a broader range of products and services on offer. The range of Sharia-orientated products and services is broadening, from food and Islamic finance products to pharmaceuticals, fashion and tourism, among others.