Myanmar and Vietnam are projected to be growth drivers.
BMI Research forecasts that with enhanced regional integration and continued reform momentum, ASEAN’s nominal GDP in dollar terms can easily overtake more mature economies like Germany by 2024 and Japan by 2026.
The region recorded an overall positive performance in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index 2018 led by Thailand who went up 20 places, Indonesia with 19, Brunei with 16 and Vietnam with 14.
The rest of the countries experienced little to no decline in rankings with the exception of the Philippines who fell 19 places.
BMI research expects Myanmar and Vietnam to be growth outperformers with Myanmar projected to grow by an average of 7.2% annually over the next ten years due to higher levels of investment and greater political stability.
Vietnam is expected to ride on an upward momentum thanks to a strong manufacturing sector from multinational companies moving away from China and relocating in major Vietnamese cities.
Initiatives for enhanced economic cooperation like the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and China’s Belt and Road also pave the way for upward trajectory growth.
The report however noted a possible stumbling block to regional growth in the form of the South China Sea territory dispute.
Political risk is also likely in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia as the countries change leadership in the next few years.
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