Economy & Trade
One aspect of the proposed China Silk Road that is not often factored into the route is that of India, and especially the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) trade bloc. In fact, SAARC has long been of high interest and importance to the Chinese, who tried to join a few years ago and were rebuffed.
SAARC’s members, which essentially comprise the entire Indian sub-continent, include India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The body also includes, as observers, Australia, China, the European Union, Iran, Japan, Mauritius, Myanmar, South Korea and the United States. South Africa has also participated unofficially in meetings, which must have generated some interesting side-line conversations about cricketing ties.
Op/Ed by Chris Devonshire-Ellis
Photo by Chris Devonshire-Ellis
Sri Lanka is often overlooked in Asia. A relatively small economy at just US$80 billion GDP per annum, and a population of 20 million, it is eclipsed in size by many Asian cities, let alone sovereign nations. The country’s economy is the same size as that of New Orleans.
That small size justifies the term “Leopard Economy” – Sri Lanka is smaller than the traditional Asian Tigers of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, and isn’t home to any tigers itself – but the country does boast the world’s largest population of leopard sub-species in the world.
Vietnam is set to be one of the performing global stars in terms of growth during 2016, according to an essay from Bloomberg titled “Vietnam Growth Makes It An Emerging Market Standout In a Shaky World”. Citing generally difficult trading conditions in 2016, Bloomberg’s market analysis places Vietnam as the second most dynamic growth economy during the year with an expected 7 percent growth rate. India in fact leads the way with an expected GDP growth performance of 7.5 percent – some way ahead of China’s 6.2 percent prediction.
The global property company Knight Frank have released their 2016 India residential investment advisory report for 2016, which can be used as a useful barometer for how well the Indian economy is doing overall. This is especially true of consumer trends – of vital note to foreign investors hoping to sell products to India’s massive middle class consumer base.
Unlike China, where worrying signs are that property prices are set to retrench, India’s residential property market looks healthy. The report, which specifically features the main India cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune, also covers areas of prime infrastructure interest, such as the New Gurgaon area in Delhi, and the airport development project in Pune. That means some welcome and detailed on the ground research has been put into this survey.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) has just released its 2016 study on the economic outlook for South-East Asia, China and India. Using data culled from 2014-2015 performance indicators, this comprehensive study examines several areas of interest to foreign investors throughout the Asian region.
The study is divided up into three main sections, the first dealing with specific regional economic monitors and depicting the medium-term economic outlook and macroeconomic challenges in the region. The second section consists of three chapters on “enhancing regional ties”, which is the special thematic focus of this report. The third section includes structural policy country notes and a summary.
The Following is an excerpt from Vietnam Briefing’s November edition, entitled “Navigating the Vietnam Supply Chain“, which provides valuable insight into the emergence of Vietnam as a destination for China plus on manufacturing. For more information find the whole article here on the Asia Briefing bookstore
Recently signed and pending implementation by individual member states, the TPP is one of the most anticipated trade developments in recent years. For Vietnam’s exporters, the agreement is a watershed moment which will see over 18,000 total tariff reductions extending to key industries such as garments, machinery, and electronics.
Asia Briefing Exclusive
By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Cameron Turnbull
World financial leaders gathered in Hong Kong on Monday, January 18 for the Asian Financial Forum. The two day event is meant to bring together representatives from finance and government for a discussion about economic growth prospects in Asia for 2016.
What will this year’s economic growth look like? What is at stake? And who will play a leading role in 2016? These were the questions on the collective mind of everyone in the packed Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Center.
Chris Devonshire-Ellis, the Chairman of Dezan Shira & Associates, has just had his new book, an examination of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s proposed “Silk Road Economic Belt“, published by Asia Briefing.
Taking over 9 months to research and write, the book deals with the entire overland and maritime Silk Road routes and the 60 countries that make them up, including existing Chinese operations in these countries, infrastructure projects both underway and pending, and the new institutions that are paving the way to make Xi’s dream a reality, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the multi-lateral Silk Road Gold Fund.
The newest issue of Asia Briefing magazine, titled “The Cost of Doing Business in ASEAN Compared with China“, is out now and available as a complimentary download in the Asia Briefing Bookstore.
- Doing Business in China & ASEAN – Land, Labor, GDP Per Capita and Welfare Comparisons
- Executive Summary – Choosing an Investment Location in ASEAN
A much publicized feature of ASEAN’s development is the so-called “AEC Deadline” which is due at 31st December 2015. The AEC (Asean Economic Community) deadline is rather a misnomer and has led to a great deal of misunderstanding about what it actually means.
As at these pre-deadline days, where we stand is that the entire ASEAN community – meaning all members – have agreed to reduce their tariffs as concern import-export across borders. Of these ten nations however, four of them – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam asked for additional time to get prepared for this. That deadline is the one that expires at the end of 2015. All the other nations – Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand – are already in compliance and have reduced tariffs accordingly. As these include the biggest members of ASEAN, the AEC deadline is something of a moot point. Of the six nations above five are major trade and manufacturing players in their own right. Here is a brief snapshot: